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|Here's my first Elfwood story! Thanks to Miffy for editing chapter one for me! twice now! next time, ill re-check it before I post it! (Note: i have now edited the old bloke talking at the start, im gonna work on the rest as we speak!)||
The Darkness Approaches: Chapter 1
“Come children and adults alike. Spare me a few pence for some food, and I will tell you such a story that will change the way you look at everything. I am not jesting, I do no lie. Thank you kind sir, now will you listen to my story? Thank you sir, may the great gods bless you. And you madam! Ah, now this is what I call an audience! Would you all like to take a seat? I’m afraid that a dusty pavement doesn’t provide much comfort, but I promise, when you hear my tale, you will forget yourself. This is a tale of woe, of loss, and of friendship and, as all good tales, a battle between good and evil. And now, if you would all please hear me out, I shall begin my tale!”
“We begin with our first hero. A thief by nature, if you were to call him a hero in front of any of his acquaintances, they would probably laugh. But I shall reveal to you that you truly should not judge a book by its cover, but should look further, into the story beneath. The soul of the book, and of the man.”
The light hovered in front of him, like an insect. It bobbed up and down, as if it was dancing to its own rhythm. Suddenly, it flew back, and darted at him, flying straight for his face. With lighting fast reactions, he brought up his sword, deflecting it. There was smashing sound, the light went out, and a broken ball of glass shattered on the floor. Suddenly, out of the shadow-filled corners of the room, hundreds of the lights rose up, and flew at him. He ducked, twirled, and jumped every one of them. He readied his sword, and started slashing into them. To an onlooker, it would have seemed almost like a graceful dance. A dance of doom for whatever foe he was fighting against. Finally, every light was destroyed. Valmore stood in the middle of the room, breathing deeply, his face shining with sweat. He sheathed his sword.
“How did I do?” He asked the shadows, his voice surprisingly deep for a person of his age. The shadows slowly receded, and revealed a wooden room. There were gaps along the edge of the room that slowly closed up. At one end of the room was a simple wooden door. At the other end a black crystal wall. The wall lit up, and he could see the examiners standing behind it. Although their faces were blank, giving away no clues as to how he had done, their minds told him all he needed to know. He reached out to their minds with his own mind, like arms extending to grasp a treasure. He laughed out loud at their pitiful attempts to block his mind. They weren’t just impressed. They were scared. He let out a loud laugh. The mentors were scared of him! His face became suddenly deadly serious.
“And so you should be!” He focused a mental blast at the wall. However, he was so focused on that, that he didn’t notice the gas seeping in through the floor. Slowly, he began to loose concentration.
“Wha…?” He whispered, before he collapsed to the floor, unconscious. Damn mentors. Can’t take a joke!
He awoke about an hour later. His arms felt heavy. He tried to lift himself, but it seemed as he was attached to whatever it was that he was lying on. He slowly opened his eyes. It was then that he realized he was. He blinked, and shook his head to get rid of the effects of the gas.
"Ohhh......" he groaned. "Where am I?"
"Once again, you have desecrated our sacred blood, by turning on your mentors." a high, whiney voice said. The figure kept to the shadows, the only thing giving away his position being his voice. "There is no other alternative but for us to remove you."
A thin, aged arm reached out, and positioned itself above Valmore. The air seemed to crackle with energy, and the blast inside of Valmore’s mind caused him to scream in utter agony.
Valmore’s eyes snapped open. The vision of what had happened to him caused him to crawl back into total consciousness. He slowly closed his eyes, and shook his head. That was over five years ago, but the nightmares and visions still haunted him as they had done when he first escaped. Where that place was, and who those people were, he could not remember. All that he could remember was his training, and then getting nearly killed by that man. But he could not dwell on the past. He had a job to do. And that job was coming round the corner any second now.
A wealthy man strode around the corner, an in-bred air of superiority about him. He wore a long red cloak, and had an unusually bright redness to his face. Valmore stepped out of the shadows.
"Sir Halman, I presume?" He whispered.
"Yes. Are you here to deliver my....equipment?" Enquired the rich man, his voice suddenly becoming quiet.
"Its all here," Valmore smiled, patting a small briefcase that he held in one hand. "Now, do you have my pay?" The man smiled to himself.
"Oh, you'll get given what you deserve. Once I get the briefcase."
Upon looking back, Valmore would have decided that what happened after was due to losing his edge. He handed the case over to the man, who quickly hid it inside his long coat.
"And now, for your payment!" Grinned the man.
They came out of the shadows, three, maybe four of them. Evil-looking men all dressed in black evening outfits, and each with skin as pale as the moon.
"By the gods of the old world!" He cursed. He should have seen it, he thought. The redness in the mans face was not natural. It was dye, to make him look human. And the way his top lip bulged slightly, as if his teeth were too big. "Vampires." He growled, a look of disgust on his face. "Who else would require dragon blood?"
"As far as anyone knows, no-one requires, or required, dragons blood." Said one of the men, if they could be called that. "Except, you know, don’t you? It seems we'll have to do something about that."
