The Revelation

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Discovering the mysteries behind the world and its working is the work of a scholar at the citadel. indulging in the mystery of the arvon civilization is a thrill in itself, but what if their mysterious disappearance has more painful story to tell...

Submitted: September 08, 2016

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Submitted: September 08, 2016

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“How much further?”, I thought as I ground my teeth.  The ice cold piercing my skin and sinking into my very bones. I knew sleep would not come anyways, the perverse cold barring all rest in these areas. More importantly, we were within the reach of the ancient city of Arvons. Today we would reach that god-forsaken city. It was a suicidal expedition. Many had gone before, none had returned. Not even a single soul returned which dared to enter the haunted city. But we were still going, our curiosity and our excitement fueling this suicide mission. The thrill of discovering, finally the secret at the heart of Arvons, that was the reward in this perilous journey. I looked around the formation of this caravan. In front of me, our senior-most member, Ceventer, a veteran teacher at the Citadel academy. On my right, Arno, an old childhood friend, with whom I used to discuss the history of the world and concoct unrealistic theories as to the conundrum surrounding many civilizations and their practices. At the rear of the convoy, two twins, scholars from the academy who surely had their own interests in the matter; ambition, fame, wealth; it turned men mad, like wild beasts drawn to fresh blood.

My teacher used to warn us against interaction with the Arvon artifacts. They held unfathomably powerful magic that no mortal was fit to wield. If the legends could be trusted, the Arvons were a scholarly kind of people, men of letters, who spent their time in rigorous study of the complexities of the world, especially that of ancient and forbidden arcane arts. In the very beginning, they tended not to drift from the teachings and morals of their dominant religion. The use of magic was observed with great precaution and care, for they rightly believed that stray use of the arcane arts could very well bring unfathomable destruction and disintegration. Readily their caution turned into carefree mingling, the arcane arts openly practiced and experimented with. So it was, that they became rather professional with the use of magic, the miracles of gods transformed into vile sorceries that had no limitation, for their acumen in the arcane arts was expanding exponentially. And so was it, that they devised new and phenomenal methods of practicing magic. Such methods resulted in the birth of Arvon artifacts, aptly named after their god of knowledge, which came to be name of their country and civilization. Then very mysteriously they presumably vanished. No evidence as to their sudden disappearance. It is believed that they were annihilated by their own over indulgence in the arcane arts. Such a fate is sure to be shared by any who attempt to discover the secrets of the old worlds. And yet, we were still going.

Suddenly a structure came into view, beyond the thick mist that surrounded us. I could hear the gasps of my companions as they beheld the ancient city. The walls were made of cobblestone, quite ordinary, and about 10 to 15 feet tall. This would be rather astounding, were it not for the fact that the defenses of the city were enchanted with Arvon sorceries as well. In their era of glory, the walls prohibited any infiltration by ethereal barriers that surrounded the city at the perimeter of the wall. The barrier was powered by artifacts at the four barracks within the city, which were fed mana by the mages and sorcerers of the Mage Guard. Now the defense lay inactivated, its mana reserves depleted thousands of years ago.

So without any struggle, we passed through the threshold of the city, gates that were not much larger than the adjacent boundaries of the city. The city lay sprawling in front of us, a milestone of architectural feats of the Arvon civilization. Each façade comprised of Arcane stone. A special alloy of various stones that gave the material monumental strength, but operated on mana making it useable only by nations versed well in the ethereal arts. The design of the city bore witness to the ingenuity of the engineering of the Arvons.

We moved forward, trailing the main road leading to the center of the city, where they held their reserves and archives of knowledge and powerful artifacts. Our goal yet was ambiguous, even to our so called “Leader”. We were here to learn whatever scraps of knowledge, we could find. We neared the edifice I immediately identified as the main academy of the city. This was to be our destination.

Wooden doors, admitted us into the academy, which was lined with innumerable books, stores of knowledge, the fruit of meticulous research of several centuries, now gathering dust in this graveyard of a city. I almost had a sudden urge to take them with me, but I knew the others wouldn’t agree to carry them based on just a whim, nor was there space to indulge in such luxury, for what we could carry back was limited. We moved further into the academy in hope of discovering something of import. Moving and wandering through the maze-like corridors of the academy for half an hour, we found it. We knew we had found it, for there was an aura of gravity about. An amulet, very neatly enclosed within a glass dome. The insignia resembling a skull, a symbol of demons in the Arvon mythology. I lifted the glass dome nimbly, caring not to damage accidentally, anything of import.

I lifted the precious artifact in one hands and felt it with the fingers of the other. The skull insignia seemed to be made of bones, probably human bones, considering the nature of Arvon researches and sorceries. Human remains are able to draw incomprehensibly large stores of power, drawing on the strength of the soul of the former denizen of the body.
“This seems to be it”, I announced finally. This sparked curiosity from my companions. Ceventer moved forward and demanded the artifact be handed to him. I complied; no reason not to. Having found our trophy, we started towards the main wooden doors, but I stopped in my tracks, a sixth-sense warning me of an imminent danger. The others looked curiously at me. Suddenly, the whole building shook, and with it came a high-pitched shriek.

