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Story Eldritch Purification - A Darkest Dungeon Story



Dismas sat on the mansion stairwell, twirling his knife. It was damp, and dark; the wood was rotten and slow, repeating drips rang out in the deafening silence. He and his brother, Reynauld, had taken up accommodation in the mansion, but for how long, he did not know. The call-to-arms had attracted the attention of many heroes to the castle at the peak of the island; promises of treasure and glory drew them to Hamlet like rats to stale food left in the open. Dismas and Reynauld were two of them.

The relationship between them, as brothers, was rocky in places. Rows had taken place and, Reynauld being a man of faith and his younger brother lacking said faith caused the two to fall out in various situations. The awakened horrors only increased the eldest brother's stress; rumours of doomsday were common in the area. Though not nearly as affected, Dismas was - despite his absence of religion - somewhat disconcerted.

There were six locations in the vicinity: Hamlet, a small town of shopkeepers and civilians, seeking for protection; the Ruins, an unholy complex of corridors, inhabited by the Necromancer and his growing undead army; the Weald, a fungi-infested forest, poisonous, blighted by diseased trees and inhabited by rabid dogs, ectoplasmic slime and infected men and women alike; the Warrens, a network of aqueducts and tunnels (though their purpose, still unknown) that are now a decrepit sewer of corpses and disease-ridden beastmen known as the Swine; the Cove, a water-logged cave system with pelagic monsters thriving inside; and finally, the castle itself: a hellish pit of devilish fiends and those who worship them, pitch black barring the abyssal flames within. This castle, while being the object of potential fame, has a name.

The name the locals call it, and rightfully so... the


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Week 1

Reynauld arrived back at the mansion after a couple of hours, leading two other individuals through the door: Consourme, a Plague Doctor specialising in alchemy and poisons; and Jean, a Vestal believing in righteousness and justice, purifying the corrupted land.
Dismas looked up as the door creaked open, letting frigid air and the darkness of midnight into the dimly-lit hall. He sheathed his knife, but kept on guard in case these heroes were not who they claimed to be. Reynauld, seeing this while inviting their new guests inside, sighed, his plated armour clinking as it moved from his exhalation.
"Brother, must you be so wary?" inquired Reynauld. He was used to this, as his younger brother was not one of trust; gambling and cheating had gotten to his head. Dismas grunted, crossed his arms and rolled his eyes.
"You know I don't like... them." he said. The elder brother frowned, but left the remark hanging. Their expedition was soon, and they needed all the rest they could get, rather than staying awake all night arguing as usual.

In the morning, Dismas awoke, light streaming through the cracks of the boarded window beside him; the mansion was in poor shape, but fit to live in (albeit with a little cleaning). He rubbed his eyes and went downstairs - he slept in his clothes as rats and bugs were common sights, and similar with their sights, so were their bites (nobody wished to risk a disease). The stairs creaked loudly as he descended, alerting the others to his presence.
"Morning," came a voice to his right. Dismas paused; It was the Vestal in her monk-like robes, holding an open book in one hand. "You look tired."
"I did only just wake up, after all," he replied. He thought that much had been clear, as she must have seen him walk out of his door; evidently not.
"Well, get downstairs, your brother's gone down to the town for some provisions."
Dismas nodded and yawned, stretching his arms and legs. It was due time for their venture.

To the Ruins, their party went, bringing a stack of food, eight torches, a bowl of medicinal herbs and a skeleton key. The Ruins were an unholy place, filled with skeletons and cultists capable of summoning portals to daemons.
In formation, they wandered down corridors, finding gems, gold and... interesting altars, which invigorated them when poured with holy water. And in the next room, was their first battle.

They encountered a cultist acolyte, a skeletal courtier, a skeletal defender and a madman.
The acolyte, taking advantage of the party's surprise, summoned a daemon to pull Jean to the forefront of the battle. It worked... but Reynauld refused to let Jean be in striking range.
Dismas took this opportunity and drew his gun, squinting his eyes and shooting the defender in the spine; the bullet penetrated through the wooden buckler and the minion fell apart, dead (but can you kill that which is already dead? Yes, you can. Apparently). He smirked as Consourme tapped him on the shoulder and praised his aim.
Reynauld fidgeted in place, waiting for the right moment to strike, when he saw a fault in the enemies' formation. Using this, he struck the acolyte in the head with the hilt of his blade, causing the cultist to reel in agony, unable to see straight. He frowned beneath his visor, as the madman's eyes darted around the room, then fixated upon him. Torrents of words flowed from the man's mouth, breathless but somehow understandable accusations causing Reynauld to rethink his conscience, feeling guilty. It weighed on him like an anchor, but he gave it less thought as the battle proceeded.
Jean, noticing a slice in Consourme's robe from the courtier's rusted dagger, used the power of the Light to repair his wound and remove any poisoning that may have occurred. The Plague Doctor glanced back at her and smiled as a sign of thanks; Jean did not react, as Consourme's face was hidden beneath his beak mask. Focusing back on the battle, he tossed a small grenade at the courtier, blighting its bones and corroding them away, leaving another pile of bones on the floor.
The acolyte came to their senses, but did not act, doubting themselves. The madman called to no one in particular about the end of their lives being nigh, but in his time of howling, Dismas stabbed him in the chest, sinking through flesh and grinding against bone. The party still became mildly stressed at his words.
Reynauld, noticing the acolyte's lack of movement, despaired to kill them, but it had to be done - cultists were worshippers of false idols, which was blasphemy and must be punished - and thus, he smote them. The acolyte let out a few ragged gasps as her pulse slowed to a halt.
Their battle ended, and treasure was looted from a locked compartment; the key broke in the process of unlocking, however it yielded heirlooms which would be very useful in renovating and improving the buildings and their reputation with the shopkeeps.

Their quest also ended, so they left the Ruins and returned to Hamlet, bringing their gains with them. A few thousand gold and a total of seventeen heirlooms, most being crests. The party exchanged discussions of excitement, and also stress. What they had seen in the Ruins was not to be disputed - decomposing corpses and live skeletons were definitely something to be concerned of. Dismas had a couple of talks with Reynauld and Consourme, and agreed upon splitting up for a week, leaving them to relieve their stress while Dismas found some more members to join them on their next venture.

Retiring to the mansion once again, prideful of their successful dungeon crawl, Dismas fell slowly into a deep sleep.

Still empty. Isn't that sad.
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