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Prelude - Part III

by Michael Mayr 4 months ago in Horror
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More memories and More musings

The undersea grotto was warm and humid. Skarrigg still felt the pressure of being this far underwater and it gave him a low grade, yet still very unpleasant, headache. He stood there surrounded by a dozen piscine-like humanoids, they had stood at least a half foot taller than the average human male, but were far heavier, with thick muscular frames, That were covered in blue-green scales. They had come at him with claws outstretched and jagged fangs bared. However, they had come at him as a mob, a fatal mistake on their part, as he had torn through them like a hot knife through butter.

Now after the brief violence, the only apparent sound was the burning steaming crackle of Skarrigg’s black blade, as killing frost met volcanic flame in a constant sizzle like a hot iron plunged into a bucket of ice. The smell of the mostly stagnant water competed with the stink of burning fish from the rent corpses on the ground.

“I hate that stink.” Skarrigg grumbled aloud.

Which stink my son? The voice asked in Skarrigg’s mind.

“That disgusting fish stink. I hate fish. What are these damned things?” Skarrigg growled.

They are the descendants of humanity. Altered by their masters, the dreaded aboleth.

“What!? These things were once men?” Skarrigg exclaimed.

Not them per se, but their ancestors were. Altered by alchemical and eldritch processes. They are the warrior slaves of those who rule the world of the darkland seas. The voice instructed. These were unarmed, so I do not think they were guards, most likely workers or idle slaves. But we should move.

“What are these creatures you mentioned, these, what did you call them? These ‘aboleth’?” Skarrigg walked into the passage ways as he and the voice conversed.

The aboleth are the first intelligent species of this world. And many others for that matter. It is believed they actually emigrated across the planes from a doomed world. They ruled, some say still rule, vast kingdoms in the realms below. And it was the aboleth that advanced humanity to the heights it experienced under Azlant and Thassilon. Then they destroyed them.

“Destroyed them? How?” He questioned.

Earthfall. It was the aboleth who brought down the mountain from the sky that destroyed so much. However, I think they did their work too well. They too suffered its after effects.

“But what are these aboleth like? How would I recognize one if I saw it?”

Oh, you will know one if you see one my son! To your eyes it would appear as a great fish. With several octopoid tentacles and three dark red eyes.

“They sound…horrific.”

Believe me, they are. And not just in form. These beings are creatures of psychic might. Avoid them if you can, my son. They are not to be trifled with.

As if on cue, Skarrigg stopped. He had heard something ahead of him. A scrape? He wasn't sure. Trouble, my son. Prepare yourself! The voice warned.

Walking from the shadows were four more of the piscine-like hominids. Unlike the previous group, these were armed with odd multi-pronged spears, and wore a type of bluish-green shell armor, which contrasted with their dark greenish-brown scaled hides.

“These must be the guards you spoke of…” Skarrigg muttered before speaking the word that caused his blade to burst into steam with a din like ice poured on a red hot anvil.

Unlike their fellows these fish-folk advanced more cautiously, the first pair tried to flank him left and right, while the third advanced forward - the fourth hung back, not wanting to “clog'' their advance. The one on Skarrigg’s left struck an instant before his fellows, and the odd spear connected with thick plate armor on Skarrigg's left side yet failed to penetrate. The central fish-warrior stabbed higher, hitting Skarrigg on the upper right chest plate, several inches below the collar bone. Again, the spear failed to penetrate the heavily enchanted plate, but it struck with considerable force and Skarrigg grunted in pain, knowing there would be a bruise there later. The third guard missed his target entirely much to its chagrin.

Skarrigg swung his left arm out with great force, connecting on the side of the left fish warrior's head with the dinner-plate sized black iron buckler he wore strapped to his left forearm. While certainly not a killing blow, this was forceful enough for his foe to stumble away shaking his head. Skarrigg swung his blade one handed at the central fish-man, aiming for his foe’s throat. However, the damp stone floor caused him to slip slightly and his swing was about half a foot higher than intended and his sword caught the hapless creature in its face, entering where the “hinge” of its jaw met its skull, and continued its stroke through its face, exiting from the left side. The fish-warrior screeched horribly through its ruined mouth and dropped to its knees.

The rightmost warrior jumped back a step while the fourth warrior charged forward. However, Skarrigg did the unexpected and attacked the reeling warrior to his left before it could recover. Skarrigg’s overhand chop caught his foe unaware and entered from where its left shoulder met its neck and continued through its lung and heart. Using his terrible strength, Skarrigg twisted the body to his right to use as a possible shield.

