Sunday, November 8, 2009

NANOWRIMO Day 7 - Trippy Dream Sequences

Chapter 8 – It Was Only a Dream

Taliel had lost track of how many he had been forced to relive that nightmare. No matter what he did, the same events had transpired and he had been forced to start over from the beginning. After yet another attempt, the darkness between the dreams seemed to last longer than any of the previous attempts. When his eyes finally opened, it was obvious that this dream was different.

He could feel the cold whipping about as he stood in a narrow mountain pass clad in full armor that he had never seen before. It was a black metal and very crude in design. As he examined the armor, he noticed that he was not alone in this pass. Behind him stood a whole army of the beasts that had captured him. As he stood there waiting for something to happen, it seemed as though he lost complete control of his body. He would be simply along for the ride for this dream.

A voice that didn't even sound like his came from where his mouth was. It was a strange hissing sound, much like what he had heard the dark elves use in talking to the creatures on the night of his capture. It sounded almost like he was giving to the army trailing him. Almost as he thought it, his body began moving forward followed by the sounds of thousands upon thousands of footsteps.

As they cleared a short ridge, Taliel got his first look at their destination. The city of Belnor lay directly in front of them. Its banners were unfurled in the morning rays, looking splendidly regal. He could see merchants and citizens going about their business in the market district. It all looked so peaceful, yet this army he was at the head of kept marching on. They were nearly on top of the gate before he even heard the sounds of the war horns going, mobilizing the men to arms. He was unsure why the alarm had not sounded earlier, surely they must have seen or heard the sounds of an approaching army of this magnitude.

Before the archers stationed on the walls had the chance to start up firing, a massive siege engine was being wheeled up to the door. It was a battering ram encased in what looked to be a decent sized house as protection from enemies above. The first arrows whizzed by his head, striking the beasts on either side of him, yet he stood there stoically. Taliel was thankful that this was merely a dream, an odd one at that.

Even as strong as the reinforced gate, it was no match for the speed and quickness of the assault. As soon as the gate swung open, the beasts began streaming through the opening. He walked alone, slowly through the opening as his troops parted around him. Whoever had control of his body knew exactly what their goal was. Parties of the creatures spread out over the city, sweeping through the limited resistance put up by the gathering armed forces.

He watched as the vanguard of their forces rushed towards the inner walls protecting the King's citadel. The guards at the gate had been lax and had not started closing it soon enough. The first of the beasts streamed into the opening and slew the guards furiously attempting to close it. Taliel felt his arm raise and then watched in horror as a blast of lightning shot from his finger tips, arcing towards the partially closed gates. It hit with such a force that the gate was shot back and damaged beyond repair. Man and beast alike standing on the other side of the gate were forced backward and knocked unconscious.

The King's personal bodyguards had been the best prepared for the fight, but simply could not deal with the overwhelming numbers they faced. They fell one by one fighting against odds that reached nearly nine to one at times. No force that had ever fought on the continent would have been able to stand to that onslaught.

With an almost uncanny precision, the first troops began sweeping through the ground floor of the castle. They struck down servants and guards alike where they stood. The fight was quickly turning into a blood bath, as puddles spread from the downed bodies. While casualties were being sustained on the part of the beasts in this close quarters combat, two would pop up in the place of their fallen brethren.
The second and third floors quickly fell as well. The King and Queen along with their sons were holed up in the master bedroom on the third floor. Orders had obviously been given to the beasts to not kill these high value target because when Taliel entered the third level, nearly two dozen of them were gathered around the door, weapons poised if anyone should come forth. There was some more conversation that he was unable to understand and finally the door swung open.

The five of them were huddled in the corner, tears streaming down their faces as they knew what their fates were to be. As Taliel approached them, he noticed that they were unarmed and he wondered if they would solely be captured and taken prisoner or faced a much worse fate. He saw a realization on the King's face that it had been a human who had helped to betray the kingdom and as much as Taliel wanted to scream out that this was all a dream, he couldn't.

The thoughts of prisoners being taken was quickly dispelled as his hand disappeared into his armor and procured a long pointy dagger. The King didn't even have time to react as the blade swung out and swept across his throat. One of the sons, upon seeing his father cut down, charged at Taliel. He was quickly dispatched with a singular stab to the chest, his corpse landing across his father's, their blood leaving a growing puddle on the ornamental rugs.

Just like a cold blooded killer, the remaining three were mercilessly butchered. Their blood splashed onto his armor and all around the room. It was probably the most gruesome sight that he had ever seen. He had to fight back the urge to vomit that continued to grow in his throat as he watched the last of the bloodshed. Satisfied that their task was through, he hissed at the beasts and they began to leave the castle. Back out in the market district, horns were blown to signify that the assault was over and that they should all pull out.

Taliel looked on the city in horror. Fires had been started in most of the buildings in the surrounding districts. Thick, billowing black smoke filled the air, severely limiting the visibility around them. Bodies of both beasts and men were filling the streets, their blood flowing like rivers and gathering in the low places of the town. He could see the severely wounded victims attempting to crawl to safety, only to have a passing brute finish them off. Passing the bodies of the guards, he was forced to look on the faces of fellow soldiers he knew and considered close friends. The pain of what had transpired was almost too much for him take, the only comforting thought that this was merely a dream.

Once out of the city and back on the mountain pass, he turned around to take a grander view of the destruction that had just been wrought on the capital. Thick black clouds billowed from all portions of the city. The work had been quick and efficient yet brutal. It wouldn't be long before the low-lying towns saw the smoke and sent couriers to investigate what was going on. The army of beasts continued to march on. Now towards the rear, he watched as the front echelons reached an area of dark elf magi bringing up the same summoning circle as on the day he was captured.
The group slowly marched through, vanishing as they went. By the time, it was his time to go through, he turned to get one last glance at the horrors that lay behind them. He turned back and stepped into the circle and everything went black.

He was unsure of how long it was before he woke. The first thing that he realized was that he was still strapped to the same table with the sorceress standing over him. “You have done us well,” she said upon noticing he was awake.

“What do you mean?”

“You have killed your king and brought us a great victory.”

“No... I can't have... That was a dream.”

“Was it now? Then how can you explain what you're wearing?”

As she said this, he looked down and noticed that he was wearing the same armor as the dream and it was coated from head to toe in blood. “You bitch. How could you?”
“If you would have simply gone along when I asked you nicely, I wouldn't have had to take control of you and make you perform what you were brought here to do.”

“But why would you do such a thing?”

“Do all humans have such a short memory? Your people did much of the same thing to mine a couple of centuries ago. You can't do such a horrible act and not expect retribution. My people welcomed yours so long ago with open arms and you responded by slaughtering us and driving us to the deep parts of the world. This is only the first act in our retribution for the crimes committed in the past.”

“But that was so long ago, we had nothing to do with it.”

The sorceress was going to have none of this conversation and strode angrily from the room, motioning for the guards to return him to his cell. As he sat in his own filth and watched the heavy steel door slam shut, Taliel crawled in the corner and began to weep uncontrollably. His own hand had slain the king and his family, the very people he had sworn an oath to protect. Sleep came mercifully, bringing him a respite from his dark thoughts.

No comments:

Post a Comment