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3/17 The Rehabilitation of a Tin Soldier

JWaldman Mar 17th, 2019 (edited) 166 Never
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  1.  Ser Artaghh would steadily limp forward from the distance of Stormguard, the darkness of the evening covering the worst extent of his wounds as he approached the steady light of the manor. Yet, as the paladin reached closer to the pair, it became clear the true, gruesome extent of his injuries. Every inch of exposed skin was charred and cracked, leaking ichorous puss and scorched in shades of throbbing red and deadened black. "...Evenin'..."
  2. (Artaghh)
  3. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  4.  Esme looked over Ramsey's shoulder, spotting Artaghh who'd slowly made his way up the stairs to where the Stormguard was situated.
  5.  
  6. Offering him a smile, she'd shuffle round so she can look past Ramsey who had his arm around her.
  7.  
  8. "Paladin Artaghh, ah. Ramsey has something for you."
  9. (Esme Rowan)
  10. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  11. Artaghh says, "Aye..."
  12.  Ramsey cringes at the sight of Artaghh, hands moving to grab onto the kit that he had been saving for his Paladin. The only thing was.. the guy was hard to find.
  13.  
  14. "Ser Arty.. y'look.. like shit. We need to get you to a medic immediately!"
  15.  
  16. He makes his way over to the titan and looks him over, amazed that he was even able to walk.
  17. (Ramsey)
  18. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  19.  Artaghh says, "..."
  20.  Ser Artaghh would nod steadily, pacing forth slowly as he trudged along in spite of his present state. Beads of sweat poured down the paladin's forehead as he resisted saying much more, the open, puss swelled burns already agonizingly painful without any more stimulation. The burnt paladin seemed determined to make it to Dawn's plaza, despite the fact that he was barely capable of standing. Such things did not stop Ser Artaghh. Not yet.
  21. (Artaghh)
  22. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  23.  Ramsey says, "Master Sors! Artaghh needs immediate care."
  24.  Ramsey says, "I have a kit on hand."
  25.  Ser Artaghh wasn't in a very talkative mood, barely trudging along behind Ramsay in a rather gruesome state. Every inch of his exposed skin was severely burned, oozing puss and stained dark blacks and reds. The paladin had the poor luck now of being stabbed, poisoned, and burned in the service of Dawn. Oh boy.
  26. (Artaghh)
  27. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  28.  
  29.  Chroma Zanders says, "Astaria."
  30.  Anna Ultovex says, "Hello Master."
  31.  Astaria shudders.
  32. (Astaria Rosenkreuz)
  33. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  34.  Chroma Zanders says, "--"
  35.  Chroma Zanders says, ". . . ."
  36.  Ramsey says, "..."
  37.  Anna Ultovex asks, "May I take a moment of your time?"
  38.  Artaghh says, "I...know....handsomer."
  39.  Acnologia says, "hmm"
  40.  Chroma Zanders says, "I was going to ask how it went, but you seem like your mind's elsewhere."
  41.  Astaria Rosenkreuz asks, "Mh?"
  42.  Grey and gold eyes looked into the fountain, where Lord Ultovex was found when off of patrol. He was lost admist a wave of daydreams. The movement of feet stirred him not, nor did words fer a while. It was only after a small splash of the water landed on a gloved finger that he stirred.
  43.  
  44. "Ann. Artaghh. Ramses.
  45.  
  46. Le's get him inside tha' Resurgence. Gon' need ta see ta tha' wound, then we can talk in full, ya Ann?"
  47. (Sors Ultovex)
  48. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  49.  
  50.  Ramsey says, "Right."
  51.  Anna Ultovex says, "It is a short question Lord."
  52. Anna Ultovex says, "I do not mean to disturb you afterwards."
  53.  Sors Ultovex says, "Ask while they takin' Artaghh."
  54. Chroma Zanders says, "It's about what you discussed."
  55.  Ramsey does just what is asked of him, aiming to relocate the titan of a man with the help of gravity magic.
  56.  
  57. Totally to ease his pain and not just because he doesn't want to physically touch his Paladin.
  58. (Ramsey)
  59. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  60.  Chroma Zanders says, "Earlier."
  61.  Anna nods and makes her way into the fort.
  62. (Anna Ultovex)
  63. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  64.  
  65.  Ser Artaghh would hobble along.
  66. (Artaghh)
  67. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  68.  
  69. Sors Ultovex says, "Lay 'im down on tha' table."
  70.  Esme leads Artaghh over to the rounded table Sors usually uses for necromancy instruction, gesturing for him to climb up onto it.