The first vampire, a short fat man, lunged at him, knuckledusters on each hand. He swung a punch at Valmore’s stomach, but ended up smashing the lamppost behind Valmore, which bent at the place where it was hit. The vamp looked around in confusion. Valmore retreated into the shadows, and weaved a web of darkness around him, protecting him from being seen even by the vamps. Where he had gotten his magic from, he didn’t know. All he knew was that, although he could wield magic like some of the best mages, and some sorcerers, he used to be better, but didn’t know how much so.
He could have fled, like all of his instincts told him to. But he had fought against them in the past, knowing that his instincts were usually those of a coward. He knew that if the vamps drank the dragon blood, then they would be able to take over this whole city, and possibly further.
The fat vamp looked around, with his eyes and his mind, but could not see anyone except his brethren.
"Hah! All humans are cowards! He has fled!" He began to laugh, but was cut short by the hands that snaked across his face. "What the.....?" He muffled, but his words were cut short by a quiet crack, as his neck was snapped so his head was facing the wrong way.
"Well boys," snarled Valmore, emerging from the shadows. "Let’s dance." And that he did. Every lightning fast punch or kick, every grab that was made by the vampires met thin air, only to be flung back by an inhumanly powerful hit. Anyone watching wouldn’t have thought it to be a fight, but more of perfectly choreographed dance. However, one vamp managed to get behind Valmore, and stuck a dagger in his spine. Valmore’s back arched, and he stumbled forward, the vampires watching him try to stay standing. Then, as if in a trance, he stood up straight, lightly swaying as if blown by an invisible wind. A wind that soon became all but invisible. It was a light breeze at first, but it became a continuous gust of wind, then a mighty blast of air whistled down the alley. The creatures leant on posts and buildings to try to keep upright. Valmore, however, stood in the middle of the wind, and now he was not even swaying in the mighty blasts. The winds died down, and Valmore smiled. That'd put the fear of god into them. He liked putting on a show. The wind and stumbling was not needed for the fight, but he needed a good laugh. He quickly put on a straight face again, and reached for the hilt of the dagger in his back. With one long, slow movement, he drew it out of his spine, and let it clatter to the ground. The wound in his back shone with a bright, golden light, which slowly became a slither of white, and then disappeared, along with the wound.
The vampires stared, mouths open. Although a normal dagger couldn’t hurt their kind, they had never known a human survive a stab right to the spine. The largest of the vamps stood about seven feet tall, a full foot taller than Valmore, and his arms were almost twice as thick. He aimed a punch right at the back of Valmore’s head.
Fun’s over, thought Valmore. Time for business. He swung ‘round, and batted the vamps fist away as if it were nothing but an annoying insect. He punched the creature square in the face, the sheer impact of the blow snapping its neck instantly. As its body slumped to the floor, Valmore turned on the other vamps. He made a sign with his hands, and closed his eyes. One by one, every vamp grabbed his throat. They could feel their windpipes close, and their eyes bulged out. Even though they were strong, vamps still needed to breathe to live. One by one, their lifeless bodies fell down, as if the had been struck by an invisible hand. Valmore slowly walked over to the dead rich vamp, and spat on him. He picked up the briefcase, made sure the glass container inside was intact, and walked off down the alley, leaving the corpses behind without even a glance back. He knew they were dead, and he was the only one who would. Without even his step faltering, he muttered one word.
"Salarth," he said, and the bodies burst into flame. By the time he had left the street, the fires had gone out. Leaving nothing of the corpses but a few piles of ashes, that was whisked away by the gentle morning breeze.
“And now, we shall meet our second hero. An unlikely saviour, this man has more power in his finger than all of the sorcerers of Shak’Hazzar put together. No dear, I don’t expect you to know what I’m talking about. Now, if you would be so kind…? Thank you.”
It had been a slow night for PC Jacob Anders. A couple of muggings, and a burglary. He walked into the dark bar, his hat under his arm. He was looking forward to a drink, and then to sleep. He put his hat on the bar.
“The usual, please George.” He said, in his deep cockney accent. He ran a hand through his long flame-red hair. If you looked at him in the street, you wouldn’t have guessed he was a policeman. About 6ft5, in his 20s, and with long red hair tied back. And no matter where he went, he always wore the same circular sunglasses.
He picked up the glass of whiskey, and drunk it down in one.
“Slow night?” asked George.
“Hell yeah. I’m looking forward to sleep tonight.”
“Damn police, when you need ‘em, where are they? Asleep!” said a gruff voice fro the corner of the room. Jacob knew exactly who it was. Simon Hillson. He lost his wife in an armed robbery, and blamed the police for not turning up quick enough.
“Leave it out, Simon.” Warned the barkeep. “Or get out.”
“I'm tired of this dirt old place anyway.” Snorted Simon. “I'm outta here. Cya around, pig” he walked out, slamming the door behind him.
“There’s two words he should learn.” Said George, obviously unaffected by Hillsons remark. “Forgive, and forget.”
