Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Dipper, Apr 13, 2015.

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  1. [BCOLOR=transparent]You awaken in a dark place, the stench of ash permeating the damp air. To your right is a candlestick, lighting the corridor with a dim glow that just barely illuminates the walls around you. It’s silent, except for the quiet murmurings of the being at your side-- a warm, welcoming presence that urges you awake with warmth. It does not speak, and perhaps you can’t even make out its shape, but you know it’s there and you understand it’s disposition towards you. It’s a friend, you realize, and you feel infinitely more comfortable knowing that.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]As you get to your feet, millions of questions pound against your skull and beg to be asked. What is this place? What is going on? Why? You get no answers, as your companion refrains from speaking, but you’re determined enough to get your own answers, however dark these halls appear to be. You pick up the candlestick and leave the room you woke up in, your companion following closely behind you. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]How long you’ve been wandering these halls, you don’t know. But after a time you’re sure that you know what’s up. You know the name of your companion - your Mith - and you know that something dark is lurking in the corridors, between the walls and in the shadows at your feet. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]You think you’re lost, but take comfort in the warmth of the being that flickers in the candlelight.[/BCOLOR]

    Keep going.
    #1 Dipper, Apr 13, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  2. Nora was shivering even before she opened her eyes. She normally felt cold, being anemic, but this was different. This was more the kind of cold someone felt when they had fallen asleep in the wrong place at the wrong time. She half expected to have a headache, but thankfully she was saved for that. And, a good thing that was, especially when her grey eyes took in the sight and her nose the scent.

    "He-hello?" The murmuring made her feel there was someone there. She looked to her right, seeing the candlestick, yet that wasn't the cause of her calming down. Something-one? was there, someone on her side. It felt that way anyway, and soon enough her shivering came to a stop. Feeling a little courage build inside her, Nora stood up on shaky feet, taking hold of the candlestick. She took in a breath before looking around. "Where am I?"

    Soon enough she left the room and started walking down the halls. She had absolutely no clue where she was going, but she couldn't just stay in one place, could she? She had no doubt she was lost... but where? And for how long? Sometimes it seemed like she just woke up, and sometimes it felt as if she had been walking in the halls for hours. Phoenix, her companion, wasn't giving any answers to any of her questions... but then again, Nora had always been a hard worker; she never really had the luxury of relying on others.

    She held the candle close to her for a while before holding it out. She didn't know why, but the darkness was causing her to become nervous. Unlike all those naysayers, she knew there were things out there, visible, invisble, dark and light. And right now, as much as she knew her companion was there, she knew something else sinister was there. Why? The question remained in her mind as she continued walking, trying to keep away from the walls.
  3. Mephalas stood, holding the last survivor of her 'comrades' by his throat in the air. Around her were the corpses of the others, rent and torn during her playtime. Oh how they had screamed! How they had begged for mercy! How their desperate little eyes had howled their hurt and anger at her! It had been a close group - all the closer since she had started pulling them all closer together in preparation for this moment. And now only Danyal was left. He had been energetic and strongwilled, always the first to rush to another's help, always hating that sometimes he could have done more. A driven person who truly cared about his friends.

    Now? His eyes were the eyes of a man already dead, after he had been forced to watch the torture, dismemberment and eventual slaughter of all those he had cared about. He didn't even try to fight her grasp. Though his body kept working, his spirit was crushed, and all he could do now was wait for his death mutely.

    Mephalas frowned in disgust. She'd expected more from him. She'd been hoping for futile anger, desperate attempts for revenge. She'd hoped to be entertained, not...bored by him. Sighing, she tossed him against the nearest wall, not even relishing the snap of his neck breaking on impact. Time to move on to pastures new.

    As she morphed back into her human form, the blood splatters adorning her body were seemingly sucked in, leaving her looking clean and respectable, if a bit shabby. Some of the small, spiderlike Lurkers who called this sector home were already beginning to congregate. They had an understanding - they helped her from time to time and left her target groups alone, she let them clean up after her kills as a result. She motioned to them that they could commence their feast and walked away, arranging her features into ones of despair and loss. Once again, all her comrades had been swallowed up by the Maze. How tragic.
  4. Awakening

    The first thing she saw when she cracked open the lids of her dark brown eyes was darkness. She smelled mildew, felt a cold and hard stone floor, and heard nothing but the periodic dripping of what she hoped was water, splattering against the stones. She didn't rise; she remained on her stomach, sprawled out on the cold, damp floor. The only movement was her chest rising and falling with her breathing and her eyes flickering from side to side as she took in her surroundings, trying to adapt her eyes to the dim light. It was curious: the long hall before her flickered with the light of candles and yet... no flame could be seen. Not a single candle lined the hall before her.

