RP:Dubious Business

From HollowWiki

Part of the The White Hunt Arc

Linn came waiting for Amabella to finish her work at the clinic, just to see firsthand where the bodies she was dumping had come from. He doesn't object to her 'mercy killing,' but voices concern over the potential repercussions once they were clear of the town. The two made their way to the dumping site for Amabella to rid herself of the body, though their presence attracted angry undead from below the cliff. Deciding it was better to leave than fight they made their way out, only to get lost and walk into the frozen graveyard. There Linn gets put under a spell by one of the spirits, seeing something deeply and personally horrifying. Orikahn watches the whole event, waiting to pick him and Amabella off for his own reasons, only to leave when the whole situation with the spirit came to a head. After dealing with the spirit Linn was positively furious, electing to destroy whatever part of the undead had followed them. After Amabella heals him of his wounds she gets put in her own coffin with his belongings, much to her surprise before they made their way out.

Healing Room

Amabella lurked about the clinic past her usual hours, making no noise as she moved about the room from bed to bed. Each patient was long off to sleep, resting contently as their wounds mended. A lone elf in the critical section of the ward tossed and turned, vexed by both their physical pain and some haunting nightmare. Bandages were ripped clean off in a panting, fevered fit. A few stitches were torn from the panicked motions. It seemed to get worse and worse until Amabella neared, and then the man fell dreadfully still and silent. The only sounds were his laboured breaths and the strained pounding of his heart. Amabella shakily ran the tip of her tongue across her lips, eyes alight with hunger. Those dull almonds twitched from the elf's prone body, then down to her right forearm at her side, then back. The priestess pulled her robe sleeve up to her shoulder, revealing the scarred flesh of her arm. Amabella rested her left hand on the side of the medical cot while positioning her right hand above the elf's neck. Flesh parted in a gruesome display, with both bones splitting out in similar arcs to that of a bow in opposite directions. The ritual spike retrieved from the depths of Frostmaw's catacombs was held within, pulsing with an ethereal amethyst glow around its void-like surface. Amabella's hand tore itself apart, and the two gory halves of her arm bent back to no longer obstruct the black spine. It hovered inches away from the man's chest, aimed at the heart between two ribs, before plunging it in to pierce into the organ. Not a scream, grunt, or sound other than the squelch from the stabbing.

Linn had taken to leaning against the wall waiting for Amabella. Now that the war was over the amount of people coming to the clinic should fall off a bit, and he was looking to do a bit more searching now that the situation was a bit less tense. He watched her casually as she made her way about, though as she made it to some of the more critically wounded he began to express a nervous interest. As she stood over the elf he realized that look on her face, beginning to shake his head ever so slightly, mouthing out “no…” as she revealed the black spike from her arm. His eyes began to dart between the door out and the scene unfolding in front of him, wide with some kind of horror or anxiousness that someone would notice. Probably both. Yet he couldn’t interrupt the process, lest everyone else wake up and find out what was going on. He twitched at the squelch of the stab, his eyes returning to the now dead elf with Amabella over him. He shook his head but said nothing. He’d rather not be caught in the middle of this scene.

Amabella looked as euphoric as her features allowed. She was positively glowing!.. She was literally glowing, as a faint aura visually came to life around her. Looking through it tinged whatever was on the other side a dark, blurry plum for the brief moments it was visible. The elf's body began to wither away as their life, and very soul, were drained away. They gave a few trembles and twitches throughout the process, but were soon left as a motionless husk covered in mired bandages and other soft cloths. Amabella retracted her limb and held it out to the side as it began to repair itself. Bones forced their way back into proper positions while muscle and veins crept back to cover them. It was difficult to tell such a macabre thing took place with how finely everything mended, as no scarring or misshapen lumps were left afterword. Amabella wrapped the man's corpse up with the sheet they were resting on before carrying their body over her shoulder. A nod was given to Linn to head first outside as she made her way over.

Linn watched the elf’s soul drain away with some kind of interest, maybe just to keep his focus away from Amabella’s bout of euphoria due to the process. He pursed his lips and followed the order, waiting outside the doorway for Amablla to come out with her coffin. He tapped his foot as he waited, rather conflicted over what just happened. The spike had worked mostly as he expected, ripping the soul straight from their body. Where it went after was still up in the air. It was probably more his desire to stay on good terms with Frostmaw than anything that raised his objections. Short of getting in trouble with the town, Amabella managed to just barely stay on that line between scavenging and stealing one’s life.

