We hope you’ve been enjoying the new cards and strategies that Dark Rages brings to the table for the Nightfall game. Now, we present to you the final conclusion to the Dark Rages story! Enjoy!
Night on the Water, Part 3
Continued from Nightfall: Dark Rages
Now available at the AEG store or a retailer near you.
Jarek was still entangled in ghouls. He had dispatched dozens of them by this point, their nails and teeth being largely useless for anything other than tearing his hardened deadened skin, something he had learned to treat as armor for the more important muscles underneath.
He hadn’t seen what the humans were doing, so the first explosion caught him off guard. A deafening roar and a magnificent orange light shot out directly in front of the cathedral. It had exploded in mid-air before hitting the water, the shockwave blew several nearby ghouls to pieces and sent molten plastic shrapnel in all directions. Fire was everywhere. Then another explosion, this one at the far end of the building, then another.
Jarek was able to shake free of the remaining ghouls assailing him during their distraction. When the last two improvised bombs exploded outside the basilica, he saw the bronze doors open.
Four figures darted through the flames and made a break for the canal. Jarek had figured out their escape plan. With a little bit of space between him and the nearest ghouls, he swung his arms in wide arcs, laying flat anything he hit. He started jogging, using his weight to trample any unfortunate thing that lay beneath him, his arms cutting a swath through dead flesh like a scythe through so much wheat.
He drew closer to the open doors and three more men exited. One of them splashed a foot in the burning oil and spattered himself with flames. Ignoring his burning leg, he ran on. Then a bald man burst through a wall of fire as well. For a moment he hesitated, looking at Jarek, then he motioned for Jarek to follow.
Jarek turned, then stumbled as five ghouls slammed into him from behind in an attempt to knock him down. Staggered, he turned and lashed out reflexively. Then suddenly they stopped attacking, turned their heads to the right in unison, and slunk away.
Jarek searched the darkness in the direction they were heading, and he saw it. In the doorway of the bell tower stood another necromancer, with the same black robes, the same vile sneer on his face. He had probably been commanding the mob from the vantage of the tower, but had come down to deal with Jarek personally. Little did he know the mind-control hex would no longer work.
Jarek managed a grin and moved toward the warlock who stretched out his hand with a wicked incantation on his lips. Jarek braced himself to resist—but this was a different spell, the necromancer’s spell spun past him to the canal. Three men rose from the water, all dressed in military garb. They were fresh… their flesh wasn’t so soft, their bones not so brittle, their speed almost human; and they had weapons, two held rifles with bayonets attached and one had a sword of some kind.
The nearest one lunged and slashed at Jarek with a bayonet, cutting him above the knee. Jarek stumbled backwards, the wall of flame still roaring behind him. He was running out of room to retreat, but he’d have to stay out of the reach of their blades. The newly-risen kept closing, thrusting, slashing, driving him backwards. Then the one on the left got too close, when he lunged with his bayonet, Jarek grabbed the rifle and yanked it out of the soldier’s hands, then swatted the zombie in the head with the butt, felling it. Jarek stepped on the zombie he had just knocked down, crushing the unlife from it. Then with a quick downward slash he buried the bayonet in another one’s skull. The zombie fell lifeless, but took Jarek’s gun with it.
Now only the one with the sword remained. When it stabbed at him, Jarek took a gamble and with a massive hand grabbed the sword and yanked. The gamble paid off; the sword was a rapier, bereft of sharp edges; the ghoul stumbled into him and Jarek picked it up by the throat and tossed it into the fire behind. The necromancer’s sneer had grown more sinister, his ringside seats had not been worth the price of admission. With a motion he commanded a wave of ghouls to the offensive once more.
As the dead shambled toward Jarek the necromancer turned to flee up the stairs to his dark chapel high above the city. Before he could give chase, Jarek saw a pike pierce the sorcerer in his left side, bringing him to his knees. A human—a mortal— stepped out of the darkness; short though he was, he now towered over this doubled-over worm. He pulled the pike out and spat on the necromancer before swiftly driving the pike through the necromancer’s heart.
The man turned to face Jarek, smiling, but his smile immediately vanished as he saw Jarek clench his fist to strike. Jarek thrust his fist just past the man’s shoulder, striking another ghoul before it had a chance to sink its teeth into his soft flesh. The man blinked in amazement, and stood in awe as Jarek crushed a few more ghouls shielding the mortal behind his bulk.
Finally the remaining ghouls on the piazza were ambling around mindlessly, viewing Jarek as one of them, and not food. The necromancer’s spell was finally broken. Jarek turned to face the mortal and nodded warily.
The mortal smiled at his new friend. “Good work,” he said in Italian, “but let’s get out of here.” He extended his hand. “They call me Torero Ocho.”
One of his personalities understood the man. “I am called Jarek,” he replied in Italian, heavy with an British accent. The sound of his own deep voice startled him; it occurred to him this was the first time he’d ever spoken. Taking Torero Ocho’s hand awkwardly and attempting to be gentle he gave it one shake. “Good to meet you,” he added after a pause.
“Thanks for saving me, and my men.” Torero Ocho said. “Now let’s go to Rome.”
With that, Torero Ocho turned and trotted to the quay in search of a boat big enough for the two of them. There were plenty around, and from the looks of things, nobody in Venice was going to miss them.