Woe: A Collaborative Novel

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: The Imaginarium


"Blight of Elorien" by Kossettes Novellettes

Chapter 18 (v.1) - Blight of Elorien - Kossettes Novellettes

Submitted: October 30, 2017

Reads: 198

Comments: 6

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Submitted: October 30, 2017

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Soundtrack

“Hast thou called upon me, for I have answered your voice,” the words of the Fire-Bringer resounded within her mind, and, as his voice faded and the music did subside, Reida died.

It was such a place that anyone at all would have enjoyed spending such a morning, where the sun shone brightly down upon the people of the greatest kingdom in the land, filling those that made their way here and there in the streets with joy, servant and sovereign alike, all basking in the jollity of the world around them. The luxuries of the elites filled the community with serenity and calm. Borella found herself with the other healers of the lands, watching over the woman who had survived the tragedy in Kathul. She had mentioned herself as being called Reida during the times that she was conscious and coherent. Gyereten had mentioned that the woman may have been possessed by some from of magic, a powerful spell. He had removed it; however, there was still reason for pause. Dark magics in a time where war was at the borders was no small matter in all reality; she personally had her share of experiences with evil powers—demons and the like. She was once a beautiful woman, beloved by her husband and her lover. But now when she looked in the mirror she saw nothing but disgust, and she could see on those that looked upon her that she was disgusting in their eyes as well.

Her face had melted on the right side, down to the bone, her flesh mended by her many instructors yet only to the extent that her skin looked like a misshapen heap of scar tissue. Her eye on that side torn from the socket, replaced by a ball of pure diamond–simply because her lover could afford to purchase one–the ear on that side torn from her head leaving nothing, the hair seared away to never grow back, so she shaved her head bald. Her lips shaved down to the teeth, her front teeth smashed from her head, and so she replaced them with golden copies. She was a monster, but now she was a beautiful monster, or, rather, an expensive looking one. She was still an elf, nonetheless. She wore the most expensive gown, knew a great deal of magic and instructed it as well; albeit, she only knew healing and very little of destructive spells, she was sure she would learn that also. If she had studied it then she would have been able to protect herself once the demon attacked her all those years ago.

Borella looked over the wounded in the infirmary chambers as she made her way down the hall with her Orc-Servant, Chestmin, at her side as they left the infirmary to her special charge. Chestmin was a stocky woman; she carried all of Borella’s equipment on her back: wards and ant-demonic fixings such as holy oils. Reida had been separated from the remainder of the ill so as to avoid the possibility of the spell, or whatever it may have been, lingering and causing another catastrophe as in Kathul. She was in a large chamber at the far reaches of the kingdom, near the holy chapels. Grand-Cleric Vastion stood in wait, praying over the building. It towered high as if it were a temple of its own, walls of pure gold with dozens of rooms, too many to count. Two servant Orcs opened the doors as Borella made her way into the building, up the many stairs and into the building. Here shadows danced upon the walls in the dim orange light of scented candles. It was said that the harsh stink of the wax, when lit, would ward off evil spirits. All magics would be neutralized here; all she could do was heal the girl with herbs until she awoke and could be coherent enough to prove she was no longer taken by what devoured Kathul. There were others here, imprisoned: many possessed, the majority most likely just insane, but what was the difference? They were not fit for society all the same. Orcs and Elves alike, a few Humans as well. The cries of those being tortured by their own minds, or attacked by their cellmates, reverberated off of the walls and echoed as she made her way to Reida’s chamber where she could hear the woman whispering to herself. The words were unintelligible through the doors, yet she could hear that there was conversation—the woman speaking and then silence. Borella gestured to the door, ordering Chestmin to open the doors and allow Borella to enter.

There were no guards—only clerics and holy men in this building—and the same was said for Reida’s chamber. She lay face up and unconscious on a cushioned bed stained in her piss and shit. Four holy men prayed over her, splashing blessed oils over her, yet there was no reaction. Chestmin closed the door and went to the corner of the room to begin unpacking the medical equipment and new sheets to change out the filth that the woman was currently lying in.

