The depths of darkness

Ever since he began, Zane faced many challenges throughout his life. A life of pain, tragedy and blood but even through these trials he kept his head high and never backed down. Years of intense studying and training developed Zane into a proud, strong man of great power. But rumours whispered through the air tell of an ancient terror, raging deep below the mountains. Can Zane defeat this great mystery or will he perish trying?

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5. The God Wars

 

I shoved a thick, sharp stake into the dirt beside the hole and hammered it deep until I was sure that it was secure. I found the long coil of rope and tied a strong knot around the base of the stake and dropped the loop down the hole, there was a satisfying plop at the end. Slowly but surely I lowered myself into the hole and made my way down the rope. The light began to dim as I released that I had no idea where I was. Placing my feet against the wall I grabbed a small pebble from my pocket and held it in the palm of my hand, it glowed a bright white and I dropped it down the rest of way. It landed not so far down and so I abseiled down quickly to retrieve my stone. Strong magic power was imbued into this rock and it always helped me in times of great darkness. Grabbing my tinderbox I lit a torch and started down the long tunnel ahead of me. This was so exciting, once again my mind raced, I was going into unknown territory. What will I discover; perhaps a new species or exciting room of mysteries? Long thin stalactites hung from the ceiling and a thin sheet of slippery ice covered the floor. It was so cold; I could see my breath in the air around me. As I progressed I noticed a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Slowly a loud noise was beginning to form in my ears; the clank of tearing and metal on metal. An ear splitting screech echoed throughout the cave and I froze paralyzed. What was this? Did people get here before me? The noise level only rose as I approached the light. I turned the corner and my eyes opened wide; a huge battle stretched out before me, huge bird-warriors flew around tearing into smaller imps and goblins. Huge ogres swung their clubs and blood surged through the air. Towering demons slashed with razor claws and mysterious mages cast deadly spells and curses. The Gods Wars stretched out in front of me, merciless and devastating. I came to discover history; instead I found a living nightmare.

                A single drop of perspiration trickled down my face and dropped to the floor, frozen with fear I stood there and watched monsters tear each other apart. So the rumours were true, the Gods Wars was supposed to have ended but yet it continues here. Would this be classed miraculous discovery? Or maybe I’ve opened the gateway to hell! I didn’t have time to think as the first aviansie attacked. The winged beast screeched in the air and dived for me; I rolled to the side and drew my bow firing two arrows together. The twin arrows sped through the air and impaled themselves straight into the birds back. I heard bones crack and a jet of thick blood spurted out of its flesh, the aviansie cried in pain and then dropped to the floor, dead. Hearing a second bird above me I sprinted forward missing its deadly sharp talons by millimetres. Chaos was everywhere around me, so much was going on I didn’t have the luxury of processing it all. I kept running straight ahead firing volley after volley of arrows into impending creatures dead set on tearing me apart. Suddenly a huge aviansie dropped from the sky and landed in front of me, ranged weapons wouldn’t work so close, I had to think of another way. It opened its beak and dived for me intent on ripping me open, I jumped to the side and drew my dagger slashing the bird across the wing, not a devastating blow it had to be said. The red metal glinted as the light shone on the tip, I plunged the dagger down but the beast dodged out of the way. This time it raised its talons and swiped at me, I felt the cold tips mutilate the skin on my chest as it tore a jagged gash downwards. I screamed in agony as the avinasie’s eyes shined with sheer bloodlust. I roared with sheer terror and furious rage and drew on the power of the dagger. I slashed the bird’s chest twice in quick succession ripping off feathers and opening new wounds. Then I gripped the handle with both hands and dragged the blade down the entirety of the aviansie’s body, top to bottom. Blood erupted from the chest of the beast and slowly entrails slid out from inside it slopping to the floor in a sickly crimson mess.

 I spared a moment to check behind me, it wasn’t good. Dozens of creatures of all shapes and sizes chased me in the distance. Ahead of me was a huge gap, though I only had one option left: to jump. I ran full pelt at the gap only realising that there was no way that I could clear it once I began to jump. The end fell away from sight. My chest slammed against the other side taking all my breath away, but still I held on for dear life. Struggling I realised that if I didn’t put all my remaining effort into this climb I was going to be bird feed any minute now. I strained my arms to pull myself upwards, my feet slipped and slid on the icy wall but I managed to pull my weak, deteriorating body up to the other side. I struggled mo my feet only to realise that they were still on the other side coming closer to the gap. Deep within me my inner demon growled. Furious rage started bubbling up inside me. No! I told myself, for years I had suppressed the demon that lay within me but now he was taking control. And suddenly silence, the world seemed like it was going in slow motion yet I could move completely fine. Sharp fangs bit into my bottom lip and the cave took on a light red hue. This was me, but I had changed, some would say for the better but I couldn’t control my anger. Large muscles bulged beneath my armour and I roared a ravenous animalistic growl. Drawing my bow once more, I drew two spiked red arrows from my quiver, pulled back and released them with all my might. I watched with an evil sneer as the arrows shot through the air. Moving so past they ripped the air around them and began to take on a dark glow. Strange shapes began to form around the speeding projectiles; first two snapping mouths, flashing red eyes and finally the intimidating faces of two phantom dragons. The rest of the bodies followed suit; Sharp black talons and hard scaly skin. Two strong muscular bodies equipped with huge devastating wings and heavy whipping tails. The dragons surged through the air and hit the first of my targets. The bloodveld literally exploded as the dragons passed straight through, not losing any speed. And yet they didn’t stop as they tore through ogres, aviansies and demons. They caused a straight line of destruction cutting up anything that stood in their way. The dragons found the centre of the cavern and started to curl around each other intertwining. Finally they roared and exploded in a huge sea of flames scattering burning light around the cavern. Silence once more, the ground was slick with blood and corpses and yet all I could do was laugh. This wasn’t me but I loved every second of it.

 At once the rage started to subside. Time reverted to its usual flow, my fangs withdrew and the demonic muscles shrank back into my skin. My body started to ache all over as I realised that my chest still had a huge gash down it. Straight after my head exploded with pain, transforming always took its toll afterwards but saved me in many dire situations. I dragged my body to the cave wall and tried to relax as my body writhed in pain. I reached into my bag and withdrew another potion and glugged it down in one. It eased the pain slightly but not entirely, at least I was going to live another day. Then the realisation dawned on me. I had just discovered the remains of the God Wars. I could be famous; they might call me Zane the great, or perhaps the mighty? I had to get out of here alive and report my findings, and then thousands of people could come here to reap the many rewards it has to offer. I set up camp in a small alcove tucked into the corner of the great dungeon. Tomorrow was going to be a hard day.

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