He need not have bothered however as when the fourth warrior ran past it’s mortally wounded fellow on the ground, that one desperately grabbed at its leg, distracting him from his charge long enough for him to be forced to kick its hand away.

Meanwhile the “rightmost” fishman threw his spear at Skarrigg’s exposed face. Skarrigg saw the cast at the last instant and jerked his head to the left, the spear traced a bloody path across the right side of his face and the bottom of his ear. Skarrigg swore “bastard! That could have taken my eye! Do you think I want to look more like my son-of-a-bitch father!?” As he pushed the corpse off of his steaming sword onto the distracted warrior knocking him into the dying fishman on the ground where all three collapsed into a jumbled heap.

The “rightmost” fish warrior saw an enraged armored Skarrigg holding his black steaming sword in a two-handed grip. The warrior considered fleeing - but just for a brief, fleeting moment. The conditioning of its master was too strong. He reached for a discarded spear on the ground, and it was that brief, fleeting moment that sealed his doom, as Skarrigg’s steaming black blade split the fish-man’s head in two diagonally from the upper left to the lower right.

Skarrigg turned from his victim before either part of him had hit the ground. The last fish warrior was trying to disentangle himself from his fallen fellows, Skarrigg did not give him the grace to do so, as he slashed from left to right, decapitating the hapless warrior. Skarrigg looked upon his grim handiwork and saw that the first foe was still alive and suffering. Skarrigg, while a rage filled, and hateful being filled with wrath, had some pity, and took up a fallen spear ended the fish-man’s pain.

Quickly my son, before more arrive, we must find the stone.

“Again, that fucking stink.” Skarrigg grumbled and turned away.

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It sat in the null-vault. Like it had sat for an age. Of course, age was an empty term in this no place. Time did not exist here, in this vault, this…prison. And of course, that is why It was here. Its mind was damaged…shattered. Splintered by eldritch power during the battle with the Green Mage, and the horrible thing, the weapon, he had used against them. That is why It’s fellows confined It here. First, as a guardian of the things hidden in this vault. Second, and in a way more important, to stop It from spreading the mind damage that afflicted It, to Them. And lastly, because if It was out of sight, It was out of mind.

Outside of the vault there were the remnants of Its slave soldiers. With each generation, less were born, and those were less advanced with each successive birthing. It was as if the broken condition of their master had “leaked” into their bloodline. Yet there were still a fair number of these degraded “skum” outside the null-vault.

And on a makeshift throne, sat the chieftain of these slave-soldiers. Named Lotathaa, he was a massive being. As large as an ogre, and clad in enchanted shell armor, crafted from a great blue crab, and carved with magical glowing runes in ages past. Lotathaa spent most of his days seated on his throne, dreaming dark dreams of near forgotten millennia. Rising only to feed, or to mate, or occasionally to take up arms against half-remembered foes that would surface in his mind, images of a dreaded, green-cloaked wizard and the wizard’s minions, and Lotathaa would rise from his throne and take up his great iron mace that was larger than a man was tall. A mace encrusted with barnacles and the blood and brains of Lotathaa’s “enemies”.

After which Lotathaa would return to his dreams on his throne. And so it had gone for 2,000 years…

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Skarrigg advanced quickly and without resistance through the undersea halls. Once in a while he saw a shadow or even one of the degenerate fish-folk, but they fled at his approach. “Honestly, I expected more resistance than this.” He commented.

Be careful what you wish for. The voice responded. However, I must admit, I too am surprised at the lack of enemies. Hopefully they are not gathering their forces in front of our objective.

“And what is our objective? And don’t tell me the stone. I know that.” Skarrigg growled sarcastically.

As I told you before this place is an ancient hidden vault. The voice managed to sound annoyed as it explained itself again.

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Skarrigg briefly recalled the long journey from the ancient mountain fortress to the coast. Hiring a ship and crew. There seemed to be one waiting for them, a small worn down galley called the Wave Raven. A somewhat pretty name for such an ugly barge of a ship, Skarrigg thought. Ugly, just like its captain. A highly scarred and weathered half-orc woman, missing her right leg. Captain Duzharak.

“We are at year service Lord”. She had said, with an almost awe in her voice. Or at least Skarrigg had thought he had heard such.

