Death Awaits

Death Awaits

A Chapter by KibaxChan

The pain was maddening, unexpected, abrupt. He hadn't had a chance of preventing this from happening and never expected Atki to attack him. His eye had been torn from his skull, destroyed, and there was nothing he could do. Paralysis had taken over his body, something powerful had held him in place while his companion mutilated him--or was it Atki? Was it a manifestation of this dream? The pain came upon him so swiftly, he hadn't the time to debate. He knew only two things; one, the pain pulsing through his entire being and two, Atki had forced an orb similar to the eye he had been given, into the empty chasm left in his face. The boy had the wizard firmly by the head, his claws nestled into the flesh. After destroying and discarding his eye Atki pressed in the orb forcefully. Then, the last moment of pain passed and in that moment Muhlsaan knew nothing more.

Spinning and reeling, Muhlsaan was immersed in a vision--a vision within the dream. He no longer felt pain as he no longer felt his body. There he found himself floating formless in a river of darkness. Stars illuminated the dark waters that passed over him, endless constellations swirled overwhelmingly until muted by a flame.

He was floating in a river, looking up out of the water at the sky above. An inferno burned the shore and he heard the muffled cries of war. Muhlsaan's body was then pulled upward by an unseen force and he was torn from the water. Still without form he traveled through the sky, endless battle all around him. Headless men walked the battlefield, slaughtering what appeared to be unarmed humans; they were innocent, he somehow knew this. Abominations littered the earth and fire was the only light in this place. Sights ghastly enough to drive insanity passed before the sorcerers eyes, children being torn apart, a river of putrescent rot carved through the earth forming valleys and craters. No life dwelt here, not for long at least.

Taken so far from the waking world, deformed and thrust into a vision of darkness, the mage began to panic. Never had a vision so macabre been shown to him. What was the purpose? After the initial trauma passed he no longer felt fear, so much as a deeper thirst for knowledge. His endless years of walking through dreams had shown him nightmares, had given his mind armor. It had prepared him for this very moment.

“Why?!” He crowed, to an unseen force. His cries went unheard and no sound passed from his lips. As the frustration grew, his gaze was drawn once again to the heavens; to the stars. As he searched through the smoke and blackness his eyes focused upon a twinkle. The shine grew as something approached, something massive, something bright. At once his heart began to race and he became aware of it, now, as his body regained sensation. He was no longer formless in this place and began to feel a comforting warmth as the light he had seen grew closer. The woe that had filled his heart passed and an unexpected joy grew in his belly, passed to his extremities. Within the light, there was a shape and the wizard focused with all he could to see what had brought him such hope within the bleak world he now inhabited.

The light drew near and at once he saw what had saved him, a woman, a Felecetii. She descended upon him into an embrace and he no longer knew evil.

When the wizard awoken, Atki was sitting forward. He was hunched over slightly, his paw over his eye, now barely beginning to clot and cease pouring his midnight. He was staring at the wizard, a grim look in his eye. The white cat wanted to apologize, fervently, though he knew what had to be done was done. “Muhlsaan...”

“It was you then, wasn't it? Did you share in these visions? I must know. Was that you?” Muhlsaan remained unsure if what he saw was linked to the real Atki or if it was a dream conjuration. “Tell me boy, what did YOU see?”

He paused for a moment, still shaky from the intensity of what he had seen, before speaking to Atki further. “I saw a war, my friend, a terrifying war of beasts and man. Headless ghouls destroying young and old alike, a river flowing with s**t and flesh pulverized into pulp. The smell... the sights... I thought all hope was lost until an angelic being fell upon me.”

Muhlsaan visibly shivered, but continued, “She was a Felecetii as white as you, a womancat, with eyes as red as yours. The resemblance was striking Atki, did you see her too?”

He could see the confusion upon the poor boys face, and he was met with a look of bewilderment and surprise. “I... I... I didn't see that Muhlsaan. We must have been taken to different dreams... that, that is not what I saw.” The plot had begun to thicken; where then, did Atki's dream take him? The wizard lit his pipe, and listened intently to the boy's words.

“Before I... gave you the eye, I was in... in an abyss. I didn't know if I'd ever see the light of day again. Everything lacked substance, even myself. But eventually I began to feel the chill... I'd never felt a cold like this before and I doubt I ever will again. I-it was a nightmare. I was forced to walk forward and where, I didn't know. But I couldn't stop my feet. I couldn't open my eyes until I felt the chill in my bones, I thought my flesh would freeze all the way through and that would be my final resting place.”

The boy was disturbed as he went on, his expression betrayed his anguish. He gripped his robe tighter, pulled it around his bony frame as if it were a blanket. As if he could still feel the ice in his veins. His scarlet eyes took on a thousand-mile look as he continued to tell his story to the wizard.

