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About Deviant Zachary HendersonMale/United States Recent Activity
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For all of you RPG geeks out there I will simply say this:

If you have not given Dark Souls a try, then do.  If you have played this masterfully constructed work of art, then kudos.  

Below is a brief story I wrote up then submitted to my gaming group for our Pathfinder campaign.  I have based it largely off of the world and lore of Dark Souls, and I find myself thoroughly enjoying the experience of filling in some of the story driven gaps (intentionally left out in the game) to further the lore and characters for my players.  This is one such story, enjoy.

The Infamous Darkwraith:

Those who are wise fear not the dark, but that which resides within....

He rolled beneath the warriors greatsword. That last swing would have taken his head clean off, but he was far too quick. Continuing his movement by rolling to the side then spinning around with a deadly swing of his own, The Knight of Thorns connected for a third time with the armored brute. Nothing. The hit glanced off the tall shield which his imposing foe had swung around just in time to catch the blow. No, this fight was going nothing like the way he had planned. The setting had been perfect, the timing right. So many before this one had fallen prey to his deception and tricks, but not this one. Surrounded by plagued rats, basilisk's, night hounds and those disgusting blobs; this one had just strode through the fray, killing all before him. It seemed impossible that one so strong as this man could be more than a fable, but here he stood and Kirk, The Knight of Thorns, the Infamous Darkwraith was left with a choice. Withdraw, or wait for the lumbering warrior to collapse from his poisoned wounds. It had not been a wholly one sided fight for when Kirk had initially emerged from his concealing shroud, he had landed a solid hit just beneath the brutes Gorget. Minutes had passed and this warrior had shown no effects of the deadly poison that coated the Knight of Thorns notched and gnarled straight sword. What if (by some means) the poison had not taken, what then? That last swing had been closer than the others; either he was slowing down or the brute was catching on to his queer style of fighting. Either way, this fight had gone all wrong... It was time to withdraw.

Another swing from that massive greatsword and Kirk stepped to the side, then forward with an underhand blow from his own small shield, right beneath the helmet. The blow had the desired effect, for the great armored behemoth staggered backward into the filth covered wall just long enough for Kirk to turn and flee back down the narrow passage. The warrior would surely recover quickly but would be hard pressed to catch up. Sure enough, there were cursing's and bellowing's from behind, but only a half hearted attempt to pursue. The warrior must have then just realized what Kirk had known upon entering the contest; pursuit for this one was not an option. Although he seldom had to flee from an encounter, Kirk knew the wisdom of always planning ahead for that eventuality.

Ducking under a low hanging grate, The Knight of Thorns then paused to remove from his gauntlet a small red orb. This he took in his hand and grasping it firmly, spoke the words that would allow him to bend the space between himself and his destination. Blackness enshrouded him and for a time, all was nothingness. Then, just as he felt the panic creeping in, the blackness withdrew and Kirk emerged in the chamber of the Fair Lady and her ever vigilant cripple. He approached the wondrous creature, this Daughter of Chaos and knelt before her. From his satchel he removed three small black sprites and placed them into her outstretched hand. Ever so gracefully, she tightened the fingers of her pale hand around the sprites, then one by one she removed them with the other hand and placed the diminutive creatures within her mouth. One by one she did this and one by one the Humanity of those Kirk had slain was consumed. As always, the meal seemed to give the Fair Lady some small amount of strength. With new vigor, her many limbs stretched and her whole visage took on renewed life but sadly, no amount of the small sprites would ever bring the dozens of eggs that surrounded her back to life.

It was then that the other sister entered the chamber. She was not nearly so graceful as the Fair Lady, but she like Kirk had taken it upon herself to hunt and collect the Humanity from creatures foolish enough to venture into her lair.

"Leave us Darkwraith" said hissed.

An insult in its own way for she knew full well that Kirk had only become one of those cursed creatures to obtain the gifts needed to hunt and procure sustenance for The Fair Lady of Chaos. But there was nothing to be done for it, the other Chaos Witch wished to be alone with her sister and that was that.

It was a shame really that the Fair Lady had not been the stronger of the two. Where she was fair and graceful, her sister was black of hair and her own many segmented limbs were hideous and dark. Her movements were also alarmingly quick and lacking for any kind of grace. Truly a shame, but regardless of this, he (Kirk) would continue his tireless service to his mistress.

The cripple craned his head sideways from underneath the heavy growths and eggs upon his back that brought him to his belly, and gave an approving nod to the traitor Darkwraith as he passed from the room. This one at least understood the sacrifices he had made in order to serve their Fair Lady. That was well.

Once outside, Kirk again grasped the red orb and spoke the words. This was the nature of the thing. A two way road that lead to his prey, then back to his place of origin.... a perfect device for his purposes. Centuries ago, Kirk had sought and approached the great Serpent, Kaath and begged to be brought into the secret order of the life hunters of New Londo, the Darkwraiths. Once he had come into a position of no small repute among his fellow life hunters and received the marvelous red orb as a gift from Kaath, he fled the drowned city and withdrew back to the lair of his true mistress.

The orb came to life with its gentle glow, then came the all encompassing darkness.

