Argoria: Tales of the Fallen [IC]

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  1. Renaris | Holy Palace | Morning

    Renaris, the Holy City, was a bustle with the dawn of a new morn. The previous day performers and citizenry from all corners of Argoria had flooded the streets overwhelming the city guard in a matters of moments. Yet that was of no concern on this day, in fact should that very thing have not happened the nobles at the palace would have found something awry indeed. For today was coronation day, a once in a generation affair where all came to witness the next Magnus in line take the seat of Holy King. The streets on this year though were particularly abuzz, for young Alto Magnus XI at the age of sixteen would be the youngest in history to take the throne. An already monumental event threatening to become historic was as much as anyone normal person could bare, so as it were a jovial air filled the city.

    Though the entire day was marked officially as the time of coronation, the actual deed would not occur until late midday. Morning was meant as a time for the citizens to drink and be merry whilst the nobility prepared themselves for the ceremony. Within the castle Alto Magnus stood in his room, dozens of servants scurrying around him tugging upon his garb and making the final measurements for his royal dress. At his age he was already used to this sort of thing, so as they did so he patiently listened to his advisers outline the proper procedure for his crowning. He had of course heard this all a hundred times over by now, and at the moment wished to focus more and reeling in his nerves than remembering the correct phrases and what hand to wave with. Alto had almost pipped up and dismissed his adviser when another entered. Rammont Ge'kar, the royal Castellan.

    "You look the part of a true king, your grace." Rammont hissed as he entered the room. Alto had never liked the man, even as far back as when his father was still king. Then eyes, lips, shallow nose, the man looked the part of a serpentine man, and over the years had managed to work his war from a foreign dignitary to a member of the Holy King's council. "It's fitting that such a young king will lead us into the birth of the next century I think."

    "Y-....yes Rammont." Alto's voice caught in his throat for a moment as he eyed the castellan through the mirror before him. Alto was not frightened of Rammont, not int he least bit, but the sense of despair that followed the man always put him on edge.

    "Your father was naught but a few years older than you are now when first we met. Truly, it is a shame he and your mother both passed so young. They would be proud of how you've grown under my guidance I hope, especially your father. You look just like him you know." Rammont spoke coyly as he moved in closer behind Alto and narrowed his gaze upon the young king to be.

    "Of course Rammont." Alto spoke in a dismissing tone. "We are all grateful for your efforts over the years." Alto had heard all this before, word for word. Rammont seemed to enjoy reminding everyone of how invaluable he had been in running Renaris when Alto's parents passed away with him so young. Alto cared little though, and had repeatedly tried to dismiss him from the council for as long as he could remember. Somehow though Rammont was always able to convince the nobility the kingdom would be lost without him, thus retaining his seat. "At your age though I do not want to impress too much upon you. With me taking my crown you are due for a good rest, do you not think?"

    Rammont retained a strait face despite the clearly visible insult mixed in with Alto's platitudes. "You are most gracious my liege." Rammont spoke softly flashing a wide toothy smile. "The Father shall always provided for his children after all."

    Hearing about the Father was something else Alto had grown tired of over the years. Perhaps during the time of The Great War the Father had been a reality, but in the world Alto knew he was nothing but superstition. "And his children shall always be blessed." Alto finished the quote sarcastically in a half chuckle.

    "That we are your grace, that we are." Rammont retorted, then promptly bowed and took a step towards the door before stopping in turning. "I will make sure everything else is prepared when the time is right. Just focus on dressing up and remembering your lines for the ceremony my liege." Rammont quipped and left the room quickly.

    Alto snorted and shook his head. The only thing he cared to focus on right now was who he would replace Rammont on the council as soon as the coronation was over, but that was not to say he did not know what to do. Even the poorest of children in Argoria know intimately of the crowning ritual, so Rammont's pestering was for naught. A few lines of scripture repeated, a drop of his blood, and Alto would become one of the most powerful men in all of Argoria.

    As Alto continued primping for the ceremony Rammont stalked down the corridors. There was a quickness in his step and he rounded the corner, slowly opening a doorway to a stairwell where he began his decent. The castellan made this trip many times throughout the day, for his chambers were located on one of the palace's lower levels. He had once boarded in one of the castles many towers, but after his last near removal from the council the others thought it best if he was removed from the future king's presence as much as possible. Not that it bothered him to any great degree, in fact he preferred being so removed from the others in the palace. It was far easier to go on the way he wished in his new chambers, a beneficial occasion now that the day had finally arrived.

