Flies and crows ravaged the corpses that were pilled in the ditch. The smell of rot basking in the sun and the distinct taste of iron in the air gave way to such a gut wrenching aroma. Lifeless eyes from each sacrificed victim stared on with no emotion or fight against the nature of life and death. The open chest cavities and missing hearts relevant to this testimony.
Beren floated above the mass grave unmoving in an inhuman fashion. His soul was a copy of his now broken body, brown hair and light tanned skin. A red aura could be seen off of him as his very appearance seemed translucent much as a spirit. His eyes stared solemnly at his dead mangled body before him. Headless and missing a limb, the blood that oozed out still warm and fresh. A broken body unable to move or protest against the hungry natives of nature. His eyes slowly shifted to the altar where a brown soggy sack sat where he knew his head was located. Anguish and pure hatred filled his being as he gripped his hands unable to feel the pressure from doing so.
A carrion crow flew down and began to try and peck once more upon the feast provided to him. Promptly however, flew away as Beren eyed the creature and simply blew a single low sounding word.
It echoed deep from within him as if his mouth served no purpose. The force of the word raveled the air around him in an opposing stature. He continued this affair unflinching for most of the dreary day. The sun eventually set and the wild nature subsided for another venture. His vigilance unwavering his thoughts began to wonder. And an all to real pain enveloped him that griped at his sanity.
His memory sung with a chime as he envisioned his small village in its limited splendor. He took notice of the logging camp to the east where he would spend many a day working the mill offering wood to the war machine, the kingdom of Wemar, from whom their zealous worship of the Scorn drove their efforts. His eyes wandered to the center of the district where a large log house was erected to serve as the local inn for the traveling worker. Small houses darted around the area in a non formal fashion as if sprouting where the land would offer. A single water well sat in the middle of the village as water troughs were aligned next to it for the oxen and other beast of burden. They were gone forever more, taken by the accursed Scorn a never unending hunger wrought with evil incarnate. Now only smoke and ashen embers remain.
There were no warriors among st them, the women children and even the men were but simple farm folk and lumber jacks. The few who fought were quickly dispatched and killed off or worse served in line to be sacrificed. Beren loosened his grip as he eyed the only road in the area. The road he promised himself he would take once he earned enough to travel the world and indulge in its finer things. Except this time it will be for vengeance to find that accursed preacher and end this once and for all. He transfixed his gaze and he realized it was day time already having gone through the night as if time was irrelevant. The sun had risen and shown down upon the ditch of bodies once more. His thoughts wavered as he began to wonder how many nights and days he had skipped without his knowing. How many days has he stood vigilant over his own rotting corpse. The fires that ravaged the village seemed to have subsided and the smoke of its aftermath ceased.
"Oh my what may you be?"
Beren felt nothing upon hearing the high pitch gravel voice emanating from behind him. His train of thought ending with the curious sound of a living voice. As if two smooth stones were rubbing against each other in friction. Slowly turning his body around back toward the ditch, he took notice of a small creature and a wagon behind it.
Beren stood there eyeing the creature not saying a word uncertain of its motives nor its race. He attempted to speak but felt compelled to remain quite in case his voice trembled and scared the thing away.
"Have not see anything like you before, did you die here and refuse to pass on? Tell me you wont mind a pygmy as myself to take a few bodies now?" The creature stepped forward the setting sun illuminating its physique in an almost unholy form. Beren did not budge but laid his glaring eyes on the creature he took as a pygmy. He took in the site of the little abomination with a sense of clarity he did not have when he was alive. The skin looked leathery and pale as if it had never seen the sun. Its face looked human in an unnatural angular sense. Elongated ears, pointed nose and absurd god forsaken sunken yellow eyes. It stood a little under four feet, the height of a child with just as a frail stature as one. He took notice of the physique and could guess it was female by the wider hips, small but pronounced chest and long white hair that seemed full and messy with leaves clinging to it. Her attire was a brown tunic with no shoes upon her dirty feet. Upon closer inspection he could make out two little horn stumps protruding from her scalp and white hair. She was beautiful but in a grotesque animalstic fervor.
"If you will point to your body I will be motivated not to touch it in respect to you of course." The pygmy stated as she eyed back at Beren not affected by his ominous glow or ghostly levitation. Uncertain he simply pointed to his mangled corpse before him. He did not feel an attachment to the corpses in the ditch, but they were his friends once in life. His own body a bloody mess that left him to wonder why he even lingered to protect it. As if he was compelled by a powerful force making him stay in anguish.
The pygmy nodded as she trotted over to examine the body Beren was pointing at, her bare feet padding across the dead bodies in the ditch in an almost nonchalant manner. She put a hand to her mouth not out of disgust or the smell, but rather out of searching upon eyeing his body. As if a librarian looking for the latest authors work to add to their collection. Beren watched in interest as she lifted a finger to her mouth and let out a sharp whistle. The wagon instantly began to move and turn around. If Beren were human his senses would have alarmed him and sent him screaming into the forest in panic. But this was different, his mortal coil and emotions within seemed to have died with his body.