    "Where is the..." It was then that a presence entered her mind. Initially she pulled back, tucking her head back under her hood and holding her hands over her head, instinctively defending the physical source of the presence, not realizing until a short while after that she needed to defend her mind, not her head. Fear consumed her for a moment as she realized her mind was being invaded and this fear was much greater than that of waking in a strange place. It wasn't long before she realized a warmth pouring over her, seeming to be sourced from the very place of intrusion: her mind. The warmth spread throughout her body and eventually her fear subsided entirely. Sensing safety, she lifted her hood, peeking out at the hall once more. The warmth remained and after several minutes of looking at the hall, she slowly pulled herself up into a kneeling position. Behind her, she saw a stone wall: a dead end. This wall was bare, just like the others and her confusion grew as she longed for knowing the source of the light. What magic was in the walls of this place?

    It was then that she looked up. Had the warmth not had such a strong hold on her, she would likely have cowered in fear, and yet she could not find that fear when she saw the small, flickering flame above her. It burned gently, warmly, and lit up the entire way. She could not help but stare for quite some time and it was not until a voice spoke to her in her mind, a voice not her own, that she blinked in surprise.

    "This place has many things to degrade it's victims; the cold and the dark are two of the most powerful. I can help keep them at bay, though I cannot guarantee I can keep everything else away. You should move. Staying in one place for too long will be your demise. What do you call yourself?"

    She didn't know what to say, or how to respond. What was speaking? Her eyes narrowed onto the floating flame above her. Was it the fire?

    "A-agni...?" She stuttered quietly. She dipped down into a deep bow, muttering a sacred mantra under her breath. She was in the realm of the gods now. That had to be it. Perhaps she had died and this was her new life? Had she earned such a place as one in the realm of the devas?

    "You are not where you think you are. You are not in a safe place. You must move. Do not question these dark halls for you will never find an answer. Rise now, you must go." Urgency cloaked the voice this time and something within her told her she needed to obey.

    Quickly, she rose and stepped forward. The hall ended a ways down and appeared to jut off in two different directions. Which would she take? Where was she going? Where was she?

    "Do not question these halls. Move by your heart and mind. Go now."

    She ran. Quietly, with the silence of a hunter, she ran.

    "I am Sundara Mana. Ara. Keep me from destruction, oh Vishnu. I am not ready to move on from this life."

    "I cannot protect you. But I will do my best to guide you. Vishnu... if that is what you wish to call me, I will answer."
  5. . "Ahree ki gus n'kala... Ri nelle belegothgrar." At that moment, a malignant chorus of demonic voices spoke within the corners of these damp halls, echoing all through the pathway. A vocal multitude, it spoke an eldritch tongue only it and it's other, demonic compatriots can understand. The voice was callous, almost unrelenting - the phrase itself was an expression of hatred to the spirit of complacency and idleness that had come upon it. In other words, NIhilus was bored, and both it and the creatures wriggling within the black mass were itching to get things done. A hunter, as the Artificer had once said countless lifetimes ago, mustn't be a creature lying in constant wait. Seeing as there were no pitiful quarry squandering in his sector, Nihilus crept along the walls and ceilings like a collective of black and pudgy worms, enveloped by the liquid darkness that was his form. His movements were that of a shadow; flat against the stones, leaving naught but a trail of his own disgusting matter which, upon being left, would trickle back towards Nihilus.

    You see, it had been a total of seven hours before the dark hunter's last sacrifice to the Artificer. Before Nihilus had left its position, the creature left a small altar of bloodied bones and a skull, all organized quite neatly all for the glory of its creator. This was Nihilus' folly, for wherever the black sludge went, these altars followed. One victim always amassed to one altar for its god and father, and Nihilus' mouths smiled at their creation. But did this atrocity really know who the creator was? No, but Nihilus' heart, if the monster had any, firmly believed in the Artificer. Snuffing out candles wherever it went, Nihilus moved on to the next sector of this ever-malforming Labyrinth. Its scurrying led the formless entity to a group of bones and bloodied corpses being devoured by a countless mass of spiders. How tragic indeed, but the sight was devoid of any respect to their creator and artistry. With a large tentacle, Nihilus shooed away the arachnids and began arranging the bones of Mephalas' victims into little altars. Nihilus birthed five little Umbralings to help their formless master set them up. .
  6. Somewhere deep in the bowels of the Labyrinth, a voice arises. Its hollow tones vibrate in the walls, along the cool stone at your feet, and beckon you with dark promises you aren't sure will be kept. It speaks in a dark language you vaguely understand, old words you may have heard while young. Perhaps they frighten you, or perhaps you soldier on and push the dark murmurs from your mind. With your Mith's help, the fear dissipates, the voice fades into the snarls of shadows. But its words linger.

