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Dr Archeville

[Unbalanced Vignette] Le Revenant

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October 17th, Paris.

"Monsieur, come quick!"

Rene followed the man, who was middle aged, and somewhat dirty, dressed in a white vest with high slung trousers. His name was Marcel, a sewer worker for the streets of Paris. They where in the sewers now, and he had been careful to dress for the occassion, in water proof plastic leggings and boots.

He bent down to see what Marcel was pointing at, and his heart sank. A human skull, polished and shiny, with a single necromantic rune painted on its forehead, in blood.

He had seen such things before, when the walls between life and death grew thing, and even broke down, as they had from time to time in the past. And the walls had grown very thin recently. Word amongst the mages and mystics of the world was of a power struggle, even a war amongst the forces of the dead. And it was things such as this that ended up as the fallout.

A revenant.

When someone died with a task undone, or vengeance to do, and the walls were thin, then death would not hold them. Driven by pure will power, they could become a revenant, hell bent on completing what they had not completed in life.

Paris had had three such murders, all women of the night, all found with skulls like this. And now, a fourth. Rene had moved to Freedom City from Paris a few months ago, but when the police detective had called him on this matter, he felt obliged to help, at least for a few days.

Asking around, it was not long before Marcel, a man who was an amateur occultist himself, had contacted Rene when he had found the skull in the sewer. Rene was now deeply concerned. The revenants he knew of would complete their task, and then their undead exsistence would come to an end. It seemed that this creature would not stop.

Marcel pressed on, holding up powerful lamp, with Rene close behind. Marcel's appearance was deceptive. He was not a powerful mystic, but he had a few tricks up his sleeve, and had a nose for tracking the creature, with the right enchantments and ingredients for preparation. The man had a powerful aroma of garlic and cumin right now.

They pressed on down the sewer. As they got deeper, Rene was actually grateful for the odour of Marcel, it detracted from the stench of fetid water and detritus that flowed past them. Lost in his thoughts, he nearly bumped into Marcel as the frenchman held up his hand and whispered "he is here".

Rene looked around him, in the gloom. His eyes were failing at his age, but he could see very well with his mind's eye. His surroundigs appeared to him with all the vagueness and clarity of an impressionistic painting, burned straight into his brain.

The creature was about twenty yards from them, crouching and hissing slightly. It was dressed in rags and now decaying slightly. In life it might have been a handsome and powerfully built young man, but one could not be sure. It seemed so to Rene.

Rene stepped forward and confronted the creature "What keeps you bound to this world? What task left undone? Tell us, so the tale may end!"

The creature hissed and turned its head, spitting at the floor in contempt. "All the whores of babylon deface the... purity... of the world. They must ALL be destroyed. EVERY... LAST... ONE...."

Rene had no idea how far the creatures definition of 'whores of babylon' extended, but it was clearly too far. It would not stop until more blood had been spilled. He must have been derranged even in life - his madness probably the fuel for the requiste will to becoming a revenant.

"Then I must stop you" he said, simply, unleashing a bolt of white fire at the thing.

Whilst the creature did indeed smoke and burn with the mystic fire, it did not die, if indeed it ever could, but carried on charging towards Rene, bowling him over with its force and speed. Its iron hard hands with iron strength enclosed around his neck, rending and choking him. Were it not for his protective talisman, he would be mortally wounded.

"Now.. Marcel...Now..." he croaked. His aged limbs could do little against the inhuman strength of the beast.

Marcel opened up the lamp and uttered one simple word.

"Reste"

Marcel and Rene had spent the previous day carefully constructing the rituals and preparing the enchantments for this moment. Their preparation had not been for nothing. A beam of soft white light oozed forward, and seeped onto the Revenant, bathing it gently.

The creature did not scream, or suffer. A look of calm and peace entered it briefly, before it faded away and disintegrated into dust.

Rene stood up, rubbing his neck and bruised ribs. With a look of sadness on his face, he gently scuffed the dust of the Revenant with his boot.

"Reste" he whispered.

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