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This article, The Last Shanty, was created by Mr. Garrison.

Burgh de Rott, Night:

Dirth lay asleep in bed, it was a dark night. He heard something; music. Getting up, he exited his hut and looked up into the sky. The music drifted eerily through the air, it sounded like a shanty.

"The Last Shanty," Dirth noted as he looked towards Meiyerditch.


Burgh de Rott, Morning:

The villagers assembled in the village square, and everyone turned to Dirth as he exited his hut.

"Why have you summoned us here?" Tamron asked.

"I have good reason to call on you all. Last night I could hear music, the first time I have heard real music in my life!" Dirth exclaimed. The Wanderer appeared out of the crowd with a grim expression on his face.

"You heard it too?" The Wanderer asked.

"Yes, I heard it playing out. It sounded like one of those shanty tunes that our ancestors used to hum. Hidden messages," Dirth said.

"Where was it coming from?" Luna asked.

"Meiyerditch," the Wanderer said, and all eyes fell upon him.

"Impossible, Meiyerditch?" Edward asked.

"They call that the Last Shanty," the Wanderer said, "I have studied them from history books. The music hides messages, they were passed between Burgh de Rott and Meiyerditch centuries ago. Then they stopped. That was when the Vampyres launched an assault on the two Myreque bases. That music was the last shanty they ever played."

"But how can people be making music?" Dirth asked.

"It's not music, it's a message. All it requires is a drum and some basic materials to make instruments," the Wanderer said.

"There must be activity coming from Meiyerditch!" Edward exclaimed.

"You naive boy, it is most likely a trap, a test to see if Burgh de Rott survived," the Wanderer said.

"A tune from Lord Drakan himself?" Dirth asked.

"Most likely," the Wanderer said. The villagers went silent from their murmurings.

"That's impossible, Vampyres have no sense of music!" Dirth exclaimed.

"How do we know they haven't changed over time?" The Wanderer asked.

"And why has the music only started? If the Vampyres knew of us surely they could just send a fleet of Vyrewatch to kill us!" Dirth exclaimed.

"He has a point," Edward said.

"Yes, a point that could result in all of us getting killed!" The Wanderer snapped.

"Wanderer, what if there are people in Meiyerditch, alive? Are you prepared to let them all die just so you don't have to risk your life?" Dirth asked.

"Yes," the Wanderer said, "I will not take such a risk, and neither should any of you."

"And how are you going to stop us?" Dirth asked.

"By telling you a story. I know a lot about Vampyres, and when I was young I always heard stories of them. I also learned about Vyrewatch, which are much worse then the regular Vampyres," the Wanderer said.

"Oh for Saradomin's sake sir! We know about Vyrewatch, the wretched creatures plague our lives every day in case you hadn't noticed!" Dirth snapped.

"Yes I do know, but I wonder if you know that there are Vampyres stronger than Vyrewatch living deep in the Sanguinesti Region," the Wanderer said.

"What? How can there be any Vampyre stronger than a Vyrewatch? Unless you are speaking of Drakan himself," Dirth said, a cold feeling overcoming him.

"I'm not talking of Drakan, I'm talking of creatures possibly stronger than Drakan," the Wanderer said. "You risk encountering them by entering Meiyerditch, it borders the Sanguinesti and who knows if they'll be waiting? These Vampyres can drain you of your blood without even touching you, and they leave you to shamble about as a corpse."

"Fine then. We shall wait to see if the shanty plays again, and then we will look in to taking further action," Dirth said.


Burgh de Rott, Evening:

Edward was collecting firewood near the forest, being careful not to enter for fear of the Vampyres that dwelt within. Heaving up a large hollow log, he turned to see a cloud of mist drifting towards him.

"Oh my Saradomin," Edward murmured stepping backwards. The mist seemed to trap him to the spot, and slowly it began to form into a shape meters away from him; a Vampyre. The Wanderer grabbed Edward and pulled him away from the woods and ran towards the village with him. The Vampyre turned into mist again and drifted away, disappearing into the gloom of the forest.


The Wanderer hammered on Dirth's door, his arm resting on Edward's shoulder. Dirth opened the door with a surprised expression on his face.

"What is it?" Dirth asked.

"Our friend Edward here was out in the treacherous forest collecting firewood when he encountered a Vampyre!" The Wanderer snapped.

"A Vampyre?" Dirth asked. "Did you stray from the safe part of the forest?"

"No," Edward answered, almost unable to speak.