    Rammont pushed the large door open and entered, the old hinges creaking and filling the corridors. The stale expression on Rammont's face slowly shifted into one of sheer pleasure. His thin lips parting taking on the form of a crooked grin. Slowly he shed his clothing like a skin until he stood bare in the middle of his room. Each step he took echoed through the air as the castellan approached the hearth in the corner of the room, lighting it. A pale orange glow began pushing back the darkness, Rammont's shadow dancing on the wall behind him. "Yes young king, his true children shall always be blessed." The castellan cooed as he arched his back and let loose a shrill laugh that filled the bowels of the palace.

    Renaris | City Square | Evening

    Distant screams filled Doran's ears as he ducked into another crumbling building just south of the square. The notion to rush out and lend aide settled in his mind for a moment but was quickly pushed aside as an unearthly roar rose and silenced the screaming. So Doran remained quiet, crouched within the remains of some sort of bakery, and all around him Renaris burned. Never in all his life did he expect such a scene to play out before him again. The visage of dancing flames and mounds of dead carpeting the ground like a field bringing back memories of horrors long past. This time though Doran had saw with his own eyes the rift appear, he had saw the young Alto Magnus XI disappear as the crown was placed upon his head, and he had saw the aberrations pour forth as the sky darkened.

    Now Doran thought of what to do, a way to escape. The visions had led him here, had showed him this very scene, but for some unknown reason he had thought he could have his revenge if he followed. How foolish had he been to think anyone but ill would become of using something tied to the foul creature whom wrought him so low. Another scream pierced the silence, another series of roars followed it before silence once again fell. How many beasts could there be stalking the streets? How many people were even left this late in the day? Doran could not even fathom an answer, but something inside told him it would be a while yet before the creatures that emerged from the rift moved on in search of more prey. No, he would have to stay still and quiet for a while yet before attempting to find a way out.

    Then the pain began, dull and pulsing in his neck. The mark burned within his flesh reminding it's bearer that it was forever present. He had felt the sensation a few times over the years, but never to this degree. Something was close, something much more powerful than the normal dark entities that appeared in the world. A low grumbling began emanating through the streets, shaking the foundation of the building Doran hid within. "I can feel it Marked One." A rigid voice rang out, riding upon the grumbling roar. "I can feel your air." It spoke again as it moved closer, the mark on Doran's shoulder burning with greater intensity. Though pain clouded his mind, Doran knew he had two choices. He could remain hidden a bit longer and hope the get the drop on the creature in the streets, or he could make a break for it. The choice seemed clear as he rose and peered through the falling rafters.

    Doran had seen many things during his years of travel, men of all shapes and sizes and even monsters. This was neither, it was something all the more sinister. It appeared as a great bear on two legs, lean and fierce, standing taller than three men. Large claws jutted from his hands and feet and walked towards Doran, sniffing the air. Upon it's head were horns of black ivory, dripping with crimson. Fighting a creature like that was something Doran did not wish to attempt, so he waited. "So few of you Marked Ones still live. Your flesh will be a rare treat for me." The creature goaded as it continued sniffing the air, and Doran saw his chance. It's head turned from Doran's position, and so he dashed from his hiding position back towards the labyrinth of alleys in the opposite direction.

    Doran was fast, always had been, so he was assured he had made it into the alley safely. He knew if he could make it to the city garrison there were sure to be some guardsmen still holding out. There he would at least have people to use as decoys to escape this hellish nightmare. However; Doran's thoughts were interrupted as a thundering roar shook his nerves from very close behind him.
  2. "Oh, Father's love." he muttered to himself in an exasperated tone, shutting a door behind him with a quickness, and leaning back against it. Panic and adrenaline had taken him over minutes ago when the sky tore open and let loose a torrent of all manner of unholy creatures into the city during the coronation ceremony. Certainly not wanting to be a part of this, he turned and ran as fast as he could away from the He had since made his way to a small warehouse underneath a merchant's shoppe, trying to peek outside toward the rolling chaos that was happening.

    He heard some distant thumping, accompanied by some louder shrieks from scurrying citizens. He turned around and pressed the door open slightly to peer from a crack into the fairly narrow street. Two people passed, sprinting for their lives, their whimpers fading as they passed. Another two scurried by, one shoving the other out of it's way, Marten was only able to determine that both were men. The one who was shoved out of the way tumbled over their own feet, hitting hard on the dirt, and sliding a few inches. From behind them lumbered two short humanoid figures, though having darkened green skin, with splotches of black and crimson, as if their flesh had been charred black. Their eyes were white with bright yellow irises, and seemed to be wearing tattered, piece meal clothing. In one's hand was a short spear, and the other was carrying what appeared to be an elongated butcher's cleaver, riddled with dents and scratches.