Amabella stalked out of the main entrance, quickly disposing the body into the awaiting redwood casket. Three skeletons waited around the massive object while their master finished stuffing the corpse away and closing the lid. One was head-and-shoulders taller than the other two and waited near the foot of the coffin. The front two grabbed hold of the sides and lifted it up onto their shoulders, and the rear servant held its end up under both forearms. Amabella and her skeleton crew stalked off to the depositing site with Linn in tow.

Uncomfortable View

Linn stood by the cliff and peered over it, breathing a sigh as he recognized one or two of the bodies that had been freshly dumped last time. “Well now I know where they come from. Figures.” He went towards one of the sides to stay out of Amabella’s way for the body dumping and sat down, looking out over the remains of some old battle. Hiding bodies in plain sight among others once a bit of snow and distance masked their freshness... probably the best one could do where it was too cold for things to decompose quickly. He shook his head and spoke back up. “What do you do with all that life anyway? You aren’t one to let it go to waste I’m sure.” She better had not been wasting what was left of the lives she took at least.

Amabella ordered her stooges to lay the massive coffin down in the snow a bit away from the cliff edge. She arched a brow at Linn and had a lopsided frown on her face. The undead woman moved over to sit upon the wooden object as she spoke, "What care do I have with the meat and bones of these people? Why should I give thought to the empty bodies that house the living, when all someone would do is let them rot in empty buildings that house the dead? That would be purely symbolic, considering what just transpired." Amabella hunched forward with a grimace. "Despite what that mystical wench spoke of, all this is doing is stirring whatever restless spirits are already tethered to this place. I'd do something about it, were we in better position to. Handling such things alone would be... ill-advised, and you could hardly help with the spiritual side of things as-is."

Linn rolled his eyes before looking back at Amabella. “Yes, I know that. Just keep whatever business you have with it precise. People don’t exactly appreciate having their life taken away.” He turned back to look over the cliff and muttered. “And I don’t appreciate the potential fallout from this. Just make sure it serves a purpose in one way or another.” He sighed and shook his head again. “I doubt I could. The immaterial things I work with might have power, but they aren’t intelligent or living in any sense. I could at least help by dragging things around for you.” The last statement was definitely a jest, though if push came to shove he might definitely see himself doing it for his life.

Amabella glanced about wide-eyed in paranoia. "...And my reasons are my own, as for what leads to the dirty work in the first place. Just know I'm not stepping out of bounds; those whose husks we throw over this ledge were soon to pass beyond the veil-- or soon to be bound to this infernal frozen wasteland." Amabella grumbled something incoherent to herself and spat far over the cliff. She turned back to glare out at the bordering wilderness. They managed to pass by the crazed-feral wolves of the area without much attention due to their odd nature. Whatever smell Linn gave off would be masked by the horrid reek of undead, and they hardly had much need to bother the wandering undead. The wind started to pick up, as foliage swayed and rustled. The following sounds could easily pass as the whistling of the wind, or distant whispers on the edge of one's hearing. Amabella's expression fouled even further.

Linn shivered and craned his neck as the wind hit him. Luckly his armor was able to keep the rest of his body insulated from it. “Just keep it that way.” He grumbled before getting back to his feet; moving around would help with the cold if it was going to be this way. He idly turned an unusual spiraled mithril ring around his finger, recognizable as the one he was working on back at the camp back before the feast. Whether it was the cold or the ring he remembered something. He started to fish through his pack, finally pulling the frame of the pendant that she had given him. Set in to it were the bright blue and yellow gemstones that she had ordered, cut in such a way that they formed their own ring. The tail of one curved gemstone was set in to the head of the other, giving them the appearance of a blurred orbit around their counterpart. Or perhaps the shift from one to the other gave the idea of day and night, with dawn and dusk laying at their intersections. He held it out for Amabell. “The pendant for the cold.” He stated, tossing it over once he had her attention.

