Cal rolled over as he turned to face whatever it was that was making the clicking sound behind him. What he saw was the stuff of nightmares. The creature looked like some demented scientist had recombined the genetic traits of a human with a scorpion a dragonfly and a werewolf.
The monster for that was the only word that Cal’s brain could associate the being with was a hulking 2 meters tall, with digitigrade knees, a bone ribbed scorpions tale that curved around and threaded through the creature’s six wings and ended in a wicked and curved stinger.
The body was arranged anatomically similar to a dragonfly with a thorax that more resembled a chest but was in all inline. Disproportionately long arms and legs which all ended in long sharp curving talons. A face that radiated pure malevolance was not even the worse part. The creature was bone white with red accented highlights along the ridges of its protruding bone structure.
This thing was a literal death machine given form and it looked like it too. It was holding the remnants of a person who was clothed head to toe in a robe that looked like it had been bought from the discount section of Cultists R US. Cal skittered backwards in pure panic using his hands to move himself backwards from this demonic visage as his brain just went NOPE I’M OUT. The only thing that brought him up short was the sudden feeling of sticky cold wetness that short circuited his fear response.
He looked down momentarily and saw that he had stuck his hand into a pool of blood that had come from the nearest dead robed individual. Cal looked up back towards the demonic bone devil thing as it was stalking around lazily to get to him.
Huh….umm why doesn’t it just come straight and kill me.
Cal waited for it to get closer to him and then skittered away in a straight line from the demon towards some other dead cultists. The demon just stopped and it hissed in annoyance. The sound itself felt wrong like it was a wound on reality for it to even exist. Cal’s mind was ticking over on overdrive, trying to figure out why the demon seemingly couldn’t close and kill him.
He took a bit of a risk and stood up, the motion making the demons eyes narrow as it had anticipated an easy kill of the last of the pathetically squishy humans.
Cal was looking around and it didn’t take long before something familiar about the visage occurred to him.
Why does this seem familiar to the sacred site where the tribe was? Granted it wasn’t the same but the circular almost perfectly flat stone looked familiar even though he hadn’t had very long to look at it. Sure the standing stone menhirs were missing but as he looked around he noticed that the edge of the stone, where he had almost skittered out of in his panic was inscribed with what he could only conceive of as occultist symbols.
Could that be keeping the demon at bay, like some kind of ward or protective barrier?
While Cal was examining the edges of the barrier the creature began to loose patience and startled Cal with it’s voice as it began to speak.
“The wards will not last forever human. I WILL feast on the marrow of your bones.” The voice was purely demonic in tone, low disturbing and discordant tones smashed together to create a sound that inspired instinctual dread in whoever heard it.
“As if a million voices suddenly cried out in terror and then were suddenly silenced.” Cal whispered to himself before steeling his nerve to talk to the demonic being infant of him. He had no doubt in his mind that that was what this being was an infernal demon of the legions of the damned.
Nothing more was said between the two as the demon paced about, testing the barrier with his claws every now and then trying to deplete the energy barrier faster. There was a last gasping rattle from one of the cultists as he drew his last breath.
With the final death of the last mage the inscribed symbols at the edge of the circle…..dulled or became less real maybe? Whatever the case Cal knew that whatever had been powering them was now expended and his fear ratcheted back up as he could do nothing but stand there and await his violent death at the hands of the demon.
The demon began to smile as it took a tentative step forward onto the circle as Cal took an instinctual fearful step backwards. When nothing opposed his move his legs tensed as he squatted down and then pounced towards Cal with his talons outstretched to pluck the puny humans life as his stinger thrashed in anticipation.
However during the leap a bell tolled and the demon screamed as his form became illusory and he passed through the body of the human, impacting with the floor at the unexpected encounter of resistance. He rolled around as he struggled to get back up and turned towards Cal with a snarl, furious that he had been denied his prey.
“Mark my words human. I Sycorax will feast on the marrow of your bones as I consume your soul. It may not be today but the hordes of the stupid willing to summon a devil are boundless. I will retu……” Sycorax’s voice cut off as his body finished being recalled to whatever damned and infernal hell it was from.
“You’ll get me and my little dog too huh.” Cal quipped. He couldn’t help it, the sassery a deflection from the deep well of terror that the knowledge that he had a very pissed off devil just gunning for him caused.
Now that Sycorax was gone Cal collapsed into a heap back onto the floor. The terror of the encounter, the transition and the last few hours of his time on Earth had pushed him to the limits of human endurance. Despite the fact that the room was a charnel house of dead bodies, blood and entrails strewn about the place Cal couldn’t help it as his breathing started ramping back down to normal he passed out.
He was only out of it for about fifteen minutes or so, not that he really knew how long he had been out of it but if he had to guess that felt about right. Upon waking up he looked around and although it was distasteful he started to loot the bodies of the dead cultists, looking for anything useful. After another disgusting half hour he managed to come up with a rather plain and functional dagger with a sheathe, a couple of bladders or flasks of water and a belt which he could hang this off. The clothes all of the cultists had been wearing was a total write off either totally torn to shreds or coated in blood, piss, vomit and shit.
The one cool thing that he had found however had been this odd little stone that all of the cultists had carried. At first Cal thought it might be some kind of currency but that didn’t make any sense. Why only carry one of them if it was money?
I suppose it could be a credit card type deal? No that doesn’t make any sense either. How would you know which small stone was yours if they all looked the same. No something doesn’t add up here. It’s gotta be some kinda device I mean, sure everyone goes through a pet rock stage, but all 13 men all at the same time? Hmm….I wonder
“On, open, go web go.” Cal tried even mimicking a stupid line from a Spiderman movie more as a joke to himself. After about a half hour of trying everything he could think of he groaned in frustration and yelled at the stone. “Why won’t you just WORK” as he sort of pushed out mentally in accompaniment to his shout trying to just will it to give up his secrets. To his surprise the stone almost immediately lit up in a blinding flash of light that illuminated the room fully as he dropped the stone in startled surprise. Before the room was sort of lit ambiently from some holes or vents in the ceiling that allowed the light in.
The stone winked out upon loosing contact with his hand as it dropped to the floor.
“It’s a fucking torch?” He exclaimed in wonder. Now that made total sense, he scrambled back to the fallen rock and picked it up again and tried several more times with out any success to get it to turn on again. He tried various combinations and intonations of the words “why won’t you work” without any success before an idea came to him.
Author's Notes: Here is Sycorax - my words are nowhere enough to encapsulate him in his glory :)
Also this will be the last chappie for the initial drop of chapters on ScribbleHub