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John E. Fletcher

"The Tunnels" by John E. Fletcher

SciFi/Fantasy text 4 out of 5 by John E. Fletcher.      ←Previous - Next→
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Everybodies favourite (or who I hope will become everybodies favourite) human warrior, Kelik, goes into some dark tunnels to earn some money and kill some monsters. The two monsters he comes across here are my own original creations although I have been told the Cloaked Ripper reminded someone of a Shadow Weaver from some book they read as a kid...trust me if your a fan of said book I've never read it before in my life. Anyway I might start writing up some of Keliks journal entries, depends if I get bored enough or if I get some positive feedback, enjoy!
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←- The (mis) adventures of knighthood | Phoenix of the silver skies -→

The dim light of the flickering torch was all that guided Kelik forward, he held it aloft infront of him to shine it's mediocre light on the rougly hewn stone passageway. His other hand held an axe at his side, ready to swing down on any unfortunate creature that may appear from the darkness. The axe he held was a good one, single bladed and heavy, etched in silver patterns that reflected the torches light like a moonlit pool. A mace hung in his belt of similar style and size it bounced and jostled against the chain mail Kelik wore and defeated any hope of stealth the young warrior might have carried with him.

A sudden rustle behind him alerted Kelik and he spun around shoving the torch forward. It was this action that saved him. The torch was shoved straight into the face of what appeared at first to be a hooded man,instantly setting it's robe on fire, the robe soon burned away as the torch lit it afflame. What remained was no man or beast that Kelik could identify. It stood tall but seemed to be hunched it had a elongated neck that sloped downwards from it's shoulders leaving it's head at about it's chest height. It had long, sloping arms that ended in five large claws that looked as though they would rend Kelik limb from limb. It's legs were crooked and uneven and as it recovered from the flames it used them to lope forward in an uneven gait.

Kelik dropped the torch onto the ground, leaving a circle of light around him and the thing which now charged at him. He pulled his mace free of his belt and swung it around hard. The cold steel smashed the side of the creatured head and sent it flying into the tunnel wall with the force of the blow. Kelik did not let the creature recover before he lept forward and swung around with his axe, the cruel blade sliced deep into the things side but Kelik found he could not pull it back out, bone and wiry muscle held it fast inside of the creature. It shrieked in rage and clambered to it's feet, Kelik was forced to jump backwards as it turned on him and charged again this time with it's vicous claws raking the air infront of it over and over again. Kelik retreated untill he was outside of the torches light, unable to defend against both clawed hands with only his mace. He took a desperate tactic then and leaped up and over the creature swinging down with his mace on the way, it connected sharply on the things neck and there was an audible crack that echoed up and down the tunnel. Kelik landed in a crouch and reached back, tearing sharply as his hand grasped the handle of his axe it came free with a sick ripping of flesh and cracking of bone. Black liquid spilled out from the wound and discoloured the stone floor where it landed in a pool. The creature took another step forward and let out a brief howl of pain before it toppled over onto it's front and lay still.

Kelik remained there for some time in the light of the torch which he had now stuck solidly into a crack on the floor, he was writing in a small battered journal made of tiny scraps of mismatched paper. He had bought it in the last town, it was the type of thing book makers compiled from the various pieces of scrap they accumulated during the year. It was cheap but sturdy, the paper held between two thick pieces of tree bark. Inside it he had written and drawn descriptions and rough sketches of a multitude of creatures he had encountered on his journey's as a mercenary and adventurer. At the moment he was putting the finishing touches to a sketch of the creature he had just fought, both with and without it's robe on. A title at the top of the page proclaimed it to be a "Cloaked Ripper". He smiled to himself and put the over used piece of charcoal he was drawing with away knowing a few mages who would pay well for his new discovery. He picked up the torch again and in the same way he had done before walked forwards into the gloom.

After what seemed like hours in the winding tunnels Kelik saw some kind of red light spilling into the tunnel from the cavern beyond. He doused his torch in the dirt on the floor and put it into his belt, he pulled out his mace and held both his weapons at the ready before slipping as quietly as possible into the cavern. What he saw stole the breath from him. All around the cavern red crystals shined and gleamed with their own illumination, causing the room to fill in bright red light. He stared at the crystals for a minute before realizing what else filled the cave. Scattered everywhere there were corpses, some appeared to be Cloaked Rippers while others looked like adventurers clad in armour and carrying swords, one or two seemed to be mages and one had a blue cloak with the symbol of Verinass the healer on it. All lay battered and cut at varying stages of decomposition. Kelik took a few more cautious steps into the cavern at the far side he saw a pile, almost a mound, of gold and silver as well as several wands, softly glowing weapons and one or two books bound in leather with iron locks on them. Kelik took a few more steps forward then the world went white.

