Journey Through the Abyss

This is a story I started in year 10 as a piece of my original writing coursework, I never managed to finish it as I went into hospital for a prolonged period of time - since then I have had extreme writers block, and haven't had the nerve to continue writing. I think I'm ready now, and I'm ready to receive feedback on my work. If you could give me constructive criticism, that would be perfect - read it, comment on it, share it, help me fulfill my dreams and ambitions.


2. Chapter 2.

The sun was illuminating the sky: the clouds appearing a pale gold colour. Perrin glanced briefly at the sky, wiping the sweat from his brow, he began his long trek back to his village.


Perrin could not believe his eyes; everything – Ruined…

A fire had burnt through the whole village - the houses were blackened, more debris than buildings after the destruction that had raged through them. The bakers shop had fallen to the fires winding path. His eyes flashed with remembrance; himself as a child. He remembered running through the town barefoot, away from the shop, with a sweet roll secretly stolen - along with a kiss from the baker’s daughter, he remembered the smell, how it had made him hungry. He blinked away the coming tears along with a deep breath, readying himself to see what the rest of the fire had done. He glanced around, taking in his surroundings. What used to be a beautiful village was now not even a shadow of what it had been. The lake, where he had first made love to Molly, his lovely, sweet Molly. It was filled with burned out wood, stone had fallen into it. Tears threatened again but this time he let them fall, a sweet comparison to the pain in his chest. After a few quiet sobs he pulled himself together, looking around, he saw the smithy – could this have started the fire? Seeing no signs of this, he looked inside – this had been ransacked – looted of all weaponry and armour. He’d known Brent, he’d grown up with him. They’d tossed wood together, drunk together, played together as children. His friend was dead, an arrow through his stomach, he knew this was not a nice way to die – painful, miserable. He wouldn’t have had a quick death.


Perrin looked for his home, thinking it had only been looted then burnt. He ran to it, dropping to his knees whilst tossing stone and wood to the side. He was looking for a sign. Any sign, anything to show him they were still alive. Anything. He threw with all of his might, hoping – yet knowing his hope was futile.

There was nothing except a small black flag waving in the wind. He noticed a small eye of a Hobgoblin etched into its surface; and so he knew immediately that it had been no accident that had killed the last of his kin and the rest of the village. It was the Dahanikans. The smoke had been lingering around long enough for him to feel it still burning his eyes, burning his soul bitter. Just like the sight – Burnt into his mind forever. He knew it was not one he would ever be able to forget. He has a family – had a family. Perrin dropped to the floor, to his knees and wept. His heart ached for his lost family, for his lost love, for his lost happiness. He cried until there were no tears left to fall… until there was no more hurt to be found, until there was no more love left to be felt. Only anger; only revenge; only hate. They were his only reasons left to be living. Death, hurt, pain. Revenge. H thought as he looked at the stars in the sky, and he bellowed his rage to the Gods above, cursing them and making a promise. Before he parted from this world, he will make the Dahanikans pay. He will make them cry for mercy and he will make them feel the loss he feels. ‘This I promise on the blood of my own’ He whispered to the Gods, using his small dagger, kept always hidden among his clothes, and cut deep into his hand – watching the blood fall and mingle with the ashes. It ignited the memories unknown to him as training in a past life, the memories from his assassins training ran through his head, along with swordsmanship training, and his healing training. How many lives had he led? How many lives had he killed, and equally, how many had he saved? Where had these images flashed from?


Some time later…


The sound of a footstep drew his attention; he unsheathed his sword as fast as a striking cobra slicing at the air around him. Realising it was just an animal shuffling around in the bushes he cursed aloud. He had spent three weeks living like this, fighting for what he thought as correct in his world. Every now and again, he got short flashes of memories in his mind – a certain move with his sword, how snapdragon herbs ground with hot water can form a paste that will draw out infection, how the berry of an Elderweed bush can kill when dried and turned into a powder – snuck into a drink. This made it easier to use a home-made bow and arrows – he remembered things he shouldn’t remember – he knew when to attack and when he was near to danger. He believed it intuition. Continuing his  walking, sword still unsheathed – wary of his surroundings. Another crunch on a leaf and his ears twitched, goading him into turning around, after a seconds thought he did so – just in time to see a fist come close to crashing into his shoulder. It missed, lightly touching the side of his arm. The attacker then used his weight to throw Perrin off guard, attempting a bear lock. Luckily Perrin knew this move twisting his body to the left, leaving his foe to fall on the ground. Perrin did not wait. He slipped his sword in between the ribs of the assailant. The man – clothed in the black signature colour of the Dahanikans - fell to the floor, bright blue eyes shining like diamonds begging, as he lay against the grass.


