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Author Topic: The tale of Zacharie Chevalier  (Read 590 times)

JipK

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The tale of Zacharie Chevalier
« on: October 22, 2008, 04:26:47 PM »


Once upon a time, in a land far far away, a mother gave birth to a boy. And she called him Zacharie. The boy grew up in and around the mansion of the Chevalier family, which was situated just outside the city of Port-a-Lucine. He played with his brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces in the beautiful gardens of the mansion. He had little worries, he had a loving mother, his family had more than enough money to buy him the most wonderful gifts and luxuries, his family could afford to have him home schooled and he was yet too young to be concerned about politics and other adult businesses. He was a decent and timid child, he did what he was told to, causing mischief like little boys do was nothing for Zacharie. He preferred to study, reading books, learning math, grammar and religion, even though he was not the brightest kid, it drew his interest. If he wasn't studying he was wandering around in the forests and gardens surrounding the mansion in an almost graceful state of tranquillity. Looking at the flowers, the trees, the ponds and watching the little forest critters sprout away as he made his way through the forest

He always was looking forward to the weekly visit to the Cathedral in Port-A-Lucine. Not only because he was very impressed by the speech of the torret or the sentire, which he could only half understand at his age, but even more by the livety of the city itself; Man pulled carts heading every direction, the Men behind their stalls at the market praising their wares, labourers heading to work, government officials hurrying to get in time to an important meeting, families returning home from Church. He loved quietly sitting on a bench in a public garden or on a square, watching the mass of people making their way to wherever they were headed.

When he grew older he developed a strong interest in Ezra, in her way of life and in the message she spread around the world. He now knew what he wanted to do when he grew older; he wanted to join the Church of Ezra and become a Sentire. His father had other plans for him, he wanted Zacharie to take over one of his many small business in town. Yet, Zacharie managed to make his father fall for his childly graces, and convinced him to introduce him to the torret of the Ezra chapel not far away as a new initiate.

He left his house of birth to be tutored in the ways of Ezra. The living conditions in the chapel were certainly of a lower standard than what he was used to, he no longer had a bed with blankets made out of the finest velvet stuffed with goose feathers, he had to share a bunk bed, sleep on a mattress stuffed with straw and a under a thick sheep woollen blanket which tickled with every move he made. No longer could he wander through the beautiful gardens, and enjoy the books the great library had to offer. Years passed, Zacharie grew up to be a very devout and pious follower of Ezra, he gained much wisdom through her teachings, and he enjoyed the simple life of peace and tranquillity in the relatively secluded chapel.

One day, when he was taking a walk through the forests around the chapel, something which he still regularly did like in his young days, he ventured deeper into the forest than he usually did, only few sun rays managed to penetrate through the shield of leafs the trees above him held up against the sun. Zacharie usually went back at this point, he wasn't very adventurous in nature, and avoided from travelling too deep into the forest, but today, something drew him deeper into the forest. He slowly continued, stepping over fallen trees and avoiding the bramble that was dominating this part of the forest. The rays of sunlight piercing through the trees became rarer and rarer, and Zacharie became uncomfortable with continuing further into the forest, yet something drew him deeper and made him not answer his sense of unease. After a while he couldn't see any sunlight any more, it was dark, so dark that plants and bushes couldn't grow on the soil any more. The feeling of unease became stronger and stronger, but at the same time that something that drew him deeper as well. Zacharie cautiously continued. After a while he suddenly swore he saw something moving in the distance, in the corner of his eye, he halted, stood frozen, the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. He peered into the darkness of the forests, seeing nothing but trees and darkness. Yet, he knew, something was there. Something was not right. He slowly turned his head from right to left and left to right, scanning the area for anything unusual, anything that wasn't supposed to be there. Then. Suddenly everything happened in just a matter of a second. Leaves rustling, branches snapping. Strange unexplainable screeches and growls in the distance. Weird movements in the shadows further away from him. Bird flaps. Now, footsteps, clear, right behind him. Overwhelmed in by fear he reached out for the dagger he hid beneath his robes and jumped around to strike at whatever was behind him. A White Stag. He was overwhelmed by the grand sight. It's huge antlers, it's huge chest and it's beautiful white fur. He couldn't look at it as long as he would've wanted, the stag quickly fled into the darkness of the forest after his sudden movement, and Zacharie was felt ridiculous at that point, and he chuckled to himself and thought "A white stag, that's what it was! And I was scared! Ha! Eye in eye with a white stag!".