  71. (Esme Rowan)
  72. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  73.  Nickolas whispers something.
  74.  Ser Artaghh would slowly unclasp his cuirass as he approached the table, his silvery armor clammering to the ground with idle drips of blackened blood and puss as the full extent of the paladin's wounds were exposed. It hadn't just been the exposed skin that had been seared by the occult flames of the towering undead worm. Oh no, his whole body had been made quite crispy. Were the peasant not so willfully stubborn, he'd likely be dead.
  75.  
  76. With staggered effort and a stifled grunt of pain, the bald, burned paladin would take a seat upon the table before laying back with the aid of Esme.
  77. (Artaghh)
  78. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  79.  
  80.  Anna Ultovex asks, "Is it an appropriate time to ask now?"
  81. Sors Ultovex says, "Ya may ask"
  82.  Anna Ultovex asks, "What is my purpose now that Zendrick is dead?"
  83.  Sors Ultovex says, "Ta serve ma in death."
  84.  Anna Ultovex says, "I see."
  85. Anna Ultovex asks, "Is our game over?"
  86.  Sors Ultovex says, "No. But gon' come up wit' new terms."
  87.  Anna Ultovex says, "I see."
  88.  Anna Ultovex asks, "Will Kairi be collared?"
  89.  Lord Ultovex flexes his fingers, smiling as the injuries would be exposed to the air. The skin was burned, blackened and tender, something that meant he would get the chance to do what he loved best. Sors would be able to cut things up. The black gloves snapped, sending skeletons down to the dungeons below to retrieve cages filled with rats, which would be set onto the table as another undead brought in a medic bag.
  90.  
  91. Very quickly, Sors takes out the scalpels. The pair of blades are quickly sunk into Artaghh's skin, starting to slice up the blackened parts, surely causing pain to the tender flesh as grey and gold looked down on it.
  92.  
  93. "Here's how this is gon go. I'm gon slice off all this burnt skin, then I'm gon build ya a metal exterior an' skin. It'll cover ya, but I'll disinfect ya first. It'll sting like hell, but it'll be real fun.
  94.  
  95. Think o' it as an upgrade. An' upgrade tha' hurts like hell."
  96.  
  97. He started his work, slicing into the skin. He didn't seem all too wary of how deep into Artaghh he cut, only caring about the effectiveness of removing anything that might cause a complication to the new addition of metal.
  98.  
  99. The occultic pain was sure to linger after he was done, but physically Sors would improve Artaghh's body.
  100. (Sors Ultovex)
  101. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  102.  
  103.  Sors Ultovex says, "Ya. Till ya furfill ya side o' tha' deal. Ya ain't tha' one who killed Zendrick."
  104.  Anna Ultovex says, "I understand."
  105.  Anna Ultovex asks, "Would you like my assitance or shall I depart?"
  106.  Sors Ultovex says, "I'd enjoy it, ya."
  107.  Ser Artaghh would do his best to remain as still as possible during the procedure, but even his rock solid willpower wasn't a match for the sheer agony off the removal of his seared flesh. A slow trail of bloody tears would run down the man's remaining eye, dripping down his burnt cheek and intermixing with the trails of pus as he gritted his teeth so tight some of the enamel began to crack. He would not scream, but then, he did not think he was even capable of doing so. The physical pain was nothing to the mental strain the taint of the occultic fires had placed upon the knight, and even his trained composure was slipping steadily.
  108. (Artaghh)
  109. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  110.  
  111.  Anna would move behind Sors, patiently awaiting any orders he would give. She didn't have any experience with this soooo she's useless.
  112. (Anna Ultovex)
  113. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  114.  
  115.  Sors worked at the skin, tearing it up. He looked almost disappointed at the lack of screaming and reaction, but he worked diligently. Eventually the blackened skin was fully pried, leaving only the tender red underneath mixed with blood, at which point he brought the scalpels away and opened the medical bag again. He took out a bottle of alcohol and would pour some of it onto a rag, getting it moist. Then he turned to Ann.
  116.  
  117. "Rub this on tha' exposed skin. Get tha' alcohol in, an' try not ta get it infected. Wear gloves."
  118.  
  119. He motioned to a pair of white medical gloves in the bag before stepping to the side. He would take measurements of Artaghh's body, then move to the mithril kit and start to assemble it. The metal was shaped into a chassis and exterior, almost like permeant armor by the doctor, only occasionally looking up to see the progress made.
  120. (Sors Ultovex)
  121. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  122.  