Amabella shook out of her agitation for a brief moment when the scholar addressed her. The pendant was caught, inspected, thought upon, then carefully wrapped around her neck. Amabella's attention snapped back to their surroundings moments later, as she continued to cast suspicious glances out into the dark woods. Sounds of clawing could be heard behind them at the foot of the cliff, though this didn't do anything to draw the undead woman's focus away from the more immediate routes of danger. "I don' like dis, boss..." one of the skeletons- the middle one, precisely -rattled away in a rough baritone after a few awkward moments. The other two gave something that could be considered disapproving looks to the speaker, though this was hard to tell due to the lack of moving facial features. Both of its companions on either side reared their closest arm back and gave him a smack on the back of the skull. "Idiot!" "Numbskull!" sounded out from the pair at the same time. "Hey!" the middle one's muffled voice came out from the deep snow, as his head was knocked clear off into the nearby snowbank. Amabella continued to ignore her henchmen. Her anxiousness became more apparent as time went on.

Linn may not have fully realized the eerie presence from the woods, though the scraping of something that shouldn’t be alive down below put him on alert. “Something is definitely mad at us.” He pulled the void infused shield crystal from his pouch. Whether or not it would protect him was questionable, but facing the immaterial with something similar to its nature felt more reliable than trying to stop it with metal. Would also help with the undead… He paced over to the snowbank that the skull had flown in to, the shield springing from the crystal straight in to the hole it made in to the snow. Soon enough it had popped back out, the skull flying straight back in to the center of the skeletons. “Put it back” he demanded curtly towards the stooges. The field swirled in front of him as he turned toward the way they came in, its black edges rippling and folding idly. He released his breath nervously, looking in to the inky black that had suffused his work.

Amabella didn't bother to regard her minions' roughhousing at all, as she was beyond jaded to their antics at this point. Instead, the priestess dismounted off of her wooden perk and pried the lid open. One moving corpse moved the fully-deceased one, and the elven man she earlier helped across in his journey to the afterlife was dragged out of the coffin and hoisted upon the small woman's shoulders. Meanwhile, the right skeleton took hold of the floating skull and firmly planted it on his fellow grunt's spine... backwards. The left one gave him a smack upside the head, causing it to eventually spin around to face the correct direction. "Why I oughta..!" the middle servant's voice rumbled out. An elbow and backhand were sent in either direction, leaving the two guilty of such tomfoolery missing teeth and ribs. Fearing retribution from their master- or worse, her noticing they can speak -the stooges settled down like scolded children. Amabella was busy disposing of -yet another- body over this cliff. Down the sheet-wrapped corpse went, tumbling down... and eventually into another frostbitten-corpse that was attempting to scale the cliffside. It let out no cry as it fell or landed; the only sounds able to be heard were more bodies clawing up out of the snow over the more recent deposits.

Linn watched the skeletons, trying to relieve some of the tension by amusing himself before the body got dumped behind them. Over the cliff it went with a bump and a crunch as it hit the face of the rock and another coming in three…two…one… Two crunches came from below almost simultaneously. “Huh?” he muttered as he peered over the edge, recoiling back on to the ice-slicked stone. “Something is most definitely mad at us. We got zombies coming up from the cliff. Boss.” He mirrored the tone of the baritone skeleton whimsically, maybe just to let the stooges know that at least he noticed them talking. With that he drew his blade in his other hand, ready to turn the undead coming up the cliff in to some silly game of whack-a-mole. The first one had made it to the top, only to get punched square in the face by the veil of force and sent tumbling back down below. There was a lot more than one coming up the cliff though, and he couldn’t keep that many down at once.

Amabella bared her teeth in an exaggerated grimace. "What foul heresy is this?!" came an idiotic, rhetorical question to something the priestess should have known WELL better about. Her rot probably starts at the head. Amabella's skeleton trio armed themselves... literally. The larger of the three had to deal with losing body parts once more, as his companions grabbed onto both of his humeri and ripped the arms clear out of the sockets to be used as makeshift weapons. Resigning to fate, he ambled over to join the rest in stomping out approaching undead trying to climb onto the cliff. Amabella curled the fingers of her right hand as if clutching some invisible sphere, stepping back and holding it in Linn's direction. A single word was uttered-- something incoherent, but the scholar's body reacted just the same. A nearly-transparent, teal mist bled through the man's armour at the chest; such a drain so powerful that the gathered mana was visible, growing ever radiant as it coalesced in Amabella's palm. "To ash!" she cried, lashing the stolen energy down upon the larger cluster of clawing bodies. Once incorporeal, the mana now sparked to life with arcane command into an arching whip of plasma, renduring whatever was in its way into a molten mess. Linn probably wouldn't appreciate the 'borrowing', let alone the pause it would give him in his defense against the coming undead.