With a smile on his face he began his way back to the chapel, thinking about the encounter he had moments ago with the white stag when he stumbled upon an open spot in the shield of leaves, the bright sunlight shining upon a little island of green grass and bushes amidst of all the darkness and dead soil. A weathered little stone building, completely overgrown by weed and moss and half sunken into the soil on which it once stood, stood in the middle of the little island.  He stood there and observed the little building for a while. The Metal frame of the door was bent and thoroughly rusted, the wood was almost completely rotten away. He imagined this was a beautiful little building a long time ago. Signs of ornaments were still there, a little gargoyle laid half overgrown on a piece of hard soil, the doorpost had, or more accurately, once had all kind of little figures on it, and so did the front of the roof. He wondered what this building was built for, and when? He walked up closer, ascended the little stair in front of the building that hadn't sunken into the ground, looking for any signs that could help him answer his questions. He could make out a "4" on a stone above the door, the rest was covered with moss. He tore the moss away and the number "454" revealed itself. "This must be the year this building was built in" Zacharie thought to himself "Exactly 300 years from now". He opened the door with a twitch, the metal made a screeching noise scraping over the stone. He moved inside the little building. It was dark and murky inside. Spiderwebs filled the ceiling. A stone had fallen from the roof on the ground which had caused the stone plate beneath it to crack in two. behind the cracked stone plate there was a little statue of Ezra holding a shield with the symbol of Ezra on it in her hands. Obviously this was some sort of burial site. He made a holy gesture and felt sorry for the deceased that rested in here that his or her grave had been forgotten for such a long time. He wiped the dirt away from the stone plate and removed the stone that laid on it, in an attempt to tidy it up a bit, though it hardly mattered. When he kneeled down to read what was written on the grave it happened, all so quick, he saw something coming out of the darkness between the crack right at him. It happened so quick, he didn't have any time to react. A hand, even though I doubt you could hardly call it a hand, only the bones and part of rotting flesh and skin were left, quickly emerged from the grave and grabbed Zacharie tightly around his neck. Zacharie yelled in agony. Another hand came up from the darkness beneath the crack, shoving the stone plate aside. A skeleton head rose from the grave now as well. Parts of skin still attached like shards of paint on it's face, a dry brown-greyish substance of dust, dirt and skin covered the part were where once would've been eyes, almost all of the hair had fallen out of it's head, save for a few lonely hairs, hanging to the sides like a dead stalk. Half of the cheeck was missing, and the jaws clapped onto each other rapidly making a dry, dull "Clack Clack" noise. An enormous stench of death accompanied the skeleton head on it's rise upwards, and filled the whole little room. The eyes cracked open and stared straight into his. Zacharie stared into the deepest darkness he had ever seen, deeper than the darkness of the darkest cellar deeper than de darkness of the darkest night. The skeleton stopped clapping it's jaws onto each other and slowly lowered a jaw bringing forth a long low rasp moan. The skeleton tightened it's grip around Zacharie's neck. The moan slowly turned into a word; "Zaaach-Aaach-Aaach-aaa-Rieee" was brought forth out of the skeleton. "I Wa-Aaa-aant You!" it spit out of it's mouth along with the worst stench you could possibly imagine, then slowly grinding his teeth onto each other in a hungry, craving and yet statisfactionary manner. The skeleton appeared to be thrilled in excitement. The hungry and craving look on it's face disappeared, and Zacharie thought he could make out what could be a smile on the skeletons face, patches of skin where once would've been the lips curled up.  The skeleton tightened it's grip around Zacharie's neck. Then the Skeleton slowly moved it's other arm towards Zacharies face in an automated manner, meanwhile it was laughing soft yet maniacally at Zacharie. Frozen in fear Zacharie's life flashed before his eyes in a split second; The gardens he used to wander in as a little kid, the big city he always loved watching, the Sentire in the Cathedral preaching, the little chapel he lived in now, his walks through the forest, The last time he walked through the forest, the white stag staring straight into his eyes, he staring back, yet this time stag didn't run.

