Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrghhhhh. Horrible agonizing pain, blood pooled about me. What, what is this?? My wrists, these puncture marks, my eyes. The light hurts. OH OH the agony what has happened? Uggh my neck, so sore so painful, so weak. Let me feel it with my hands… Wait. What is this wound??
“Take it slow brother elf; ye have been on a rather harrowing adventure my friend.” Friend?? The voice sounds familiar, yet distant. "Peace upon thee Quarian, Tis I, Aschere."
With the realization that he is with his compatriot Quarian begins to come back to consciousness. Slowly his thoughts clear, the pain eases. However the weakness is profound. As he begins to remember he tells the tale more to himself than to his party. Trying to make sense of the insanity.
Quarian recalls the sense of hopelessness, the dread, the anger. Bound in a devilish stitching ... like a suckling pig for the roasting. Try as he might he could not free himself from the fiendish bonds. He almost had the gnome free, two more slices and the cursed work would have been undone. Oh why had he not prepared the Wall of Wind spell? The worst of it was the complete loss of sight and hearing. He had a sense of being carried somewhere and being dumped on the ground like a sack of turnips. Until…
The feeling of cold steel against his throat. So this was to be it then. Countless battles fought, moments of terror and moments of euphoria. Years of finely honed swordsmanship. To meet such an ignominious end slaughtered like a goat on the alter. There was a moment of screaming searing pain and then … nothing absolutely nothing. A black void. Darker than the deepest night. No senses at all. Awareness almost completely gone, yet Quarian still had a sense of himself as some entity, exactly what he could not say.
As quickly as the void enveloped him it was gone. Simple gone. To be replaced with a heightened sense of awareness of being. All his senses were overwhelmed. Most unnerving were the sounds. A horrible cacophony of screams moans and tormented insane laughter. Above it all Quarian hears loud snarling sounds, the snapping of jaws and growls. There is also the sound of rushing water. NO worse than rushing. A raging torrent.
Suddenly Quarian is aware of his sense of smell… it nearly overtakes him. A vile rotting sulfurous smell worse than any dung heap. He fights off the urge to wretch.
His vision clears slowly. The sight before him is so horrid he believes it may be an illusion, a leftover from the fugue of his passing over. Yes, Quarian is aware that he is dead. Hmmmmm Simple as that … dead. Somehow he thought it would be more dramatic. More climactic. Other than that moment of absolute nothingness it was as simple as walking thru a doorway. Suddenly the snapping of jaws and a putrid breathe brings Quarian out of his thoughts. Before him is a massive beast, a three headed dog, snarling drooling fangs, long claws and a spiked tail. The beast is about 6 feet tall, thick of chest. Evil emanates from its very soul. It is guarding an impassible violent river. The river Styx; separator of the dead and the living. Yes Quarian had indeed passed over.
Despite his heightened sense of hearing, smell and vision. Quarian was totally at a loss for direction. He found himself unable to discern direction. He could tell up from down but that was it. No East or West, No North or South. Quarian was robbed of his greatest and most cherished skill… His ability to range. This realization is devastating. He has no clue as to where to go, how to travel, how to explore. He may as well have been blind and deaf.
Out of the murk and confusion a woman approaches. She is veiled and cloaked in black. Her voice is haughty, condescending, insulting. Yet somehow familiar.
“Oh great warrior, dosth thou not know thy way??? What hast happened to the mighty Wild Elf?? Oh how the mighty have fallen.” Quarian responds in a booming yet raspy voice that echos in his mind, “Woman, declare thy self. Who arth thou?” She responds only with laughter, insane mirthless laughter. Again out of the murk another figure approaches. A spectral visage of a man, likewise a Wild Elf. The figure embraces the woman as her cloak falls to the floor revealing her nakedness. He kisses her with a devilishly forked and sinuous tongue penetrating her waiting and desirous mouth.
Quarian is beyond understanding and has no time to figure out the scene playing out in front of him for almost at the same instant the two figures appeared flames erupted from the ground around him. The sound of war drums beat around him and hordes upon hordes of Orcs crest the surrounding hills and attack Quarian.
Suddenly Quarian feels a searing pain in his right hand. Quarian senses that the sword he is holding starts to vibrate and emanate a white hot glow. The sword appears to scream for the blood of the Orcs. VengLäk comes to life Quarian’s fog lifts completely. All is made manifest.
Mercilessly murdered by the henchmen of the Demon Bitch. Throat slit while unable to defend himself. Like a pig to the slaughter. Cast into the underdark for the sin of slaying his beloved Vadania Siannodel in a similar fashion. Now forced to witness the treasonous couple for all eternity. Forced to fight the spawn of the darkone beyond the end of time.
Quarian screams in a rage, “then let it be so.” He pushes back the agony of his understanding and wielding VengLäk (or is it wielding him?)throws himself into battle against the Orcs. The blade thrums and chants in his hands. He is awash in the blood of Orcs… a baptism of Hell and Evil. He feels no exhaustion, no hatred, no anger, no exhilaration of battle. Quarian is machinelike in the efficiency of cleaving Orc skulls. Yet the entire time he is fully aware of the unholy copulation of his beloved and her lover in front of him. No matter what direction he turns in battle there she is; her legs spread and wrapped around the bastard in innumerable positions and forms. The guttural sounds of the Orcs, the crushing of bone, the splash of blood, the screams of orgasm all blending into a vile hellish opera. Worst of all is the continued laughter of the traitorous bitch.
The Laughter brings a new level of awareness to Quarian. Punishment?? An eternity of fighting Orcs? An Eternity of guilt over killing a bastard adulterer and a whore betrothed?? Quarian yells out, “Fuck the bitch, she is not worth my soul.”
As Quarian yells out his curse he stops swinging VengLäk. The blade grows cold and in one motion he thrusts it into the ground in front of him and takes to his knee. The throng of Orcs falls on him. Suddenly there is a calm and a peace that descends upon Quarian; he is finally free of his guilt.
Almost at the same instant there is a frigid white light and a wracking pain courses through Quarian’s body, he shudders uncontrollably. The light coruscates from around and within him almost with a life of its own. Again Quarian looses all prospective of direction, of self, all sense of feeling. There is an indescribable combustion of sound and at the same time total quiet. A clashing of light and dark, soft and hard, spirit and material seeming to battle in his body and in his skull. Real and unreal, dimensions twisted…
Then nothing but a cold wet dungeon floor beneath him; and a brother Grugash kneeling in front of him obviously relieved and troubled at the same time.
If You Go Down to the Woods Today...
1 day ago