Thursday, July 26, 2007

Prologue: The Darkest of Sorcery

"In the last days of the reign of men, when their sins have overcome them and they are choked on their own pride, she will come to put them back in their place and remind them that the Gods do reign on high in Heaven and in Hell!"

~Prophecy of Dokkien the Wise

Shadows hid the cavernous room in darkness. The flickering glow of black candles formed havens of light making the archaic etchings in the large stone columns stand out all the more, vile runes long since forgotten by the likes of men. The candlelight danced around the obscene pillars, casting wavy ghosts that undulated across the walls. Darkness competed with light for control of the room. Had there been the slightest sound it would have echoed throughout the chamber, but within the stone walls only the utter silence of the grave existed. Even the chilled air felt stagnant and damp with a stench of sulfur.
turbocad 9 serial

Image by Alex McVey

In the center of the room, alone and forbidding, stood a rune-etched pedestal. An obsidian bowl sat on the pedestal, black as the void of space. The dark object absorbed the light as the candles flickering glow danced like dozens of small souls offering their essence in worship.

A gray robed figure bent over the bowl; the dark hooded opening gazed into the dish. Tiny ripples pulsed across the surface of the liquid void as it gazed into the black water. A bony, clawed hand gently waved over the waters. New ripples formed, fighting with the existing ones for control of the liquid. The cowled form watched the pulses carefully, for in the ripples it could see things taking place far away, and could even control those events to a certain extent. As the ripples began to take on another ever-changing form, yellowed teeth gleamed within the darkened cowl like a wolf baring its fangs at an enemy.

"I'm sorry, my lord. We are just passing through," whispered the thing within the robes. The sound hissed with an odor of rotting meat and festering wounds.

Silence again gained possession of the room as the dark form stood transfixed before the obsidian bowl.

The quiet lasted mere seconds before the vile whisper began again, "My Lord, we merely wish to pass through your…"

"Maaasssster..." An emaciated man stepped out of the shadows, shattering the silence and severely hindering the hooded being's concentration. His milky eyes gazed at his master with empty intelligence and the slack jaws didn't have a great deal to add. The man continued speaking at a slow, lumbering pace without noticing the aura of menace radiating from the robed figure , "Eeeat. Food. Reeeeady..."

The eyes of the cowled figure continued to watch the ripples as a robed claw flashed up, palm facing the man with fingers extended like a spider ready to pounce. Without the slightest change in expression the man dropped to the floor in a heap.

In a rage the cowled being pulled its hand back to its chest and then flung it toward the heap of flesh on the floor. The body flew across the room, propelled by an invisible force. The man crashed into the far wall with the sickening crack of bones and the wet bursting of meat, adding a new heresy to the unholy quiet of the once silent room.

The robed figure again concentrated on the black liquid, waving an appendage over the void. The whispering began again, "...pass through your city."

The wolf-like snarl never left the darkness within the cowl, but it had changed, no longer a malicious grin. The snarl dripped with hatred.

The creature burst into movement. Bony hands waved across the dark water. Back and forth the hands worked. From one end of the obsidian bowl the claws traveled back to the other. Not a sound could be heard within the room except for the rustle of cloth and occasionally a shifting of feet.

With an angry hiss the figure stopped and spun away from the bowl. The yellow teeth gleamed within the cowl, and the eyes blazed with cold fury.

After a few moments to collect its thoughts the figure strode across the chamber. As the robed creature passed the body on the floor it extended a claw toward the corpse. The man's eyes opened, the dull orbs gazed at its master. There was still no intelligence in the slack-jawed look, only a semblance of life, a mockery of what it had once been. Its master closed the clawed hand into a fist, and the skull of the once faithful servant imploded likewise.

The robed figure stormed across the chamber and out into the corridors.


turbocad 9 serial