They stood there, staring at each other for a moment. Then the white stag turned around, and looked back at Zacharie as if saying "Come, follow me" and slowly walked away, Zacharie following behind. The stag led him to the open field of grass in the forest. This time, the little building was in excellent state, there were people gathered around a coffin in front of it, clad in black suits in dresses. Zacharie walked towards the people and stood amongst them. A torret held a small speech, Zacharie couldn't make out what he was saying but the last sentence, which said "May she rest in peace, May she be united once again, with her dearest son, Zacharie, in the after life. May she rest in peace.". The Torret opened the door. The coffin was carried inside lowered into the grave. The stone plate was sealed behind it. Every one left in silence. Only Zacharie remained, he kneeled down the grave and gently stroke his hand over the stone plate. He could now read what written on the plate: "Caupucine Isabelle Julie Chevalier" Then his vision slowly blurred away, and with a flash he was back in reality, staring into the eyes of the Skeleton, the skeleton of Caupucine Isabelle Julie Chevalier. The skeleton was stroking his cheek with the hand that was reaching towards him before he got the vision, mumbling "Ohh, it has been so long, come here.." and the other had loosened it's grip around his neck. Zacharie didn't doubt one moment, he pushed the skeleton's skull back down and quickly pushed the stone plate back in it's place, turned around and ran away, he ran faster than he could ever have imagined he'd be able to run. As he ran he heard the desperate and enraged yells of the rasp and dry voice of the skeleton fade away behind him.

Back at the chapel he didn't tell any one of what happened that day. That night he dreamt wild dreams, about the stag, the little building, the skeleton, the funeral and the dark and creepy forest. He woke up in the middle of the night. He thought about what happened that day and concluded he'd never go back to that place again, he'd be safe then. After that he was fast asleep, no more wild dreams, no more turning around in his bed. He dreamt of tranquillity. An endless waste of white. A beautiful and soft voice spoke to him:

"What happened today, was meant to be"
"What happened today, was part of the grand scheme"
"What happened today, is you, will be you"

The voices echoed and slowly faded away. Then the voice spoke again:

"Prove yourself and hunt"
"Hunt for me"

The voices echoed and slowly faded away. Zacharie slept deep the rest of that night.

The next morning he said to the Torret of the chapel: "I have to leave. Give me your blessing. I will return, I promise.". He said it so determined that the Torret didn't question what he said, and gave him his blessing.

Zacharie returned to his elderly home to study. He wanted to find out more about the creatures of the night, how to fight them, how to destroy them. He wanted to know who this Caupucine Isabelle Julie Chevalier was, and what happened to her. He told his father the Torret at the chapel thought he'd be a good candidate for Templarship, but that he currently didn't have the money to finance a training for him, so he'd have to finance it on his own. His father hired a personal tutor who taught him how to handle a sword and a pistol. In between the training sessions he studied. He found out in an old book about his family that he was a relative of Caupucine Chevalier. It was only briefly mentioned that she was a loving mother, a real pearl of the family and that she had died because of reasons unknown in a heavily guarded asylum after she committed numerous failed suicide attempts because of reasons unmentioned. Zacharie decided to travel to said asylum to ask for the files of Caupucine. The clerk there told him these files were for sience purposes only, and available for clients. Zacharie had expected this, and thus he'd brought a good amount of money with him to bribe the clerk. The clerk accepted the deal, went to get the documents, and gave them to Zacharie and told him he could keep them because they were old any ways. Zacharie returned home. After reading the documents he learnt that Caupucine supposedly had gotten mentally ill, and had visions over her missing son, Zacharie, visiting her at night. The visions always went as follows: Her son walked up to her, gently placed his arms around Caupicine's back, as if he were to hug her, but once Caupucine wanted to hug him back, her son's eyes lit up and he became furious and tried to strangle her to death. This process appeared to repeat every night, over and over. Until she one night mysteriously died. Zacharie then decided to learn about undead, and he found a Van Richten's book somewhere in his dad's library about the walking dead. He deemed himself ready to face the skeleton. He loaded his pistol with bullets coated in silver, took up his sword and went to search for the grave.

