The Necropolis (Peregrine x Lady Amalthea)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Peregrine, Jun 21, 2015.

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  1. It began with a faint chime, almost like someone had struck a ceramic bowl with the blunt edge of a knife. It slipped in between the mounds that rose from the obsidian ground, winding outwards until it was swallowed up by distance and darkness. Long before the single note faded from the strange, dark, echoing silence, it was followed up by another sound, and another. But these were not the sweet notes of some porcelain orchestra, but were rather a creak, a crack, a tear, a rip, a crunch, as though some beast was wrenching through the ground, clawing to get out.

    A crack ran down a narrow patch of flat ground that zigged and zagged between the oblong masses that seemed to sprout chaotically from the flat, expansive stretch. In the faint, pervasive, sourceless light it would have been possible to miss it as it ran further and further in both directions. The noises continued, growing deeper, louder, harsher, more grating, and the single face that was crouched in the shadows, staring out into the half-light with vacant, white eyes, turned and began to shuffle away from the noise as fast as her thin, warped legs could carry her. With a final, gut-wrenching sound, the crack split open, and bright, unfiltered light shot up into the air, traveling until it too was lost in the inky obscurity of sky.

    Now that it had broken open the crack widened quickly, and the very world seemed to shudder in complaint as it was pushed open, leaving behind the bright, gaping wound that stretched wider and wider, filling the area with brightness. Something hissed in retaliation, complaining at the unwelcome intrusion of light, but the maw continued to stretch outwards, uncaring.

    For a moment there was once more silence, broken only by the faint sounds of complaining ground, until with another sharp crack the complaining ground finally gave, and part of the rift split further, sending another tear shooting out into the darkness. The light had gotten bright enough that it illuminated the various contorted lumps as though the sun was high in the sky, and it was starting to attract the attention of various denizens of the shadows. They crawled towards the tower of light, curiously gathering around. One of them shoved another towards the crack, who stumbled before promptly scampering backwards. One of its fellows laughed mockingly, until the reason for its alarm became clear.

    There was a hand, reaching up through the light, fingers grasping wildly until it closed around the jagged edge of the rift. Another hand reached up, grabbing next to the first one, before a backlit figure heaved itself up from the darkness, crouched on the ledge like a feral beast.

    One of the gathered figures chittered in terror, dropping to all fours to race away from the monstrosity. In an instant the horned head whipped around, eyes narrowing into slits, and with a single motion it sprang after the fleeing figure, long sharp claws reaching out and tightly coiled muscles releasing in a burst of impossibly fast motion. There was a shower of blood and a single cry before a broken gurgle, and then nothing.

    The few others who had come to investigate the rift and see whether or not they would have the courage to jump in and find whatever treasures might wait on the other side were frozen in fear, hardly daring to move as the four horns of the monster dropped low, tearing into the warm corpse with sharp, jagged teeth. None of them dared move lest they draw the attention of the beast.

    A few mouthfuls later, and the creature paused, letting out a panting breath that splattered a few droplets of blood onto the black ground as a long tongue rolled out of his mouth, almost seeming to taste the air. He turned to one of the nearby people, a little creature with wide, staring eyes, floppy ears, and a certain lethargy about it that showed it would not be much longer among the living. It flinched, trying to scoot away, but a rattling hiss quickly brought it to a halt.

    “D’kinrah.” The voice was an unexpected whisper, grating against the ear as though it had not been used for anything except primal screams for years.


    “Where is...” he took a breath, leaning in closer. “D’kinrah.”

    “I’s... I’s dun no.” The monster growled, and his hand flitted out blindingly fast, long fingers closing around the thin neck. Blood began to well where the claws dug into soft, greying flesh. “Plez!” The little creature screamed, begging, big, fat, iridescent tears rolling from its overlarge eyes. “Plez, I’s dun no, tru.” There was a sharp crack as its spine snapped under the sudden pressure from the monster’s grip.

    “Useless!” he spat in frustration. He straightened to a towering height, glaring around at the few shadowy faces. Something in his eyes made it clear that no matter how fast they tried to run, he would catch at least one of them. None of them wanted to be that one, so none of them moved.

    “Where is D’kinrah!” The bellow was so unexpected that it nearly caused several of them to bolt. The look in his eyes froze them in place. After that, silence was the only thing to greet his shout.

    “Where is,” this time his voice was no scream, but was rather a deadly hiss, and somehow infinitely more frightening. “D’kinrah.” They all knew if his question was not answered by someone, more blood would flow.

    “Please...” whispered a painfully thin man with an overlarge ring perched on one of his bony fingers. “We don’t know who that is.”

    “The Puppetmaster.”

    There was a collective gasp of fearful breath, as though even the sound of the name would somehow strike them dead. They might not have known the person of whom the monster spoke, but everyone could recognize the titles of the Gifted. It was as though the word itself carried some sort of latent power that resonated through the air with the word. There were many who feared that the name itself was some sort of invocation, and that the object of their fear would suddenly appear before them.

    The skinned skeleton pulled the ring off of his finger, spinning it in the palm of his hand and then on the ground. All the while he muttered, continuing to spin it. Finally his fingers moved away, and for several moments the ring spun of its own volition, the smoky gem gleaming in the light from the rift. Finally it toppled, and the point at the top of the ring was aimed towards the other side of the rift, and the darkness beyond.

    “That way,” came a fearful whisper. “D’kinrah is that way.”

    With a final, vengeful snarl at the emaciated figure, the demon whirled away, stalking towards the edge of the pit. His orange eyes, seeming to glow in the rift light, glanced back at the ring one last time before, with a mighty bound, taught muscles vaulted him to the other side of the pit, where he was swallowed up by the play of light and shadow.

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