This is for ErickC/Roger, myself, and any WPLs that have my permission to post.
Anyone else that posts will be forced to play seven minutes in heaven with this guy.
As Roger walked through the halls of the Arena, he began to feel like he was alone. It was an insane feeling, for he stood amidst thousands of arena attendees and personnel.
Still, he could not shake the feeling. The more he tried, the more the feeling crept into his senses.
After some time, Roger felt absolutely alone. It was then that he started to smell an odor that was once familiar to him, the odor of death and decay. He had to fight to keep from breathing to prevent it from filling up his lungs.
Damn it, I don't have time to deal with this. Roger kept moving through the crowd, avoiding contact with others like shadows shy from a light. It was no wonder he felt alone, none could see him and he was still suffering from the absence of Tilia.
Death, that was what had happened, and at his hands. Surprise, surprise... It was no shock to him that death began filling him. And why should it? Death is my life now. The old Roger would have laughed at such an absurd thought, but not him, not now.
The stench began to fill him, nearly unbearable. This wasn't guilt or pain, this was something else. He stopped among the flood of people and tried to search it out. Maybe he found him, maybe he could seek his revenge...
Without thinking Roger started moving toward... something. He quickly stopped himself, not wanting to get pulled into anything. Was this... Them? No, Impossible. This is something worse. He caught a glimpse in his mind's eye of a man atop a tower, laughing at the ruin around him. Damn dreams. Damn everything.
There was still something missing, some hole he couldn't fill. That smell was horrid, yet familiar; moldering, yet domestic. Why was it so comfortable for him and, at the same time, it was completely repulsive?
Is it because I am death? Again, he almost laughed. Roger began searching through the crowd, particularly the people near him, they didn't seem to be affected by the horrid smell. Just what IS this? He finally breathed in, deep, hoping for the worst. The old Roger would have laughed.
As Roger walked, his foot suddenly slipped out from underneath him, casing him to lose his balance momentarily.
When he looked down to see what caused the slip, Roger found himself standing in a shallow pool of blood. No one anywhere near him seemed to notice it, and some even walked through the puddle without a single misstep and without acknowledging its presence.
The blood was cool to the touch. It was either there for a while, or was spilled from a creature that didn't use it for warmth.
Roger quickly ran his hands up his body, checking to see if HE was the source of the perverse puddle beneath his feet. After his check came up negative he stepped back. Then bent down to investigate the collection, making sure noone was about to run into him. Was he losing his mind? That was certainly possible. How long has it been since he last slept? Was it 20, 40, or 60 hours? He didn't know. He took in another breath, slower this time, as if to test the air. He watched anyone who stepped in it for a short while, to see if anything was out of the ordinary, then tried to search out the source of the blood. What was going on?
I'm going mad, it's a simple as that. Roger felt surprisingly calm and now, as he began to realize, was very glad no one could see him. He thought about channeling mana into the pool, that might have some effect. If only there was a way to keep the flows of magic hidden from anyone in the arena. He brushed away the thought, trying to concentrate on something else. This was far to elaborate to be simple insanity. He FELT sane, which he understood to be normal, but he also knew it was more reasonable to believe he was not insane simply because he realized he was not insane. Or at least that was what he thought.
He took a few steps away from the puddle, trying to clear his thoughts. If this was that damned, whoever Roger was looking, for he believed they would be more tactful. This was something else, or someONE else. Now, if no one should be able to see me. I wonder if anyone is watching... He started trying to ignore the morbid images that seemed to be everywhere and began searching for eyes. Eyes that were looking directly at him.
Roger only found the crowd ignoring him as always. It was an eerie sight, watching all of these souls living life as if the horrific gore around them wasn't covering almost every surface of the arena hall.
As Roger breathed more and more putrid air in, the blood trails became clearer and clearer. They seemed intricately linked.