    The Artificer congratulates his Lurkers, and urges them forward. Seek, the Labyrinth whispers. Seek.

    Combating the cold language is a warm chorus that heats your limbs and burns away the shadows. It greets you pleasantly in an intimate language, and you feel that you can trust its words. It promises to guide you with torches that flare too bright as you come near and music almost too distant to make out. But it is there, and its promises are true.

    The Watcher comforts the Stranded, and urges them forward. An eye in chalk, the voice whispers. It sees your path.
  7. A low groan escaped the shape on the ground as pain flared through his back. The last memory he could fully remember was being confronted by two guys in an alley. They were both younger than him and he faintly remembered the youngest picking on an older lady earlier that day; having left the kid on the ground with a bruised cheek. The kid had come back with a friend, and they were not opposed to using a metal pipe to get their point across. After the first blow he had not been opposed to turning the metal pipe back on them.

    The cold ground was doing nothing but causing his back more pain so he slowly rolled onto his side and cracked open his eyes. The moment he took in the sight he wished he had kept them closed. The stone walls were not those of his run-down home. They seemed to be covered in something that reminded him of death. The pain he felt might not have been caused by his memory, but instead by whatever brought him here. The devil must have taken his chance and he was now in Hell. The thought left him hollow and he covered his face with his hands. He had been trying to turn himself around and become a better person, but he should have known better: there was no such thing as a second chance.

    Warmth consumed him and at first he shook it off as a hallucination, but when the feeling did not go away he sat up and looked around. The walls were still haunting but the sight did not shake him up like the first time. To the right of him was a candlestick. The light flickered for a moment; the movement causing his dark blue eyes to watch the light more intently. Nothing could have caused the flame to do that, but surely enough after a few seconds it happened again.

    "Who are you?" Seth growled. "Better yet, what are you?" He watched and listened, hoping for some sort of answer. None came. Picking up the candle he stood up and brushed the dirt off his jeans. "Fine. I see I won't be getting any answers out of you, but I still have to call you something. Unfortunately, you don't seem like a female so how about Ethan?" The light flickered out for a moment and he gave a small smile. "I take that as a yes. Well, Ethan, not that it matters but my name is Seth, and I think I have finally lost my mind." The light flashed bright and then dulled multiple times, as if Ethan was laughing.

    Holding his tongue, Seth rolled his eyes and started walking the path in front of him. He had no clue how long he had been walking before a voice started up. It was dark, promising: he wished he could reach towards it. The voice reminded him of the person he had been not so long ago; how easy it was to hate and hurt. The path of darkness was easy to get sucked into. Thankfully, Ethan kept him in control, and when another voice started up he knew he could trust it. The bigger question is: can he trust himself? Tears of confusion forming in his eyes he continued on. "What am I?"
  8. Nora heard the voice and it frightened her. It reminded her of back when she had found her parents, the nightmares she'd continue to have for months on end. She held the candle close to her once more before she felt Phoenix's presence, which managed to calm her down somewhat. What was that though? Was that the person who had brought her here? She didn't know what to think except that it wasn't safe. Whatever it was telling her was lies.

    She continued through the hallways, shivering as she heard dripping of water? blood? She really didn't want to find out. However, she was feeling somewhat more confident as she heard something else, something that warmed her other than Phoenix. However, she didn't understand what it was trying to convey.

    She carried on walking, trying to breathe normally, pacing herself as she didn't want to tire out... not yet anyway. "Hello?" she tried once more, wondering if it was in vain. Even with Phoenix around, it would be nice if there was someone else there.
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  9. Meeting

    She ran faster and faster, her fear pushing her forward. Vishnu urged her to stop, the warm voice within her mind, but the voice was not enough to stifle the haunting feeling in the back of her mind that ushered her forwards. Left, right, left, left, right, left, right, right, right, right.... how was that possible?

    She'd taken four right turns.

    What was this place?

