As Gormaric is making a beeline for what appears to be the only safe route from the room, the ground beneath him begins to rumble. Deeply, as if a large stomach deep in the depths of the hell they were in was growling, hungering for something. The rumbling increased in force until it seemed like the world around him was coming undone at whatever seams it had left. Or maybe it was just his world. It was hard to tell now, but whichever one it was, it had the same effect. The shaking seemed to freeze him, as if something impossibly heavy had replaced the bone and resolve at the center of his very being.
Suddenly, the floor underneath him began to crack. Before he could react, chains erupted from the floor and quickly wrapped themselves around his body. Tightly. The force at which they constricted him seemed to rend his flesh and threaten to shatter the bones within. They just kept tightening, like relentless and angry snakes. The air around them began to shimmer as they began to heat up, the chains beginning to burn him wherever they touched him. His grit would be tested, as the chains eventually began to glow with their increasing heat. The burning they inflicted upon him was no normal burn though.
Although they burned his skin, it was the burning they would cause within him that would bother him the most. Raw, feral, memories of his darkest moments began to burn as bright as the sun in his mind and heart, escaping whatever cell he’d tried to lock them in order to stand unshaken. Memories of his failures and wasted opportunities flashed before the knights eyes in a quick but agonizing sequence. The pain and suffering in his life that had made him as strong as he was…was now threatening to tear him down. All…the way…DOWN.
The floor buckled and gave way, sending his bound form careening into the infinite darkness below.
When he’d open his eyes later on, he’d notice that he was standing. Effortlessly, as if some unseen force kept him grounded and on his feet, refusing to let him falter. Perhaps some part of him that had always kept him upright in the darkest of times was to blame. Perhaps that was why he hadn’t already succumbed to the decay beforehand.
There’s always a part of a person that refuses to die.
Where he stood was almost the polar opposite of where he’d been before. Although he wouldn’t be able to see any ice on the floor or walls of the long, dark, hallway, he’d notice that it was now below freezing and that his winged companion was no longer with him. It was just him. And the dead silence. He wouldn’t even be able to hear his own heartbeat or the passing of air from his nostrils. It was as if he’d been suddenly dropped in a narrow, cramped, and dark vacuum.
The only source of light and the only thing making it possible to see, was a faint, dim, orange light far into the distance. It seemed to shimmer like a mirage, but there was no escaping the feeling it gave off. The feeling of something being there with him in the nothingness. Even more apparent was the ambiguity concerning the lights nature. Was it malevolent? Benevolent? He would not be able to discern for sure. But something was definitely there, and there was obviously nothing but darkness behind him. The fuse of what lay behind had already burned out, and there was no way to make it come back.
He’d feel compelled to walk towards it, the sound of ashes crunching beneath his feet filling the void. The sound was unstable and rickety, as if they’d give way at any moment and send him even further down. But he’d have to press on. With bravery? A morbid Curiosity? Fear? What stirred within the knights mind was of his own doing.
Auntie Tee said she’d be back in a few days.
The voice echoed throughout the hallway, but he wouldn’t be able to tell if it was coming from behind him, or in front of him. It seemed to have no origin, and it didn’t seem to be coming from his head. So where, then? It had sounded like the voice of a little girl, the chipper tone it had hinting at the voices innocence and bright out-look for the future.
She told me she got picked for a very special job in the city. She said that until she gets back, she wants me to stay in the house with uncle Gary. Uncle Gary is old, but he always seems to know exactly what to do. We should be okay. He also knows how to cook some really good pancakes! Yay, pancakes!
The ashes coating the ground now began to shift and fidget, as if the ground Gormaric had gained was a nuisance to it. A defiance that threatened its pointless, empty, rest.
It’s been almost a week now and Auntie Tee hasn’t come back. I asked Uncle Gary if he knew where she was and he told me that she wasn’t far and was still in the city. But thats weird. If she’s still in the city, why won’t she come home? Grown-ups take breaks at their jobs right? Why can’t she just stop by in the morning to have some pancakes with me and Uncle Gary? Uncle Gary keeps telling me not to worry since Auntie Tee is the best at her job, but I don’t know what her job is. I know that she works with the police, but she’s at home most of the time and almost never goes into work. She only goes when the man on the news is talking about the bad people that sometimes get into the city to do bad things. But not like regular bad people. Not like robbers and thieves. These ones always have really scary powers and stuff. Uncle doesn’t want me watching the news when Auntie goes to work, but I sometimes sneak into his room when he’s sleeping and watch it anyway. I did last night. I didn’t see anything about Auntie on it, but there were a few peoples pictures on the tv. I think there were four, and two of them had red X’s on them. One of them looked like the boy that got back my crutch when those bullies took it from me, but the TV changed before I could get a better look. I don’t think it was him though. He’s not bad. He’s nice!
Time seemed to dragand slow as Gormaric walked, bits of the ashes at his feet starting to rise into the air as the light ahead warped and shifted like large mass of water in a place where there was no gravity. It’d be hard to look at directly, but Gormaric would be wise to focus on it even harder. There was nothing behind him. The only reasonable action, would be to look forward.