"Sheep," Roger almost spat out the word. He pulled the shadows around him tighter and moved through the crowd, searching for a pattern. So, ignoring it doesn't work, and whoever it is isn't showing his or herself. He could feel anger welling up, more like bottled frustration. If someone was responsible, the one responsible would soon be found in a world of pain and suffering. He would be sure to place them there.
He hurriedly flowed through the crowd back to the original puddle which, because of the disgusting trail following behind him, was quite easy to find. Pattern, pattern. Why did this all seem familiar? The frustration was building and Roger wasn't finding any answers.
After much frantic searching, Roger could finally find a slow pulse coming from the pool, and out onto the trails. They were becoming less faint for a moment, than then returned to the dried, faint smears of gore.
The pulses followed down the hall, and around the bend of the arena.
Roger watched the pulses for a moment before looking back down the hall. I'll play your game, for now... He took a moment to step around the puddle and followed the pulses down the hallway, keeping an eye out for whoever, or whatever, was causing the delusions.
Twisted, just twisted. He picked up the pace, trying to outrace the wave that was forming behind him. He was still concentrating on what lie in front of him. Wave of blood or no, he was not going to get distracted.
He found himself face-to-smashed face with a humanoid body.
It posed him no threat, however, and lumbered down the hall at an impressive speed, creating another blood trail in its wake.
A second body was dragging itself along the floor. It appeared to have been ripped in half, with its legs and lower torso missing. It had long hair that obscured its face, making it impossible to tell if it was the body of a man or a woman.
It, too, passed Roger and moved down the hall, eventually out of Roger's view when it moved around the corner.
Roger, who was now quite tired of being dragged into this hellish nightmare, kept moving toward the stench. As the body tripped up he Roger made a mental note to be careful around the waves. He calmed his mind as he walked, trying to focus on the real, yet while still being wary of the horrors.
Eventually, all the trails of blood flowed into one large smear and into a small hallway. Smoke poured from the room, and the two bodies quickly disappeared into it.
Roger could recall them being sparring grounds where fighters could keep lose between main arena battles.
He also noticed that his feeling of being alone suddenly seemed very accurate. Not another soul occupied this stretch of the arena, and the smells of charred flesh and rotting blood made it almost impossible to breath.
Roger started softly humming a song he knew about a cat and a mouse as he krept into the sparring pits. He brushed away the uncomfortable feelings invading his mind as he walked. He was concentrating on something else. And if he found whoever was responsible for this incident... That person might just find out what he was concentrating on.
As Roger walked through the tunnel to the sparring pit, he could almost make out a pair of bright lights on the other end of the tunnel. the ashes floating through the air made it extremely difficult to see.
The area was also boiling hot. Roger felt as if he was in a furnace.
Roger tried to test the air with his hands, seeing if the heat was intensifying as he got deeper into the pits. He thought for a moment about the consequences of drawing blue mana this deep in the arena, but decided that if he was going to face a fire, water would be a good way of fighting it. There didn't seem to be anyone around, what with the drowning feeling of being alone, so using magic this deep into an empty part of Estark's Arena shouldn't cause a fuss. And it was good to be prepared for the worst. The orb that appeared clung close to Roger, floating in the shadows. Then Roger really tried to look at the lights down in the pit. Were they fires? Could they be the source of this... frustration?
OOC Playing/Using an island to try to cool/calm Roger.
As Roger got closer and closer to the light, the smoke nearly consumed him entirely.
Finally, he broke through the film of smoke and into the more open practice pit area. There, through stinging eyes, he could see the two shambling remains from earlier drag themselves into opposite fires, finally unmoving as they began to be consumed by the flames.
To Roger's horror, they were far from the only bodies serving as kindling for the fires.
Between then, sitting in a meditative state, was a gargantuan figure dressed in robe-like battle armor. Unmistakeably an ogre, the figure was so still that it almost seemed to be a statue.
Then, it spoke, "Roger Dredge. Welcome. You kept me waiting."