  123.  Ser Artaghh swayed in and out of consciousness as his mind acclimated to newer and newer heights of pronounced pain. Each inch of charred flesh stripped from the paladin's body invoked another cacophony of fried nerve spasms, jolting the bald man's pain receptors with sharp, continuous agitation of the charred flesh. Even when Sors completed the removal of the skin, the freshly irritated, exposed flesh offered no relief or sense of savor. It took ever ounce of what remained of the bald man's consciousness not to bite off his own tongue, crunching down on his teeth even as the cracking spread.
  124.  
  125. This was not very pleasant.
  126. (Artaghh)
  127. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  128.  
  129.  Ann nodded, walking over to the medical bag to obtain the latex glove, fitting them onto her tiny hand. Then she would turn to Sors, reaching for the alcohol soaked rag.
  130.  
  131. With the disinfecting cloth she would strongly pres it against Artaghh's exposed skin, following the Paladin's order to "Get tha' alcohol in."
  132. (Anna Ultovex)
  133. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  134.  
  135. The Medical Paladin took copious amounts of enjoyment from the spasms that Artaghh went into, but he never lost focus. With the extra set of hands cleaning the injuries, he was able to complete the mithril chestplate more quickly then he would have otherwise. And once that was done, he turned, walking closer to Artaghh.
  136.  
  137. "Looks like ya almost done disinfectin' him. Tha's good. Now I want ya ta put tha' leather strap in his mouth from tha' bag, an' help 'im bite down on it. He ain't lookin' like a screamer, but mite gnash his teeth in."
  138.  
  139. The feeling of occultism poisoned the air as it formed needles around Sors. First, they stabbed backwards, puncturing the bodies of the rats with a squeak. Then their squeaks became distorted, flesh rotting from their bodies, decaying and vanishing as their blood started to pool on the bottom of the cages. At the same time, other needles formed.
  140.  
  141. Some needles dove into Artaghh's skin, and the mithril chestplate and pieces started to be placed over them. Occultism was not an art of healing. It was of siphoning, stealing, and destruction. Scarred purple flesh would be generated underneath the chestplate, starting to swallow parts of it, as Sors moved to the sides. He took the metal, using a couple of screws to ensure that it wouldn't soon come off. These screws would go down into Artaghh's skin, but they made sure the chestplate wouldn't remove easily.
  142.  
  143. The misshapen flesh would make sure that the screws would be held tightly in place too, painfully forming around it.
  144.  
  145. "Tha's good. Now fer tha' finishing touches."
  146.  
  147. He took some of the spare mithril, turning it into a thread and started to weave it between Artaghh's skin and connecting it to the metal, like stitches. Again, it was to reinforce it, and keep it in place so it wouldn't slip.
  148.  
  149. "There we go. Tha' should workreal well."
  150. (Sors Ultovex)
  151. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  152.  
  153. Anna goes back to the bag, grabbing the leather strap and places it gently between Artaghh's teeth. Yay she was helping.
  154. (Anna Ultovex)
  155. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  156.  
  157.  Ser Artaghh would convulse violently upon being douses with alcohol, biting off a small sliver of his tongue from the sheer, abrupt jolt of the stinging cleansing reagent against his already freshly irritated, exposed skin, spitting up blood as the paladin nearly fell off the table in a sudden, heaving wrack of pained coughs. The burnt man felt like they could vomit, but nothing would come. The energy left the man as quick as it came, slumping back with a moan of exhausted pain upon the table as he leaned back and received the leather protection from Anna without resistance.
  158.  
  159. But that was only the start. As the mithril plates were bound to his person with Sors vicious efficiency, the Paladin's remaining eye would stream once more with bloody, pus laden tears as he was pushed closer and closer to his breaking point. His nerves had already been far past overstimulated, and it was more than any man could take forever. Yet, it was only when the mithril threading begin to tighten and weave together the metal to his irritated flesh did Artaghh finally break. Sors had his scream.
  160.  
  161. (Artaghh)
  162. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  163.  
  164.  The fixing and damage had been done. The metal plates were fully attached to Artaghh, having harmed his nerves to make them unresponsive to further pain. But here and now, it was unbearable, hearing the echoing scream inside the resurgence. Sors' face lit up like child getting their krausmas presents, then his gloved hands wiped themselves off.
  165.  
  166. "Beautiful sound, ain't it?"
  167.  
  168. He wasn't talking to anyone, but everyone. His hands move away from his work, just admiring the rip and replace process he had nearly perfected. Removing the chasis in case of internal injury would be annoying, but he also made sure it would be possible. He moved to Artaghh's side, reaching into his pocket now that the procedure was done.