    In weasel-y voices, the two clattered at one another in an unintelligible language as they ran toward the last two people. The one who tumbled was unlucky, only meters from Marten's door. Watching on with hope the man would get up and run, Marten held his breath. Unfortunately, though, he shuffled on his hands and knees too long, unable to get up in the panic. He was impaled through the back, and pinned to the ground, while the other little creature waddled up, and brought up it's cleaver with one arm. Bringing it down three or four times, with great effort, he beheaded the poor man slowly, and painfully. Marten didn't want to put himself into greater danger by intervening, so he didn't. He watched the man get butchered. Though as both little humanoid creatures looked up with their sulfuric eyes, they met Marten's gaze.

    With a mouth that seemed much to wide for their head, they barked and shrieked- pointing their weapons to him. Taking two or three steps closer, Marten inhaled, gathering some strength. One more step toward Marten's door, and he flung it open with the strength of his whole body. It slammed into the one with the spear, and sword in hand, Marten burst from the door. The little spearman was sent to his back, and Marten continued on to the one with the cleaver, swinging his blade in a typical cross-cut, disemboweling the creature with a growling roar from it's lungs, it dropped to it's knees.

    In the light of what was left of the day- these creatures were seen more clearly. They appeared to have large eyes, large pointed nose, and leaf shaped ears. Greasy black tendrils of hair tied back with threads, and sharp, mis-aligned teeth. They stood at about half his own height, so were dispatched easily.

    After nearly bisecting the first with his sword- he quickly turned on his heel, seeing the other little goblin get up. Spinning the blade to a reverse grip, Marten impaled the little spearman from behind the neck, nearly decapitating it. With an exerted grunt, Marten yanked the blade free from flesh and bone, and noticing no more citizens running past, he felt he still needed to get to a safer place. Looking down the street the goblins came from, there were people crossing, and other monstrous aberrations following further down. Turning behind him, he saw the backs of civilians. Taking one final look at the creatures he'd fallen: the near-dead goblin on it's back, cradling it's wound and howling, it's black blood spilling everywhere from it's wound- and the certainly dead one that was face down... he realized this would not end the same way the last few 'hauntings', as he called them. He spun his sword back around in his right hand, now holding the blade upright, he began to jog away further from the scene.... Though hearing those distant rolling thumps in a slow bassy rhythm from behind him. He didn't want to look back. It sounded far enough away to not be an immediate bother, but it was coming closer...
  3. It had been surprisingly easy to sneak into the festivities, even for one as wanted as she. All she had to do was repeat the same method she took to hide her tortured her flesh, which was simply throwing another layer of clothing atop of it. A colorful and festive cloak was draped upon the leathers and mask that had grown recognizable among the Faithful, allowing her to walk freely through the crowds that celebrated the coronation of the next Holy King. Despite the increase activities of the city's guardsmen, the jovial nature of the festivities had a habit of dropping one's guard. An amusing irony could be found in this; just like the Faithful had slaughtered her home during their festival, she would exploit the events of this day to strike back. Initially, her desire to inflict as much damage as possible had led to thoughts of regicide, but it was rather clear that the Ninth was nothing more than a child who had been controlled like a puppet throughout his life. No, for now she would target those within the council until she struck the nerve of the church. It was foolish and suicidal but she had long abandoned sense when everything else had been taken from her.

    Velica took a few more minutes to soak up the atmosphere of the alleyway she had ducked. Like bobbing out of a body of water to gasp for air, she had felt the need to get away from all those crowds, even if it was for a moment or two. Located between a butcher and a shop of sorts, barrels and crates filled with things best left unseen lined each side of the alleyway and what spots marked their absent were filled with the occasional merrymaker who needed to regurgitate their ale or relieve themselves. The stench of vomit, piss, decomposing meats, and things she rather not acknowledge wafted through, but despite it all, it was just a bit more bearable than the crowds. Steeling her resolve once more, she stepped out and heads towards the root of all of these festivities. After the Ninth was crowned and the guards could breathe a sigh of relief for fulfilling their duty for the day, she'd strike.

