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Lirima's Dark Souls Adventure

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Astrid made her way into the Undead Burg, with little more than a handaxe in hand and tattered robes to cover her withered, undead flesh. As she stepped out onto the stone battlements, she ducked and covered her head as a shadow flew overhead, and an enormous creature slammed onto the stone in front of her.

The winged beast had dark red scales, and radiated an unnatural heat. Astrid recognized it, although she had never seen one before: It was a dragon. Thankfully, it did not see her, and it flew off a moment later. She suddenly felt less sure of her journey deeper into the Burg, but she continued onward.

The battlements were manned by Hollow soldiers, undead who had lost all will, and existed only with a thirst for violence towards those that had not succumbed to being Hollowed. Upon spotting Astrid most would charge towards her to engage her in melee, where her axe would cut them down. A few still had some semblance of cleverness remaining. These stood high on the battlements, with crossbow or firebombs in hand, to attack her from far above.

She wove her way through crossbow fire and firebombs that shattered the worn stone around her, and ducked into an alcove, where she found, to her great relief, the remnants of a bonfire, which she eagerly lit.

The bonfires were a phenomena she did not fully understand, but she knew that by lighting the fire she was binding herself to this place. By lighting the fire, she somehow felt safe. The fire was solace. The fire was life.

Emboldened, she continued on, cutting her way through the Hollow Soldiers and Archers. She managed to lift some armor off of a few slain foes that was not completely rusted through. It was hardly plate mail, but it offered better protection than the meager robes she wore.

At the top of some stairs, a Hollow soldier had a torch in hand, and a large barrel in front of him. As Astrid climbed the staircase, the Hollow lit the barrel on fire, and kicked it down towards her. Astrid narrowly dodged out of the way. She was surprised at how clever these seemingly mindless things could be, but with its one trick spent, she climbed the staircase and cut it down with her axe.

She walked into a large watchtower built into a stone wall, with a spiral staircase that lead her upward. Two floors up, she found a door barred by a strange white mist. She had seen this mist before in the Undead Asylum, and before entering the Undead Burg, but had never determined its purpose or meaning. The mist dispersed as she stepped through it, and walked out onto the top of a battlement.

The long, narrow pathway along the battlement stretched between two watchtowers. The path was once lined with a crenellated parapet, but the stone had long since crumbled in most places, leading to a sheer drop onto jagged rocks below.

Before proceeding along the pathway, Astrid spotted a ladder that lead up to the top of the watchtower she had just walked out of. As she climbed near the top, she heard the sound of crossbows being loaded. Two Hollow Archers awaited her at the top, and were preparing to fire. As she neared the top, she pulled herself up violently, and narrowly avoided the two crossbow bolts. Two swings her axe lopped the heads of the two archers from their shoulders.

From atop the watchtower, she had a good view of her surroundings, and saw nothing on the battlement to hinder her passage to the other watchtower. She descended the ladder, and made her way across the battlement.

When Astrid was no more than twenty feet away from the other watchtower, she nearly stumbled off her feet as a large creature crashed down onto the stone in front of her. It was easily three times her height, wielding an enormous axe with an axe-head larger than she was. Its head was pure bone, with menacing, green glowing eyes, and curled horns. Long fur covered its muscled body, as it strove menacingly towards her.

Astrid regained her wits just before the demon's massive axe came swinging down towards her. She dove forward, between the demon's legs, and slashed at it with her axe. The monster seemed to not care, and its second strike swung true. Astrid's withered, undead body crumpled to the ground, and struggled to push itself back onto its feet.

She never had the chance to. The demon's axe crashed into her, and crushed her body to dust.

"YOU DIED"
Posted Jun 8, 18 · OP · Last edited Jun 8, 18
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Astrid opened her eyes, and found herself sitting in front of the bonfire she had lit in the Undead Burg, as if nothing had happened. She looked about, bewildered at her surroundings. She clearly remembered journeying up to the battlements. She remembered the demon crashing down in front of her, and crushing her with its axe.

Yet here she sat, in front of the bonfire, with the armor she had gathered on her journey intact, and her trusty axe in hand.

There was a strange emptiness, as if the strength she had gathered on her journey had left her. It was a hunger, almost, if anything could feel like hunger to the undead.

She gathered herself, and as she stepped out onto the worn stonework of the Undead Burg, she found that she was not alone. The Hollow she had slain on her journey had all returned, and charged at her like before. Astrid had no time to ponder her situation, as she raised her axe and waded into battle once more.

The Hollows were placed exactly as she remembered them, wielding the same weapons and using the same tactics. Her foreknowledge gave her an advantage, allowing her to more easily avoid ambushes that had surprised her before. She hunted the Hollows with a merciless cruelty, and carved her way back towards the battlement where she had been previously slain.

