"Get a Move on you Miserable Creature!"
Krgatha, the old mage, grabbed his ferox companion by the scruff of the neck and pushed him forward down the caverns. The otherwise nimble minion to stumble a bit. Krgatha adjusted the obsidian amulet that hung heavy around his neck and scratched at his unkempt beard. It was hot here. He had thought the approach to these chambers had been bad. His ragged robes weren't much protection against the cold winds that tumbled around him during that climb. But now as he stood there panting in the muggy heat of this cave, he was looking forward to the hike back down.
They were approaching a fork in the path. The Ferox waved his torch around in the darkness trying to get a sense for what lay in store for them in either passage. Krgatha took a greasy sleeve to his forehead before retrieving a map. After a moment, he kicked the green-haired gremlin towards the left side and continued deeper into the caverns...the sound of his staff echoing off the walls as it struck the pavement in time with his gait.
They had been traveling by torch-light for nearly 6 hours. The damp air was getting warmer and Krgatha's companion began to complain about the large packs he was hauling. The heat had sapped Krgatha's energies to the point that the didn't care to discipline his servant.
The two travelers continued in this way until the narrow passage opened up into a small grotto. Pools of fetid water were strewn about the pockmarked floor. Moss and lichen of all colors crawled along the walls and ceiling. The temperature in the room swelled and the air was filled with sound. Such a strange sound. a rhythmic wind that rose and fell...like breathing.
Krgatha looked around and as he did, his eyes grew wide and excited. He tore some tattered cloth from his robes and used it as a rag to scrub some of the growth from the walls. The Ferox grew nervous. His eyes shifting to and fro as he drew back into the shadows along the cave walls.
Krgatha chuckled with glee. Ancient runes had appeared beneath slimy cave-moss. A yellow, and cracked fingernail danced between symbols and a mouth parched, and dry, whispered incantations for rituals not heard in thousands of years. There was a moment of stillness. Krgatha stumbled backwards a few steps, splashing through the ponds and puddles. A tremor moved through the mountains then. A steady vibration that sent pebbles and boulders crashing down around them. Then the floor gave way. A yawning crevasse tore the floor apart and sent both the mage and the creature tumbling down into a hidden chamber below.
Krgatha howled with pain. His brittle old bones did not hold up well in the fall. He lay there fractured and helpless, tangled up in the boulders that had half swallowed him. He called out the his servant and was relieved to see the agile little beast bound across the rocks towards him. The Ferox looked down upon his fallen master with curiosity.
"Help me, damnit!" Krgatha cried, "The potions! Get me the potions stored in your pack."
His voice sounded so small inside this enormous chamber. The heat here was so intense that it felt almost as heavy as the piece of mountain that had fallen down on top of him.
The Ferox hesitated first, than rummaged through the pack and produced two glass vials of purple potion -- Potions that would return his master to full strength and allow him to finish his mission here. The Ferox dashed the vials against the rocks. They shattered and the precious liquids splattered across the ground. The mage let out a whimper and then, in a desperate attempt at revenge, pointed a finger at his servant and began to chant. He was cut short. The Ferox leaped at him. Tooth and claw tore into his flesh. The Ferox looked down at the man who was his master and than bent down to take the obsidian necklace that lay across his chest.
As Krgatha lay there dying, he saw a huge serpentine shape rise up behind his murderer. It was the great Wyrm. The reason he had come all this way. The reason he had taken this route to the Mountains of Despair. He wished terrrible things on his servant just before passing.
A low hissing voice rumbled through the cavern.
"Whhhhho Staaaaaandss Befoooore Meeeeeee?"
The Ferox, placed the obsidian amulet around his neck and stepped forward to meet his new master.
"Ancient one...I..." His voice was high and thin. It trembled as he spoke. "I...am Adepa. I have come to set you free."
The Wyrm's great head swooped down closer to Adepa.
"Yooooouuuu Posessssssssss Myyyyyy SSSSSSSSSeeeeeeaaaal. Myyyyyy Obsidiaaaaaaaaan Maaaaaaark."
"Yes! Yes and I have used it. Used it to bring you forth into this world again."
The Wyrm took a moment to ponder this small creature. This gremlin who seemed so weak. So pitiful.
"Than....." Said the Wyrm, "You Shaaaaaall Beeeee My Messssssssenger."
