Log:Zombaissance 2018 - Opening Night

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Zombaissance 2018 - Opening Night

STed by November. Count, Damion, Jenny, Masamba, Olivia, Poppy, Widget

17 October, 2018

The Rising Sun Tourneys is invaded by zombies led by the Dread Necromancer of the North! ohnoes! Patrons of the business get to choose which side they're on, and tonight, they parade around the field. Tomorrow... muaahahaaaaa. Battle begins!


Rising Sun Tourneys

      While the smaller events have been going on all day, minor skirmishes and displays of might, the official opening of the Zombaissance War has yet to arrive. The weather, at least, is properly conducive to the many layers of heavy costuming and armour required to perform here, and for once, patrons in noble garb don't have to sweat their bloody brains out to Look Good. Even the peasants get slightly heavier gear -- and pocket hand warmers, because hello, filthy peasants. They can't afford fancy fur-lined cloaks.

      The stands to either side of the field are surreptitiously heated, and kept that way the slow, but steady way -- there are channels of enclosed ceramic bricks beneath them, heated from below by fires, so patooties at least will always be warm.

      For those who have chosen to perform in the parade, the lines are being arranged off to either side of the tourney field's east end, peasants carefully placed -behind- the horses of the nobles, with employees to help hold said horses steady until the parade is ready to begin. Better safe than trampled. The nobles, of course, are divided by their Houses, with a contingent of Royal Guards wearing the royal heraldry of the golden rising sun on a rose and gules background in the lead. There are horses for every skill level, and every size. Some children are even riding ponies beside their parents, and looking quite thrilled at the chance.

      The zombie horde isn't so well-organized. After all, they ARE fairly mindless. The Lords on horseback are scattered throughout, with glowstick 'wands' which match the glowing 'amulets' worn by the zombie squads in their 'command'. As guests are all told, nominally, they are shuffling at the behest of their particular lord, so they should keep an eye on that wand, and zomb their way wherever the lord directs.

      Employees circulate about through the gathering crowds, supplying hand warmers and answering any last-minute questions.

Count is not a noble, nor a lord, no he is just a faceless member of the Zombie Hoard... except that Count is also EXTRA and a taxidermist and while he is in 'dirty' peasant clothes stained with blood, he has embellished a little with a tattered sack made of fishing nets, which are filled with a variety of very real animal bones, and he even has a Deer skull on his head as some sort of helmet/mask. (To the Lost, there is just a little something more than natural about that skull, those antlers seem to have silver accents and a dusting of crystals.) He is apparently a battlefield collector of sorts. Necromancers need raw material after all. His makeup however, is done from one of the booths, making him more pallid than normal, painted veins showing through his skin, hollow eyes, blackened dried lips, and various prosthetic abrasions stained with rust colored blood.

It seems Poppy has gone for 'trashy renfaire meets zomberrific,' and one has to wonder if she escaped the costumers through sheer dint of the fact that somehow she's actually managed to acquire cleavage with the help of a red corset. The shirt underneath is a tattered white linen, all the better to show bloodstain; she's also wearing ragged black and red skirts over a pair of black, knee-high stiletto boots...maybe New York Renfaire, if not Ye Olde England. Her blonde hair is a mess of blood and a bit of tastefully-placed brains, and her makeup makes her look quite the undead lovely...if one finds hollow cheekbones and missing bits of face attractive. A gold coronet encircles her head, matching the torque about her neck, and she looks like she's /far/ too entertained with the purple glowstick wand someone gave her. Because of course someone did. Hell, they even let her on a horse. The horse, for its part, thankfully seems the kind to stolidly ignore any riderly shenanigans.

Riding on a horse, Damion wears the same suit of plate armor he wore the last time he competed. It looks somewhat more battered now, and there's an unnatural pallor to his skin, what looiks like deep rents in his visible flesh from whatever it was that killed him. A 'wand in one hand, he occasionally gestures with it as though conducting the shuffling of the crowd of zombies around him, eyes shifting over to the onlooker, smiling their way with teeth that look as though they've been stained with blood. Then his attention returns to the path in front of him.