The sense of danger, registered on their faces. All of us broke into a sprint, rushing for the threshold of the academy. I was the last to exit the building, latching the door behind me, I looked at my companions who had stopped in their tracks. There was a man standing in front of us, dressed in black robes that served to conceal his entire body. Only a part of lower face visible, for the cowl of his robe was drawn over his face, his skin was pale and wrinkled, lips almost the same color as the face. The twin brothers caught up in their fear, immediately dashed in the left direction. The man stood there, unmoving, but as soon as the brothers were about fifty feet away, he leaped at them, instantly closing the gap between them and he had them. He pulled the head of one of the brothers, spraying blood all over the place.

Ceventer regained his composure suddenly and urged us to slip towards the right. Even though we ran hard, like we had never done so before, our fear and adrenaline propelling us, yet there was a no doubt in our mind that he could easily catch us. Yet somehow we were still alive for the moment, whatever consolation that was. We rushed towards the main gates of city.

The creature was after us, because we were absconding with the amulet, whatever this amulet was, it was the reason for the appearance of the demon. The gates were now within our sights; a slither of hope born within ourselves, like light in a pitch black cave; maybe we could escape this pandemonium and find safe haven outside the cursed city. Oh, how I regretted coming to this god-forsaken, what madness drove me to embark on this doomed mission. I shrugged these doubts from my mind, for the moment at least. I needed to focus right now. Besides me, Arno was dashing as well. His expression of pure terror and trepidation chilled me to the bones.

Now the escape was within several feet, my resolve strengthening on the thought of safety. The next moment, the demon was in front of us, right at the threshold of the gate. Ceventer casted his blue-flame magic, lighting the cloaks of the demon. It caught him by surprise momentarily, and that gave us the time to slip past him. It seemed that we would be able to reach the complacent safety of the outsides of the damned city. Suddenly the demon leaped again landing in front of us, clutching Ceventer in his disfigured claws. Sensing his end was imminent, he threw the damned amulet towards me. With his other claw, the demon ripped off his head from his now limp body, spluttering blood everywhere.

I knew, now it was our turn, survival instincts kicking in and aiding me, they reminded me of my own sorceries. I summoned a deep white mist, with the ability to conceal all tracks and obstruct all vision, all the while hoping that it was enough to make out in one piece. We ran, ran until our legs hurt, and still ran until we couldn’t feel our legs anymore, ran until we fell down from exhaustion.

I looked back at the city, we were dozens of miles away from that hellhole. We rested for a minute or two, and then started off again, still feeling unsafe. Our pace was slower this time, just a quick walk. ‘The demon has probably lost us’, I thought. Oh, how wrong I was, you don’t escape the ‘Hellhound’.

At that moment that shrill shriek rang again, draining all life from us. We were sprinting again, the demon leaped again, dashing past us and coming between us and our safety. This time his mouth was dripping with dark blood. This was why he took so long, the truth dawning on me, he was feeding off Ceventer’s corpse, the thought made my stomach churn.

This time it seemed I was his target, as he brought his claws on me, but Arno was quick to react. Slitting his throat with his weapon-magic. His head rolled downed on the floor, his face still concealed by the cowl that had been drawn on his face. I looked back at Arno, overcome by joy. He was grinning as well. Suddenly, his smile retracted, his eyes becoming wide with fear. I turned back again, the headless body of the demon held the beheaded visage of his body in his hand, the mouth in a wide grin that revealed razor sharp teeth. He dug his claws within my body, going for my heart.

And the visions began there, whether that because of my imminent death or the demon revealing unto me the reality in my final moments, the fact is, I was bestowed the truth of the Arvon’s mysterious disappearance; I saw a great city sprawling with stray mana and traces of arcaneries, undoubtedly a view of the Arvon city during its glory days. The vision shifted, now there was a council of mages seated around a round table discussing the “Power of Hell”.

The oldest of them rose and spoke, “Such a risk is unacceptable. The danger and peril is too great to risk everything for more power. We should leave the Powers of Hell alone. Mortals are not fit to wield anything of such a scale.” A younger member rose and began,” The old man has grown frail with age, his glory days are behind him, age turned on him, he advises against such power, for the power scares him. He cowers in fear in front of magic and power like the lesser mortals of other lands do. Our curiosity and indulgence in all arcane arts have bestowed us this glory and power. The Power of Hell, should be used, we will be gods under the shadow of such power.” The council announced its agreement, the matter decided. The vision shifted once again, the same young mage in a massive research room. Peering over the same amulet that led to our demise. He suddenly became overjoyed by what he discovered, probably a way to operate the amulet. The vision shifted once more, the amulet enclosed within the glass dome. The young sorcerer announced,” I have, after days of incessant hard-work, at last stumbled upon a way to open a pass to Hell and by it, the Power of Hell. The secrets of the Demon Amulet lay bare in front of me. Now, by the permission of this council of the wise, I shall begin the ritual that shall open the passageway.” The men, nodded their head in approbation. He started the ritual, speaking in the Demon Tongue. The amulet lighted up suddenly, the ritual seemed to working, but the glow vanished as quickly as it had appeared. Then there was a great tremor, that shook all men standing within the main halls of the academy. The same shrill cry rang, and the Demon was within the halls. What followed was uncontrolled bloodshed and decapitation.

The visions now ended, I was back in the expanse of the plains outside the city; still at the ends of the claws of the demon. Blood streaming down by my frail and weak body, I saw Arno run past me as well, the battle of life and death still continued for him, not for me it seemed, my life trickled out of me as the demon whispered in my ears in a gruff voice,’ No one escapes the Hellhound of Hell’. The material body releasing its grasp on the ethereal soul…


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