With every Hollow she killed, her hunger subsided. As she drew closer to the watchtower, she felt herself growing stronger, and more bold. Astrid stepped through the mist door, and out onto the battlement. She knew what must be done.

Astrid climbed to the top of the watchtower, and slew the two archers as before. She climbed back down the ladder, and walked more cautiously across the battlement. She stopped just shy of where the demon had attacked her, and gazed down at the floor in wonder. There, at the very place she had died, was a pile of dust.

She knelt down and ran her fingers through it. As she did, the strength she had when she encountered the demon the first time was returned, and added to that which she had cultivated on her journey here. Emboldened further, she strode forward, this time fully prepared to face the demon.

The demon crashed down, just as before, and Astrid charged to face it. It's axe swung down towards her, and she moved to try to avoid it.

She did not.

"YOU DIED"

She awoke again at the bonfire in the Undead Burg, with that same emptiness, that same hunger. She fought her way through the now familiar burg, back to the battlements, to face the demon again.

It killed her a third time. And a fourth time. And a fifth. No matter how many times she faced it, the monster's brute strength far exceeded her own. It seemed an impossible task, yet every time she failed, she heard that same voice, and woke up in the same place:

"YOU DIED"

Astrid stayed at the bonfire for a while, and began to think. Through her many encounters, she had learned how to avoid its axe, but any time she attempted to strike back at the demon, she gave herself to her executioner. Her handaxe seemed meager, and the desiccated hand that wielded it feeble in comparison to the powerful demon. Even if she could attack it safely, it would take dozens of swings to cut through its thick hide.

Her mind turned to the wandering Hollow undead that she would have to face on her next return trip. Most of them were mindless, and so she defeated them by luring them to advantageous positions that made them easier to dispatch. For some reason, though, when faced with a monster as powerful as this demon, she felt the need to face it head on, with brute strength.

A smile crept onto her cracked lips, as she stood from the bonfire, and made her way out into the Undead Burg for a sixth time. By now, she had the positions of every single Hollow memorized, and made quick work of them on her way up to the watchtower. She took a deep breath in front of the wall of mist, and then stepped through it.

Her first task was the same as before. She climbed the ladder up to the top of the nearby watchtower, and cut down the two archers waiting for her there. With the Hollow archers dispatched, she went back down the ladder, and slowly made her way across the battlement.

The demon crashed down with a loud thud and a crack of stone before her. She held her axe and shield at the ready, and then with a wry smile, turned her back on the demon, and ran as fast she could.

The demon bounded after her. She could feel its axe cutting through the air behind her in an attempt to chase her down, but she was faster than it was on the narrow battlement. Astrid lept up onto the ladder that lead to the top of the watchtower she had come from. When she reached the top, she gazed down at the demon, and the demon gazed up at her.

Astrid raised her axe above her head in both hands, and then leapt from the top of the watchtower. She descended at least fifteen feet before her axe cracked into the demon's bone face, the added momentum from her fall giving her enough force to smash through it. She stumbled back onto the ground off of the demon, and scrambled to her feet.

The demon was injured, far moreso than she had ever managed before, and her legs shook from the daring leap, but the monster was far from slain. It stumbled in pain, and she used that opportunity to slip past it. Astrid ran halfway down the length of the battlement, and the demon gave chase. She pivoted on her foot, and dove underneath the swing of its axe, slipping past it once more, as she ran for the ladder once again.

The Hollows she had faced in the Undead Burg were all mindless undead, and were easy to outwit. They did not learn or adapt to the strategies Astrid employed against them. Astrid was betting that this demon was no different.

As she climbed to the top of the watchtower once again, she found the demon staring back up at her, the same as before. A swell of confidence grew in Astrid's withered heart, as her supposition was proven true. Astrid leapt from the top of the watchtower once again, and smashed her axe into the demon's already cracked skull, shattering it further.

Her legs quaked with the second landing, but she pushed forward, repeating the process, drawing the demon away from the watchtower, and then slipping past it, buying herself enough time to climb the ladder unscathed. A third attack did not fell the creature, but the demon's bone face was giving way to soft flesh that her axe had an easier time damaging.

Her arms and legs were weary by the time she made her fourth ascent. She summoned up one final reserve of strength, and pushed herself off of the top of the watchtower. Astrid's axe swung down with every ounce of strength her undead body could muster.

The head of the axe carved into the demon's head, and sunk deep into its flesh. As she fell onto the battlement, the demon fell over, its head split open.

A smile crossed Astrid's lips.

"VICTORY ACHIEVED"
Posted Jun 8, 18 · OP · Last edited Jun 8, 18
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