“I am not your Lord. I am no one’s lord! I am Skarrigg.” He grumbled.

“Oh yes, You are known to us, the Skull Splitter”. She began.

“Do you mock me?” Skarrigg asked, his tone rising.

“Oh…no, mighty one…” Duzharak replied, fear in her eyes and concern in her voice.

Skarrigg my son. Just tell her to sail due west and we will reach our destination within four hours. When she objects - and she will - tell her we will encounter a fog bank. Inside is our destination.

Skarrigg relayed the information. And it was as the voice said, Captain Duzharak insisted there was nothing but open sea. Yet they set sail as ordered and three hours later they arrived at a mysterious fog bank. At the center of which was a small barren island. The only apparent structure on which was the ruins of a small lighthouse.

It was this lighthouse that contained a teleportation circle, or a waypoint to the undersea grotto...

And my son, I believe that at the center of this place there is an actual pocket dimension. It is in this pocket dimension we will find the next stone. My Son, are you not paying attention?

“What? Of course, I am! Pocket dimension, next stone.” Skarrigg angrily responded.

Good, my Son. Because we are nearly there.

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The tunnel opened into a large, cavernous grotto that could be described as a “peninsula”. A walkway that ended in the center of the roughly circular cavern with a rune-carved pillar that extended to the ceiling, the walkway was surrounded by nearly still water, and the grotto was strangely lit by luminous fungus that revealed this eldritch scene. In front of the pillar was a massive “throne” constructed from some sort of bone, seated upon it was a massive fishman clad in shell armor that was carved with magical glowing runes. Around the throne were four other fishfolk. Two were clad in shell armor, one wielded one of the odd spears that Skarrigg had encountered previously, while the other hefted an actual trident. Both stepped on oddly shaped boards, which levitated them three feet into the air, as soon as they noticed Skarrigg entering the grotto.

The other two fishfolk were larger than any of the others that Skarrigg had seen - with the exception of the massive “lord” on its throne. However, they were unarmored and unarmed. One, the smaller of the two, ran to the massive one on the throne and started to pull on it’s right arm. While the other picked up a trident from the floor and moved to the water’s edge.

My son, we have arrived.

“I see that. I assume the pillar is our destination?” Skarrigg asked.

Yes, indeed. But we seem to have one final trial to reach it. There are things in the water. Many things, but they are small and weak. I believe they are hatchlings, the young of these creatures. I doubt they will be a threat. However, the giant on the throne? That one…it seems completely unaware of us…of anything as matter of fact. Skarrigg had stopped wondering how the Voice knew these things and took it at its word.

Just then, the two armored fishmen on the floating boards started speeding toward him, their intentions clear.

“Well, at least the smell of the water will cover the stink of the fish.” Skarrigg said as his sword burst into steam.

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Ithaqui had dreamed of and dreaded this day for a long time. The destroyer had finally come. And it was to be the end of their world. She saw the last two warriors speed on their boards toward the Destroyer, clad in black steel and carrying the evil sword of fire and ice. And she watched Sardisna try to awake Lotathaa. She knew this to be a fool’s errand. For Lotathaa was lost in old glories and tragedies and was as deadly to them as the Destroyer could be.

No, her duty was to the children. Those already born and those yet to be born, So she grabbed a trident and made ready to dive into the waves. Legends of a Master waiting in the Utopia of the Null Place? Those legends be damned.

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The board riders covered the distance to Skarrigg in mere moments. As they came closer, Skarrigg saw the one on the right - the spear-wielder - had a small, nearly useless third-arm growing from his right side, and that the other appeared to be missing its left eye - not a wound, but it was actually missing, Not even a socket.

Interestingly, these creatures seem to have fallen to deformity. The Voice commented.

“Oh yes. I will store that for a conversation topic.” Skarrigg retorted sarcastically.

The first board - Three-Arms - was upon him, with One-Eye an instant behind. And Skarrigg did the unexpected. He rolled forward. Under their attacks The board-riders attempted to circle back to him, but they were not coordinated, with Three-Arms turning left, and One-Eye turning right - this caused them to collide, knocking one off of his board.

Skarrigg quickly jumped to his feet and struck at Three-Arms’ board with a mighty two-handed chop. The blow severed Three-Arms’ left foot a few inches above the ankle and proceeded to cut the board in two. Three-Arms screamed in agony and horror as he fell to the ground. And Skarrigg was on him an instant, ending him with a quick, decapitating stroke.