Linn unfortunately was unable to watch the absurdity that was the stooges obtaining their ‘weapons’. Actually it was probably for the best, a laughing fit probably wouldn’t do much to save his life at this point. Something Amabella said sounded to be in his direction, only for him to find her beckoning to the energy focused within the brand on him before it was completely ripped out to bring her spell to life. Given the look on his face she might have thought he just got kicked square in the groin like –that last time-. He fell to a knee, weapons pressed against the ground in his hands to steady himself before looking back up with a cough. “Give me that back” he muttered as he got to his feet, reaching out to rip the mana back in to his control. It returned to an incorporeal form as he gained control over it before he gave it some kind of malignant enchantment. The flow became disrupted and warped as the edges began to fray and split into different colors before sending it tearing down the cliff and dissipating towards the bottom, the undead caught in its wake were suddenly missing random sections of their bodies that had dissolved in to nothing as whatever forces animating their bodies were torn at. Others suddenly found some of their joints locked and covered in a multicolored glassy substance that interfered with further movement; the overall effect was quite spectacular, if draining on the spellblade. He blinked a couple times at the effects before readying his blade. Evidently he wasn’t in much of a condition to cast too much more magic.

Amabella cast an alienating look of disgust and confusion from the splay of prismatic nonsense and the man who casted it forth. "What in--" she muttered, but was interrupted by one of her minions pulling her back out of the gasping hands of another zombie. Grasping their makeshift club at the wrist and elbow joints to keep its form straight enough, they brought the humerus home into the assailant's frozen mess of a face, sending it sailing clear out a few feet before plummeting down into the wastes below. Amabella made a few failed attempts to getting back onto her feet before aid was given to her yet again. "Good'a time as any to get attah heah!" one of the slaves shouted above the sounds of their own struggle with the other necromantic monsters. As if to play on cue for the cliché, the growing horde had already found part of its way up to the main area, threatening to surround the group should they deem it better to stay. Amabella's response was to continue fighting, sending violet magical bolts out to strike at anything hostile that strayed too close, while her servants found it wiser to drag her back over to the open coffin to the south.

Linn perhaps looked just as confused and maybe somewhat horrified at the results of his own spell with the half-disintegrated or crystallized bodies falling off of the cliff. He put away the crystal that controlled the shield he tended to use so much for now; in his state he wasn’t going to test its strength against a horde of undead that he knew could prove surprisingly strong. He cut his way back to Amabella through any of the zombies that attempted to get in his way, making sure to keep his distance between himself and the prying arms which lead to him being pushed further back towards the exit. He shouted at Amabella in a bit of a taunt while pointing towards the bridge out. “Hey! I know a better spot to keep killing these things if you want!” It was a choke point after all where they didn’t have to worry about getting surrounded. It also ‘just so happened’ to be their path of escape.

Amabella begrudgingly allowed herself to be carried out. The stooges scrambled over to the casket with her, dropping her down onto the closed end while attempting to fit their larger companion's arms back into place. Amabella crossed her arms in a huff as she watched their hopeless attempts, "It's like you WANT them to catch up." This was hardly a concern for anyone there, sans Linn. Everyone besides him being undead, the group could easily out-pace the small horde without ever needing to rest. Maybe Frostmaw could deal with it if they ran through it fast enough? Finally succeeding in basic anatomy reconstruction that they, themselves, were prime examples of how everything fit together, Amabella's minions hurredly closed the coffin's lid, lifted it up above their heads, and scrambled to the south with their master.

Frozen Graveyard

Linn was walking in rather briskly from the more northeastern areas, a concerned look on his face. He was easily recognizable by the mithril armor he wore and to a few select people, the undead and her skeletal crew that accompanied him. Somehow he had wound up in another graveyard with Amabella, this time on his own lead instead of hers, and the look on his face made it plain that he wasn’t happy with the fact either. Straight north looked blocked off in the distance; the two had managed to walk in to a dead end if their goal was to get out of the ruins. A short curse was all that escaped his lips in the cold as he looked back towards where they came.