The wagon continued to turn as a stitched up abomination eagerly pulled the wagon. The beast was a combination of corpses made of what Beren could assume was elk oxen and mule. The head has the skull of a en elk, the horns wide and vibrant something you would see mounted at a hunting lodge. The body itself seemed to be shaven and skin patches sewn together. The front legs looked mismatched as a thick long oxen leg was paired with a slender elk leg. The awkward movement looked like a limp as it etched forward pulling the cart. The shoulders of the abomination were raised high as if a mountain lion stalking its prey. The back made a slow decline to its back side as the legs seemed stout and firm, probably the use of mule parts. An ominous green glow could be seen from the eye sockets of the head of the creature as it opened its jaw and a jarring hiss sound erupted, as it puled the wagon close to their location in response to the pygmy's whistle.
"Ata boy Riken, we will stop by the livestock yard soon to get you new parts." The pygmy stated as she walked up, tiptoed, and kissed the nuzzle of the beast in unsettling fashion. Beren remained unmoved as she opened the wagon and pulled out a bag of various sharp looking medical tools.
A sense of dread filled him as he began to assume this pygmy was working for the scorn, and scavenging the bodies was just to spit on their grave. The read aura around him grew more wild and explosive as his hatred filled him once more as he pointed his index finger at the vile creature; and prepared to shout his wail he had used on the soldiers earlier.
The pygmy dropped her contents and brought her hands up to her head as fear griped her entirely, even the beast before her seemed to be in awe. Gingerly she let out a whelp as she frantically began stumbling on her words hoping she could explain before he attacked.
"Wait wait wait, lets not be hasty I think we are on the same side." She began as she talked rather fast, her words jumbled together in an awe stricken motivation. "I heard wind of these being scorn soldiers and I plan to put them to good use!" She ended legs quivering shaken in fear.
Beren lowered his hand and closed his mouth before letting the wail deep inside him subside. Instead he simply raised a finger to his right past the altar. The pygmy followed the direction with her gaze and took notice of a multitude of dead scorn soldiers in the field.
"How?" She began as she eyed Beren with uncertainty. "Did you do that? Is that even possible?" She began as she slid around Beren's ghastly form feeling a sense of dread and despair emanating from him. Her eyes fell upon a multitude of soldiers with all neck wounds laying in the grass, their blood soaking the ground into a dark red texture.
"These will do, they are intact and can be useful." she stated as she eyed Beren once more who simply returned his gaze back to his dead body. Biting her lip she slowly approached the ghost and attempted to reach out to him in wonder. Her hand simply phased through as a sense of cold and dread filled her mind.
"I can not begin to wonder what happened here rumors are only rumors. But if you will let me I can set you on a path of redemption my friend." The pygmy stated as she shown a full set of sharp razor teeth in a rather unusual but cute smile that would leave most mortals unsettled.
Beren simply eyed the pygmy before him showing no signs of emotion or want. He knew his want was the destruction of the preacher for killing him and his only hope of a better life. But at this moment he did not know how to do it. He felt lost even the wind phased through him, nothing seemed relevant even the aspect of the decaying bodies before him seemed small at this moment.
"I am Vex by the way, perhaps I can create a vessel for you for sparing my life?" She stated nervously as she motioned for her abomination Riken to pull the wagon to the soldiers bodies past the ditch. Beren watched amused slightly as he watched her work putting the stronger bodies into the wagon while removing certain organs or extremities entirely. She would ever so often pull out a grimoir and read a passage as green energy would erupt around certain flesh keeping it into an almost preserved state. Vex continued to work clear into the night moving bodies and heaving them into the back of the cart in earnest. Her beastly abomination moving the wagon as needed when she called. Her frail body showing signs of unknowing strength and stamina for her size as she heaved the bodies into the wagon.
By the time she had finished the moon was high in the sky and the wind had been picked up. She wiped her brow as blood crossed her forehead in a gory fashion. She gingerly walked up to Beren once more and crossed her arms as she followed his gaze back to the mangled body.
"I am not sure we can salvage that my friend but If I make you a vessel perhaps you can make it your home?" She insisted rubbing the back of her head, the gears in her head turning having never seen this type of phenomena. "In all my years I have only heard of rumors of ghosts and vengeful spirits, I can not guarantee it will work but it is better than standing here until the end of days." she implied as she crossed her arms waiting for some noise or response, her beast in the background silent in anticipation as well.
Beren removed his gaze from his decomposing body and eyed the abomination then to the pygmy named Vex. His gaze then finally rested on the brown sack upon the stone altar.
His voiced was silent but boomed in the air as if a gust of wind was impersonating sound. Even limiting his voice to that degree was tedious and frustrating as his face held a sour look. Thankfully Vex was intelligent and assumed with a nod as she went over to the bag and looked inside. Eyeing the ghost she smiled with hope as she heaved the sack over her shoulder.
"This I can salvage and make a vessel...Mr. Beren."