HUB AREA — Residents of the Afflicted Kingdom saw violence erupt in the hub area today, where eyewitnesses report a non-glancing, full-body strike from a scythe made of a spine culminated in a firm warning from the local blacksmith: “Hey, watch it!”
“Those who shun violence, shun the burden of the Curse itself,” spoke the area’s dedicated Shrine Maiden, condemned to forever tend the fires of this blighted land before finally stoking the flames with her very bones, who says she saw the incident go down. “That said, it was scary for a second there. Here I am standing in wistful solitude by the sheer cliff, when I hear the door to the crumbling seaside manor open. Already alarm bells are ringing in my head, because that door doesn’t open from this side. Sure enough, the Curse Bearer comes out, and he’s popping souls. I have my skippable speech ready, but no, he doesn’t want me to channel sovereignless souls into strength, like water fills an empty vessel — instead, he goes straight for the blacksmith. Suddenly I hear an awful THWACK, followed by the world’s tiniest, most inconsequential ‘oof’ of pain. I knew what happened before I even saw it.”
“Look, I get it. Your flesh is plagued with the curse of undeath. You’re covered in mud from rolling around. You’re grumpy from the 10-minute elevator shortcut up from the Flame Wastes of primordial time. But that’s no excuse.”
The victim of the attack, the hub area’s stoic Blacksmith Dormund, reportedly took a more forgiving stance.
“I’ve been in the smithing business a long time,” said Dormund, hammering at an inert piece of metal that had long gone cold. “Been in the weapons business even longer. Accidents happen. An open blade nicks you in the leg. An arrow goes wide. A scythe made of a spine collides full-on with your chest and breaks all of your ribs like wet sticks. It happens. All. The. Time.” At this point Dormund lifted his tattered shirt. “Look. See this scar? A dagger that slipped on the grinding wheel. These burns up my arm? That’s the kiss of hot stee l— comes with the territory. This festering open wound that runs from nip to hip bleeding bone chips and viscera? That’s from the scythe made of a spine, whose notched vertebrae sundered flesh from bone as it broke across my body like a terrible wave. Oh, this one’s just a birthmark.”
According to sources, some hubspeople are attributing the unfortunate incident to the oppressive character of the Afflicted Kingdom itself.
“The Curse Bearer seeks the Old Souls, heh heh… a path steeped in misery… destined to bring only bloodshed,” offered the area’s Chuckling Merchant. “This curse… the scar of undeath… heh heh… it takes its toll, in the end. You must journey through places that will surely break you. The Poison Swamp. The Undead Slum Town. The second Poison Swamp that drains into the Undead Slum Town. All come calling sooner or later, heh heh. Blacksmith Dormund would have been well within his rights to aggro, but a warning was the classier choice. Someone could have been seriously hurt.”
At press time, the Curse Bearer had switched to an electrified Great Hammer three times his body weight and could be seen charging a heavy attack near the local Dour Knight, intentions unknown.