Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Here's what I wrote yesterday. There is a bit more on the next chapter, but I'll wait til I finish that today to post.

Chapter 4 – A Painful Beginning

Taliel watched as the flames quickly engulfed Keladkha. Being in the front of the party, most of the fire was blocked from even reaching him. Within seconds their position was overrun. Hands were reaching from above, pulling them from the ravine. Unable to even fight back in the close quarters, Taliel was brusquely pulled out by one of the most hideous creatures he had ever seen. His sword had been knocked from hands in the scuffle and he was powerless to fight back.

These creatures seemed to sense that something was approaching and gave up hope of overcoming a struggling Shen. The massive hands closed around the back of Taliel's chest plate and began dragging him through the snow drifts. All he could to do fight back was kick and scream for help. He saw Shen pulling himself out of the ravine in the distance and try to give chase. He had been too badly wounded though and was barely able to limp at a quick pace.

The journey was not a pleasant one, the creature seemed to enjoy taking every chance possible to ram him unceremoniously into a rock or tree root. It had only been a couple minutes of dragging before the creature managed to knock his prisoner unconscious. The walk seemed to go on for miles, the creatures not stopping to make camp until the moon had risen well into the night sky.

By the time Taliel came to, all of his armor had been stripped off and heavy ropes bound his arms and legs. He struggled to free an arm for a bit, but gave up when he realized the ropes had been tied to tight. He couldn't see very far into the darkened forest. All that he was able to see was a campfire in a clearing of trees not far from where he was tied.

He tried to think through all of his schooling and training as to what the creatures could be. Nothing he could think of matched these creatures even remotely. They were nearly a foot taller than even the tallest of his country men. Their skin was black and the fur that covered their arms, legs, and backs were even darker. Their face was wide with a long flared nose as the dominant feature. They also had two long, curled horns starting in the middle of the forehead and snaking out to the sides. Knowing that this was something that probably had never been seen before was a discomforting thought. What were they and what was going to happen to him?

He sat in the dark for the entirety of the night, waiting for his captors to come back for him. Shadows and creaking made him jump, constantly thinking that his end had come. It was morning by the time he saw the creatures approaching. They made no attempts at communicating, simply taking a rough hold and dragging him again. This day's journey was much the same as yesterday's. For how large the creatures were, they moved surprisingly fast. Taliel tried to keep track of how far they were going, but the constant jarring against every object on the forest floor interrupted his concentration.

It was shortly before nightfall that they arrived at what appeared to be a camp. When finally turned around, he was utterly surprised at what he saw. The hulking creatures that had brought him here were apparently working with what looked to be dark elves. Many stories had been told over the years of the cruelty that the Dark Elves were capable of. The Dark Elves had originally been wood elves that the humans had driven to the underground passageways of the continent. In the constant darkness, they brooded over the injustices that had to deal with and their malice and discontent grew.

From time to time over the last couple of centuries, there had been uprisings. These were usually small and quickly dealt with, but it kept the fear of these elves in the minds of the citizens of the empire. The possibility that the dark elves were the source of the plague as some sort of sick retribution for past wrongs was a discomforting one. Taliel tried listening to what was being said, but he was unable to understand the language that was being used. It was a sharp hissing sound, like he had never heard before.

He figured that he would spend a couple of days here as a prisoner, but it didn't look like he would be that lucky. He saw numerous elves dressed in long black robes quickly approaching. He could tell that they were magi when they gathered in a circle in a large clearing nearby. Watching intently, he saw them working their magic for a long couple of minutes. When it appeared they were about done, Taliel saw a faint red glow begin to appear in the center of the circle.

It quickly filled out, looking like a portal to another location. Without warning, one of the large creatures grabbed hold of him and picked him up, tossing him over a shoulder. From what he was able to see, it appeared all of the creatures were lining up into a formation. Once they had all been arranged, the first row marched straight into the portal and disappeared. The beast carrying Taliel began marching towards the portal. As they entered, he experienced the strangest feeling he had ever felt. It was almost like being coated in a freezing cold grease. But almost as soon as the feeling started it was gone.

Looking around, he could tell it was obvious that they had entered another dimension. They were standing on what looked to be a black, rocky surface with rivers of lava surrounding them on all sides. Up ahead, there was a black, foreboding fortress built straight into the side of a cliff. Either side of the ramparts were giant waterfalls of lava, giving the area an even creepier feeling.

As soon as all of the creatures had gone through the portal, the group began marching towards the fortress. Taliel could tell that it was bigger than any building he had ever seen before. The black gates had to be at least one hundred feet tall. The entire city of Belnor could have easily fit in the main courtyard behind the gates. Upon entering the fortress, he saw thousands of these creatures going about their daily business just like would be seen in any trade district of a human city.

The beast carrying him, broke off from the rest of the group and carried him into what appeared to be a prison. By the time they had descended a couple of levels to where the cells were, Taliel would rather been in any prison back in Ortheon. The pain, misery, and suffering present here were overwhelming. Not a minute went by without cries of agony echoing through the dank corridors.

The cell in which he was thrown, was barely large enough for him to lay down in. There was no hint of a bed or even a chamber pot for his waste. He had long complained about how restrictive the King's army barracks had been, but that seemed like living as royalty now. The bars of the door slid shut, leaving him isolated in the heart of the black city, unsure of what dimension he was even in. The love of life that had long characterized him was no longer there, he was now a shell of the man he used to be.

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