After searching for a while he came back at the grave  site, which was exactly the same as how he left it, running away in agony, last time he was here. He slowly moved toward the building and moved through the door, still open from last time. His pistol and his sword safely tucked away. He looked around. Everything was still like he left it. He reached down to push aside the stone plate. As he pushed it aside, he jumped backwards and moved out of the building, facing the grave. Caupucine slowly emerged from the grave, standing tall. The stench of death spread around quickly and the sound of bones clacking against each other could be heard. Caupucine's eyes were fixed on Zacharie, she slowly limped towards him. Zacharie stood frozen, yet not of fear this time, he was ready now. "Come here, come closer, I will have you" the rasp voice of Caupucine sounded, followed by the clacking noise of her jaws. Zacharie said nothing. As she moved out of the little building Zacharie could read the burning desire, the craving, off her face, yet he stood determined and unmoved. As she came closer her eyes became darker and darker, her desire bigger and bigger with each step. She started cackling insanely and yelling in a voice Zacharie did not know. The stench of the dead swirled around Zacharies legs, up and fully embraced him. Only a few more steps and Caupucine would reach Zacharie. Yet, Zacharie stood still and resisted the insane cackling of the skeleton, the stench and the horrifying sight. Zacharie slowly opened his mouth and spoke: "Mother, it is me, Zacharie.". Caupucine stood still and replied "Zacharie? Zacharie!". "Come mother, come closer, it's been so long" Zacharie replied. Caupucine set the last few steps and clumsily tried to lay her arms around Zacharies waist. Zacharie could taste the death surrounding Caupucine now, he could feel the cold chilling touch of death through his body, he could feel the skeletal hand gently rub over his back, he could feel the other holding the back of his neck, he could feel the patches of skin, the rotting flesh getting plant in his bare skin. He slowly moved his own arms around Caupucine's back, and rubbed hers, rubbed the rotting flesh, the bones, rubbed the skin patches of her back. As much as Zacharie was disgusted by this scene, he was strengthened by focusing on the words spoken to him in his dream. These words made him stand strong, these words made him resist the urge of running away of pushing her away. Caupucine slowly let go of him, and let let go of her. Caupucine looked at Zacharie and bursted out in a maniacal laughter. She screamed it out loud. "Ha! No no, you strangle me no more! One time! One hug! After 300 years!" continued by the insane cackling and incoherent sputtering. Zacharie looked back, into her eyes. He saw the darkness in them fading away, from blacker than the purest black possible, to the darkest cellar to the darkest night to black. And with that Caupucine started falling apart, first her jaw, then her left arm, her shin, with every bone hitting the ground her screaming started to fade away until every single part had fallen onto a little pile, a lifeless, silent, and above all, dead little pile.

Zacharie gathered all the bones, placed them into the grave and shove the stone plate back in his place. He kneeled down and prayed, prayed for Caupucine's soul. He then thanked Ezra with a prayer. She appeared before him, Ezra, and she spoke to him:

"You have proven, you are my Hunter"
"You will Hunt for me"
"Cleanse this world of the legions of the night"
"Do not hold back, whatever the costs"


And with these words Ezra faded away again.


« Last Edit: October 23, 2008, 03:53:49 AM by JipK »

JipK

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Re: The tale of Zacharie Chevalier
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2008, 04:27:39 PM »
This was the first time of many times Zacharie tricked undeath. He had found out in his studies that the sole reason Caupucine had risen from the grave, was to claim that last hug. Zacharie tricked her, into thinking he had given her that last hug, as her son. Zacharie went back to the chapel he once was a student. He told the torret Ezra wanted him to be elsewhere, and he left. He said goodbye to his family, and left for the wilderness, in the search of the legions of the night, the search of the walking dead. He outwitted many more walking dead. Until the day the mists took him away on a dark night, and placed him inside the lands of Barovia. That was where Ezra needed him most, he would conclude. His dealings in the past would only just be the beginning of what awaited for him, in the lands of Barovia.

Wether this is all true or not is not known. What is known is that it's true Zacharie came eye in eye with the white stag, it is true Zacharie first met Caupucine in her tomb, it is true Zacharie later returned to hug her, and to put her finally to rest. If Ezra really appeared before Zacharie, only Zacharie knows, and he knows it's the truth. With the death of Caupucine there remains one restless dead in his family however, his precedent, Zacharie. He got kidnapped and killed by his jealous and sick and twisted brother and nephew, one of whom was a necromancer and knew the ways of undeath. They made Zacharie after long sessions of torture think it was Caupucine who did this to him. His spirit rose to claim justice from his mother. After the supposed death of his mother he continued to spread despair among the lands of Dementlieu. Many of his victims would end up in an asylum, or death because of their own doing.

// any comments welcomed
« Last Edit: October 23, 2008, 03:58:51 AM by JipK »