    Something had gone wrong. Just thinking it felt foolish, as obvious as it was, but there were no words to describe what had just transpired. The Ninth was gone, vanishing into the æther once that crown touched his head, and in return, the hells themselves had poured forth. Monstrosities fell upon the crowd, ripping, tearing, and eating those unfortunate enough to be caught. Those who had managed to brandish their weapons found their bravery rewarded with gruesome ends, leaving the only logical choice for survival was to run. Countless people had been trampled and left for the beasts while several buildings and structures were damaged and set ablaze in the panicked stampede of humanity. Velica's continued existence could have contributed to her anti-social nature which had led her to stand away from the gathered folk. Once again had she taken to the alleyway, pushing through others and evading the debris that littered the grounds. Her mask was filled with the fragrant scent of burning flesh, but it was not from the charred corpses about, for it felt like the left side of her face was on fire. She had yet to run afoul of the nightmarish creatures assaulting the city, but knew this pain. Could it be? The thought froze the blood in her veins as the vague memories of the being who had played savior on that horrid night rose from her scarred subconscious.

    Found you...

    Like a spike to the brain, a gurgling voice filled her head with no indication from where it came from. The unnatural form of communication struck her painfully, driving her to the ground amidst her sprint. Her hands gripped the mask that concealed her face and she fought the urge to wrench it off her tortured flesh. The pain had grown almost unbearable, yet it was not enough to keep her from noticing the massive figure that lowered itself down from the roofs, barring her path out of the alleyway.

    You bear the calls out to us...

    The creature was a mass of flesh, seemingly re-purposed from human body parts. Its torso was bulbous and gelatinous fat without structure, but produced countless arms and legs, interconnected like chains. Some of these limbs hung loosely like tentacles, while others were more rigid and appeared the support the thing, acting like the legs of spider. The creature's head was, in fact, several humans head melded into one, which faces pointed in all directions. The eyes had been gouged out, and the noses and lips sliced away, leaving empty stares and bare grins.

    ...and I have answered its call...

    Velica rose to her feet, yet could not help but stumble back as the thing began its approach. Every fiber of her being screamed out for her to flee from this that should not be, but she knew, deep within, that if she tried to run, she would surely die.
  4. And so finally the violent banging upon the door ceased.

    Trembling from her very core, she backed away from the splintering wooden door, shaking out her arms. Her shoulder had been pressing against it so hard, it numbed all feeling down to her elbow. Safe for now perhaps, but from just outside that barred door and those shuttered windows, the onslaught of horrific smells and sounds of increasing chaos and mayhem continued to pierce her every sense. This was madness, this was hell on earth, but worst of all, this was really, really happening.

    A dirty gloved hand went to her forehead and pressed hard upon her once pale skin, as if to keep her sanity from escaping her skull. Long lashed lids fell heavily over glistening green eyes and soon enough dark eyebrows knit together to keep those lids shut even tighter. Her lowerlip, bloodied, and, a bit swollen, trembled as she begged herself to not cry, no, not now, please, not now, please...

    But it was happening again was it not? It was... oh, but it was.

    The grand city burned, people burned, memories burned, just like before... there was a time when she was not a Rodent of Renaris. There was a time when she was beautiful. Oh how she bowed deeply only to rise again, blowing kisses to all admirers and all their applause. There was a time when they knew her and her brothers and sisters. There was a time when grief and poverty was but a dream of a silly girl that could do only good. Aye, a good girl. A bright girl during those splendid brighter days. A girl named--

    "Radiant... Radiant... Radiant..." called the voice just outside the door... or was it just outside a window...?

    Big green eyes snapped open. She knew that voice. So familiar...

    "Radiant... Radiant... Radiant..."
    the voice she did recognize, but it was... too slow somehow, distorted and twisted. Just like her own fate.

    A softness, not unlike dark feathered wings, breached her mind and whispered to her as something moved-- slithered against the buildings outer walls.

    Did you think you could outrun what you have done? Did you think changing your name revokes responsibility of your past?

    Rodent gasped and slowly, but oh, so slowly, her dirty gloved hand covered her gaping mouth.

    It was the Blackbird.

    The shutters to her left rattled and shook with tremendous force, enough to break a couple of slats. Wicked curved teeth gnawed at the opening, breaking several more slats, splintering wood and slobbering noisily as it went. Dancing orange fire light cut into her dark pseudo-sanctuary and lit up her dirty face. Rodent brought both hands to her cheeks, and screamed.

