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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Tidbit of Story

Just a little scrap of a story I began to write during a dead spot in my creativity. Enjoy.

A loud horn blasted, sounding both distant and close. Despite it's ear-shattering volume, Xaphan ignored it and continued to sleep. A few seconds later, it sounded again, slightly louder. Every few seconds it blasted again, louder and louder with each repetition. After half a dozen times, the Hellguard got tired of it and awoke.
“Dammit. Enough already! I'm coming!” Xaphan shouted and a gruff voice at the ceiling of his small room. The walls, floors, and ceilings of every room in the underworld were all the same. Glowing, reddish-orange cave-like stone, that seemed to ooze from thin air and hardened into these small living places.
Xaphan began walking towards a solid wall. He pictured the room he was destined for in his mind's eye, snapped his fingers, and burst into flames mid-stride. He appeared a second later in Death's throne room. He continued to walk until he was face to face with the Reaper.
“What in Hell is so damned important that you had to wake me up?” snapped the Hellguard. Death's look said irritated, despite being a large robed skeleton. He interlocked his fingers and spoke in a dark, raspy voice. “Orias has escaped again. I thought you'd be aware of this issue.”
“Dammit!” Xaphan shouted, “How the hell did he ever escape in the first place? The old man would lose in a footrace with a sloth.”
“Orias is a powerful necromancer, he finds his way around.” Mumbled Death's new assistant, Jerith. He was a mortal soul, but a smart one. He wore a hoodie, jeans, sandals, and glasses. Most humans were forced to keep the clothes that they died in.
Xaphan grabbed him by the collar. “Death's last errand dog pissed me off. We still don't know where all of him is. I'd watch myself if I were you.”
Jerith pushed away and adjusted his glasses. “Whatever.”
Xaphan returned to his room and approached the rack that held his armor. Black, lightweight steel plates that covered almost all of his body. The left pauldron had a blood red cape attached, mostly for aesthetic purposes. Xaphan slipped it all on and grabbed his bastard sword. “I'm getting tired of this.” He mumbled.
Most souls that escaped the Underworld would return to the site in which their corpse rested, Orias' cemetery crypt was all too familiar to Xaphan. He had difficulty traveling there the first few times, the mortal world was always a bitch to navigate through, but now it was becoming second nature.
Instead of bursting forth into the mortal world in a display of flame and awe, Xaphan ripped himself from the soft dirt of a cemetery, like the zombies of human fables. He brushed the soil from his armor and looked around. Not much had changed, a few decayed gravestones, a lot more than his last trip, and a wrought iron fence bordered the property. A cobblestone path wound from gate to gate and lead up to a large church.
At the church doors stood an old, decrepit man. His skin was ancient and sagging, his robes tattered and worn, his hair was white, thinning, and unkempt, and he bore a scowl of discontent on his face. Xaphan approached him and spoke, “Orias. You look as ancient and decayed as ever. I thought you learned your lesson the last time I beat your corpse back into hell.”
“I am far from learning my lesson, Hellguard.” Orias' voice was strong, despite his age.
“And they say that old folk are wise. I'd appreciate it if you just give yourself up and allow me to return to my sleep.”
“Sorry, but I have better plans in mind.”
Xaphan needed little more than that. He raised his blade and lunged at the old necromancer. His blade was mere feet from it's target when a massive heavy object dropped down in front of Xaphan, narrowly missing him and propelling him backwards. He quickly recomposed himself and inspected the new annoyance.
It appeared to be a massive stone gargoyle. A stone, four legged, winged demon statue. A blue mist-like essence flowed from it's eyes and mouth, and it moved with the fluid motion of a living creature. It stood on it's hind legs and beat it's large stone wings, making the sound of stone grinding against stone. Despite it's weight, it began to hover. Soon a twin statue dropped from the roof of the building. This one kept it's place on the ground.
“I have discovered the ability to bind lost souls to inanimate objects,” Orias explained, “I'm sure that my new pets will be more than a challenge for you. Have fun.” With that, he slowly walked through the church's large double doors. They slammed shut behind him and a mist-like barrier formed over them.
As soon as the colossal doors shut the gargoyles charged. The airborne one swooped in for Xaphan's head while the grounded one went for his legs. He tumbled to the side, narrowly avoiding the talons and jaws of both. However, the grounded gargoyle's wings caught him in the gut and knocked him back several yards. Stone statues could put quite a bit of power behind their attacks with enough momentum, it seemed.
Xaphan quickly got up and faced the beasts. They had already begun their next charge, Xaphan charged in too. He swung his sword with all of his might, and connected with the right wing joint of the grounded creature. The blade sliced though the stone, but just barely made it's way through. The gargoyle let out a demonic roar, and veered off to the left. Before Xaphan had time to react, though, his second foe landed a solid blow on the side of his head with it's claws, spinning him around and knocking him face down in the dirt.
A cold, heavy paw pushed down on Xaphan's back. He tried with all his might to raise himself but the weight was just too great. He began to mumble an incantation in a demonic tongue, once it was complete two large, red, demonic horns burst from Xaphan's temples. He jerked his head back and felt the tips connect with the gargoyle, stabbing into it's face and sending it rampaging back in a fit of pain and rage.

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