Auntie Tee came home last night when I was asleep! I was so happy to see her this morning! I hugged her and she hugged me and she tickled my nose like she always does to make me laugh! She looked tired and there was this big bandage covering the side of her face, but when I asked about it, she told me she was fine. She said she just had a bad fall when she was on the job and that she’d be able to be a better pirate when we playes pirate ship outside. I’m so glad she’s back! Uncle didn’t seem as happy as me, but he’s always grumpy in the mornings when he forgets to take his pills. He was even more grumpy than usual though. He took my Auntie into his room and I think I heard them arguing. But not loud. They were doing one of those funny whisper argues. It was hard to do because of my crutch and because Auntie Tee is REALLY hard to sneak up on, but I was able to leave my room to put my ear against the door to her room. Uncle Gary was calling her crazy for some reason. He was saying that she was going to t get us all…killed. But he’s just grumpy. My Auntie Tee is SUPER tough. She’s always doing push-ups and stuff around the house and my Uncle used to tell me stories about how she used to always beat up bullies in school. I don’t think anyone could hurt us with Auntie Tee around. Uncle is just grumpy and needs to take his medicine!
A force would seem to be pushing against Gormaric as he trudged through, the air becoming thick with ashes and something made his movement heavier. The more he heard the voice, the more difficult progress became. The more sinister the light ahead appeared. But there was nothing behind. No going back. He needed to move forward because it was the only direction that meant anything.
We have a new house guest! And guess what! It’s the boy that got my crutch back! Auntie Tee told me that I can’t tell anyone about him though or very bad things could happen. I asked her what bad things and she closed her eyes and took this really long breath, like she always does when I ask her about her job or why she has that weird drawing on the back of her neck. She then told me if anyone found out he was here, we’d have to move. I was confused though. When I saw him in the basement, he seemed really nice, just like he was before. He looked tired and he his clothes were all dirty and scuffed up, but he was still really nice. I asked him why he was handcuffed to a pipe and he started telling me all of these really funny jokes about handcuffs! I was laughing so hard! I don’t know if Auntie Tee would’ve liked the jokes though, and I don’t know if she’d be okay with me hearing them, but they were really funny! Then I asked him what his name was and he said he didn’t have a name. I asked him what name his mommy and daddy had given him, and he got real sad. He said that they were gone and were never coming back. I told him that it was okay since it was the same with my mommy and daddy. So I made up a name for him! I told him that his eyes kind of reminded me of my teddy bear, Mr. Charlie, so that was the name I gave him.
Suddenly, he was back in the world of the sane, right where he’d been before he’d fallen into the abyss. He was also running right into an attacking ghoul. One that was duel-wielding large, menacing, hatchets that were impossibly hot. The zombie slung its arm forward with alarming speed, slicing down on Gormaric with an orange, bright arc of light. Because of the ghouls immense, mentally unrestrained strength and the heat of the blade it held, the blow would easily be fatal and gruesome if Gormaric didn’t react in time and try to move to reduce the amount of his inevitable harm. Not too far in front of them was another ghoul, winding up to sling another blade his way if he chose to stick around. Perhaps Frederick could aid in clearing the way.
The explosions behind him would only serve to disorient him further, causing everyone’s ears to ring. Selena, who’d been far too close to one of the skeletons when they went off, was blown backwards. She was about to hit the wall when something big swung out a massive limb and smacked her away. Her burnt, injured body collided with Hyacinth, knocking the Drow into a wall and bumping away the skeleton that had been about to strike her. If any of the defenders were able to recover and turn to see through the raging flames that now engulfed more than half of the room, they’d see something. Something big, shadowy, and wild stood at the back of the room, the floor beneath it beginning to turn into ash that fell upwards like reversed, sinister, snow. Staring directly at it would be difficult, for it would be like staring into a hungering, lively abyss that would seem to suck you into a permanent state of despair.
It loomed over Kingston, a mass of writhing, erratic limbs whirring about its hollow and dark form like the limbs of a dying spider. The sight would goad any smart man to run for his life or die a fool, but Kingston did not have either choice. He was standing far too close to it now, a layer of ashes beginning to creep up his legs. He would feel cold. Very cold. As if his skin were being flash frozen and trying to split. A sensation of dread would wash over him like a tsunami, paralyzing him with fear. The kind of fear you get when you realize you’re dying. Decaying. Succumbing to the natural order of what all things will be in the end. The kind of fear you try to refute by claiming you’re not afraid to die. But not being afraid won’t stop it. Not even a little.
Nothing stops decay.
The creature then grabs Kingston with one of its massive appendages and ferociously chucks him across the room. Kingstons body slams against the wall with a humbling boom and crack.
@EpicRome23 @vielle @Infernal @SelenaNichole (Hope that last one comes back at some point)
Ed’s quick thinking and possibly self-sacrificing spirit had reared its hopeful head just in time for himself, the Blackspears, and Leo. A wave of energy that blew outward from his form coated him and the defenders within the immediate area with a protective barrier. One that caused the ghoul that had been about to grab Leo off the floor to be knocked backwards instead. Almost as quickly as this happened, something rushed out towards Sera in blur of fire.
