The Terror of the Crypt
By Elexi Marcean in Dark Ages
Renoan awoke one night next to a tree after a long, restful nap. He rubbed his eyes, yawned, and looked up at a bright moon illuminating so nicely. The calm running stream next to him played so gently, Renoan almost fell back to sleep, though he felt quite rested. He stood up, stretched, and picked up his blade. The faint sound of Music and laughter from the Mileth tavern seemed to welcome him in for a drink. Renoan tightened his belt, and made his way in.
"What'll it be, stranger?" said the Barkeep happily.
"Make it a brandy, please." Replied Renoan. The barkeep slid a bottle of brandy down the counter, and into Reanoan's palm. They nodded to each other, remembering to keep tab. He looked at the brandy, popped the cork, and took a fairly large sip, savoring the burning alcoholic feeling going down. He wiped his mouth, and slammed the bottle down.
"Ahhh, I'm alive again!" said Renoan with a grin. Some nearby drunks overheard his happiness, and motioned him over to hang out with them. Though generous, he waved them a "no," feeling that spending his night with drunks wasn't going to be very fun. He spun around on his barstool, and tilted his head back for another sip. When he moved his head down, he noticed an old, tattered man sitting at a table across the tavern, staring back at him with a plea of help in his eyes. Renoan took another sip, walked over to the old man, and offered him some of his brandy. Without giving any notice to it, the old man stood up, and grabbed on to Renoan's collar.
"Please sir!" cried the old man. Thinking he was another mere drunk, Renoan pushed the man back into his seat.
"Please!" cried the old man again. "The terror... it... haunts me... it--" The old man's speech was muffled out by tears. Renoan rolled his eyes, and sat down across from him.
"Tell me, what is it?" said Renoan in a concerning voice. The old man wiped his tears, and looked at him with a glint of hope. "In the... the crypt... something lurks there... it... it appears to be an Aisling... and yet..." the old man paused. He looked away from Renoan a moment, took a deep breath, then turned back to him. "There is something that lurks in Mileth's crypts. I and many others have seen what looks like an Aisling... yet is moves like a beast-"
"Feh!" Renoan cut off the old man's speech. "Come to think of it," he said, starting to walk away, "I have no time to deal with a petty drunkard." The barkeep stacked a clean cup, then looked over at Renoan.
"He speaks the truth," said the Barkeep. Renoan stopped in his tracks for a moment, as if to listen.
"This terror of the crypt seems to have the luck of Sgrios on its side... anyone who goes too deep, never comes back up." Renoan looked up at the barkeep, and gave her a smirk.
"So what, you're lookin' for a skilled warrior to finish it off?" He then turned away from her. "You're wastin' yeh time. No fool's gonna waste their time lookin' for a petty sighting." The barkeep frowned, and went back to drying her clean shot glasses. Renoan paid his tab on the counter, turned to the door, and walked out of the tavern. He stopped, stood for a moment, then began to think. He looked back at the door, shook his head, then left for the Mileth Inn.
Renoan awoke the next morning, and found himself lying on the wet grass, next to some cows in the upper part of town. Mileth was surrounded in a cloud of fog, and the wet ground had given the impression that it had rained. Standing before him was a fairly muscular man with short black hair, dark skin, and a white and blue trimmed wind garb.
"Sleeping on the grass again, ah Renoan?" The man said with a snicker. Renoan got up, and brushed the grass off.
"Bah, keep your mouth shut," said Renoan. "Mileth Inn probably threw me out 'cause I snore so loud." The man looked at Renoan, then began laughing. "So what brings yeh here, Wyler?"
"I'm a bit short on cash..." Wyler said, as he pulled out a bullatin post he had ripped off the community board. "To the people who can smite the 'Terror of the Crypt,'" Wyler read aloud. "Mileth officials are offering an award of 4,000,000 gold pieces to the adventurer who can slay this foul beast." Renoan slowly pulled the paper down, away from Wyler's eyes.
"I've heard about this thing myself..." Renoan said in a low tone.
"So, does this mean you're with me on this?" said Wyler with excitment in his voice.
"Not bloodly likely." he replied. "Besides, I need to go dry my clothes off... it must have rained while I was out here." Renoan walked off into the distance, and into the fog. Wyler sighed, then grinned.
"I'll get you to come along..." Wyler said to himself as he walked to the Dar's. "like always."
The bell above the door jingled as Renoan enterned the shop. He handed his Jupe to the tailor for touch ups, then walked outside to see the rest of abel. As he walked outside, he took a big whiff of the sea air, then spun around on the layed brick floor. Abel was one of the most beutiful towns Renoan had ever seen. The town was so peaceful and the people were friendly. He would board the ships that came by every now and then to meet the crew and listen to their stories about the seas. Had he the chance, he would have taken residence long ago.