After a lengthy and very firm explanation that Widget is /not/ to actually bite anyone on pain of LEFT TO OVERACTIVE IMAGINATION, the gremlin signed herself up as a brain-craving member of the undead. Surely an urchin would quickly fall to the ranks of the rotting horde, so it seemed appropriate. Plus she looks /awesome/. Arrows sticking out where they missed the head, skinny frame looking even more gaunt with the application of fake bone, lips gnawed off to expose a snaggle-toothed maw, crawling on all fours as a bent and feral zombling, clad in a burlap sack tied with rope. Plus she got to eat that turkey leg as messily as she pleased. It's hard for her to slow down like a proper shambler, but she's just so excited! Let it begin!

Masamba rides along, as nobly as he can. Rather, he looks uncomfortable. So so uncomfortable. He fidges on the horse, for fear of his massive frame falling off. Then there's the outfit. Bright colored and doesn't fit him quite right. He constantly tugs at his cuffs, adjusts his waist, or looks down to check his shoes. He looks down from his horse to ask an employee, "You 100% sure this thing'll hold me? You're really really sure?"

Olivia isn't really good with renaissance. Or zombies. Or jousting. Or really anything involving any of this. So she looks just uncomfortable in the dress and bodice that's fitted to her frame, the colours thankfully chosen for her. Sitting sidesaddle on the horse, her fingers grip the reins tightly, and she glances sideways towards Masamba with a faint scowl. "This is a terrible idea," she tells him.

      Given the way some of the zombies in Poppy's 'control' are eyeballing that cleavage, she did a good job. Guests who come in costume don't need to fork out the money for a rental, so there are a fair number of unorthodox variations on vaguely pretending to be historically somewhat accurate around.

      Masamba's helper, nominally acting as his herald, and Olivia's for that matter, since there aren't that many employees to go around and they're in the same House, assures the man that, "He's a good horse, milord. Just relax, and don't hold the reins too tightly. They'll tug at his mouth, and you'll confuse him. Hold to the pommel, the front bit of the saddle there, if you've a need to yank on something." He glances up at Olivia as he says this, and stretches to help her. "We'll be going at a nice, slow amble, milady. How are you at boats? It's not too dissimilar to rolling with the--"

      Trumpets interrupt the man, and he abruptly falls silent, turning to face the Royal Pavilion up in the stands. King Charlemagne and his suspiciously rainbow-haired Queen stand from their thrones, but it is His Royal Majesty, once introduced by his very loud and microphone-enhanced Herald (His Royal Majesty King Charlemagne of Thislandia!), who gravely announces, "Nobles and vassals, I bring you ill tidings. The Kingdom is at war."

      Employees, and the people around them who have been coached to do so, all gasp appropriately.

      "The Dread Necromancer of the North has come upon us with his legions, and it pains me to say that they are on their way here, tonight. Gather your courage, my ladies, my lords. By the strength of our arms and the honour of our peasantry, we will prevail!" He gestures with suitably noble drama and panache, and the herald has the trumpeters toot their trumpets again. The herald announces, "Let the parade of Houses begin!"

      Those who are alive are carefully chivvied to begin their walk around the tourney field, with brave music a bit tinny thanks to the cold weather affecting the instruments. Poor trumpets.

"Don't hold too tightly. What?" Masamba blinks a few times over. Gentle. Right. He tries his best, but it may not be enough. "I mean. Thus. Verily. Forsooth. Tally ho, for King Arthur." He leans back to look at the other Ogre. "Ain't such a thing as terrible! Just have fun, and hope you don't lose an eye." Then he gasps along with the audience. Then as instructed he tries to lead his horse forward, but he may have yanked on those reigns a bit too hard.

Recognizing Widget in the Crowd, Count acknowledges her with a nod, and then Damion and Poppy as well, lifting the femur bone of some large ruminant mammal in a zombie salute as he practices shuffling about. He is, while being an excellent liar, not the greatest of actors, so he needs that practice.

When the announcement that there is War, Count dutifully lifts his head and bares teeth, hissing angrily into the air. Boo The Living seems to be the theme of the non-verbal gargle of sounds.

Then he goes back to his fellow Zombies and start handing out bones from his sack, various animal limbs, offering some Spine up to Poppy (she needs a scepter right?) and a rib cage large enough to almost be a shield towards Damion, and then offering Widget the skull of what might have been... a badger?

"Boats? I don't think I've ever been on a bo-" The interruption hits her as well and Olivia scowls a little bit, fidgeting and squirming a little bit on the saddle. She listens to the introductions, looking over towards the royal pair, lips quirking in faint amusement as she notes November's presence. Of COURSE she's involved in this. Her fingers flex around the reins, one hand moving to grasp the pommel of the saddle as she listens to the instruction, giving Masamba a dry sort of look. "I've got defective eyes anyway," she tells him, shaking her head as she tries to nudge her horse forward to join the parade.