Amabella looked as ornery as a bear that just sat down on a family of dire porcupines as she rode upon her coffin. The stooges which carried it moved in more relaxed manners now that the most recent danger was well in the distance. Despite their location, the priestess made no move to 'inspect' their surroundings as she has in the past. Amabella glowered at the man, rows of modified canines almost shining with the action. "Any bright ideas? I was thinking of throwing you to the mob, but that would only stop a few."

Orikahn comes bounding over what seems to be a freshly erupted grave, sniffing attentively with his head low to the ground. The massive cat is covered in armor from head to toe, and a thick, white, woolly hide cloak covers his armor to boot. Behind his visor, his feline eyes are keen and searching. Amabella and Linn are not overlooked. Kahn stiffens. Hoping he has not been spotted yet, he crouches in the shallow grave and peeks over the low earthen bank. His hands move to gradually knock and draw his bow.

Linn shot Amabella a glance. “A reason is a reason, but given where we are now I would bet that the crowd of zombies isn’t going to be our only worry.” He was clearly just as unhappy as she was right now. “We could cut back through the crowd, or you could find something crazy like that… thing back in Larket.” The cat had gone unnoticed; he was too busy dealing with Amabella and trying to find a way out that involved something other than having to destroy a horde of zombies.

Amabella spat to the side at the suggestion. Just as her companion, she was rather distracted with the situation at hand; though, the undead was as much of a sitting duck as ever even without something occupying her focus. "Idiot! I didn't make that monstrosity, and I highly doubt that there's one like that buried beneath here! Besides, that's the same as bringing in a larger danger to deal with your lesser problems..." Amabella cringes at the memory. "There's been enough necromancy violating this area as it is."

Orikahn silently, carefully, steadily aims. Just as he is gauging the wind does he happen to overhear something possibly very relevant. A horde of zombies? Blinking in surprise and disbelief, the cat recenters his focus. Horde of zombies indeed. Horde of zombies, my tail, Orikahn silently surmises. The two hapless travelers must be out-of-towners to entertain such fantastic ideas. No one will realize their absence, then, until much to late. The hunter resumes aiming, confident in a pair of easy kills.

Linn released a deep sigh in the bickering between the undead and himself before shivering. The wind had picked up again, an eerie whistling carried in on the branches of the trees. “You’re telling me. It takes something big to make this many dead mad.” He stood on the threshold of the graveyard, seemingly unwilling to enter. With an inward gasp that suddenly changed as he looked as if he had recognized something, or someone within the ruins. He made his way in slowly, a rare look of genuine disbelief crossing his face. Those spiritually aware would see that attention was completely absorbed by a ghost that waited expectantly for him, though what he had seen looked personal, a look of abject horror growing on his face at something only he was seeing as he drew closer.

Amabella 's foul attitude began to subside by the end of the conversation, either due to weariness or the comfort felt from such a location. When Linn walked off a brow was raised in response, but no words. The skeletal stooges occasionally twitched in agitated movements, eventually leaving Amabella and her coffin to rest on the ground. She looked on to Linn's path, finally noticing the appirition before them. What may have been a familiar visage to Linn was the spirit's 'natural' form to the priestess. It lacked the lower half of its body, as well as its right arm. The spirit's face was a wry, tormented mess that was hardly recognizable as once belonging to anyone once living. Mild panic set those small eyes darting about in search for other company, but for now there only appeared to be one in the immediate area. "Lad, are you daft?!" Amabella called after him with something close to concern in her voice.

Orikahn furrows his brow again at the human's bizzare behavior. What was he doing now? He's spotted something, surely. The cat follows his gaze. The fur from his toes clear up his neck stands on end. This ghost had chosen to hover less than a stone's toss away. Orikahn had come ill prepared, as always, to deal with spirits. Now violence would threaten to upset the spirit. Silently, Orikahn thanks his good luck for a fine hiding spot and trusty cloak for fine camouflage. Perhaps if he were to just lay still--what! What, no! Surely Kahn's eyes deceive him, for what lunacy would compel the man to walk TOWARD the ghost at a time like this? A little panicked, now, the cat's eyes sweep desperately for a convenient avenue of escape.

