Bardic Chestnuts: Michael Seraph

Michael Seraph

Born and raised in Gehegan, in Krymm, he was to take over the job of healer like many of his family.  His instruction in chemistry came young when the miners often suffered chemical burns from what they would find down in the Mesker Mountain mines.  He learned basic medicine and first aid from the wives and medics around, often having to mix herbs and apply salves that he made emulating the other medics. His was not a formal education, although he did learn later on how to make various chemical products in order to understand them.  

He married a loving woman named Sophia and together they had a son named Thomas.  A year after the child was born, things went down a dangerous path.  It was during the harvest festival of the dead they celebrate every year to scare off the demons. That day he brought his son a red scarf to wear and keep warm, for it was colder than it usually was this time of year.    Like always the band would gather in the center of the town and begin playing the music that signaled the townsfolk to gather.  This year it was suddenly quiet, and the people came to find out why.

It was then they found the musicians -  killed and strung up with the wires of their instruments - left there to die a slow and agonizing death.  No sooner did they assemble that the army of Raziel attacked.  Wave after wave of cannibalistic miscreants poured into the streets from every corner.  The people ran and hid in their homes as best they could.  But that is what the invaders wanted.  Soon new invaders showed up.  Men in black armor and white skin.  They set the houses on fire, those who stayed inside would burn, those who fled would be attacked and slaughtered.  The army of Raziel ate their victims.  The town guard was butchered, any all of the nobles were ripped limb from limb, their entrails eaten even before the bodies had a chance to die.  

Michael and his wife barricaded the windows and doors on the ground floor and went upstairs to their bedroom.  They began to open the pass through on the wall that was connected to the neighbor's hoping to escape and have safety in numbers.  They soon stopped, however, as they heard the screams from the other side.  They then began to think the window was the only option until the cannibal ghouls climbed up to the second floor and was trying to force their way in through the window.  As Michael began to lead the way out, the roof collapsed from the fire, separating the family.  The door was blocked by fallen timbers.  Sohpia threw a few blankets over the fire but the debris was too much to move.  She handed Michael their infant son and took a knife from his vest.  She looked at him with tearful eyes and turned to face the ghastly hoard to buy time for her husband and son.  Michael could see no more as the flames ate through the blanket and covered the door.

Running along the walkway Michael kicked open a window and onto the roof overhang he went.  He held onto his son as he slid down the broken structure into the alley.  He began looking around for a smart way to escape.  The clear paths obviously had invaders lurking in the shadows, the people being eaten and screaming had alerted those already visible.  His only option was to take paths where people were already dead and their bodies left behind.  He tried to be careful but Michael was captured anyways.

They brought he and his son before a woman.  A vain, haughty french woman with red eyes and what appeared to be sharpened fangs.  She took his son from his arms and her guards forced him to his knees.  Michael watched as she sliced the throat of his child, and then drained the blood from the infant into a chalice.  Powerless to do anything, not even able to plea for mercy as they held him firm, Michael was mortified.  The child was drained to the point he could no longer whimper, barely able to open his eyes or breathe.  She then kissed the baby and dropped the exsanguinate corpse like an empty wine skin and smiled at Michael.

She was then going to kill Michael, but one of her retainers informed her that it was time to move on.  The sunlight was coming, but something else caught her senses, and she left in a hurry.  Michael went to chase but the ground began to cave in, leaving him in the sewers as fire moved overhead.  He wanted to die, he waited for it, welcomed it.  Nothing.

Hours passed and the sun rose.  Michael went out into the city, looking at the blackened buildings and smoldering corpses.  He felt his body grow heavy with pain.  He tried not to go mad.  The few survivors waited for the Grave Dancers to come.  They did not come.  It was said this place was cursed and even the Grave Dancers refused to go near the bodies to even bury them.  Michael buried his wife and son together.  He kept the red scarf and was filled with the need to end it all.  The crows were there.  Squawking, chirping, mocking.  So many crows, so much noise, he began to lose himself.


Posted on January 4, 2017 .