Burgh de Rott, Night:
There was no Sun in the sky, there were just dark clouds that hung lifeless above the eerie lands below. The village of Burgh de Rott was nearly in ruins, with the buildings little more than piles of rotting wood. The villagers gathered around a small fire in the middle of the town near the crumbling well. The small flame flickered as a chilling breeze blew, with the villagers moving in closer to the fire. Dirth held his dirt-stained hands over the flame, the warmth just about reaching them. Others drew in closer to feel even the slightest of warmth. Dirth withdrew his hands, and stood up to his full height, towering over his fellow villagers.
"Tonight, we shall rest here one last time, for tomorrow, we shall be leaving. May Saradomin protect us," Dirth said with a serious expression resting on his face.
Burgh de Rott, Day:
Day didn't tend to feel much different to night, it was still cold and the sky was still dark. The villagers sat nervously around the extinct flame, all clinging on to small bags of items they would be taking with them on their journey.
Dirth had not slept during the night, but instead had stared out of his window at the sea, and gazed upon the woodland beyond the village. Mist sifted through the trees that stood firm and bare, with not a hint of life in sight. Dirth looked up from his cup of water to see Edward's hopeful face.
"Edward my dear boy, today shall be a day to remember," Dirth said trying to return the expression of hope.
"Dirth, I can see it in your eyes. There's nothing there. No hope," Edward said, losing eye contact.
"Is it not natural to feel some fear of the evil of Morytania?" Dirth asked.
"I guess you are right Dirth," Edward said, putting a hand to Dirth's shoulder.
"Are the rest of the villagers nearly ready? We must depart as early as possible before nightfall," Dirth said looking at the sky.
"I shall ask them to hurry," Edward said heading outside Dirth's shack. Dirth looked upon his village with a new sense of hope; they were all determined and had their whole lives ahead, surely they were not as doomed as once thought?
Burgh de Rott, Half an hour later:
Dirth slammed the door of his shack and walked abruptly towards the group of villagers assembling. Among them was Edward, who looked slightly nervous, yet a strong sense of excitement surrounded him. With him stood Luna and Tamron, two fellow villagers. Tamron felt determination inside himself as he clasped his sword tight in his hand, imagining himself striking down hordes of undead.
"Only the four of us are prepared as of yet," Dirth said examining the others who scurried in and out their homes and trying to smarten up children and elderly relatives.
"Dirth, you cannot hurry them but let them go to their own pace. Today is important and everyone must be prepared properly. To hurry them would be the same as rushing Guthix as he created the world," Edward stated.
"Well we cannot wait too much longer. Everyone, you must be ready soon for we must depart well before nightfall!" Dirth shouted. And with that, the remaining villagers hurried themselves in order to be ready for departure.
Burgh de Rott, Fifteen minutes later:
Edward strolled nervously down an abandoned street of Burgh de Rott and stopped at the final shack. Beyond this rotting structure, was the forest, the area that nobody dared step foot in. Edward knocked cautiously on the door of the shack.
"Come in," said a voice. Edward entered quickly, closing the door behind him. Inside the room sat an ageing man with a feeling of power about him. The man had no name, the villagers and Dirth merely called him the Wanderer, for that was what he was. When he first arrived at Burgh de Rott some time ago, he had been wandering through the swamps.
"Will you be accompanying us on our departure from the village? For if you do Dirth demands you come with me to the town gate now," Edward said trying to sound authoritive.
"No I'm not coming, I'm going to stay in this dump and die from starvation. Of course I'm coming!" Snapped the Wandered as he got on his feet and headed outside his shack with Edward following him. They soon arrived at the town gate, which was nothing more than a wooden gate found at various farms. The town were in an unusual sort of formation, with Dirth and Edward leading the way. Luna and Tamron were not too far behind and the Wanderer sneaked in towards the back of the line, gazing at the village one last time.
Mort Myre Swamp:
The party had journeyed north outside the gate, and as they did, a bitter chill came upon them. Tamron clutched his sword tighter, and Luna looked to him for comfort. The desolate swamps sent chills down the spines of anything human in the area. The tangled roots descended into the bubbling liquids of the swamp, Dirth looked at the pools of liquid presuming they were poisonous.
"Now everyone, keep away from the liquid, I'm guessing it's poisonous," Dirth said eyeing it cautiously. Edward quickly scurried away from the pools he had been standing near, as did many other villagers. "Everyone, we shall be heading as far north as we can so that we can reach the gateway to Misthalin. Now heed my words, these swamps are teeming with pure evil, and it's almost certain not all of us will make it out alive. If you want to live, stick close together with the others and if danger comes, we will fight it off together," Dirth informed the group. He then began to take a few cautious steps forward, an action followed by the others. The mists coming from deeper within the swamp began to cloak the people towards the back of the group, who shrieked in terror. "Don't worry, it's just mist: it won't harm you," Dirth said trying to resume calm.
"If I was you Dirth I'd keep an eye on that mist," suggested the Wanderer as he eyed the gas curiously.