Linn gave a half turn to see who was yelling at him before gesturing to the site of the ghost in front of him, anguish and anger consuming his expression. “Can’t you see she’s dead in front of me!?” He turned back and continued regardless, the meaning of whatever was said lost in his transfixion. Wherever he was it wasn’t a graveyard up in the mountains. Closer and closer he drew until he stood over the spirit, crouching down to inspect whatever he was seeing. He reached out as if to touch it before it reached back at him. He was still horrified, but now in a different way as he jumped backwards as fast as he could, spectral claws raking across his arm under his armor with flares of blue light blasting out from the plates as various enchantments did their best to stop the incorporeal assault. He scrambled back to his feet and was running right back out towards Amabella, a slight shock crossing him as he recognized her once more.

Amabella only sat and watched as the appirition assaulted Linn, completely stupefied by the events playing out. It continued to claw frantically in pursuit of the scholar, raking his back with every other mad swing. "Uh, boss..." the larger stooge nudged Amabella rather roughly, snapping her back to her senses. Amabella extended her left hand out, grasping and the air and pulling back on some invisible material. Linn's chest would pulse once more with a ghostly light, and the force of the command would immediately throw the man's body forward to the ground. In synchronized timing, Amabella's right hand reaches forth as the other arm pulls back. Static dances about her fingers before shooting forward to strike out in the ghost's direction. Instead of aiming to harm the spirit's form, a small portal would be ripped open above the now-prone Linn. Assuming the maddened spirit went on in its assault, the brief gap between the planes would allow it to pass through before snapping shut seconds later. Linn would feel yet another pull on his chest, possibly even causing his body to levitate inches off of the ground for a split second, while the portal was open, threatening to devour him as well before closing just before it was too late.

Orikahn has seen enough. Between phantoms and portals, this cat knows he's in over his head. With a noisy yowl, he leaps up into the air a bounds past the tumultuous scene, scrambling past the other two adventurers in a flurry of armor and claws. His appearance is as sudden and as brief as his exit. Kicking and squeezing, the cat disappears into the ruined rubble with a spray of gravel and frost. In effect, he disappears, perhaps never to be seen again.

Linn stumbled forward in response to the pull in an attempt to keep his footing before giving up and diving forward, turning himself over as quickly as he could while drawing the violet crystal from his pocket. He was interrupted by the portal suddenly appearing above him, just for the spirit to leap towards his chest and get sucked straight to the void. He stared in to the void for as long as it hung above him with some combination of an epiphany and harrowing. His physical rising in to the air was completely lost on him until he hit the ground with a dull thump, which was met with an outward gasp and a return to the reality at hand with the huge cat barreling his way out. He blinked once or twice before getting up and briskly making his way back to Amabella, his breathing left shallow from the events he had just endured. Any remaining notes of fear he may have had were masked with a furious focus as he went back the way they came, pointing straight back to the path. “We’re leaving, and if the zombies followed us, too bad for them.”

Amabella had a delayed moment of recognition after Orikahn scrambled through, but there were more pressing matters demanding her attention. With one banished, the calls of other spirits were carried on those unnatural winds, the collection of ghastly wails surrounding them before trailing off. Then again... Amabella was in no position to argue with Linn- or her servants, for that matter. They hefted the coffin up, about-faced with a previously-unseen dexterity, and marched back down the way they came.

Dead Garden Path

Linn led the way out, his expression grim in comparison to the nervous indignance on their way in. He the crystal drawn as well as his sword, prepared for the coming crowd of undead. Some of the zombies were ahead of the horde, who were the first that the odd duo would walk into. Right now they only met isolated undead here and there, each met with a clean swipe of Linn’s sword to take their head off. Some survived the first hit, a second was quickly delivered to end their existence. His expression hadn’t cooled one bit from when he left the graveyard. If anything it was continuing to build.

Amabella bobbed up and down with her minions' hurried motions. "What a waste..." she comments to herself, looking about at all of the long-deceased flora. "Makes you wonder. It makes sense that this place is nothing but rocks, ice, and pines, but there are a few signs that point to it not always being the case." How much thought was being put into things might come to some surprise, but such a thing isn't completely inconsistent with the priestess' past behavior. Distant sounds of dull footfalls could be heard further down the road, and there were quite a few of them. They were difficult to distinguish from the stooges' synchronized plodding until their previous company came into view once more... It seemed like the animated corpses from before were still in pursuit.