His vision cleared a few seconds later and Kelik realised he was flying through the air, moving head first straight towards a wall. He managed to spin himself around and grabbed onto a piece of crystal, his arm jarred painfully but he managed to jump down safely onto the ground. He looked back at where he had been standing and saw a moving mountain of crystal. The thing which had apparently hit him was advancing slowly, the effect like a landslide moving inexorably and unstoppably towards him. The creature he now faced was huge, the size of giant at least and made completely out of the red crystal that filled the cavern. It was too big to be a golemn and the two spots of obsidian that Kelik assumed where it's eyes gleamed with an intelligence that would not inhabit a created creature. It was vaugley man-shaped but it's limbs where longer and the substance it was created of made it more roughly hewn. For rather then being created out of one piece of crystal the monster was made from a gathering of a multitude of crystal pieces of various shapes and sizes the occasional gap could be seen inbetween the crystals and it just gave the creature an even more uneven silhouette. When it spoke a large hunk of crystal at the bottom of it's head that looked vaugley like a bearded jaw moved up and down leaving a gap between it and the rest of the head, it's voice was like the echo down an endless tunnel and seemed to be as old and dusted as the cave itself.
"Doom to those who enter my kingdom, doom I say! Bad news your kind are human, they come to rob and steal my children from me, breaking and shattering like the hated dwarves. But we dealt with them and the clawed ones and these 'adventurers' and now we shall deal with you!" The creature advanced on Kelik seeming to carry no weapons but it's hands were taloned with sharp crystal and it's fists would be more then enough to crush him against one of the walls or onto the floor. He looked around the cave, there was nowhere to hide, all of the crystal formations seemed at once to be inpeneratrable walls of sharpened death. Kelik had nowhere to run so he let out a shout of desperation mixed with anger and sprinted towards the monstrosity before him. He got there before the creature had time to react and he swung his mace vicously with both hands (he had replaced his axe at his belt before the charge). The Mace impacted against the things leg denting the crystal in, leaving a small crater. Cracks spread from it like beams of light from a torch he rolled forwards away from the creature, just barely avoiding a down swinging fist. He leapt to his feet on the other side and readied his mace again while the monster pivoted on one massive foot and strode towards him once again. Kelik could not see much hope of winning the fight this way, he could not dodge fists indefinately. He looked around, desperate for a solution. He found it ontop of the treasure heap. His roll and flight through the air had taken him to within a few feet of it and at the very bottom was a hammer intricately carved and etched in symbols and runes of unknown language and origin. He took his chance and rolled towards the hammer even as a taloned hand raked through the air where his head had been up to a moment ago. He stuck his mace quickly into his belt and stood ontop of the treasure mound. He bent low and picked up the suprisingly light hammer just as another fist came smashing down. He jumped back then forwards, running up the fist and along the arm, leaping from crystal shard to crystal shard he finally reached the things shoulders and stood upon them.
"Burn in the hells monster!" With that he swung the hammer around and with a crack of released magic it smashed into the creatures head and sent it flying across the cave the only sound made before the snapping and shattering of crystal was a confused "Uhr?" As the crystalline giant died. Kelik struggled to retain his balance as the giant swayed violently then toppled backwards, he leapt from it's shoulder and landed in a heap ontop of the treasure. He closed his eyes and lost conciousness.

When Kelik awoke it was to be greeted by the sight of a fortune in gold and other riches right underneath him he spent the next few hours rooting through the pile and keeping the majority of the gold and silver as well as whatever of the magical weapons he could carry he then leaned against one of the cavern walls and made the entry in his journal, noting down the beast he had slain as the 'Crystal Lord' and making the usual sketch. He then hitched up his pack and walked back through the tunnels towards the surface.
←- The (mis) adventures of knighthood | Phoenix of the silver skies -→

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'The Tunnels':
 • Created by: :-) John E. Fletcher
 • Copyright: ©John E. Fletcher. All rights reserved!

 • Keywords: Adventure, Axe, Dwarvenmagic, Gold, Human, Mace, Monsters, Tunnels, Warrior
 • Categories: Magic and Sorcery, Spells, etc., Celtic
 • Views: 266

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