Shadows danced across the wall of the underground tomb as a torch cast back the darkness. The man holding it had a hard time keeping his hands from shaking, even as he continued forward. He knew what he must do for his master, though it might tax his courage. The hallway he was in opened into an impossibly large cavern that looked to at one time had been of the Ancients make. The vast and impressive architecture told him that much, confirmed by the various runes carved into the broad pillars that held up the ceiling.. What he didn’t understand is why his Lord had chosen here of all places? Why had he chosen now of all times?
That was beyond his understanding his master had told him, and he saw no cause to doubt. After all, the Master had provided for him thus far and had promised him exquisite life far beyond death. Most of all he had been promised true happiness, a bliss reserved for a select few. At the far end of this magnificent chamber was a large throne that his Lord had bade him to seek out and sit upon. Once he had reached it, and brushed the cobwebs away, he set the torch on the floor. It sputtered for a moment, and then flared to life as it consumed the cobwebs and accumulated filth of years of disuse. Sitting on the large throne he felt the power that seemed to resonate from the ancient stone. The weight of kingdoms had been shouldered by whatever powerful king once sat here, and centuries of tradition seemed sunk into the very stone itself.
The man pulled himself from such thoughts, dragging his mind back to the purpose at hand. Reaching within the rucksack that he had tied to his back, he extracted an exquisite looking dagger. He had seen it before, after all it was he who had recovered it for his master, but he still marveled at it now. The hilt was adorned with what appeared to be the naked bodies of several men and women of various races curling around the hilt, their mouths wide open in terror and agony. Whatever smith had wrought the weapon must have been a master, so exact were the details. The hilt gave way to a wicked looking blade that curved backwards slightly and had a hooked edge. Upon the steel itself various runes that the man could not read, glowed a bright, crimson red.
Again the man found his hands quaking as he sat upon the mighty throne. This part would be difficult, but yet his master demanded it and so he must obey. He hesitated no longer, fearing he would lose his nerve, and plunged the dagger deep into his stomach. His life had not been an easy one, hardship and pain was his constant companion. Even so, the agony he now felt was unlike any he had ever known. It pierced through his entire body, all fire and horrible burning that threatened to engulf his very sanity. The man writhed upon the throne his screams echoing in the wide empty halls, nearly inhuman in their tone.
As he looked down at the wicked looking dagger plunged into his stomach he knew true horror for the first time in his life, as the screams of many joined his own. The men and women etched there curled around the hilt, their mouths still opened in horrible agony, their eyes raised upwards as they wailed in many different languages. The runes upon the blade glowed so fiercely crimson that their glow could be seen underneath the skin of the man’s stomach. Feeling instantly queasy he grasped at the hilt, recoiling mentally from the figures moving below his grasp. Still he grabbed tight anyway, and pulled with all his might. The dagger would not move, indeed it would not budge until it’s nefarious purpose was done. The man struggled harder on the throne pulling at the blade again and again, each time growing weaker. Soon his hands could not even grasp the hilt for it was slick with his own blood, that at this moment pooled below him and ran down the throne to collect there.
His hands fell to his sides, too weak to do anything except stare straight ahead into the pitch black. At the same time he felt a horrible sort of tugging that seemed to be coming from inside of him. In one final scream that echoed from his lips he felt his soul ripped from him and into the blade.Then he was among those tortured souls on the hilt, for that’s truly what they were, as they circled and cried the injustices of their imprisonment. His own likeness was now upon the hilt carved there for all
The light from the dagger slowly faded and the carvings etched upon the hilt stopped their movement. All was quiet in the halls of the vast and mighty Ancients kingdom, the last peals of the scream echoing into silence. Then a low chuckle that soon
rose in volume began to fill the large room. The being inside of this pathetic mortals body reached down and pulled the dagger from the body he now occupied. Smoke curled up from the wound that healed nearly the instant the dagger was removed. He had not lied to his servant. For what greater purpose could the pathetic mortal had served then to become his vessel into this world? Suddenly the throne that had stood for thousands of years was sundered in two, a deep crack spreading from where the being sat.
The laughter grew louder, tinged with what sounded to be desperate insanity. This laughter wasn’t one of madness though. It was the laughter of freedom. After so many years of imprisonment he was finally free and the lands of Ancar would soon feel his wrath.
You can read Chapter 1 here.