Poppy grins sharply at Count, pointing the glowing purple wand at him in acknowledgement of that gargle of evil-sounding noises before accepting the spine. Scepters go well with wands, it seems; and she's apparently perfectly happy to be double-fisting, as it were. She seems to be waiting for a cue to the zombie horde before giving the horse any sort of encouragement to move, which leaves her with plenty of time to preen as the Sinister Zombie Overlady.

Skull! Hers! Wearing the whatever-it's-from on her head, the gremlin joins in the gurglecheer, twitching with excitement. Follow the wands and then grab at every! But no biting. Despite being a zombie and it would /really/ be in character and- No! They were /very/ clear. Focus on the turkey leg. Gnawgnawgnaw. There. Better.

Masamb leans forward to growl into the horse's ears. "Move, you stupid beast. C'mon." Either the horse gets the message or he's sick enough of the reins being whipped that he starts a slow trot. A bit too slow. "Oh come the fuck on," he moans. Olivia gets an askance glance. "You can see. They're not that the defective. Look on the bright side. You can see the bright side, right?"

      Thankfully, horses are herd animals. When the Royal Guard starts moving, the other horses -want- to follow the motion of the herd, and do so. At least, they do when their rider isn't Masamba. The employee keeps his hand on the horse's shoulder, and the gelding snorts his resignation before plodding onward.

      There are a few other nervous riders, but Masamba and Olivia take the cake. Despite the efforts of the poor herald to stop them from doing precisely that, the two mounts whinny and half-rear before bolting forward through the other horses. A few other riders, thankfully more skilled, keep their mounts from following, and equally thankfully, neither Masamba nor Olivia falls off.

      Two of the Royal Guard peel off from the front of the parade, the motion elegant and rehearsed, and serve as a living blockade to the startled horses, who slow to a hip-slewing halt, then fidget restlessly in place. The Guardsmen reach for the reins, and, guiding their own horses by weight and knee alone, walk the pair back to the line.

      The remainder of the circuit is managed without incident ... until ...


      A bright flash of acid green and vivid violet light fills the field, and suddenly, there is a skeletal figure wearing dark robes balanced on one of the posts of the divider in the middle, hands glowing with disturbingly realistic flame. "ARISE, MY MINIONS! ARIIIIIISE!"

      The music shifts, heavy drum beats and syncopation with ominous wailing and screeching, and the employees by the Zombie Horde give the Lords the thumbs up -- time to guide the minions around and chase the living! Just... not too fast.

"SCREEEEECH!" Okay so he doesn't literally say 'Shriek' but the death rattle sound that comes from Count's throat in response to the great necromancer is... well it sounds like a dying animal. Remarkably so. He raises a hand curled into a claw (Real Claws if you are a changeling) and doesnt quite leap (shuffling zombies dont leap, fast zombies do) but definitely straightens his spine for a moment.

The Drum beats set his pace /BOOM/ step /BOOM/ drag /BOOM/ step /BOOM/ drag...

Count, with his sack of bones, and deer mask... follows the Lords leading the horde.

Not quite as much like an animal, Damion lets out another roar into the sky and points forward with his sword, starting off his horse on a majestic trot, leading the rotting assembly in chasing the human parade. At a pace that slowly closes the distance but not so fast that they'll actually catch them before this part is done. Feast on the living! Offer their bones ot the Necromancer! Smell slightly worse than the typica medieval peasant!

Olivia isn't having any better luck than Masamba. At least she isn't cursing her animal as it bolts. Her grip tightens (as if it can possibly get any tighter), and she half cringes as the other horses move right into her path. And, fortunately, cause her horse to come to a halt before she falls off. She quite happily hands over the reins for someone else to handle, sighing heavily as she lets the more experienced riders take over. Her attention shifts over to the 'zombies' as they begin their shuffling, watching with vague amusement.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Poppy gives an eerie, cackling shriek. Maybe a bit more witch than Zombie Lord, but it goes with the outfit. She's savvy enough to /not/ argue with the horse when it starts doing its horse thing, although she raises both wand and spine in a show of threatening both mortals and mortal audience alike, grinning with an unholy light in her eyes, head tilted at a rather unnatural angle as she gleefully considers the array of options for supper.

