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The Elliquian Herald & Post
Issue 73 ~ February & March 2017
Elliquiy Role Playing Forums
Topic: Moth (Read 237 times)
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July 24, 2016, 07:03:16 AM »
He awoke with a start, it was that dream again, steadily increasing in frequency as he ventured deeper into the cesspit that was the labyrinth, a maze of underground tunnels, which covered an area far greater than what his people inhabited on the surface. He tossed and turned, till he finally lay flat on his back, all notion of sleep gone. The rock remained as it had been, suspended a few inches from his face, this part of the tunnels mercifully somewhat stable. He wiped the sweat from his face, the watch on his wrist revealed the time as being five in the evening, although it scarcely made a difference in the eternal night that was this place.
He had heard that in the old days, they would just push in criminals, political dissidents, sexual deviants, and any other of society’s undesirables straight into the tunnels, condemning them to a slow, certain, death. Unlike the others however, he had slipped past the sentries, watch towers and entered the tunnels on his own volition. Not that he had anything left to go back to of course, precious little awaited him back there except a tryst with his creditors, a trip to the magistrate and a public hanging. He would instead take his chances in the gauntlet, using the opportunity to answer a question which had dogged him from childhood.
After the first few weeks, your body tends to adjust to the perpetual night that pervaded this ungodly place. He traced his steps the best he could based on the dreams he had had, his diet of pulses carefully rationed and now increasingly supplemented by the moss and lichens from his surroundings. Water had been similarly procured from the rare seep which dotted the tunnels. He had been violently consumed with retching and fever the first few nights after he had changed over to his new food source, his body struggling to break down the toxins and extract what little nutrition it could from the plants. He had laboured on, driven forward inexorably, drawn closer to the heart of the labyrinth.
The thrumming grew louder in this tunnel, a low hum like pinpricks under his skin, soft voices seemed to speak to him from the shadows. He was close now. A cool draft of air assaulted him as he turned the corner, his hand which had till then run over smooth rock, now encountered carvings, patterns etched into the stone. He could not make out the language for it was in a script that had long been lost to his people, but the makeshift torch he had assembled clearly showed pictures of an altar and of men and perhaps women sacrificed at the foot of a terrible God. He followed the carvings till the tunnel at last spilled into a central chamber, its dimensions vast, its ceiling seemingly disappearing into the sky. At the center, there was a slender shaft of white light which seemed to connect the deck with the roof high above.
He ambled towards the light, drawn as a moth to flame. It was his dream now playing out in the waking world, the thrumming a steady roar. Shadows from the far corners viewed his progress; they slipped down the walls and closed around the solitary figure as he inched closer, now ambling up the steps. He staggered as he reached the top, the column of light taking up his full field of view. He stepped forward into the luminescence, gasping as he was overcome by cold. And then she came into view, shifting towards him with an easy yet deadly grace. “Welcome Jason, I've been waiting...” the cold permeated through his bones, he heard a mocking laugh as the world faded to black.
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