"Hey Renoan!" a voice called out from the distance. Renoan turned to a small fishing boat, and squinted. There ahead of him was a man suited in a full set of red emerald armour, with a long, emerald sword sheathed on his back to match. The cool, ocean air breezed through his flowing red hair, giving him the inspiring look of a heroic Knight.
"Guerrand, long time no see!" Renoan yelled back as he ran over. Guerrand stepped off the boat, and onto the dock.
"You hear about the terror?" Guerrand said, tieing his boat up.
"Yeh, I've heard about it, many times now," replied Renoan. He walked over to help Guerrand with his luggage.
"Now don't tell me you're going to go after it." Guerrand stood up and placed his hand on Renoan's shoulder.
"Not only that, but you're going to come help me get that reward," said Guerrand. Renoan frowned, and jerked his shoulder away. "You alright?" said Guerrand.
"What in Sgrios' hell is wrong with yeh people?" Renoan yelled. "It's a beast made up by some bored little boy, spread into a rumor. That four million gold post was probably a joke as well!" Guerrand glared at Renoan and walked by.
"Four million gold is too much money for me to even try to hold back," said Guerrand as he walked into the distance. Renoan paused for a moment, and sighed. He looked around at all the peacefulness of abel, and realized he had not hunted in quite a while.
"Wait," Renoan called out. "I just was to see the look on your face when you see there's no terror. Count me in"
The crypt was a cold, dark, and lonely place. After long years, the crypt shown many signs of age. The floor and walls were crumbling, and the ceilings were dripping water, only adding to the fear. There were very few torches, making it almost impossible to see more then a few feet ahead. It continued to get colder as the two decended deeper. The smell of blood became more apparent, giving sign that the terror might not be far.
After making their way to about the fifteenth floor, they noticed a small pile nearby. As they walked closer, the pile was realized as a dead aisling monk, beaten, and stangled to death. Guerrand tightened his gorget, and drew his blade. Not far, a droplet made its way out of a crack in the ceiling, and fell ten feet to the floor. The two warriors jumped, then laughed a little.
"I say we split up," whispered Guerrand. "If you see it, yell, and I'll follow your voice." Renoan nodded, and slowly went his seperate way. He drew his blade, and redied for combat, looking in every direction. Without notice, Renoan backed up near the stairs, and a sudden gust of wind blew out his torch. He gasped, and froze. He had never used sound much in combat, and feared his performance in battle, if the Terror was to emerge. All was silent, and the crypt had reached a new level of darkness. Renoan began to hear a slight tapping, and could not tell if it was Guerrand. He dropped his weapon, and quickly felt his way to the corner. The tapping became louder, and slowly turned into footsteps. Renoan's heart pounded. He opened his mouth to call for Guerrand, but nothing came out. He sank to the floor, and began to crawl to a different aera of the room, in hopes to find Guerrand. Renoan tried his best to keep quiet, but his shivering only made the noise of scuffling from the pebbles underneath. He then touched somthing warm, and jumped back. It was the body they had found when they first arrived. Renoan began searching the body, in hopes of finding somthing that would help make some more light. As he tugged the vest, the body turned over. Renoan saw the face, and slowly backed up. It was Wyler. The sound of footsteps became louder. Renoan began breathing more heavily, and his body shook uncontrolably. He couldn't take it. He knelt down on the floor, and clutched his head.
"G... G... GUERRAND!" Renoan screamed. Then all went completely black.
The Truth Hurts
Renoan awoke on a bed, and found everything around him unfamiliar. As he sat up, a shooting pain went through his chest. He fell back down on his pillow, and grasped his chest. A fae priestess walked in, and placed a trey of food next to him.
"Try not to move," said the Fae Priestess. "You seem to have been stabbed."
"Where am I?" said Renoan.
"You're in the second floor of the Mileth Inn," said the Priestess.
"Try and not to talk, you need to regain your strength." She started to mix the contents of the of the tray into what looked like a soup. Though he was hungry, Renoan just didn't want to eat. He pulled the cover over himself, and began to shiver again. The Priestess looked at him, then sat down. "We found you lying on the grass outside near here. A few aislings reported that you ran out from the crypt." Renoan lay still.
"Where's Guerrand?" said Renoan. The priestess closed her eyes, and clenched the the fabric of her gown.
"I'm sorry..." said the Priestess, looking away. "I'm afraid the... the noble Guerrand passed away." The Priestess bit her lip, and looked down on her lap. All went silent for a moment, before a voice from the other room called the her in for help. "Please eat..." she said as she stood up. "And try to get better..." As the Priestess began to walk out, Renoan reached out and grabber her wrist. She turned around, and saw Renoan clenching his teeth, holding back tears.
"Tell me..." he said faintly. "Tell me how he died." He sat up on the bed, paying no attention to the pain going through his chest. The Priestess looked at him.