Jacob just stared into his empty glass. He was the first person to receive the call about the robbery. But he was in the middle of stopping someone committing suicide. However, he was too slow. By the time he got there, the robber had already killed Hillsons wife. If only he had left the rest of the team to deal with the suicidal man, then he could have got to the robbery quicker. Possibly even done something. He hit the table in frustration, awarding him some suspicious glances from other patrons.
“It wasn’t your fault, Jacob.” George said, his voice becoming soft. Jacob punished himself every day for that, and Hillson didn’t that at all. “If you had gone, you know that man would’ve killed himself.”
“The help team were more than capable of dealing with him. I should’ve gone. I…”
“You did your job, Jacob. Its Hillsons fault that he cant see that.”
“Yeah well. I've gotta go, I need sleep.”
“Cya around Jacob”
“Yeah, cya” Jacob replied, his stare vacant. He walked out of the pubs old oak door, and breathed in the bitter cold winter night. He shuddered, and wrapped his arms around himself as he hurried down the street.
As he neared his house he could tell that something was wrong. The light in his bedroom was on. He never left it on. He walked slowly up to the door. There were scratch marks around the lock, which was missing. He drew his twin silver pistols. They were more works of art than weapons of war. Each one had been hand crafted, with a silver star on the handle. His father had given them him when just before he passed away. His father’s last words still rang in his head.
“Keep them safe, they’ll protect you in more ways than you can imagine.”
He knew that was at least partly true. The amount of times these had saved is life. He knew that they were the only things he could depend on in life. They’d never fail him.
He kicked the door open, and pointed both guns straight forward. He heard footsteps upstairs. He ran up the steps, and aimed down the hallway. The two doors were shut and locked like he had left them. The window at the end of the hallway was open, however. He walked towards it slowly, cautiously. He looked out the window, just in time to see a cloaked figure look up at him from the street below, and run off. There was only one way the man had got out of the house, and that was by jumping out of the window. There was nothing to climb down, and no emergency exits. However, the fall was far enough to injure even the most agile of athletes, yet the man had appeared unharmed.
Jacob ran down the stairs and out into the street. He ran after the figure, always keeping sight of him, but never seeming to gain on him. It was as if he was leading him somewhere. The figure ran until he got to the port, and ran into one of the warehouses. Jacob approached the door with caution. He quickly swung around the door, and pointed both guns forward. Inside was pitch black. He walked forward slowly, holding his breath so he could hear any sound of movement. He heard the scraping of boots on metal, and then heard the slam of the door shutting behind him. Blackness covered him like a blanket. He held his guns tight. He could feel the sweat on his forehead, despite the cold.
Two huge lights in the ceiling flared to life, and before him he saw about 5 or 6 men, all in suits. They were unnaturally pale.
“Mr Anders, I presume?” said the tallest of the bunch. “I believe we have a score to settle with you, or rather, one of our friends does.”
From behind him walked Hillson, who now was also wearing a suit. His face was paler than before, and his grin was disturbing.
“Deal with him, Mr Hillson.” Said the tall one, turning away as if he was asking him to merely fetch something.
What happened next unravelled all of what Jacob believed about the paranormal. Hillsons grin became a twisted smile, and then slowly turned into an expression of agony.
“Wh…What have you done to me??” Screamed Hillson, clutching his face. He sunk to his knees, as if unable to stand any longer. His face became distorted and slowly his skin began to become wrinkled, as if he was ageing rapidly. Eventually, his skin began to drop off, as if he was rotting. It revealed not blood, as Jacob had expected, but muscle, which also partly rotted away. Almost as suddenly as it had started, the rotting stopped. Hillsons corpse fell to the ground.
“What the hell happened????” Cried Jacob, slowly backing away.
“Please Mr Anders, don’t leave so soon!” Smiled a shorter, fatter man. He raised his hand, and mumbled a few words. Jacob turned to run away….and ran straight into a pane of glass that had appeared as if out of thin air. He put his hands up, and pressed against it. He could see his own warm breath condensing against the cold glass.
He heard a scraping and shuffling behind him. Slowly, he turned around. His hands were shaking as he raised his guns; ready to face whatever it was he had to. What he saw froze his blood. The men were all standing behind another pane of glass, and he could see he was boxed in. All of the men that is, except for Mr Hillson. He was standing about 4 feet away from him, saliva dripping from his mouth. It wasn’t just the fact that the corpse was moving that made him freeze. Nor was it the hungry look on its disfigured face. It was also the fact that, despite its having no eyes, it turned its head towards him, no matter where he went.
The thing lurched at him, its mouth open. Unable to move quickly enough, Jacob felt its cold, clammy, but steel grip on his arm. It bit into his shoulder, and sucked, as if it was draining the very life from within him. “That's exactly what it’s doing!” said the tall man, a maniacal grin on his face.
|House of my Mind||Tears of a Shadow|
|The Darkness Approaches: The Prophecy||The Darkness Approaches: Chapter 3|
|The Darkness Approaches - Chapter 5|