The buzz saw emitted a loud, metal, screech when it bounced off the barrier protecting Sera’s neck. The wielder of the roaring blades teetered back, but did not loose its footing or any ground it hand gained. Standing in front of Sera was…something horrible. It was humanoid in form, but that was the only thing that was normal about it. It was tall. Maybe eight feet. Both of it’s arms ended in whirring, bloody, buzz saws that were spinning incredibly fast. The devices seemed to be nailed to the stump of its bloody elbow.It’s legs ended at the knees, bloody, metal, blades jutting out from them to double as its feet. It’s body was on fire, its skin seeming to burn away before quickly regenerating where the flames had seared it off. The large, orange hot, nails that stuck in and out all over its body dripped with molten metal that sizzled and hardened on the floor. The fire that burned its body did the same to its head, making it impossible to identify the likeness of what had been there before it had been set ablaze.
It’s eyes and mouth however, were easy to make out. It’s mouth hung open and it’s eyes were wide as could be, an opposing darkness within them standing out in the endless fire that marred its appearance beyond recognition. They were like endless pits, as if there were no soul inside of the being to peer into. The pitch black eyes regarded Sera with a look that spoke volumes of the pain it was in.
And only a fraction of the pain it wanted to give.
It scrapped its buzz saws together as it knelt in front of her like a tiger about to pounce. The sparks from its blades bounced off of Sera’s barrier, as if mocking her and everyone behind her. Possibly the most unnerving thing about the being was that although its mouth hung open in eternal agony, no screams were coming out of it. No grunts, no moans…not a sound. It had given up screaming. Given up talking. There would be no point to either, as it would do nothing to stop the suffering. It was too late anyway.
The pain had changed it. Forever.
The Norkotians to the south had effectively ended the grating screams of the banshee, Grunt valiantly pushing forward to do so. The screams didn’t seem to effect him. Whether this was because of his sheer bravery or lack of brain-power is up to anyone to guess. Unfortunately though, he and mercenaries with him had strayed too far from the others. They were out of the range of Ed’s barrier.
And they’d taken the bait.
The floor began heating up in large spots all around them, the blood that coated it beginning to boil in said spots. Then, all at once, burning ghouls emerged from the spots in a sizzling spray of blood and molten metal, howling at the mercenaries with great anger. Each of them wielded orange-hot blades, some of them already reeling back to throw them at the intrepid expendables. They were surrounded and trapped, but were they doomed?
@Tyler @Veloci-Rapture @Thotification @Akiris
The cries of the banshee had unnerved Challara and the Hensch Men, causing the both of them to be unable to advance. Noah, however, wasn’t having any of it. Possibly angered by what dreaded memories and visions the scream brought to the forefront of his mind, he reacted violently. His body became charged with copious amounts of powerful electricity, immediately frying the ghoul that had tried to lay hold of him. He then zoomed forward and shot a bolt of electricity towards the banshee. The bolt blasted the burning skull apart, sending shrapnel of bone every which way.
The banshee’s screams ended, but it was far from over. Before Noah would have a chance to revel in his triumph, an armed ghouls rushed up to him and slashed at him with one of it’s super-heated blades. Although it shouldn’t have been able to hit him because of Noah’s transfigured state, it did. The blade would slice through the delusion of his power and cut into his flesh. In fact, if he didn’t brace himself, it would disembowel him on the spot. Although he was just a boy, the nightmare viewed him no different than everyone else. It sought to rend his flesh and grind his bones up with the rest of them. And it would be relentless. He would become ashes like others, and all ashes were the same.
He’d feel another sharp pain from his right, a thrown blade piercing into his thigh and cauterizing the muscle within. The ghoul to his right would be reaching into its guts to pull out another knife if he looked, already beginning to make its way towards him for a much deeper cut.
Vlad on the other hand was also in for his fair share of pain. He’d probably been expecting someone to block off the entrance to the room while he reloaded his gun, but his party had other plans. As a result, he was beset by two ghouls at once. The zombie he’d unloaded into faltered due to its wounds, but rushed forward to grab him nonetheless. It’s grab was unsuccessful due to its wounds or Vlads dexterity, but it’s burning hands still grazed him. He’d feel another strike of pain across his back when the burning skeleton would slash at him with its rigid, burning, bony fingers. Thankfully it wouldn’t hit his spine.
On top of all this, the geysers of fire that had erupted from the floor would soon fil the entire room. There was almost no room to maneuver now. Vlad was close to the only other exit, but even if he killed the zombie in front of him, he’d still have to worry about what lay behind it. It’d be defficult to see in the chaos, but something was approaching him. It’d look like a black, reddish tendril with the viscosity and look of blood. It moved smoothly but with fervent purpose, like a sentient string of water being suspended in space. The wriggling, finger-like appendages at the end of it seemed to move around freely, as if tasting the air and looking for something to grip. Something to drag away to is unspeakable origin.
@P.N.See @Thotification @bfc @ChaosLord @Fierach