    I found you... I found you... I will take you there.

    As if shot from a longbow, Rodent leapt at the door, clawing frantically to remove the barricade--

    ~BANG! BANG!~ two loud knocks. Let me in! Let me in! I will take you there!

    Again she screamed and pulled away from the buckling door. Her head swivelled in multiple directions, eyes darting this way and that, trying to see where this thing would be next and figure out a method of escape if at all possible.

    ~BANG! BANG!~ I will take you to where your two companions lay waiting for you! I will! I will!

    The two companions it spoke of were her friends: Shimmy and Pokey. They had their faces ripped off. Then they were swallowed whole by the thing that pursued her. She saw it all then fled. And then she had to turn around as she fled. She just had to see.

    Rodent had paused only to bear witness as her friends were regurgitated back out the immense maw of the flappy, leathery thing. Whole and alive they were ejected. Eyeless and quivering, writhing in pain as their bodies flopped about without skin and hair. And there were... things, dark things with segmented bodies and whip-like tails, moving inside them, squirming between muscle and bone, squeezing past sinew and cartilage. Things that were clogging their wind pipes so they could not scream out loud, only make wet and sloppy choking noises. Things that chewed their innards, eating them alive from the inside out.

    As she turned to flee, she could not help but wonder if that was the fate of the would-be-ruler-of-the-people. The crowned teen had just disappeared into nothingness and she and her mates had callously cheered. She learned to have much distaste for royalty... but such a fate... faceless and choking whilst being eaten from the inside till death... such a fate she could not wish upon anyone.

    And now this thing with the voice of the Blackbird wanted to bring her such a demise. Torment before death. It found her.

    Torment before death. It too was suffering. Just what had become of it?! It was here to claim her but...

    "Slow, distorted and twisted..."
    whispered the girl as she waited for the perfect moment. Her heart thudded in her chest, the sound echoing in her ears as she waited and watched as the front door was ripped, chewed and smashed to near nothingness. A deep breath she took, eyes fluttering close with the inhale, eyes snapping open with the forceful exhale.

    "You poor, poor, suffering git..." the barricade fell and she turned around, taking two bounding steps away from the door, urging her small frame onwards towards her means to escape , "you were there for me my whole entire life trying so hard to warn me...!"

    Dark, leathery flappy parts of its body extended out, reaching after Rodent, the hooks on the ends of said flappy parts, wicked sharp and whistling through the air. It would have her. It would take her to the corpses of her friends and countless others. It would show her the feast.

    I will take you there!

    "Nay, you most certainly will not!!!" screamed the girl, a different sounding tone steeling her voice as she leapt with all her might at the opening in the shutters created by the beast. It was a one in a million shot for her to fit perfectly through the opening without getting caught in the splintered edges of the broken shutters. And Rodent did not have the skill to execute such a feat. Rodent could only fail and the hooks of the dark creature with the giant maw at the centre of its rippling frame would not have its will denied.

    But she was not Rodent right now.

    Like an arrow splitting right through the centre of another arrow, the acrobatic female shot unerringly through the gash in the shutters. The pursuing Damned beast smashed heavily against the shutters, decimating the wooden things. Shrapnel of stone and wood hurtling away into the dark. But it was much too large to squeeze through and its movent halted abrubtly as it was stuck fast in the opening, squirming, enraged and its shrill squeals sounding out like a chorus of demonic swine.

    After a quick and nimble roll, suddenly she was on her feet, already crouching, poised to leap upward. And upward did she go, scaling the brickwork of the next building like a squirrel on electric-charged methamphetamines. To the garrison she needed to go! To her lovely, loverly beloved, the golden-maned knight must she fly!
    She must be there, she just has to be at the garrison!

    And so to the top of the building was she, almost instantly, and across the rooftop she went, short yet powerful legs pumping faster than any other human her size and age. Just before she reached the edge of the the rooftop and leapt with her entire might, she held her breath and closed her eyes.

    Rodent would not have made such a daring escape. But the Blackbird, slow, distorted and twisted, had reminded her of who she was; who she really was... if only for the moment. But a moment was all she needed, for nay, Rodent would not have attempted such an escape.

    Only an angel would dare such a deed and succeed.

    A High-Flying, Death-Defying Angel reached out, soaring, weightless, daring and fearless, closing the distance between her outstretched hands and the next building. She was once respected and renown. They had called her-- and hailed her --as Sister Raia. And so finally, the Angel opened her shimmering Radiant green eyes for the first time in a long, long time.