    Suddenly, a booming voice, filled with a creeping, incidious tone beckoned her forward, into the darkness. She stood frozen with fear as her companion covered her with warmth, trying to keep her form breaking. A second voice, just as ancient and ominous but less... cursed, spoke out to her. Who were the owners of these voices? She immediately considered Shivva and Kali, gods of destruction and forewarning. But something told her she was not in their presence at all, that she was not in an ordinary realm of survial. Something chilled her to the core and sickened her with each deep syllabyl of the unknown speakers.

    Then, when the sounds had faded, another voice came echoing down the corridor, one not so etheriel. She listened as it called out and realised it sounded much like the voice of her own kind: human.

    But how could she know? How could she know what lurked around the ever changing corners of this dark maze of passageways? How could she trust it?

    Her eyes flitted back and forth, looking at nothing in particular as she thought about her options.

    "Don't trust anything in these halls. They lie. They consume."

    She had no difficulty agreeing wiht that. She wouldn't be trusting anything anytime soon - except for Vishnu, for reasons she couldn't explain.

    Then, she realized what she could do to maintain her safety while exploring the source of the voice. Silencing her breathing, she leaned down and slipped off her worn, fabric shoes and cradelled them in her arms, careful not to lose them in this terrible place. Creeping forward with the silence of a tiger, she went after the voice, following the halls of no direction until it grew louder and louder.

    She rounded a corner and quickly stopped herself, flipping back and pinning herself against the wall. It was a human: a girl.

    "She has a mith with her, one of my own kind. She's a wanderer, like you. You need her."

    Ara trusted the voice in her mind. She nodded and took a deep breath, pushing herself away from the wall and turning the corner to face the back of the girl.

    "Hello..." She said quietly at first, trying not to startled the woman. "Where are we?" Was all she could manage. What was she supposed to say? 'My name is Sundara Mana, I am from India, my favorite color is golden orange, I once had a pet snake named Jukabu?' She rolled her eyes and brought her hand to her face in the ridiculousness of the scenario.

    "I'm sorry. My name is Sundara. I'm not sure what sort of pleasantries are to be used in such a circumstance. Do you know where we are?"
  10. The walls blurred as Seth continued on. The walking was becoming monotonous; everything looked the same and even the twists and turns were of little importance. When he first started walking he tried to keep track of which way he went, but after an hour he could not remember if he had turned right or left on that first turn. He should have only taken left or rights unless, not both, but it was too late now. The only good from this place was Ethan.

    "So, Ethan, do you have any other hobbies or do you just enjoy the company of lost souls?" No reply except for the smallest flicker of the flame. "I am not sure what to take that as. It is a good thing I have gotten used to not having anyone around or else we might have had some issues with this 'not being able to talk' thing. Honestly, I am starting to think we are the only ones here so it may become an issue eventually. If it comes to that be glad you don't have a tangible form."

    For the next hour Seth occasionally talked to Ethan. They came up with a form of communicating yes or no question: one flash meant yes while two meant no. There were times when Ethan would flash multiple times and Seth had a hard time figuring out what it meant, but the longer they 'talked' the better he became at understanding the meanings.

    As each minute passed the surroundings once again became a blur. It seemed as if nothing would happen and he would wander the halls for all eternity until madness took it's toll. How long would that take? Five years? Two? Less than one? He shook his head at the thought and then ran his hand through his hair. The second his hand came down he blinked in astonishment. A few feet in front of him were two other people; he had been so lost in thought that he had not heard them. Relaxing his eyes he smiled. "Has Hell always contained beautiful women, Ethan?"
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  11. Nora hadn't expected anyone to reply to her call, so she was very surprised when she heard someone. Well, shocked would be more the right word. The normally impassive and poker faced young woman practically jumped in the air when she heard a female voice. Calm down, stupid heart, she said to herself. She looked toward Phoenix and only felt that the mith was fine with this person.

    She blinked, hearing the long winded explanation, somewhat amused at the irrelevant and random details. Was this how normal people greeted each other? She didn't know, not really... Nora tended to keep away from people unless they were buying things from her. "I'm Nora, Canadian, dunno what my favourite colour is, never had a pet... and I haven't the bloodiest idea where we are. Except I feel like it's hell down here... or a pit of it anyway."