"Dirth, the Vampyres are getting closer, and I believe we need to keep our distance, and definitely not visit Meiyerditch and the nightmares within!" The Wanderer insisted.

"You are not in charge of this village and I order you to stand down!" Dirth snapped.

"You never were a good leader! You only got your position by murder!" The Wanderer snapped. Dirth felt as though a sword had been pierced through his heart. He turned to Edward who had a shocked expression on his face.

"Murder?" Edward stammered. The Wanderer walked away into the shadows, weary of any Vampyres that could be wandering his home.

"It was a long time ago, a mistake," Dirth said.

"Who did you kill?" Edward asked.

"James," Dirth said.

"James?" Edward asked confused.

"Yes. I got rid of him so I could be head of the village. He came back though and we made amends, but he was killed in the swamp," Dirth said.

"You are a murderer!" Edward exclaimed horrified.

"Silence!" Dirth snapped. Edward ran away, it felt as though everything he once known was not true. "Damn!" Dirth exclaimed kicking his door in anger.


Burgh de Rott, Two hours later:

The music played out again over Burgh de Rott. Dirth was awoken and exited his home again, along with many other residents who had been awoken.

"There it is! I can hear it!" Luna said as she looked up into the sky as if she would be able to see it.

"Dirth! Dirth!" Tamron called, walking over to him.

"Yes Tamron?" Dirth asked.

"We have to go to Meiyerditch, even if we have to risk our lives. We can't just ignore the thought that there could be people hiding away in Meiyerditch," Tamron said.

"Precisely my thoughts, and I think we will have to," Dirth said. "Attention! Everyone! Please listen to me, this is very important."

"What now?" The Wanderer murmured.

"We will be going to Meiyerditch at morning. If you do not wish to come you may stay here, but be warned of the creatures that may attack you if left alone," Dirth said.

"No," the Wanderer said. Everyone turned to face him as he stepped out the crowd.

"What is it now?" Dirth asked.

"We are not going to Meiyerditch!" The Wanderer snapped.

"Why not?" Dirth asked.

"Do you know where I was born? Meiyerditch! I grew up there! I escaped! My parents were killed by Vyrewatch! I almost came face to face with Drakan himself!" The Wanderer shouted. He pulled up his sleeve to reveal a large gash on his arm. "See this? This is what the weakest Vampyres can do, now imagine a Vyrewatch attacking you!" The crowd fell silent.

"That's how you arrived here? You escaped from Meiyerditch?" Dirth asked.

"I wandered the swamps for weeks, I had to dodge attack after attack and finally I arrived here," the Wanderer said.

"That changes nothing Wanderer, we will still be going to Meiyerditch at morning," Dirth said.

"I'll come then. Please heed my words though, the Vampyres in Meiyerditch are invincible to everything," the Wanderer said.

"Invincible?" Tamron asked, almost unable to believe things.

"Everybody who will be coming prepare, as we will depart in only a few hours," Dirth said.


Burgh de Rott, Morning:

Everyone going to Meiyerditch stood in the village square, ready to depart. Edward was weary of Dirth and kept his distance, standing with Tamron and Luna. The Wanderer stood towards the back of the crowd, slightly nervous about entering his old residence.

"Now this journey will not be safe one, and we may possibly die. I ask of anyone who wishes to remain here to remain indoors, just in case of an attack or problem arises. If we are not back by night, then you will have to prepare for the worst," Dirth said. "Now, let us depart!" The villagers slowly began to head towards the forest.


Burgh de Rott Forest, Five minutes later:

The group had been walking in the forest for only a brief amount of time when they glimpsed the first sign of trouble. A cloud of mist was drifting among the trees in the distance. Everyone stood still. Fortunately, the cloud drifted away into the gloom. The group had been sticking near to the coast, as the Vampyres were more common in the deeper parts of the forest.

"It's safe now, the cloud has gone," Dirth whispered to everyone. Soon, everyone began to walk onwards, further into the darkness of the woods. Suddenly, a yelp of pain came from the back of the group. Luna had injured her ankle after tripping over a hollow log.

"Keep it down!" Tamron whispered as he pulled Luna up to her feet. "Can you walk?"

"Just about," Luna whispered, biting her lip in pain as she continued onwards. The wind from the seas blew through the forest, howling in the air like a wolf. The branches of the bare trees shook slightly in the wind.

"Everybody keep close," Dirth insisted as the ground became littered with the bones of unknown creatures, possibly humans. Mist drifted in from the sea, Edward flinched, but it was not a vapor-form Vampyre, just mist.