Kirk emerged on a balcony overlooking the courtyard within a dilapidated structure. He had been to this place only twice before. It was a dank and depressing structure meant to suck the hope from all those imprisoned within. There, below him now strode four new arrivals to the Asylum. Odd, none of the four appeared to be human. Judging from the respective heights of the four, two were tall, far too tall and the remaining seemed no more in stature than small children. This was an odd bunch, but nonetheless, they were not Hollow, therefore they could still be harvested. Slipping down from off his perch, Kirk strode up behind one of the children... no, this was no child but a little man. The small creature stopped in his tracks, no doubt sensing what he surely could not see. Nevertheless this little man (for man he was) seemed uncommonly nervous. When he turned toward Kirk, there was a shifting of shackles which for some odd reason were worn on the little creatures forearms... an escaped prisoner perhaps. He then beckoned the others of his party to stop, they turned, all looking at, but not seeing the shrouded man standing in their midsts, for he had not yet truly emerged on their plane of reality. It had taken some time to master that little trick of the orb but with it, sneaking up on his prey had become such a remarkable experience.

Quickly and with very little warning of his immanent action, the little man struck out at the place where Kirk stood. Just as quickly, Kirk stepped to the side of his fist only just avoiding the well placed blow. Likely, the attack would have missed anyways, but there was no harm in being careful. The little creature was fast. Walking around the four and relishing the puzzlement on the wretched little things face, as well as the confusion and worry painting the faces of the others, The Knight of Thorns took measure of the group. He was sure he could best any one of them easily, but four? Most pilgrims in Lordran seemed to find some noble honor in traveling alone, why that was, Kirk could never guess. Regardless, these four could prove dangerous unless handled with the utmost care. It mattered little now. He had felt their presence and the orb had drunk of their fear. He would know how to find them again. Perhaps the depths below the old Berg would be just the place to spring his trap. It would have to do for now. The group of travelers were now listening to the worried musings of the little one. That was well. Let them fear the shadows, and the monsters that hunted from within them. With this, The once Darkwraith brought the orb he held up to his lips and whispered the command for travel. Darkness again consumed his form and Kirk thought to himself: "Now, I will hunt"

These new arrivals would meet their ends soon enough. But now, now there were other prey to harvest.

Hope Y'all enjoyed it.  I sure had a ton of fun writing it.


zhenderson's Profile Picture
Zachary Henderson
United States
Well, you navigated to this page and are reading this text, so obviously you want to know more about me. Here is the meat of it.

I am a married man with a toddler son. I am from California, but have been living in Reno Nevada for some time now. This is where the work is, What is work you ask? I am a GPS / GIS specialist working in the mining industry. I know, I know, I am one of those barbarians helping to disfigure mother earth. So to all the yuppies out there who feel this way I ask; is there a one of you who is willing to part with their home, shoes, automobile (or bicycle if that is your style...props), or God forbid their iPhone? In short, all advanced civilization that ever has been and ever will be requires mining (and lots of it). Now then, if you still think my line of work horrible, that's is cool by me. just think of it then as a necessary evil.

In my spare time when I am not pursuing my artistic endeavors, I enjoy a variety of indoor and outdoor activities. I will of course start with said activities that are culturally acceptable for a man my age. Hiking, camping, soccer, tennis, long strolls on the beach, paintballing, definitely NOT snowsports, skeet shooting is a blast, & some water-sports. As for my more nefarious hobbies, the top of the list would have to be video games, followed closely by tabletop gaming (yes kids that means Dungeons & Dragons and other such related games). I always love a good movie or to catch a live show. I have really enjoyed the broadway shows I have seen and plan to see a bunch more.

Now, onto the important stuff. I am an artist, better than some, worse than others. It is my passion, my love, and what I am best at. I have done a lot in my 29 years and have much good to say for my life thus far. Yet with all that I have done, I have never truly pursued my greatest talent. Sure I went to school and studied art with the intention of a degree, but I quickly discovered that to be a waste of my time. It took relentless nagging on the part of my wife, and my older brother showing me the intoxicating world of commercial art for me to finally get my act together. This here is my first foray into the big world I have been avoiding all my life. Now sit back, and enjoy the fruits of my labour. It has been a long time coming.

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Add a Comment:
zhenderson Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013
Not a problem.
OMG! You have a similar name as my little brother! XD
except its Zakary Henson. (:
zhenderson Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2013
Oh my, that is similar.
LJEKC Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013
Welcome to Fantasy-NPC :)
zhenderson Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013
Why thank you. Happy to contribute
BenjaminSorrow Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Hey, I was wondering if you could check out my first bit of transformers digital art? Its only my second piece of digital art so its not even close to your standard of work. But your feedback would be much appreciated, thanks! (by the way you can delete this comment after you have seen it if you want, i'm not trying to advertise on your page at all)
zhenderson Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012
Conceptually, I would say it is solid. The shading is well done, good line work, and original. If this is really only your second attempt at digital art, then bravo! Stay on it, this is the sort of thing that only gets better the more you do it.
BenjaminSorrow Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Thanks man, i really appreciate your feedback!
zhenderson Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2012
No problem. Looking forward to seeing more of your work.
(1 Reply)
Darthmezcal Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Okay, dude, I just checked out your website, and IT IS AWESOME! Your work is amazing! Beings like you (yes, I just said beings) are who I aspire to be like.

Seriously, awesome work.

Oh, and the music was a very nice touch. :)
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