"Will you keep it down? I'm trying to keep everyone calm," Dirth snapped clenching his fist.
"What's that?" Asked Ernest, one of the villagers. On the other side of the channel of liquid a strange shape slowly eased across the dirty ground. Soon a large orange shell had come into view, it was a snail.
"It's a snail, but don't go to it, they're capable of spitting acid," Dirth said looking at the creature now moving back into the mist. Dirth's heart was pounding much more than anyone else's, they were very near escaping Morytania forever, yet Dirth felt so far away from succeeding, especially knowing how dangerous Mort Myre was. Dirth began to slow down as the ground became uneven and shrouded in tall green reeds. He kept a close eye on the ground, just in case there were any roots he could trip over.
"Dirth, how far are we from the village?" Asked Edward.
"Well, we've come quite a long way into the swamp, but there's still a long way to go before we reach safety," Dirth stated as he gazed into distance. Looking around, the villagers saw they were in the middle of nowhere. To their left were towering reeds and dead trees, to their right were the bubbling swamps, behind and in front of them was the dirty and dark ground shrouded in thick clouds of mist. There was no civilization near them, just the horrors of the swamp.
"I've never felt so lost," Edward said as he studied the surrounding environment.
"We're not lost Edward, we know where we're going. We'll be out of this swamp in no time," Dirth said, though he too felt as lost as everybody else. The sky was darkening, as it tended to do. The brief times where it was even remotely light did not last long, and the time of safety was beginning to fade. The people at the back of the travelling party shivered in fear as strange noises echoed around the overgrown swamp and strange shapes darted about in the distant mist. People were now incredibly cautious of where they trod, constantly surveying the ground for roots or any type of creature. A cold gust of wind blew through the swamp, and a strange force came across everyone.
"Dirth, has it suddenly got colder? And I'm beginning to feel tired," Edward said as he surveyed his hands that were beginning to get even paler than they had been before.
"It's swamp decay," Dirth said grimly as he reached into his pocket and retrieved a mouldy piece of fruit.
"The food is rotting," Tamron observed checking his own pockets.
"And so are we," Dirth stated as he felt his hands. The mist seemed to be getting closer, and it seemed to be getting thicker. As Dirth stepped across a large, hollow log he spun round quickly to the sound of a scream. It was Luna. "What is it?" Dirth called as he ran towards her.
"Something in the mist, I saw it's face," Luna said barely able to produce any words.
"What did it look like? Was it another snail?" Dirth asked.
"No, it looked like a ghost," Luna said, daring a glance to where she saw the creature.
"I think I know what you saw," Dirth said, "Mort Myre is infested with ghasts, hundreds of them. They're the spirits of people who starved to death while journeying through the swamps. If anyone sees anything ghost-like, or anything suspicious, you must say. That ghast could be watching us right now, waiting to claim the life of a fellow traveler," Dirth said sounding incredibly worried. And with that, the group began to walk further on, now even more cautious. Eyes darted from left to right to behind, every time expecting to see the grey face of a ghast. Suddenly there was a scream. Dirth turned to see the eerie sight of a ghast lashing at one of the people towards the back. Then several ghasts appeared out of the mist, each shrieking loudly as they drained the life force from their victims. Several villagers ran, but they became lost in clouds of mist and not long after their cries of terror could be heard.
"Dirth! Help us!" Edward exclaimed as a cloud of mist floated towards him...
Burgh de Rott, Night:
Dirth sat alone that night. He sat in front of the small fire, looking deep into the flames. His expression was void, and it had been ever since he and the survivors had got back. The attack in the swamp had horrified so many, people watched as their fellow villagers, friends and family were killed by the ravenous ghasts who had drained the life from them. Edward stood outside his ruined shack and stared at Tamron and Luna as they sat together. The Wanderer had walked off towards his home as soon as they returned, his expression was as void as any other and his personality was as bitter as ever. Edward looked at Dirth who did not exchange glances with him. Edward slowly walked over to Dirth who did not move an inch.
"It wasn't your doing what took place in the swamp," Edward said in a small voice. Dirth closed his eyes and shook his head.
"I'm the leader of this village, it's my job to protect everyone," Dirth said. "Look how many people lost their lives, all my responsibility, this is a burden which can never be removed."
"You cannot sit staring at the fire. You have a village to run, and the people need you, and I think you need them too," Edward said.
"Edward; you're right. Today has been terrible, and if I could I would undo it. The evil of that swamp, the snapping beasts and the evil spirits, I can never truly stop them, but I need to get back to my work of running the village, but now as a different person. Today has changed me, and I realize I have to be ready for anything," Dirth said, as he started marching off to his shack.
|Episode navigation||Followed by:|
|"Welcome to Morytania" | "Swamp Spirit" | "Infection" | "The Drakan Effect" | "Murder in the Masses" | "Dead Man Walking" | "Operation Necrosis" | "The Last Shanty"|
|"The Village That Burnt" | "Descent Into Darkness" | "Dance of the Wisps" | "Wolf in Man's Clothing" | TBA | TBA | TBA | TBA | TBA | TBA|