Beware my son! The Voice screamed as One-Eye sprung upon Skarrigg. Stabbing him multiple times with his trident. Two blows were solid hits into Skarrigg’s right flank, and though they failed to penetrate his enchanted plate. He felt both hits keenly.

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Sardisna desperately tried to rouse Lotathaa: “Awaken mighty one! To war! For your son’s battle alone!” She cried in Aquan.

Sardisna then turned to Ithaqui and screamed: “Help me!”

Ithaqui responded without looking at her: “All things must change. The Destroyer has come, and he will change everything.”

“Damn you!” Sardisna shouted as she dragged Lotathaa’s great black mace to him.

“Awaken Lord! Your time is now! To War!” She pleaded again.

Lotathaa’s eyes seem to focus on her. “War? Has the Green Magi returned?” he asked her.

“Yes! Yes! The Green One is back. Now we shall be avenged. You shall have your justice!” Sardisna told him.

“WAR! VENGEANCE!” Lotathaa roared as he grabbed the black, barnacle covered mace as he leapt up and prepared to charge. Unfortunately, Sardisna stood in front of him and he looked upon with eyes lost in a time two millennia past, and crushed her with a great two-handed blow, bellowing “GREEN ONE!” in Aquan as he did so.

Ithaqui saw her sister’s death, and while she was numb with shock, she was not surprised at the outcome. “He will indeed change everything. Even if Lotathaa is victorious, nothing will be the same. And my duty is to the future, not the past.” She said to her sister’s butchered remains as she jumped into the water.

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One-Eye stabbed forward with his trident again. However, this time Skarrigg was ready for him. Stepping to his right, putting himself in One-Eye’s blind spot, Skarrigg used his buckler to deflect the trident and stepped inside One-Eye’s, swinging his blackblade one handed, caught One-Eye through the throat, severing his windpipe, and the arteries and veins in his neck. The fishman dropped his weapon and fell to his knees. Grasping his throat and trying to catch the breath that would not come. However, the dual burning and freezing effects of the sword cauterized the great wound and there was little blood.

Skarrigg finished his foe with a two-handed diagonal strike which decapitated One-Eye just as he heard the great behemoth roar and looked up seeing it charge his way.

“What is he saying!” Skarrigg asked out loud.

It is in Aquan, He is screaming ‘Green Magi and Green One" over and over again. Beware my son, despite its addled mind. This is a mighty foe! The Voice warned, concern evident in its tone.

Skarrigg looked down at his black armor and commented: "I think he has me confused with someone else."

Lotathaa arrived in a dead charge, but Skarrigg struck faster with a two handed slash from right to left across the fishman’s midsection. However, the enchanted crab-shell armor was strong. Very strong. And even though the steaming blade penetrated it and drew blood it was not the disemboweling stroke that Skarrigg had hoped for.

Lotathaa also swung horizontally from right to left and caught Skarrigg under his left arm. Skarrigg felt his ribs break and bones enter his lung as he was lifted into the air and thrown several feet to the ground! He dropped his blade from nerveless fingers and landed at the water’s edge.

Skarrigg! Move! The Voice screamed into his mind as Lotathaa advanced toward Skarrigg.

“GREEN ONE! DIE!” Lotathaa roared as he brought the huge mace down. Skarrigg rolled to his left and screamed in pain right before the mace hit the walkway and cracked the ground.

Skarrigg rolled again over a weapon and grabbed it with his right hand. Lotathaa raised his mace to strike again and repeated his roaring cry: “GREEN MAGI! DIE!” as he brought the mace down, Skarrigg pulled up the weapon, One-Eye’s trident, and in desperation stabbed upward. The trident caught Lotathaa in the face as he was coming down, the central prong caught Lotathaa in his left eye, and the leftmost prong stabbed him through the forehead. Lotathaa stopped in mid swing, and stumbled back several steps, pulling the trident from Skarrigg’s hand.

Lotathaa pulled the trident from his face - and his left eye, as well as bits of brain came with it. He then made a stumbling walk back to his makeshift throne, sat down, and died.

During this Skarrigg had picked up the sword and coughed up blood from his damaged lung, before saying: “how is it…still alive?”

The Creator knows, my Son. After they watched the massive fishman expire, the Voice continued: My son, are you all right?