A brief gap in the undead and Amabella’s conjecture gave Linn enough time to cool off to begin recognizing the pain coming from underneath the plates of his right forearm. He glanced around to make sure they had some time before sheathing his blade and pulling the armored plates off of his arm. They came apart swiftly due to the lack of mechanical fastenings that would have to be undone, revealing the gem studded leather underneath. No signs of damage quite yet until he peeled back the leather, revealing a reddened underside and blood covering his forearm. He cursed before getting some snow to wipe the wounds clean to get a better idea of the damage, wincing as the ice went straight over fresh wounds. Blood reddening the snow preceded the definition of the spirit’s claw marks: lines of torn flesh that went from the middle of his forearm down to the wrist. Oddly no necrotic effects from the spiritual assault were observed, though if the wound wasn’t tended to it might just go that way. “Anything you might have to deal with this?” He set down his pack, beginning to search for something of his own inside.

Amabella looked over to her companion's wound with an expression that spoke for her: '...Really?' Such clear disappointment. Oh, the living. So frail, with their bleeding and broken bones, or scraped knees, or ruined makeup, or chipped nails. The priestess rolled her eyes and disregarded Linn for a moment until the oncoming conga line of zombies lead her to think on it for a second time. "We'd need to go back to the shrine to properly tend it," she explained, but only partially. Amabella gripped the limb, sinking her fingertips into the wound while plum flames surrounded Linn's entire forearm for a few moments. The flesh restored itself as time went on, pushing the invading digits out and eventually sealing closed. Amabella slumped forward in her sitting, gripping the edges of the coffin on either side of her to keep from falling over in her weariness.

Linn rolled his eyes in return. He wanted an answer right now and not some scoffing at having to deal with the wound. They were on quite the timeline with the zombies coming. Just then something about properly tending it, and the pain of having bony fingers once again sunk in to his flesh. Except this time it wasn’t to drain his life away, instead he blinked once or twice as he watched her force the flesh to re-knit itself. He certainly didn’t expect that much effort put in to healing the wound, nor was he going to waste it either. Without missing a beat he picked up Amabella to put her back on the coffin for her skeletons to keep her going and reversed the process of removing the armor, rolling it back up and reattaching the plates just as quickly as they came off. He picked up his pack and put it in the coffin with Amabella for the stooges to carry. They could carry several bodies at once, a pack with a few rocks was nothing. The blade was drawn once more, though held for now in the face of the approaching zombies. Instead he looked to the crystal and the inky black that infused it. He held it out in front as reality began to invert around it, negative energy gathering in the framework of his enchantment.

Amabella was a mix of emotions- primarily being astonishment and offense -as she was packed away into the cushioned casket... with some of the man's belongings, no less! Utterly speechless, the priestess just let her mouth hang open for a minute until the lid was closed, reopened to dump more things inside, then closed once more. The stooges couldn't help but laugh; they almost dropped their master because of the uproar.

“Don’t you even think about dropping that coffin now.” Came a deadly serious order in Linn’s voice from the outside before he stepped forward, a resonating clap of thunder echoing through the forest as the bolt of void energy arced its way through the crowd of zombies in front of him. Those struck had the last of what little life remaining to animate their limbs ripped from them, making a good ten or so of the undead collapse immediately. He signaled for the stooges to stay back as he scanned for the edge of the crowd and began to circle around it, keeping their attention focused on him as he picked them off one by one while keeping what distance he could, taking special care to keep his next path open to use his mobility to his advantage. The crowd certainly wasn’t as big as the one that had climbed up the cliff, the rest must have broken off and gone somewhere else, hopefully back to their (rather uncomfortable) resting place.

Amabella made a noise that was reminiscent of a kettle whistling (which wasn't completely inaccurate considering her almost-literally-boiling rage) within the confines of the ornate corpse-box. "Are... are you sure?" the larger of the trio asked Linn. The idea of just leaving her here was obviously rather tempting, even if only a temporary reprieve.

Linn was already busy with the zombies to dignify the stooges with a response. The brainless (mindless really… most of them had their brains still) undead more busy stumbling over each other than actually attempting to grab at him. Eventually most of them were gone, ichor having been liberally spattered across his armor and face which he washed off with some of the snow, wincing as he drew it over his face and afterwards as the damp skin further bled heat in the Frostmawian climate. He glanced back at the stooges before jesting “How far do you think I can kick your head through the forest?” With that he waved them forward, it was about time to get going.

Not wanting to relive Scully's previous encounter with a certain which who had a knack for punting things across large distances, the skeletal slaves moved onwards as commanded before more undead close in upon them