Basking in the Darkness Part V
August 3, 2010
Rolling my neck to get the cramps the tentacle had left there, I turned in time to see Ink open the concealed passage. The entrance was set into the middle of a rocky formation on the side of a steep cliff. Overhead the Manor loomed like an abandoned corpse. I could just see a smattering of candles, which somehow was more disturbing than if the place had been completely dark.
Speaking of dark, the tunnel was, of course, stygian. Spiders fought with rats for the right to claim the place as their own.
I’m sure my Xemmoni pals felt right at home.
Without a word, they led the way into the foul passage. Dust was kicked up and clung to us like a living thing. The place smelled vaguely of old bones as well as something sharper, like the odor of flesh being burnt by acid.
Void dropped back a pace. “There is a creature here, one that even you wouldn’t want to fight. Luckily for you, it’s Darcarre and it is a simple matter for us to keep it at bay. “
I figured there was about an even money chance that this was just a ploy to make sure that we wouldn’t use this passage against them in the future and there wasn’t a monster at all, but at that point, I hardly cared. I just wanted to get this crap over with. I wanted to see the Creeper killed and I wanted to rescue Hannah. Oh yeah, and kill everyone that tried to keep me from completing either of those goals.
There were a few passages extending in the darkness that I had no desire to explore. They passed gapping like hungry blacks maws, as Ethan’s flicking torch created shadows that danced in jagged jerky movements with each step we took.
After an eternity of dirt and rock, the metal staircase stood out vividly. Its stark black steel spiraled up into the murk above us and I took a deep breath before following my suspect allies above.
Our boots echoed with hollow thuds as we climbed the spiral. Looking down I now saw the pitch black there as well and soon we were a moving light rising through a sea of darkness.
Eventually we made it to a narrow metal door. Ink paused to listen, while Void wasted a motion that reminded us to be silent. With a muffled click the door swung open into the confined wooden space. This in turn led to a passage that I was forced to stoop to be able to move through. Even then, the hammer strapped to my back banged one of the walls. Ink shot me a venomous look and after I flipped him the bird, we moved on.
Another secret door later and we had entered some sort of washroom. The place stunk and I wondered what these foul freaks we using the place to wash these days. It was too dark to tell, which was fine with me. I’m sure I would rather not know.
Ink whispered. “Of course we know the layout of our home, but from here on out, who or what might be lurking where could be anyone’s guess. It has been weeks since we have visited what was once ours and the Creeper could have made many changes in this time. One other thing, most of the loyal Darcarre have left the manor on our ruse, but Klich wants us to try to avoid killing our misguided brethren if possible. Of course all Caradon and Glooms are open game.” He allowed himself a wicked grin. “Kill as many as you can.”
“So you have no idea where the Creeper might be?”
“I have a guess and we will check there first.”
We resumed our silence and traveled through a few more rooms. “We are getting closer,” Ink hissed. Then, after opening another door, Ink stumbled back with a gasp, as light poured over us.
What had once been several rooms had become one, through the destruction of walls, furniture, and everything else that stood in their way. Now, in its place was a giant room that probably passed well into the third floor of the manor. Lounging on a thrown made from the rubble was the colossal form of The Creeper. He was being attended by about a half dozen grey cloaked Glooms and an equal amount of twisted Caradon. Two Darcarre we also there and as one they all turned toward us as The Creeper began to laugh.