“I just need a few moments to rest…” Skarrigg said painfully. And then he promptly lost consciousness.

My son? Skarrigg! The Voice nearly “shouted”. It knew that Skarrigg was gravely injured and would die without aid. It then used its powers to knit the torn flesh and broken bones of its “son”. This would take time, but it had waited millennia to acquire the stones, and it had never come so close as now. So a few more hours would not trouble it, no not at all.

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Skarrigg awoke coughing - a lot, as his lungs still had a bit of blood in them. “How…how long was I out?” He asked.

Welcome back my Son. Not long. Not long at all.

Skarrigg looked at the bodies of the fallen, noticing the blood pools, and condition of the corpses. He knew the Voice was being ‘less than truthful’. But kept his own council.

Now my son, if you are well, we must enter this vault. I do not know what we will encounter. So prepare yourself.

“How will we get inside?” Skarrigg said. “I see no doors.”

Take me closer, I need to examine the runes on the pillar.

Skarrigg did so and stood quietly until the Voice addressed him. My son cut the hand off of that big brute sitting dead on his throne. Then return here.

Skarrigg walked to the corpse. “Which hand? Does it make a difference?”

I do not believe so, my Son. But to save time, bring them both.

Skarrigg did as he was instructed and returned to the pillar.

Now my son, place a hand in the center of the rune at eye level with you. It does not matter which one you choose.

Skarrigg thought about it for a second, and then dropped the right hand on the floor. Using the severed left hand he did as he was bade. Placing it as instructed. In an instant, an opening appeared, a hole in the room, wider than the pillar, that led to a vast chamber that was lit with a gentle golden light.

Prepare yourself my Son, for we step into the breach. Also, Skarrigg, to be safe bring both of that brute’s hands with you.

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Skarrigg. Skarrigg you must listen to me. This chamber is dangerous. I cannot feel what you would call ‘time’ here. We cannot dally, for we dare not be trapped here.

“What do you mean, ‘what I would call time’? That makes no sense.” Skarrigg nearly scoffed.

What is time to the immortal? What is the passage of time to those who do not decay or die naturally? This chamber, this pocket dimension, is a ‘null-vault’. Time does not exist here, you will not tire, or hunger, or thirst, or age. Yet as a mortal you must pay the piper, so to speak. Stay here a century and not age. Leave after a century and age a century in an instant.

“I will then do as you say.”

The chamber was like the inside of a vast dome. It was not clear where the light was coming from, but it illuminated row upon row of tables, and cabinets, and bookcases, most seemed to be filled with strange objects and esoterica. However, others were starkly bare.

Head straight toward the center of the dome. I can feel it, it is what we seek. The Voice instructed Skarrigg.

Skarrigg headed as fast as prudence allowed. However, the place was vast.

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Something had changed. Something was different. Time. Time was back, the chamber was open! And the years were flooding back in…It stood there, with it’s shattered psyche, it felt the horror inside stir, move, notice…the weapon that was so much more than a weapon sought to escape. Because the aboleth was old. Ancient, even for its long-lived race. It was ancient even before the Veiled Masters bound the weapon into it. It was ancient even before they imprisoned it here in the Null-Chamber, to be forgotten for all eternity.

Yes, time was back, and time was relentless. Time would have it’s due. And now? Now, the aboleth was dying.

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Skarrigg had finally reached the center. But he stopped. His heart was filled with terror and…awe…it lay before him, a vast eel-like creature. Fully forty feet long, overall, it was a greenish hue. But large black veins spread through its slimy hide, in fact they were spreading before Skarrigg's very eyes.

My son! Stay away from it! The voice screamed in Skarrigg's head.

"Is this...is this an aboleth?" Skarrigg asked horrified.

Yes. But there is something wrong with it. I think that time has invaded this sanctum. Just like I warned you, but this...this is not just rapid aging. There is something...terrible...happening to it. I am not sure what it is.

Skarrigg had never known the Voice to be unsure about anything before. And he was concerned to hear it now. "I imagined it to look like a fish. It’s more of a big eel." Skarrigg nearly whispered.

Stay away from it my son. Even at the best of times, this thing would be a great danger to you. But now? Wait! The stone! I feel the stone! She is behind it. On the table behind it. Avoid the aboleth my Son. Go around it.

