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The putrid stench of decay and the sickening crunch of bone underfoot hung heavy in the air. Valena, a human fighter with arms built like seasoned oak and a mane of fire-red hair, surveyed the carnage before her. The cobbled street was a gruesome tapestry of slain undead and broken weapons. Her warhammer, "Red Rust," dripped a viscous green ichor that glinted wickedly in the flickering torchlight.

Their mercenary company, the "Steel Ravens," had been hired by a desperate baron to clear a zombie infestation from the plague-stricken town square. Valena, hardened by years of war and a turbulent past, never took these jobs lightly. Zombies were more than mindless shambling corpses; they were relentless and infectious, and underestimating them could mean a swift and horrifying demise.

Today, however, despite the overwhelming stench of victory, a nagging unease gnawed at Valena. The zombie resistance had been too fierce, too coordinated for such a disorganized horde. As she scanned the fallen bodies, she spotted it – a crudely stitched symbol adorning a tattered shirt clinging to a particularly large, muscular zombie. It was the mark of the Boneweaver, a notorious necromancer known for his twisted experiments and insatiable hunger for power.

"Looks like we weren't just fightin' your average stiffs," muttered Borin, a gruff dwarf warrior wiping glistening green ichor from his axe. Valena nodded, a grim smile twisting her lips. Boneweaver involvement meant this was a bigger fight than just a coin purse. He was likely using the zombies as pawns, a horrifying distraction for some larger plan.

Before she could dwell on it, a bloodcurdling shriek echoed from the town square's edge. A young archer, barely past his teens, lay sprawled on the ground, a hulking Crypt Guardian, its decaying flesh barely clinging to its massive frame, looming over him with a bone-gnawing grin. The Crypt Guardian, its vacant eyes glowing a sickly green, raised a jagged femur for the kill.

Red fury boiled in Valena's chest. With a primal roar that echoed through the deserted square, she charged. Red Rust became a blur, a crimson comet arcing through the fetid air. The Crypt Guardian, caught off guard by the sudden attack, barely had time to raise its bony club before Valena's warhammer slammed into its chest cavity. The impact sent it flying backwards, its rotten flesh spraying across the cobblestones with a sickening thud.

The remaining zombies, momentarily stunned by their leader's demise, moaned and shuffled forward with renewed hunger. Valena met them head-on, a whirlwind of steel and fury. Her years of training, her countless battles, all came into play. She parried bone-chilling claws, deflected fetid lunges, her every move a testament to her honed skill and unwavering spirit.

The fight was brutal, a desperate struggle for survival in the decaying town square. Valena felt a searing pain on her arm, a zombie's rotting teeth sinking into her flesh. But she ignored it, her focus laser-sharp. One by one, the undead fell – some at Valena's hand, others under the relentless attacks of her companions.

The last zombie stood swaying, its vacant eyes glazed over. Valena lowered her warhammer, the flickering torchlight reflecting off the red-stained metal. She pulled from her belt pouch a scroll of speak with dead. "Where is the Boneweaver?" she growled, her voice laced with ice.

The zombie gurgled and moaned, its desiccated vocal cords failing to produce a coherent response. "C-catacombs... beneath... church..." Before it could utter another word, Valena's fist connected with its jaw, sending its head snapping back before it crumpled to the ground, finally still.

Valena straightened. Her ragged breath fogging the cold air. She had won the battle, but the war was far from over. The Boneweaver waited, Valena, wouldn't rest until his threat was extinguished. With a grim smile, she looked at her companions, their faces etched with weariness and victory in equal measure. "Steel Ravens," she bellowed, her voice ringing loud and proud, "we've got some catacombs to explore."

Fighter Class Dice

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