"Oh these are dark times," Edward murmured. The trees became closer together, reducing the formation to single line.


Meiyerditch Wall, Fifteen minutes later:

The group stopped as they came to the crumbling wall of Meiyerditch. Above them floated the terrifying figure of a Vyrewatch, but luckily it had not seen them.

"Oh my Saradomin," Edward whispered as he glanced the winged beast fly out of view. There was a large hole in the wall which led to the unknown.

"I'll go first," Dirth said as he entered the hole and fell through into a dirty and cramped tunnel. It was surrounded by large wooden beams that hung from the ceiling, supporting parts of the wall which had become hollow. Dirth crawled onward into the darkness and felt something cut his leg. He looked at his leg which was bleeding, a piece of metal had cut it. Journeying onward he took more caution of his surroundings, and eventually he came to a cramped, box shaped chamber. Dirth felt for the ceiling, which was made of hard stone. He hit it with his fist, and a shower of dust fell on him. As he pushed against the ceiling more, the stone began to crumble away revealing a large room above him. Stepping up through the newly made hole he came face-to-face with a young woman who clasped a dagger in her hand.

"Who in the name of Saradomin are you?" The woman asked.

"Dirth. I take it you're human," Dirth said.

"And what are you doing in Meiyerditch?" The woman asked.

"I heard it, music. Was it you? Were you playing the music?" Dirth asked.

"Correct. So Burgh de Rott survived?" The woman asked.

"Yes, I'm its leader. And are you by any chance the Myreque?" Dirth asked.

"We are the Meiyerditch branch, and you have come after all these years! My name is Elle," the woman said.

"Well Elle, there's more of us from Burgh de Rott here. I must get them," Dirth said.

"Very well then. I too will bring my people to hear the good news," Elle said wandering up a staircase.


Myreque Hideout, Ten minutes later:

The members of Dirth's group heaved themselves up through the hole in the ground to the Myreque hideout. Elle had returned with seven other people.

"Is this all that is left of the Myreque? Eight?" Dirth asked.

"There was nine. My husband Horace, but he died recently, at the hands of Drakan himself," Elle said. The room fell silent.

"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," Dirth said.

"Don't be, it was not your doing," Elle said.

"Elle, we might have a problem," a man said.

"What is wrong Frederick?" Elle asked.

"Kennith believes one of the Vyrewatch saw him coming here," Frederick said.

"Oh my Saradomin," Elle said, turning to Dirth with a horrified expression on her face.

"I would not worry too much, he is old and forgetful," Frederick said.

"Nevertheless this could mean trouble, we shall prepare for attack!" Elle ordered.

"I was born here," the Wanderer said to Elle. "I escaped."

"How?" Elle asked curiously.

"I fled while the Vyrewatch attacked the others," the Wanderer said.

"Then you are a coward!" Elle snapped.

"No. I'm a survivor," the Wanderer said.

"Tell me Dirth, what brings you here?" Elle asked.

"We're here to save you all," Dirth said. "We wish you to take up residence in Burgh de Rott with us."

"You've risked your lives to save ours?" Elle asked.

"Yes," Dirth said, "Now why wait for the Vampyres to kill us all? Why don't we depart?"

"For we will most likely die! The foul creatures of this city will be waiting for us, we must give it time until we depart," Elle insisted.


Castle Drakan:

Necrosi Vernim flew into Castle Drakan and turned to Vyarvin Stron and Lord Drakan.

"My Lord, there is a lot of activity taking place among the citizens," Necrosi said.

"So my minions saw correct, it must be Burgh de Rott," Lord Drakan said with a grin.

"What shall we do my Lord?" Vyarvin asked.

"Prepare the invasion of Burgh de Rott! You shall launch an attack on these troublesome citizens first!" Drakan exclaimed.

"With pleasure my Lord," Vyarvin said. Vyarvin and Necrosi departed from the Castle. Drakan rose from his throne and looked out the window.

"I will watch the Myreque burn! And any who survive will have me drink their blood personally!" Drakan exclaimed manically.


Meiyerditch:

Varxan Drakosti was perched upon the roof of a building. Vyarvin floated in front of Varxan.

"Varxan! We are going to attack! Call forth as many Vyrewatch as you can!" Vyarvin exclaimed as he and Vyarvin swooped down towards the ground.

"This is the building where one of the meat snacks had entered," Necrosi said.

