Into the Pit of the Dead God
September 14, 2015
The scattered warriors regained their footing and looked own into the stygian pit that loomed beneath them. Jack could still make out Vel-Lenna’s cries mixing with the insane buzzing of the horrific creature that had just flown into the deep hole with two of their party grasped within its warped hands.
“We have to rescue them,” Jack said. “Vel is still alive and Quez could be as well.”
“From that thing?” Stalker said. “I’m not one to back away from a fight, but I’m not suicidal either.”
“A minute ago, you wanted us all to head down there,” Tynilia said, with a hint of awe in her voice as she gazed in the direction of the pit.
The remaining six members of their team gathered together and tried to read each other’s expressions in the dim dancing light. The gruesome statue of the foul beast hung over them and the pit like a sick reminder of what they would face if they traveled below.
Tynilia spoke again. “We can’t just leave them, can we? I know I wouldn’t want to be abandoned down there. Besides we’re going to need every one of us to make it to the Lava Dragons.”
Jack looked at her, but spoke to everyone. “We’re going to rescue them for more reasons than we need them for our quest.”
“If we lose three more of us trying to rescue two, how will that help out cause?” Stalker asked.
“I…” Jack started and then paused.
“What is it?” Shadowknife asked in a low voice.
“I think I sensed someone casting an earth spell below.”
“That means she’s still fighting,” Tynilia said.
“I’m going to head down there right now,” Jack said. “Either way it will be one less evil beast haunting your world. Who’s with me?”
“If we are going, I think we all should go,” Shadowknife suggested. “I doubt staying up here would increase one’s safety. We already know that the creature has means of reaching the surface.”
Huth nodded without saying a word and began to descend the steps.
“Hold up Huth,” Jack said. “So I’m following him.”
Tynilia looked uneasy, but she moved behind Jack.
“I will go, as will Strike.”
“You’re all a bunch of fools,” Stalker started. “But there’s no way in hell I’m staying up here alone.”
* * *
The narrow staircase lead down into the complete darkness. They had fashioned some torches, but the Tezcatlipoca warriors as well as the Splinter Darcarre could see through the blackness or so Jack had been told.
Jack’s hand reached out to stabilize himself as he stepped over a half crumbled stair. The stone wall felt wet and he could have sworn it shifted at his touch like a lung drawing in air. Before they had lost sight of the orange halo of light above a stench had already begun to fill their nostrils. It smelled part rotting corpse with a mixture of feces and other things somehow worse. It left them gagging.
Every inch of him screamed out that this place was wrong. He knew instinctively that his powers of Yig were weakened here. He wasn’t sure what Vel-Lenna had attempted to do, but if the malign forces blocking his abilities were any indication, he doubted her attack could have been to successful.
Twenty minutes later found them still descending. Jack began to question his sanity. Could they really be going this far into the earth? How could such a long staircase have been constructed? Why would anyone make a tunnel like this to help the monster they had seen escape? Had it been worshipped like some sort of mad god?
This and other questions would have to wait for no one wanted to be the first to break the building silence.
And yet the stairs went down.
The stench grew as they pressed on. He was just wondering if he should allow the group a break when the buzzing started again. Low and dull at first, but them like an explosion he grew to horrific volumes and came right toward them. The idea of fighting the giant toadish fly from a three foot staircase filled him with dread.
Huth cried out something.
“He says he can see the bottom,” Tynilia translated.
“I can see it too,” Stalker yelled.
“Make for it!” Jack shouted. “We have to get there before the thing in the dark reaches us. Go. Go!”
To be continued next Monday