    This time Phoenix cautioned her, there was someone else here, aside from Sundara. She turned to look in the direction of the new voice, seeing a man smiling. She put on her poker face; she didn't fear this person, she just found it easier to communicate with people when she was expressionless. "Who are you?" It was obvious he was someone who had woken up in here like her and Sundara, seeing as how he called this place hell.
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  12. As the voices echoed throughout the Labyrinth, Mephalas couldn't resist a smirk coming to her face. She'd long wondered whether the Watcher and the Artificer were two sides of the same coin: the 'Watcher' and his Miths giving the Stranded hope, to make their crushing by the 'Artificer' and his Lurkers all the sweeter. Even having given herself over to the Artificer, she still had little understanding of that being. Were they all pawns on a chess board between two almighty figures, or was there just one sicko like her up there, laughing as he toyed with people's lives? Nevertheless, the presence of the Watcher could always be relied on to allow a little fun to be had.

    A third voice rang out, human this time. Mephalas smiled widely, licking her lips. Jackpot.

    Ensuring her appearance as 'Muiri' was intact, she ran towards the sound of the voice. Rounding the corner and panting heavily, she saw two young women and a man apparently in the early stages of acquainting themselves. Time to join the party.

    "Oh thank god! I've been wandering around all on my own and there's dead people being eaten by giant spiders back there and I've been running ever since and there's been all these strange noises!" Mephalas completed her performance of hysterical panic with some sobbing tears, collapsing against a wall.

    "I'm sorry it's just...those bodies...those poor people...I'm scared. I'm so so scared."
  13. Nihilus was merrily rearranging the corpses of the deceased when the still small voice of its lord and master echoed passed the formless monster. It gave the mass of liquid darkness a feeling of orgiastic pleasure, as if a man's lover had put her mouth on his ear, whispering seductively and giving him goosebumps - that was exactly what the hunter had felt every time he and its Umbraling brethren had heard the Artificer speak, and with congratulatory remarks, no less.

    "Yes my master. I shall do thy bidding." Nihilus' countless mouths spoke in demonic chorus, imitating a harmony of fearful inhuman voices. The power of his master guided him with an unknown force, drawing Nihilus to the people like a shark on the hunt, guided by naught but the smell of blood. Nihilus was rumoured to be one of the stealthiest Lurkers, due to its ability of shape malformation. It was quite literally liquid darkness, which helped him silence his quarry. An assassin in his core, Nihilus heeded his Artificer's call and birthed an Umbraling from within its bowels. This impish monster was about the size of a small bat. It scurried along the walls as if a roach, and went on forward to seek the prey. The true Nihilus itself flattened and hid within each and every small crack that the Labyrinth walls had hid, exemplifying his mastery of his own body. It shadowed its pet, creeping within the walls. The imp found the congregation of people, crawling along the ceiling. Mephalas was already there, hiding within falsified flesh - it was still absolutely disgusting for a Lurker of his calibre to aesthetically lower itself and become the Artificer's quarry... pathetic. Still, Mephalas, like Nihilus, was feared by smaller lurkers, in spite of their differing forms of treachery. Thus, respect was given where it was due.

    Purposefully, the imp dropped down on the congregation, wishing to instil fear within them. It was feline like in its attempts, scratching wildly and scurrying like a rat with inhuman speed. However, that was jut a diversion, as the true formless body of Nihilus was upon them - in the ceiling, in the floor, and in the walls. In mere moments, it will emerge and devour the three in one go. They needed to escape, and they needed to, fast.
    #13 Damien Kriez, Apr 24, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  14. As Mephalas continued her charade, she became aware of another sneaking closer. Nihilus. The wretched lapdog of the Artificer, who would slowly tear himself to pieces if he thought it might bring the minutest amount of pleasure to his Master. Pathetic creature. And those bone altars? Tacky and tasteless. Nihilus never really understood the beauty of chaos, of order destroyed, of body parts strewn across the floor.

    Despite his personality defects though, he was an effective killer. If she didn't warn her 'fellow' Stranded of the danger, then they would likely be consumed by Nihilus, and left as another little offering, like a dead mouse at a doorstep. Mephalas had no intention of losing these ones - she had high hopes for them. They may even be able to wipe out her feelings of disappointment. But to warn them would be to reveal herself, or at least cast doubt in their minds. What to do? What to do?

    Nihilus gave her the card she needed to play by dropping one of his little rodents on them. The creature flurried about and scratched, while she could feel Nihilus preparing to pounce. Time for Muiri to kick it up a notch.

    Screaming, she ran from the creature. "That's what killed those people I saw! Run for your lives!"

    Hopefully they wouldn't be stupid enough to ignore her.
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