Skarrigg followed the Voices command. With his steaming blade in his hands, he circled the creature slowing, moving counter-clockwise around it. Reaching the table behind it, he saw a single ivory box.

That’s it my Son! Quickly grab it! Skarrigg did so, opening the box, and there it sat. A single dark red, glowing gem stone.

The seventh stone! Quickly take it so we may quit this horrid place. The Voice urged Skarrigg.

Skarrigg took the stone and quickly added it to the enchanted bag that contained the six others. "Two more". Skarrigg mumbled to himself.

Yes, my son. Only two more. We must make haste and... The Voice stopped midsentence. This caused Skarrigg to quickly spin his blade at the ready.

The aboleth is dead, but something is here. Something dark, and powerful. Skarrigg we must run! Now!

Before Skarrigg could move, the aboleth split open and something emerged from its top. A glowing globe of black. But Skarrigg had never seen a vantablack darkness so absolute. He could not help himself; he had to stop and look upon it...

Skarrigg! Stop! Do not look at it! Run! The Voice pleaded.

However, it was too late. Skarrigg could not bring himself to move. To even avert his gaze. It was as if he was compelled to look, that he must see. So look he did. He gazed into the darkness, he saw the things there. And worse, Skarrigg tried to know what the darkness was. Skarrigg let out a long horror filled scream as his mind began to fracture.

The Voice used a large portion of its power to do three things, the first was to construct a mental shield around Skarrigg's psyche, the second was to rip open a door in reality from this place, and the last was to control Skarrigg's near-catatonic form like a marionette, to walk him through the door.

The door closed only seconds after Skarrigg stepped through it - however, that was long enough for the living globe of darkness to slip through behind them…

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Skarrigg lay on a green field, face first in the dirt. He was still unconscious, and he twitched fitfully, as despite the Voice's shields, his mind was tormented by nightmares and dark dreams.

The Voice scanned the area and detected a herd of grazing horses about them. It continued to reach out with its eldritch senses, then it detected it. The globe. It had followed them. The Voice could sense the globe's confusion, so it quickly probed it. By I AM, what damned fool would attempt to bind THIS thing into a mere weapon? The Voice said to itself, as it quickly deduced what had happened and why this thing was bound into the aboleth. I cannot allow this horror to remain free and uncontrolled, after all? Why strive to become the lord of all I survey, when all I survey would be naught but ash? But I need to bind this being to something.

The Voice noticed a young stallion, full of vigor and life. Oh yes, my handsome fellow. You will do nicely. You will do nicely indeed.

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Skarrigg awoke slowly, his head hurt, and his mouth was dry. He rolled over and came to a sitting position. “How…” he mumbled as he looked around the green field.

Ah, Skarrigg! My son, you have finally recovered.

“Where are we? And how did we get here?” Skarrigg asked.

I am not sure where we are exactly. As to how we got here. The energies at play in the null-vault opened a portal to here. The Voice lied.

“I saw…I saw things…things I cannot describe…” Skarrigg said aloud, more to himself than the Voice.

You cannot grasp what you saw Skarrigg, because the words to describe them do not exist in any of the tongues you speak. In fact, the very concepts of what you saw do not exist in any mortal languages.

“What? What does that even mean?” Skarrigg questioned.

Do not concern yourself my son, in time these images will fade.

Surprisingly Skarrigg accepted this explanation. Just then he looked up and noticed it. A great black horse, the largest horse he had ever seen. It’s hide was jet-black, and its eyes glittered like two black jewels. “Where did you come from?”

Ah, him. This fine fellow has been watching over you for the entire time you were recovering. It seems you have made a friend, Quite fortunate too. It will be much easier to ride out of here then to walk. After all, Skarrigg. We have two more stones to find.

“Ride? I have never ridden a horse. Besides, don’t we need a saddle?”

Oh, I am sure we will be fine until we make it to a town. After all, with the size of the horse, and the size of you? We will have to get those crafted for you.

Skarrigg climbed upon the massive beast with surprisingly little difficulty. The horse left the field at a slow gallop, and oddly, Skarrigg took no notice of the multiple piles of chewed equine bones they passed on the way out. But then again, erasing these from Skarrigg’s perception was the most minor manipulation of his mind. And the Voice had altered Skarrigg’s mind, memories, and perception many times since the beginning of their journey.

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Skarrigg looked into the fire as he mused on his memories. Then he heard the normally silent horse neigh…

Horror

About the author

Michael Mayr

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