Perrin smiled to himself, another one: dead. He felt the cold emptiness of his heart freeze with anger as the memory of why he was doing this: His family. He did not shed a tear for the lost cause, he clenched his fist in anger. Perrin ripped the black mask off his foe. Long golden hair tumbled out, mingling with the scarlet on the floor. He gasped, recognising the hair and soft face as a woman. Her silky skin seemed to glow, her eyes however growing more dull and lifeless by the moment; the shine seemed to be gone. It was then that he noticed the dark purple bruises around her eyes, along with the ridge on her nose – clearly broken. Her lips were dry and cracked. Lined in old blood, they still managed to whisper a few last words “They are alive… Captured… Dahanikans” and then after a moment “save them… Please.”


He shook her, momentarily keeping her from dying. The pain on her face looked excruciating: he shook her again, but all it made her do was cough up blood. Those were her dying words, the last ones she would ever mutter. Already he missed the softness of it, the innocence, as he realised she must not have been attempted to attack him, but get his attention; and now any words she might have wanted to whisper, she could not, for the nothing but the God of Death awaited her. He buried her as all with the heritage she had come from should be buried - a sword atop her breasts. However, not the sword she had wielded on her. Her hands together clasped the hilt.


He studied the sword she had had equipped. Jewels decorated the hilt. Rubies, emeralds and sapphires. – The hilt itself – a dragon coiled like a snake, ready to strike. The beauty of the artisanship was amazing. The edge of the blade was sharp, and strong. Stronger than steel, and sharper than glass: it was made of diamonds, and enchanted by a witch of the Elvin as a thank you. Everyone knew the story told by wanderers, yet still it was a favourite of Perrins; a man had killed a foe of the witch and in return, she gave the man a diamond sword enchanted so that the weight was lifted, and so that it would not break, but slice through anything in it’s way. It was completely unpractical, because it could not work, he thought as he continued his study. There was a but in the story, however. Before she gave the man this last gift, she extracted a promise from him, she said, “promise me you will not misuse this, and promise me this will reach the one who shall save us all, for without it, he can not fulfil his destiny, and if he does not fulfil his destiny, we are all surely to die.” Everyone also knew it was not true, but still, he enjoyed hearing a good tale. The sword must have been crafted in the hottest heat, to create such a strong material that has so little weight. The woman wearing it clearly would not have known how to wield it properly for she was not a warrior. He could tell by the lack of muscle on her arms, and by her rough hands, she was a farm girl. It was not hers. He knew who’s it was. It was his fathers, and now traditionally passed down. It was his, the burden was to be taken on his shoulders, he was to be the one to fulfil the prophecy, though at that moment in time – he did not know the journey he would be taking, nor the path. He did not know the burden being placed on his shoulders.


He had known the sword as he saw it; he had recognized the bruised and battered face of the woman as he had seen her. Her name was Lira, Lira Mondague. She was his sister; she had been the one taking care of his son as he worked on the field the day of the massacre. His wife was dead; she had died whilst giving birth to his son. Nevertheless, this was a sign. A sign of a long journey ahead of him. A sign of family. A sign for life, a sign for a renewed reason for living. He collected his things, a small amount – he had a long journey ahead of him.


Thus began the journey of Perrin Mondague, the kin slayer, the beginning of the prophecy fulfilled. The wielder of dragons. The one to save us all.


3 years later.