“Is she responsive?” Borella began, and one of the men simply shook his head. Two other servants went to assist Chestmin; two others simply stood there behind their masters. A sense of unease filled the air as Borella scanned the room. She could not tell what it might be. There was a strange silence that caused her heart to quaver in her chest. She went to the sleeping woman to begin a simple diagnostic. She checked her pulse, feeling nothing, her body cold. “Was she not talking?” she asked, and once again the holy man shook his head and continued praying. There was not doubt in Borella’s mind: “This woman’s life has faded my Holy Sirs”. She turned to Chestmin and the other Orc’s who stopped unpacking. “Please inform Father Vastion we will bury her."

Chestmin nodded.

“Hold there, Lady.” One of the Holy men spoke as he saw the body of the woman stir, a subtle gesture, a semblance of a twitch. “She moves”

“Her body is–“ another began. Reida’s body began to seize violently in the midst of apoplexy. She began to flail in the filth of her bed. Upon her exposed flesh, large disturbances began to slither and snake under her hide: dozens of thin, vein-like things, all moving and dancing beneath her skin, hundreds of tiny lumps, like pimples, or beetles, moving under her flesh. The woman cried out in agony, a sound like that of a female's cry mingling with that of banshees—a strange unearthly shriek that shattered all ears and echoed through the halls, causing fear to build in all who could hear.

“Chestmin!” Borella called, and Chestmin rushed Reida, pinning her to the ground with all of her strength. She overpowered the woman who fought against her. She looked into her eyes and saw nothing save for pits of pure black; and then, within that, as she looked further—past the surface—as if she could see within the woman’s soul, she could see the fire. Pits and craters, geysers all flooded in flames, oceans of magma and pure flames dancing at the surface...and then she could hear his voice. She could feel the heat, smell the flames, and then she heard the cry.

“Call the guard!!!” Borella screamed out the door to all who were listening. Chestmin looked to see the Orcs slaughtering the Holy men. She backed away as their bodies were torn apart, arms and gore splashing the walls around them as the Orcs all ripped flesh from bone and bones from body. Chestmin looked to Borella and through her he spoke: “Woe be unto all”.

In a spray of flesh and blood—intestines erupting from within Reida's guts and showering the bodies of all who still lived, the walls, the ceiling, the floor and door—a large wooden tendril shot from her body, impaling Borella before retracting. Reida’s body stood, her flesh falling from her bone, her bones covered in wood, and veins ripping through the flesh and meat of her body. Tying around her bones were vines and branches. Her left arm dangled at the shoulder by one small tendon, and from the back of her shoulder another arm, larger—a mass of wood and vines tied together—tearing through the back of her shoulder. Her head was held together by sticks and branches, interlacing to hold her cheeks and skull together about a large root that split through the top of her head. Her legs twisted and contorted in miscellaneous ways on either side as another wooded branch ripped through her knees, her left arm with one wooded tendril pushing through the wrist. As she stood, her intestines fell from her body and sprouted a fully grown fern in seconds. Within the crater of her stomach where flesh draped over the hole was nothing save for sticks and leaves and several tiny vines wrapping together to become one large tendril. She gave a hiss as she looked to Borella. Borella looked to her as she felt her skin begin to crawl. She cried out in agony and fear as she attempted to claw at the slithering and beetles seemed to be moving under her skin. She could feel it. It wasn’t difficult to realize what was happening, what was going to happen, and when it did...she died.

Wooden tendrils and branches all burst from her body ripping through her flesh, turning her the same as her attacker. She let out the same monstrous call to battle—and alongside her, the orcs. The two monsters burst through the halls, massacring and changing all within the building, flooding the halls with blood and bodies. The cries rang out to those outside the walls; guardsmen gathered around, wary to enter, not simply for the screams but also for the fact that this place was a cursed building. Gyereten made his way forth. He could feel a strong presence within those walls, an unholy presence. What magic had the Eants brought to Elorien?

“We must inform King Coravlen at once.” He turned to two of the Guards who bowed and rushed to meet the king.

“M’lord?” the guards began to look to him for an answer and he simply stood, unable to answer them.

“Be ready my good knight” was all he could offer, and as the alarm bells rang and the people all began to panic—for they were sure the first moments of war had come to their cities—hundreds of infected Elven-kind, Human-kind and dozens of accompanying Orcs, all flooded from the building, shredding through the guardsman standing in their way, passing on the curse and cutting down many in their path.

 

 


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