  169.  
  170. Now that the Paladin had been fully tended to, and his wounds closed, the leather strap is taken from his mouth. Something is drawn from Sor's pocket and put in instead.
  171.  
  172. Once all the pain had been endured, Sors gave Artaghh the painkiller.
  173.  
  174. "Rest fer least a week o' two. Adjust ta tha' metal, get a feel fer it. Should be fine. An' so long as ya focus on tha' pain, tha' lil occultism ain't gon bother ya as much either."
  175. (Sors Ultovex)
  176. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  177. Artaghh says, "..."
  178. Artaghh says, "....Fuck!..."
  179. The part metal paladin would slowly, steadily heavy his mithril armor over his newly structured mithril chassis, the clank of the two contacting resonating within the bald burnee's being pleasantly in spite of all the trauma that had been inflicted upon him this evening. Though the occultic whispers still haunted the peasant's mind, the lessened pain from the deadened nerves allowed him to resteel his composure slowly, after a series of long, deep breaths. He'd bow his head respectfully to Sors.
  180. (Artaghh)
  181. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  182.  
  183.  Lord Ultovex looked over his handiwork, admiring with arms crossed over his chest. The respectful bowing of his head is given a nod.
  184.  
  185. "Tha' should work plenty fer now, ya? Mite sting a lil, but give it tha' time an' ya gon get plenty used ta it. Shouldn't get infected either. Ann did a real good job on tha'.
  186.  
  187. Tha' metal Paladin got a nice ring ta it, ain't it?"
  188. (Sors Ultovex)
  189. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  190.  
  191.  Artaghh says, "Ya' know."
  192.  Artaghh says, "It does."
  193.  Artaghh says, "Go'damn."
  194.  Artaghh says, "Next time Crafthold asks fer volunteers."
  195. Artaghh says, "I'm sittin' out."
  196.  Artaghh says, "Bahahaah...ow....oh fuck....hahah...heh."
  197.  Sors Ultovex says, "Ya, ain't blame ya."
  198.  Artaghh says, "Well...I'll live thanks'ta ye' Sors....I owe ye' one."
  199.  Sors Ultovex asks, "I'll call it in sometime, ain't ya worry, Artaghh. But mind tellin' ma somethang?"
  200. Artaghh says, "Sure."
  201.  Sors Ultovex asks, "Were they actin' rogue?"
  202.  Artaghh asks, "Like honestly?"
  203.  Sors Ultovex says, "Ya."
  204.  Artaghh says, "No....seemed like they jus'....marched on Crafthold. I mean....until it became'a giant worm abomination an' burnt me'ta fuckin' bits."
  205.  Sors Ultovex says, "Undead can't break their master's wishes if they ain't got a stronger will."
  206.  Artaghh says, "Aye...don' think King Rowan much liked Crafthold."
  207.  Sors Ultovex says, "An' if they do got a stronger will, still got ta obey o' they'll get cut off."
  208.  Artaghh says, "Or he'da stopped'm."
  209.  Sors Ultovex says, "Ya. Figurin' he ain't mind tha' attack."
  210.  Artaghh says, "Well, gave'm my skin, Crafthold can' ask much more'a me fer good faith."
  211.  Artaghh says, "Still....seemed odd."
  212. Sors Ultovex says, "Ya think they'll stay neutral? Ya, always gon seem odd."
  213.  Artaghh says, "Well, I've picked up a few things from hangin' there."
  214.  Artaghh says, "The Warden is real fond of Alastor."
  215. Artaghh says, "The neutrality is pretty heavily enforced there fer trade purposes."
  216.  Artaghh says, "I'm nae sayin' tha'll always be the case."
  217.  Artaghh says, "Bu' they go' no reason'ta war wit' Dawn. We're their bes' customers."
  218.  Artaghh says, "Alrigh'."
  219.  Artaghh says, "Back outside then...need some fresh air"
  220. Sors Ultovex says, "But fer now, ya'd say they ain't gon' battle us, ya. Convient."
  221. Artaghh says, "Aye, fer now."
  222.  Artaghh says, "We made sure of it today."
  223.  Sors Ultovex says, "Good talk, Artaghh. We did, ya."
  224. Artaghh says, "PR is good, three paladins stood agains' the undead."
  225. Artaghh says, "Aye, see ye' Sors."
  226. Ser Artaghh the metal paladin would slowly, painfully walk his way out of the surgery center. He felt...sturdier....in incredible pain....but sturdier. He could get used to being part metal.