The sun was reflecting silhouettes onto the clouds, Lilith noticed as she continued her search. It was early evening, and nearing the end of summer. The way the clouds were made it look like a horizon, like the suns heat blasting on the cool sea. She stopped for a moment, and looked – cherishing the moment she had spare. She had run for most of the day, still energized from the potion that had been previously brought from the old hag. Lilith had made several days of travel turn into just one through this potion, continued use could lead to fatal effects, but she knew from previous experience that two would not have any kind of bad effect on her. The potions however HAD damaged her purse, a lot. They had been costly, a whole gold coin each – For the materials: The eye of a hobgoblin and the root of an elder weed were both very uncommon, for the hobgoblin is a very hard creature to kill. She was glad she had brought two spare, her remaining gold coin. One for him for the journey back, and one for her own journey back, it will be a long journey, she knew this, but she judged it worth the effort. She started with a paced jog, a smile on her face. She had finally found his location.


Perrin kicked through the dead shrubbery, noticing the different colours of autumn coming through. The leaves were all sorts of colours. One leaf however caught his eye among a selection of them – Lying on a bed of brown, there was a red leaf, he found it strange to see. Almost like a drop of blood, scarlet against the beauty of a newly snowed-on elder weed bush. He looked around himself again at the trees. There were barely any leaves left on them – and none of them were green. Autumn was truly here. The sky by now was a deep blue; the sun had nearly set, shooting the last of its energy and colours all through the sky. After a while, he looked around and noticed an ache in his calves, the sun had finished setting and the moon was high out in the sky. What had happened? Where had the time gone? Had he gone into some kind of trance? He did not know the answers to these questions, but he did know that if he did not hurry up and get his camp set up then he would be sleeping on the ground and in the cold that night.


While Perrin lay awake that night, listening to the soft strumming of a cricket and the mating cries of the moonhawk, he thought of everything and realised that so far – he had accomplished nothing. He had remembered his past lives, the ones that he had been trained in – but he could do nothing with that training until he has another instructed to help him relearn it. Every day had been the same routine: He would get up at sun-up and would pack his camp. He would be on the road and taking none of the offered lifts, because he needed to build both strength and endurance until the sunlight began to wane, and the moon was out. He would then pack up his camp, and fish for food, or hunt. But if there was no kind of meat available, he would harvest berries, or small mushrooms. He would drink from streams, and replenish his water skin at the same stream, if he was lucky and had enough time after all of this; he would then continue and clean himself in the stream. He did not find it as relaxing as a hot bath back at home would have been, but it was better than nothing was. He did not know exactly what his aim was; all he knew was that he had to find the Dahanikans; he would listen to any kind of gossip about them in villages whenever he seemed to pass them, which was not too rare. If he chanced upon finding one of the Dahanikans or a patrol of them, he would kill them one by one, with a bow and arrow and a carefully hidden patrol group. This is how he got a nickname: The Ghost. No one seemed to know who he was, or how he killed the amount of people he did, without being killed himself. He found it easy and slightly humorous at the made up stories about him. In the villages, he learnt that he had become the Dahanikans biggest fear, and so they should fear him, for he would kill every single one of them, this he swore with his own blood.


Realising he would not get sleep this cold night, he decided to get up, and collect more logs for the fire. Perrin relieved himself in a stream that was a while away from his camp, before picking up a few logs. “That should do,” he murmured to himself, beginning the walk back. Suddenly he felt someone attacking him. His leg was in absolute pain! It would not stop! Something was biting him. The pain was so intense, and then his entire world went black…


Lilith crouched down and felt the ashes between her fingers; it had not been out long. She brought her fingers to her face, smelling the remains of his fire. It had burnt out, through lack of fuel. This much was clear. She got the scent in her nose. Her senses had been heightened. The owner of the fire and camp could not be too far, the ashes had still been warm – implying he could not have left too long ago. She started looking for him, for he was vital to her plans.


After a few hours, Lilith came across who she was looking for. But not in the condition she was hoping. His leg had been caught in a hobgoblin trap, and his head was bleeding. It had presumably smashed against a rock. She pulled him up, having not realised how heavy he was, she was panting by the time she got him into a seated position. Only when she levered the goblin trap, and swung his leg out of it did she realise the extent of his wound. Blood had come gushing out of it, leading her to murmur “damnit”, as she struggled to drag him back to his camp.