    #4 Boo Girlie BoomBoom, Feb 6, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  5. Velica's body trembled, her subconscious instinctively knowing that the horror before her was something not meant for this world. Oh, how she wished to flee! To escape this nightmare and seek out safety, yet her body remained frozen with fear even as the thing approached on disjointed limbs. Her only salvation was that, somewhere in the back of her mind, her nerves were screaming with pain emanating from the brand. Focusing on the sensation and the emotions it brought, the heretic regained her senses just before the demon was upon her. One could only imagine what unspeakable horrors the countless limbs of the beast would have inflicted on her had she lingered for a second more.

    She nearly threw herself aside, hastily stumbling towards the backdoor of the butcher shop before flinging it open. There would be no time to close it behind her for several hands tore it off the hinges, but it would buy her the briefest moment of time to collect her thoughts since the doorway seemed far too small for the creature's flabby body to fit through. A section of her cloak was thrown back, propelled by the whipping of her arm which bore the glint of the falchion's steel. Bringing the blade down in a diagonal chop, several of the invading limbs were sent scattering about with ribbons of blackened crimson trailing behind. A chorus of phlegmy screams erupted into her mind, threatening to knock her unconscious from the pain alone. Stumbling backwards, Velica pushed herself away from the wounded creature and headed towards the front entrance.

    The nerves in her body felt like they had been scraped raw, but each step away from the butcher shop and the demon brought the faintest bit of relief as the toll brought by the brand and the screams lessened. Her weary eyes found hope in the sight of what must have been the city's garrison. If anything in this city was fortified, it was most likely that. Catching a glimpse of long limbs emerging from the alleyway, she once again broke out into a full-on sprint towards the garrison in hopes that her intuition had not failed her.
  6. He hadn't witnessed the coronation, but the screaming had been enough to let him know it hadn't gone well at all.

    He'd been sitting, alone, by the well after having filled his gourd, when the sky turned black. His eyes lazily surveyed the heavens as the chaos ensued. People began their screaming, their fleeing and Siva Malar continued to sit by the town's well unconcerned. How familiar were the sounds. Was it fate? Or course it was, he told himself, it was fate that he should hear the same sounds over and over for the rest of his life...

    "Not going to run marked one?"

    Siva closed his eyes, letting the shiver crawl down his spine. "I thought I should watch for a bit first. Do you mind the wait?" He asked, resigned to whatever fate had in store for him.

    "You are not afraid? I'll kill you slow for taking my fun away marked one."

    "I'm perfectly horrified," replied Siva calmly though his words were true, "but it is what it is. I'll wait." The scar over his eye had been burning for a while, he could feel the dark blood seeping out from his flesh. It slowly marked the scar black as if the blood itself were the increasing pain in physical form. His head was throbbing, but it was as the creature walked past him, towards the running townspeople, that Siva felt his heart sync with the throbbing pain. It was like war drums marking the last seconds of the life remaining in his body. The thing didn't walk, it crawled, and Siva was too petrified to dare look at it with more than just a side glance. The sound its hard body made as it scrapped against the cobblestones shook Siva to his very core. The clicking of its appendages dragging him forward was like the clashing of swords relentlessly pushing for death.

    "Yes marked one. That's much better. I'll kill two before I come after you. Start running."

    Siva obeyed before he even thought about doing it. He didn't know where he was headed, but he did know it should be towards where there was more people. If he was meant to die, so be it. He hated the helplessness of it, if he could have the power to change it he would buy it at any cost... but if not, if he was not meant to die, then his best chances were where others would instead of him.

    He followed two men he saw pass between buildings only to see them ripped apart by a monstrous blob of congealed darkness. He stood still. Forced his breathing into an even rhythm and his presence seemed to vanish. The thing hadn't noticed him. Siva was no fighter, but if there was anything he was good at, it was fleeing. Slowly, he backed away, around the building's corner and out of view. He was trembling.

    "I CAN FEEL YOU... WHY AREN'T YOU RUNNING" roared the rasping voice behind the sounds of its body scraping the ground and its appendages clashing against stone.

    Siva ran back out towards the congealed blob. It was madness, but also intuition that drove him there. The blob shivered and stretched to receive him and the clashing sound rose to a crescendo behind him when Siva nimbly jumped sideways at the last minute. The two monsters were caught in an unwanted embrace now fighting for the meal that was quickly speeding away towards the garrison.
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