  227.  
  228. Ser Artaghh would take the period of peace and quiet in the plaza to meditate upon his injuries, both physical and mental. The occult flames that had seared his body had bitten as deep as the Swuisarme King's poison, and the paladin was permanently marred by his defense of Crafthold. Still, if the city ever wanted proof he brought good will to their walls, he could just stick out his arm with a thumbs up.
  229.  
  230. Closing his remaining eye, the bald swordsman would begin the process of steadily levitating as he crossed his legs, rising slowly above the ground and beginning the steady process of delving into a meditative trance. He would need to introspect for a time to straighten his mind after the occultic taint that had stained him, reconcile it and the fact thatnear his entire torso had been replaced with a mithril chassis and plating, so much muscle and skin had proven unsalvageable by the fell, alchemic flames of Alastor's own design used by the rogue legion.
  231. (Artaghh)
  232. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  233.  
  234.  The paladin would breathe in and out steadily through his scarred lungs as he contemplated the events of the day. It was strange fighting beside so many differently aligned, incredibly powerful people for the common cause of one city. In a way, that attack had solidified Crafthold's neutrality more than any event Artaghh had ever seen. It had proven the economic might of the city, a trait that defied nations.
  235.  
  236. Ser Artaghh would grimace in his meditative state even as the outside senses began to dull around him. He'd expected to make fun of Vedran for getting his hair caught on fire, get a drink with the boys, and get home safe. He'd left permanently scarred, and so severely burned he'd a quarter mithril practically. It was a bit jarring to be missing the sensation of the muscle he'd worked so hard to shape. Years of effort forging proof in his physical definition. Yet, Sors was a masterful surgeon, and the inner muscle, and the synthetic occultic muscle that Sors had implanted, channeled the paladin's energy just as well. The mithril plating that covered the vast majority of his torso was as much a part of him as his sword or his greaves. Just another day in Dawn.
  237. (Artaghh)
  238. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  239. Ser Artaghh knew that it was not so simple as getting used to a prosthetic this time. The rogue Legions that had attacked Crafthold were of Dawn's own design. Their alchemical flames were derived from Alastor's own design to scar and maim in just such a manner, and they were very effective at their job! IF they could scar an earth magi as dense as the bald burnt paladin, frankly that was some of the good stuff. The swordsman could only think that he'd had great luck managing to marry into one of the richer, scarier families in Dawn entirely on incident. Alastor was a better brother in law then enemy.
  240.  
  241. It took devout meditation and patience to silence the occultic, maddening laughter that plagued the burnt man. It seemed to interweave with the fell, extradimensional poison of the Swuisarme king in its plaguing of Artaghh's constitution, and each maddening cacophony that shook in the paladin's consciousness required a direct application of effort to silence. Yet, with time and silence, Ser Artaghh would manage to acclimate to the presence of the occultic implant within his physiology, neutralizing some of its malevolence through sheer stubbornness.
  242. (Artaghh)
  243. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  244.  
  245.  Esme sat on the steps in the centre of town, having kept an eye on most of the wounded after aiding in the mass-burial of the bodies littering the planes.
  246.  
  247. With her nose buried in her book, she'd begin to flick through pages pertaining to the various methods of drawing in cosmic power.
  248. (Esme Rowan)
  249. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  250.  Meditating in quiet company with the young heir to the lich king provided a sense of peace to the paladin as he reconciled the occult taint that stained his body. In time, he could feel it beginning to become a part of him, but Artaghh was certain he would not be dominated. The peasant was too stuck in his ways for his own good as it was. The closest he'd dabble in the Occult was Riftmancy, and only that cause Dylerun seemed like he was gonna force him.
  251.  
  252. After a few hours, the burned man would fully bring his mind back to balance as he reconciled the mental trauma that had been inflicted by the alchemic, occultic fires of the rogue legion. He was permanently scarred. part metal, and none the prettier for it, but none of that mattered. He'd already found love, he was engaged, and he had proved to Crafthold that he was not only fearless, but willing to give his skin for the city. Quite literally, in this case.
  253.  
  254. After a time, he would cease to levitate, a sense ofrelief and cooling sweat rolling down the half scaled forehead of the bald swordsman as he leaned against his favorite lamp in town, puffing away neatly at the gnomish herbs of Brian Thornbush in his corn cob pipe. Raising his remaining eye to the gentle morning sun as the cool coastal breeze blue across the peasant's face, Artaghh could say with certainty that it was a beautiful dawn.
  255. (Artaghh)
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