By the time she had done this, she was panting, attempting to catch her breath. She did not have the time to do so, so she continued as she was. She bandaged his wound, covering it in a foul smelling balm from her packs. The bandage she had used was a small white part of her dress, leaving it ragged and torn at the bottom. Lilith undid the bottom part to her dress, finding the potion strapped to her outer thigh. She drank it, beginning her run to The Fallen Owl: an inn, a reputable one at that. Most would wonder what she was doing going there. For she was one woman – appearing unequipped, and she certainly was not going there for any kind of business. 

“Two more ales here please”! A small, skinny man shouted to one of the wenches. He had a noticeably pointed chin, with a strangely shaped forehead, and was not particularly attractive. There was a scar going across his face, from his right eye all the way down to his mouth. It looked like his face was constantly locked into a scowl because of this. As the wench passed, he gave her a small slap on the rump causing a grin to light up her face and a wink to form on her face. He eyed her up, watching her for a while, noticing that when she walked over to the bar, she had earned a scolding and a scowl from the innkeeper. His name was Ratch, and his companion, sat beside him was called Bakkan. Ratch knew he would have a warm bed that night, so did Bakkan. Bakkan was a large man, almost a giant compared to the slender, small man beside him – the innkeeper had moved a bench so that Bakkan could sit, and even then, Bakkan could hardly fit on it, though not due to a lack of exercise. It was not a size earned through muscle toning. He was part troll. His mother had been forcibly mated with one, an act from the black heart. He shifted on the bench, eating the last of the potatoes on the plate. It had been overfilled with mushy carrots, foul smelling cabbage, and tough meat. He did not know what meat it was, nor did he care. Anything that would fill the far too long empty hole in his stomach and was edible was welcome. Therefore, with an empty plate in front of him, and a new mug of ale in his hands, he belched: loud and hard. Thus showing his appreciation of the meal. Ratch’s nickname was Rat-Boy to a few people, Bakkan included. Rat-Boy was a man, despite his name. He was well known for his abilities - special talents: Agility, the quickness of his hands,  and he was one of the best merchants in the land and one he was not so well known for – Thievery… He was quick with his tongue, but even quicker with his many hidden daggers.

They both sat back, having eaten their fill and more, they began to murmur to each other, both telling stories of times past. Ratch heard the room go silent, and felt eyes on his back. He then heard a steady walk towards him; he could almost taste the tension in the air. Ratch slowly and silently unsheathed his daggers, without anyone but himself knowing. He looked up, seeing the man approaching him for the first time. ‘Is there a problem, neighbour?’ He asked in a threatening manner, after seeing the angry scowl and the look of hate in the man’s eyes.

The reply came after no more than a moment for a breath; heard clearly as a sharp intake. The anger clear in his next words “Yes neighbour there is. You see, we roll dice here. Once a moon on this very table. So either you move now, or ol’ Barack here will do the honours for me.” A snarl covering his face. Ratch stood and spun a dagger around his finger, using his others to balance it as it went round; a strange grin settled on his face. “now neighbour, is there really any need to argue over a table? Why do you not just invite us to roll die with you here, unless you believe the Goddess of Luck would turn her tables on you?” he said; the insult clear in his words. The man gave Ratch a cold glare, speaking silence. It turned even Bakkans blood cold. His eyes were a void of any true colour or light. The room had gone ice cold, and the lights appeared to have dimmed. Everyone around them stopped speaking. There wasn’t a sound in the room – it was an unnatural silence. Usually Ratch would have been able to hear the pitter-pattering of a horses hooves on the ground, outside the inn; or maybe even the shout of a merchant – But there was nothing, not a single sound, it was as if all sounds had been sucked into the mans eyes. Thus filling the void. There was no longer warmth nor moisture in the air. Ratch felt a breeze run along his skin, tickling his spine, sending his skin into a frenzy of Goosebumps. He knew what this man was. They were in the presence of a masked one – a worshipper of the foul God of Pain, Goldin. They were loyal hounds, and were given powers. Powers that Ratch and Bakkan alone could not overcome. Both of them stood simultaneously. They no longer took the Masked Ones presence as a joke. They drew their swords, and readied themselves for a combat they knew they couldn’t survive…

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