"You will enter, and I will wait at the edge of the wall!" Vyarvin ordered. Necrosi flew down to the ground next to the Myreque's building. He smashed the door off and entered the building.


Myreque Hideout:

"There's someone upstairs!" Frederick exclaimed.

"The Vyrewatch! They've found us!" Elle exclaimed. Dirth raised his dagger into the air.

"Everybody get out!" Dirth ordered as he hurried people into the tunnel out, including himself and Elle. Everyone hurried through the tunnels on their knees, not caring about the many cuts and bruises they received from the dangerous objects lying in the tunnel. Soon they were all out of the tunnel, unaware of Vyarvin Stron who was perched above them.

"Oh my Saradomin! We've left Harold and Anne behind!" Elle exclaimed.

"Who are they?" Dirth asked.

"They're my cousins, I shall have to rescue them!" Elle insisted.

"You'll risk getting killed. I'll go back, that way I can prove myself," Dirth said, glancing at Edward with a reassuring smile.

"Me too," the Wanderer said. "I don't want to be a coward, I want to be a hero." The two of them hurried into the tunnels.

"How can I ever doubt you," Edward said.

"We must make our way to Burgh de Rott!" Tamron ordered, taking charge.

"We can't leave Dirth!" Luna snapped.

"He's capable of looking after himself, as is the Wanderer," Tamron said. The group began to head off, with Luna reluctantly following.


Meiyerditch Tunnel, Two minutes later:

Dirth and the Wanderer had grabbed Alice and Harry, and now they were racing through the tunnel to the wall and then they would run to Burgh de Rott. They had glimpsed Necrosi Vernim descending the stairs to them but had managed to get out of view before he sighted them. Dirth and the Wanderer squeezed through the hole in the wall of Meiyerditch into the forest, carrying Alice and Harry in their arms as they were not old enough to run fast through the daunting forest that lie ahead. Above them, Vyarvin turned to see Varxan Drakosti and several Vyrewatch, all perched on the wall.

"I think we shall be paying Burgh de Rott a visit my brothers and sisters," Vyarvin said with a grin revealing all his sharp teeth. "Attack!" As soon as the words left his mouth, the Vyrewatch pursued Dirth and the Wanderer who had disappeared into the distance...


Burgh de Rott, Five minutes later:

Dirth and the Wanderer sprinted into the village square. Edward, Luna, Tamron, Elle and Ernest greeted them.

"My cousins!" Elle exclaimed, pulling Alice and Harry into her arms. The Wanderer walked off into the distance, and then sprinted back with a horrified expression on his face.

"The Vyrewatch! They're arriving!" The Wanderer exclaimed. Panic ensued, with people sprinting in all directions. Some looked for cover, some tried to flee the village and some looked for weaponry to defend themselves as well as fight off the Vampyre army. Tamron took a large stick and lit it on a fire which had been set up by the people who had stayed behind.

"It ends here," Dirth said, carrying a burning log. The skies of Burgh de Rott were filled by the swarms of Vyrewatch who descended on to the ground. The weapons were to little effect, and those who tried to escape were caught and killed. Screaming and shouting filled the air, death hung in the air. Those who had ran for cover in their homes were greeted by Vyrewatch who smashed their doors through, with the people inside cowering in the corner.

"Damn you Drakan!" Dirth shouted raising his torch.

"This is it! The end of everything!" Edward exclaimed as he fled, but a Vyrewatch caught glimpse of him. Tamron had his torch knocked out his hand by an attacking Vyrewatch. Soon, the nearby hut was alight in a furious blaze. Then the next home caught alight, then the next, then the next. Within minutes the whole village was alight, and cloud of thick smoke trailed up into the sky.


Castle Drakan:

Drakan sat on his throne, he was content. All was good, all was right. Burgh de Rott was collapsing, and its residents dying. The Vyrewatch were circling the skies of Burgh de Rott, he saw one swoop down and slash at another resident.

"That was the last shanty they ever played..." Drakan said with a grim smile...


Preceded by:
"Operation Necrosis"
Episode navigation Followed by:
"The Village That Burnt"



Morytania
Volume One
"Welcome to Morytania" | "Swamp Spirit" | "Infection" | "The Drakan Effect" | "Murder in the Masses" | "Dead Man Walking" | "Operation Necrosis" | "The Last Shanty"
Volume Two
"The Village That Burnt" | "Descent Into Darkness" | "Dance of the Wisps" | "Wolf in Man's Clothing" | TBA | TBA | TBA | TBA | TBA | TBA

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