"Renoan," she said with concern. "You must know that as a warrior, death is a hastened inev-"
"I WAN'T TO KNOW HOW HE DIED!" Renoan snapped. The Priestess jumped, then slowly walked over and sat on the bed next to him. She placed a hand on his shoulder, and gently pushed him to lie down.
"Guerrand's body was found beaten and strangled to death," she said sternly. "His sword was covered in blood... he must have put up quite a fight." She stood up, and walked out. Renoan lay, looking at the ceiling, his eyes unblinking. A small bug flew passed, and landed on the wall. Renoan looked at the bug, and let out a short laugh under his breath. The bug twitched it's wings, and began to skitter toward Renoan's pillow.
"Not this time!" said Renoan as he slammed the bug with his fist. He pulled the covers over his head, and scrunched up into a little ball. A tear ran down from his eye, as he began to think about his unfortunate departed friends. All the memories, all the fun, and all the troubles they had gone through, all gone, killed, to what he believed was a simple rumor. "Not this time..." he whispered to himself. "Not this time." Renoan clenched on to his pillow, as his fear and sadness were becomming anger.
The Terror Emerges once More
Birds chirped, the tree leaves rustled in the wind, and talking could be heard in every direction. The East Woodlands was a place anyone could go to find a good adventure, show off armour, or meet new friends.
"Sir?" said a voice. Renoan turned around, and saw a couple. "We saw your post about grouping with a few good warriors, and getting rid of that 'Terror of the Crypt.' We too think it's about time that thing met its match. Renoan extended a hand.
"My name's Renoan."
"My name's Rejlo," he said, "it's a pleasure to meet you." he shook Renoan's hand, and smiled.
"I'm Gladerial," she said, shaking his hand. "You can call me Glad for short." She smiled.
"If it's alright with you guys..." Renoan began. "I'd like to leave right away." The couple looked at eachother, shrugged, then nodded.
"Alright then, I guess we'll see you at the Crypt," said Rejlo. Renoan nodded, and quickly left.
When Rejlo and Gladerial arrived, they found Renoan dressed in a fine set of Iplet plate, his sword drawn over his shoulder. He glanced at the two a moment, then walked into the crypt. Rejlo scratched his head, and looked at Gladerial. She looked back, and smirked.
"Don't worry about it Rejlo," said Gladerial. "He'll learn on his own what happens when he takes somthing for granted."
"We should still keep up though," said Rejlo. "If we're going to take out this terror, we're going to need all the help we can get." Gladerial nodded, and they both decended into the Crypt.
Renoan moved at a demonic speed, ripping through the smaller enemies as if they were nothing. Rejlo and Gladerial
followed behind at a slight distance, beginning to question if hunting with Renoan was such a good idea. As they walked for what seemed like hours, they arived on the fifteenth floor, with the smell of blood even heavier then before.
"Here," said Renoan. "It's somewhere in here."
"What makes you so sure?" said Gladerial. Renoan ignored her, and began walking carelessly again, with too much anger to even think. Rejlo ran up, and grabbed Renoan on the shoulder.
"This is all I can take," said Rejlo. "Glad and I are going back up to Mileth... I'm sorry, but I don't think I trust you." Renoan let his sword dangle, then turned around with fire in his eyes.
"Chickening out, huh?" he said with a growl. Rejlo backed up, grinned, and drew his sword.
"Chicken?" said Rejlo. Gladerial ran up and stood between the two.
"Stop it, NOW." said Gladerial sternly. "We're here to slay the--"
"GET OUT OF MY WAY," yelled Renoan as he backhanded her into the wall. Rejlo looked at Gladerial, then back at Renoan with rage.
"What in Sgrios' hell is the matter with you!?" Rejlo yelled, as he lounged at Renoan with his sword. Renoan found an opening in Rejlo's attack, and pierced his sword through his chest. Rejlo stood in awe, the sword now sticking through his body. Renoan released the blade, and began to shake.
"What have I done..." Renoan whispered under his breath. "What have I--" Just then, Gladerial unsheathed her sword, and ran towards Renoan insanly.
"REJLO!" she yelled, with tears in her eyes. Renoan's heart began to thump faster and faster. There was nothing Renoan could do, but suffer the punishment for his action... yet, he couldn't go without taking his revenge. The confusion ran through his mind so quickly as Gladerial closed in for the kill. Renoan fell on his knees, grabbed his head, and began screaming in pain... Then all went black.
The Truth Kills
Renoan awoke, in a standing position. He was a bit confused and dazed, but the smell of blood quickly returned his memory. He took a deep breath, and closed his eyes. Hoping it was a mere dream, he turned his head to the floor, and opened his eyes. To his demise, Rejlo was there, with the stab wound. It was then he realized the position his arms and hands were. He slowly turned his head forward, and his eyes widened. There, ahead of him, was Gladerial, strangled to death, in his hands.