Adepa bounded excitedly down the pathway. "It has begun!" he giggled, "It's Time!". The amulet bounced upon his chest as he ran. He turned a corner and ran into a tall creature. A beastman with a thick mane of brown hair and strange tattoos along his arms. Adepa always had trouble understanding the beastmen. Their over sized jaws made their lips useless for speech.
"Wea Hab You Been Adepa?" The Beastman Snarled.
"I'm doing my master's bidding" Adepa snapped, while nervously fondling his prized amulet. "Besides, don't act so cross...It's finally begining!"
The beastman snorted, "Da writua. Da one da monks upstairs do, Hab we stopped dem? Hab we killed dem?"
"Ahhh..." Adepa looked crestfallen suddenly, "No. No we came close. The Paladins that guard the Monastery above were lazy and fat from years of peace. We dispatched them easily enough. But just before we could dispose of the monks a group of Heroes burst in. I swear that our lookouts in Starfall Forest must have been blind and deaf. These 4 men were not what you would call subtle."
"Wha' of da Sum-mon-ing, Wha' of da deamon lord?"
"Our people in the Monastary were killed. They were stupid and they were killed." Adepa spat.
The Beastman stroked his beard and said nothing, waiting for Adepa to continue.
"One of the Heroes...he's a big man! Fierce and strong. He has the mark of the bear, holding all our forces at bay. They have an old wizard with them as well and he has a deadly weapon in the form of rune. At one moment a horde of our brothers were running at our enemy, but this old man activated a rune. There was a brilliant flash of light, and than all our men were dead. Charred corpses splayed out all over the stone tiles of the monastary."
The Beastman let out a sigh, "And tha Dogs? Wha' Abou' Our Pups?"
"Ha!" laughed Adepa, "useless. They bounded towards the monks with all kinds of enthusiasm. They burped out a fireball or two before being easily slaughtered. The Heroes have a sharpshooter among them. The bowman turned our pups into pin cushions. We had to retreat. Enough monks have survived to keep the demon lord in his place beyond the ether.
"Why" growled the beastman, "are you so preased wit yo' shelf?"
"Because when the heroes went beneath the monastary, and discovered the ancient places there, their fortunes changed."
The Beastman smiled..."My brutha Vell-ah-fo".
"Vellafor and his golden mask, yes. The Heroes were not prepared for what your brother had in store for them. At first though things seemed bleak for our cause. Landrec...that old wizard with his cused rune...he destroyed another fine group of our comrades. They were all clamoring over one another it try and expel the invaders. Landrec blasted them all in a single second...Pathetic."
"So How Wa' He Stopped?"
"Well" said the Ferox grinning, "That's where _I_ come in."
The Beastman's eyes flashed to the obsidian amulet around Adepa's neck and the Ferox chuckled, "Our lord and master gave me the power to invade Landrec's mind. Through this dark mark I was able to turn this great weapon against our enemies. Landrec managed to blast himself and 2 of his companions into oblivion! It was then that your brother moved against the party. He and his followers humbled their strong man, who retreated to a far corner to nurse his wounds. You should see how quickly courage leaves a man who finds himself bleeding to death!"
The beastman laughed.
"With the strong man no longer an obstacle to our forces we swarmed the magic user and the sharpshooter. Again and again we defeated them. It was glorious. Traps were sprung, blood was shed. In fact my own cousin and his gang were summoned to the battle. They did quite a bit of damage."
"So We hab Won! De intooders hab left!"
"No." Said Adepa and hesitated.
"No?" growled the beastman.
"The overlord has won some great victories today. The great wyrm continues to feed off of each defeat we deliver to these heroes. But our enemies our strong. Eventually my cousin was overpowered and defeated...as was...as was your brother."
The beastman was very still. There was rage behind his red eyes, but he did not howl. He did not yell.
"Den dey are coming." Said the beastman softly, "Dees Heros. Dey are coming here."
"Yes" said Adepa.
The beastman snarled and took a deep breath, "Den we must be red-dee to greet dem."
- Last edited Sat Jul 12, 2008 8:32 am (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Sat Jul 12, 2008 2:31 am
The toastest with the mostest
Very nice. So it's a wyrm then? That should prove to be quite the challenge.