Monday 17 August 2015

Nameless: Already Dead

[Day 18 of Blaugust 2015!]
[This is part of my Creative Writing Experiment.]

"Over here," called Sharon to the rest of the group spread out in the dark chamber. She and the blonde, leather clad Amber were standing in front of a strangely shaped hole in the wall that looked big enough to crawl through. Without any other exits, the simple Tanglor volunteered to go in first with a rope attached to his waist to what actually was a network of tunnels. Eventually he popped his head up into another large and dark chamber and gave the signal for the rest of the team to follow.

Having all crossed without incident, they began exploring the clearly abandoned area, making foot prints in the dust that had settled on the old stone pathways. Nerith caught herself being relieved upon encountering a regular, non animated, skeleton rotting against one of the walls. It was then that they heard the clicking, slow and distant at first, but as the clicks began to multiply and echo in the darkness the adventurers quickly formed a circle, making sure that everyone had ample firelight to see what might be coming.

"This way," urged San Raal as he noticed a draft gently sway the fire from his torch. With the clicking getting louder, the mage decided to conjure up another ball of fire to throw forward into the darkness at it had worked so well before. This time, the flame exploded into huge, black chitinous creatures - ants that stood as big as a horse. To make matters worse the force of the blast collapsed the ceiling ahead of them, forcing them to double back in search of another draft. That's when the ants began attacking en masse.

It was all they could do to push the overgrown insects back. Strangely they seemed to attack in waves, giving the adventurers room to maneuver during each lull. It was during one such lull that a single ant managed to catch Shorn by surprise, impaling his left ankle with its mandibles. Clearly it could have just severed his foot but instead it began dragging him away from the light. The panicked man screamed for help as he tried to dig his fingers into the ground.

Seeing his plight, Calandra immediately left her position to rush to his aid, swinging at the black ant with her great sword but failing to connect as it simply let go and retreated into the shadows. At that very moment another wave came forth, not just separating the team from their two companions, but effectively pushing them apart. As before, the ants withdrew once more giving Amber the opportunity to throw her torch towards Calandra's position.

There the woman sat, crying from the pain of having one of her legs severed clean off. Shorn was clearly dead, having even less limbs to speak of. Nerith stepped forward but was kept in place by her sister. The ants were baiting them.

"There are stairs going up, around... thirty meters from us," squeaked Sharon as she peered down another hall where she had thrown her torch.

Seeing the indecision from Drisana's team, San Raal muttered a quiet incantation and pointing two fingers at Calandra, shot a beam of light through the woman's face, making it explode and killing her instantly. Shocked all eyes turned to him as he defiantly returned each of their gazes.

"She was already dead."

Not being the place to argue, the remaining adventurers quickly fled to the stone staircase Sharon had found and began climbing. After a certain distance up, San Raal threw another fireball back down blocking the passage with debris to hopefully block their pursuers or at least buy them some time.

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