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Library :: In A Distant Land

By Hawkslayer


Kaelic stared through the murky darkness, his heart pounding furiously as adrenaline coursed through his veins. Carried on winds which smelt of decay, echoes of pain resounded through the halls of this ancient crypt. With hesitant footsteps, Kaelic trudged forward through the halls of the damned, engulfing himself in the darkness.

Kaelic's heart raced, his nerves hanging precariously on the threshold of panic. A sudden cry of anguish and terror echoed in the distance, reverberating from the walls making it sound ubiquitous. Kaelic leapt in fright, stumbling blindly through the darkness and crashing into a wooden door. The rotted wood splintered as Kaelic burst through it, sending an explosion of dust and debris through the still chamber. Scrambling madly to his feet, Kaelic scoured the darkness in fear, drawing his longsword in defiance of an unseen foe. Noting the thick layer of dust covering most of this meager tomb, Kaelic made a vain attempt to regain his bearings, believing himself to be relatively safe. Without warning, a sudden blast of searing pain shot through Kaelic's side, causing him to cry out in agony. Whirling madly and bringing his blade around, Kaelic struck wildly at his assailant. With a hollow crack, his blade collided with something hard and dry, sending a cloud of dust billowing from his attacker. Kaelic staggered backwards in horror, staring at a skeletal arm twitching uncontrollably on the ground, the result of his blow. A short humanoid skeleton emerged suddenly from the shadows, lurching forward as it reached for Kaelic's throat with its one remaining arm. Kaelic screamed in horror, slashing his blade at the unearthly being in a reflex act of self-preservation. His strike was true, shattering the rib cage of the undead beast and severing the spinal column. The upper torso of the skeletal humanoid clattered to the stone floor, yet continued to drag itself forward, its jaw clicking silently in a futile attempt to resume its assault on Kaelic. Wasting no time, Kaelic leapt over the ghastly being and fled out of the chamber and down the darkened hallway, screaming in terror. Blind panic consumed Kaelic's being as he tore through the halls of the damned, searching wildly for an exit. Beneath his foot, something made a squishing sound, causing Kaelic to slide uncontrollably and sending him sprawling to the dirt floor. Kaelic nearly retched as he realized that he had slipped on a rotting pile of gore, emitting a faint slurping sound as a horde of insects devoured it. Horrified, Kaelic realized that the gore was in fact alive, and attached to a rotting corpse which stood over him. The ghoulish corpse made a sickening squishing sound as it bent over Kaelic, reaching for his throat with blood caked hands. Kaelic was helpless, and he knew that there was nothing left to do but scream. A sudden shout resounded from behind the being, followed by its head collapsing in a repulsive shower of ooze as a huge spiked club caved in its skull from behind. Kaelic scrambled aside as the lifeless heap collapsed before him, revealing an armoured warrior who grinned in satisfaction. The kind warrior kindly reached out his hand to help a grateful Kaelic to his feet, and opened his mouth to speak. The warrior gurgled incomprehensibly as his face contorted into a visage of agony. Kaelic yelped in surprise as a sudden shower of warm blood sprayed over him, a great broadsword bursting through the hapless warrior's ribcage. Kaelic's eyes widened in terror and shock as a huge knight dressed in blackened armour kicked the corpse of the warrior from its blade, and glared down at Kaelic with two fiery red eyes, burning with malice and hatred. Kaelic could take no more. In a sudden burst of movement, he leapt to his feet and ran through the dark halls of the crypt, driven by panic and consumed with fear. Blindly he ran as fast as humanly possible, screaming wildly in terror and fear. He ran through countless spider webs and bug nests, ignoring the vile creatures as they clinged to his hair and bit his flesh. A large door emerged from the shadows at the end of the hallway, and Kaelic rushed towards it with renewed vigor. As he burst through the door, a sudden burst of painful light burned Kaelic's eyes, causing him to cry out in surprise. With relief, he realized that he was outside of the crypt, the morning sun blazing in the sky like a beacon of safety.

Kaelic travelled the long distance back to the majestic city of Turien, his injuries becoming increasingly painful with each footstep. Passing through the city gates and shuffling through the startled crowds, Kaelic finally came to rest at the fountain of Turien, collapsing against its marble base in an exhausted heap. As Kaelic's vision began to blur and lightheadedness brought on by bloodlack set in, he noticed that someone was bandaging his wounds and muttering arcane incantations. A warm feeling spread through his body, as his vision returned to normal and the clutches of death retreated from the wounded warrior. A tall man smiled down at Kaelic and offered him a waterskin, which Kaelic gratefully accepted.

"Those were some serious injuries you had there, who or what did that to you?", the kind person asked while polishing a jewel encrusted longsword.

Kaelic struggled to get the words out, but eventually his speach exploded into a long and harrowing tale of undead beasts and horrifying sights, the likes of which no human should ever experience.

Kaelic's rescuer laughed a loud barrel-chested laugh at his story, shaking his head in dismay. "Listen newbie, ghouls and skeletons in that crypt are mere target practice compared to some of the horrific beasts which inhabit these lands, either you need to brush up on your combat skills or consider another line of work."

Kaelic stared out over the horizon with wide eyes, his gaze falling on the distant lands which lay beyond, and wondered what trials and tribulations awaited for him there, and what treasures and glories were to be found.

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