There's a vile-sounding hiss somewhere around the legs of the horde, as if a steampipe could rot. Widget crawls and scrabbles very quickly before she realizes that she's not supposed to be doing that. Lurking under the mob, weaving between shins and feet, the gremlin is having a blast! Sometimes people drop stuff off of their costumes and it's good pickings for someone keeping close to ground level. Hers! And hers! And oh hey this one still has some ham on it. At least it's not a fairgoer. Don't judge.

Dead *can* dance, apparently. And march, and play the hurdy-gurdy, a hood pulled halfway up Jenny's head, dreds tucking out. The woman is covered in simple black-and-white, skeletal make-up, otherwise in appropriately old-timey blouse and cloak combo as she winds the string instrument, playing a haunting tune that is not immediately recognizable but that some will later recognize as a down-tempo rendition of Zombie Jamboree. I mean. Whatever gets the undead horde motivated, right?

"They always told me to get on that horse, and now I see it. Now I see why I never got on that horse." Masamba continues cursing the horse out, likely doing everything but winning it over. "I swear if you calm down I'll give you a carrot. A million fucking carrots. All the carrots in town, even."

Covered in paint that makes them look dead and rotting, the zombie knights horses plod along. One of them thinks, *Someday I will have my revenge on you all. Someday.*

      The zombie horde closes the distance between the rear ranks of the living and their ghoulish leading lords and ladies, but even as they are doing so, stablehands are helping the front ranks of the living to dismount and guiding horses away, back to their nice warm stalls and a good rub-down away from shrieking humans. Most of the mounts belong to the establishment, so they are well-trained, though a few with more fiery temperaments try their darnedest to get things faster than a walk, fidgeting and prancing on their way back toward The Round Stable.

      King Charlemagne bellows, "You will never take us alive!" in a kingly fashion.

      The Necromancer sweetly retorts, "What use are you to me among the living, your majesty? I'll see you kneel before me in the end. All men die, and the worms crawl in and out." He makes an expansive gesture, cloak billowing dramatically, and silkily, slily suggests, "Of course, if you would like to practice crawling -now-, I'd not complain..."

      The King straightens his spine, and raises a fist. "Depart at once, foul miscreant! Guards!" The guards begin to move toward the centre of the field, weapons upraised.

      The Dread Necromancer cackles and shouts some 'magic words' before flinging his hands toward the ground below him -- and setting off green and violet smoke bombs, the lighting in the tourney field momentarily, strategically, going dark to allow him to 'disappear' properly from the scene. The audience begins to applaud, laughing, as the remainder of the horde slowly catches up to the diminishing crowd of the living.

Step. Drag. Lurch. Moan. Adjust sack.

Count Von Zombie goes with the crowd, just one face in the shuffling press of oddly mobile corpses. A bone filled hand raises towards the 'DARQUE LORD' before he vanishes, and he lets out another eerie rattling call, and starts to shuffle in towards the 'living' with a hungry look in his eyes.

Unlike the other guards and knights Masamba is sans-weaponry and shield. The most he has is the heraldry upon his chest, a hope, and a dream. Also a horse that may as well be the one in charge as he keeps pleading with it. "I didn't mean it, come on." It's slowed down, but now turns away from all the action for the ride to just look back. "I'm sorry. Honest."

The feral zombie Widget skitters towards the living, cackling like the tiny madwoman that she is. She was gonna get /all of the legs/. All of them! Without biting, hopefully. She looks...very excited. The impressive amount of trinkets and assorted gory gubbins she's looted hang off of the sack she's wearing, clattering and squelching and caked with kicked-up dirt along with the rest of her. Hm. Hmmmmm. How to do this. Right! THe horses! Spook the horses! Best plan!

Once the Dread Necromancer and the King have finished their banter, Poppy gives a rather freakish half-moan, half-cackle of her own, not /quite/ leering at the living that are escaping. There's both gesturing with the wand and the spine accompanied by a wicked-looking, sharp grin, even as she 'rides' down the living and off the field.

Eventuall unhorsing, Damion lets his zombified mount be lead away then turns towards the crowd. He spots Widget zombieling it up on the ground among the living. There's a familiar gleam in her eyes that seems like it might lead to something unfortunate. Bending down, he snags the clattering mini-undead and drapes her over a shoulder. "Come my minions! The Necromancer awaits us!" Then he starts off to find a place to change and clean up.