“As I walked, I saw people... Felcetii, humans, nymphs, elves, Vulox... They were freezing. None of them had their eyes, a few were mutilated to the point where I could only barely tell what species they once were... Their blood staining the ice that encased them... They called out to me, they begged me to save them. But I couldn't do a DAMN thing!” Atki slammed his fist down onto the floor of the cave, his face twisted in an agony he would never be able to explain. “Hellish! Phantasmal!”

Atki had to calm himself before he continued, taking in a deep breath.

“They called out to me, but I came up to a... creature. She looked like a cat, except she had horns. The end of her tail was enveloped in blue fire, like her paws... She grinned at me. The cat wasn't imprisoned like the rest... and she knew my name. When she spoke, it sounded like... it sounded like a dark melody. A beautiful, dark music. She said my name and she asked me... she asked me...”

Then it all fell to silence for a moment.

“She asked me... do you really want to save the world... or do you want to rule it?”

“Her name is Elvira.” Enola spoke from a shadowed corner of the cave, her bow in her hand. She had an arrow pulled tight on her string, as if she were ready for anything. She didn't turn her head to gaze at the two, she only stared out of the mouth of the cave. “You met the Dark One, Atki.”

Atki turned his red orbs to Enola, who took a deep breath and stood from the rock on which she rested as she protected the two dreamers. She set her bow and quiver up against the wall of the cave and began to come over to the Felecetii, who sat on the cave floor and stared up at her with his ears swiveled forward.

“I've had... dealings with Elvira. She is the opposite of the White One, ethically. She wishes nothing but anguish and terror. She will do anything to achieve her nightmarish dreams.” Enola's words were drawn out as if she wanted Atki to drink in every little syllable she had to offer. She crouched down to meet the cat's gaze, her own icy eyes glaring into his as if she could gaze into his mind. “She will offer you the world, Atki. Anything you've ever dreamed. But She will destroy you... She will destroy everything you love and She will do it in the worst way. There's only one way you can stop Her, little Felcetii, and that is... Don't give in.”

“Give in?” Muhlsaan interrupted, “Give in implies we have a choice. Atki, you've seen what her power can cause, you see the chaos and misery that springs from her will. Enola is right, she will destroy you and of this I am certain.” The wizard stoked his pipe, deeply troubled by the disturbing dream. “She is disease, rot, hell, and death itself. She will promise you heaven, but give you hell. So many of my... colleagues have fallen to her temptation. They reign over the dark races now, as lords of her whim. They all were given immense power, though they now suffer cold and without will as thralls in undeath.”

“She won't tempt me Muhlsaan, I'm no fool-- I saw what she can do and know that any power she gives me or whatever she promises me has to be a lie or come at extreme cost. I'm not stupid, people like her have surrounded me my entire life. I will NOT be tempted, I appreciate the warning and consideration, but you severely underestimate me.” Atki responded, finally, with a new fire in his eyes. “I didn't come this far, see what I've seen, to be tempted by another evil b***h. To trade one set of shackles for another. I've dealt with black cats my entire life, I won't play the fool to another one...” He said, passionately. Atki knew he would remain steadfast, he knew it. Nothing would hold him back, nothing.

“My apologies, friend. I never underestimated you, I have faith in you. You're truly remarkable, I knew that from the moment I met you, from the moment you had crossed my path you showed great skill. Your potential is limitless and our travels together since have shown me this. I just mean to caution you, I'm worried. Not for you or worried because of you. I worry because of her.”

He turned from Atki, and faced the wall of the cave, the glowing embers in the wooden pipe illuminating the cold walls. He knew the young one had anger in his heart, which Elvira would surely use against him. Tempting Atki to unleash that anger would be simple, the torment and illusions she would unleash would warp his mind instantly if it weren't for the fortitude granted by the grace of the light. Muhlsaan was worried. Tragedy replayed over and over in his mind, the image of the headless walking the earth, the image of the children... He would do whatever he could to keep Atki on the path he seemed to be going. It was still too early for him to presume the journey would go without temptation. Even the wizard, with all his composure, fortitude, and caution wasn't free from temptation...

The night carried on, our travelers remained in the cave for the night. Deciding to rest and enjoy some food, conversation and drink. They feared that it may be the last time such leisure could take place. Something was brooding in the horizon. Their journey has just begun and try as they might to put aside the anxiety of what tomorrow may bring, the future was becoming more clouded than ever.

© 2016 KibaxChan

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Added on September 28, 2016
Last Updated on September 28, 2016
Tags: magic, wizard, sorceress, fantasy, cat-person, furry, furries, orb, lore, enigmatic, spellcasting, thriller, felecetii, satyr, centaur, nymph, aspect, secrets, prophecy, fox-people



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