Entry – 15
This last day has been straight out of a horror tale.
We woke up after camping on the cliff and banshee fired up one of the scrolls. It created a small disk, maybe three feet wide and nearly translucent. It held weight fine but it was only gonna fit two. I was able to figure out the another of the scrolls and got it working after a moment of B.S.ing, maybe the whole magic thing isn’t as hard as I thought. Marcus was weary of the disk but eventually we coaxed his scared ass on and started down. I’m glad we bought four scrolls, but we had better not get into a situation were we need to use the others or we weren’t going to be getting out of this whole anytime soon.
It took us close to a half hour to hit bottom. It was actually closer than we had thought. The floor had huge fissures in it that may have led down to a lower level, but we decided we were plenty deep for now. There were four tunnels in this cavern that we could see. We took the far left one with the plan of working our way from left to right as we finished exploring or hit a dead end. We went through several tunnels and past a couple of splits. At every entrance and at every split I chalked an arrow pointing towards the exit. Maybe Marcus was rubbing off on me but I really did not want to get lost down here.
Not far in we began hearing a shrieking scream. It was . . . disturbing, not normal, and it wouldn’t stop. Every couple of minutes it would come again. Eventually we made it to a small underground river. It ran very swiftly from north to south. We decided to forge across trying all the while to ignore the screams that seemed to come from everywhere at once. I was able to forge the river and secure a rope for the others. After everyone was across Banshee saw something in the water downstream. Something that looked like a large box. I volunteered to check it out, no use all of us getting wet again right?
After a cold plunge back across the box turned out to be a bridge. Who puts freaking bridge down here? As I walked back to our guide rope the scream pierced my skull again, but this time I could tell it was coming from upstream. After rejoining the others I let them know what I had found about the bridge and the screams. A rather wide-eyed Marcus insisted we deal with the screaming. I couldn’t help edging away a bit but we all agreed. Hey say what you will but a scared Marcus made me nervous.
We all crossed the river again, damn that was cold water, and started following the bank upstream. It didn’t take long for us to reach the point were the stream came from. It went under a rock wall. Another scream whistled out of the narrow opening driving Banshee and myself to our knees. Whatever it was really needed to shut up. We figured we could get through but not without swimming. Raine was our best swimmer. He could doggy paddle like you wouldn’t believe. So we gave him a rope to secure to something on the other side. He refused to go until I gave him two vials of acid to use on whatever was in the next cave. Once we felt Raine tug twice on the rope we all started climbing through. The next room was a low domed cave with a small pile of boulders on one side and a skeleton leaning against a rock nearby.
I had barely got a look around when I heard a short scream and banshee’s light vanished from the tunnel. She was the only one who hadn’t made it in. Raine immediately jumped in the water and shot downstream. In the fast fading light I jumped after him, going slow enough to keep a hold on the rope and not get swept away. I clawed my way to the bank after getting through and sprinted after Raines light. Banshee was all right for the moment; she had managed to grab hold of the rope we had crossed the river with. Raine got close and tread water until she got a hold on him.
I threw them my rope and Raine was able to get a bite on it. It took a couple moments but I pulled them slowly to the shore. We were all breathing pretty heavy at this point. Then we heard a scream, not the piercing screams of before but a deeper, panic filled scream. We all realized we had left Marcus alone in the cave, with no light. We all broke out in a run. We made it to the tunnel and after several slips and near falls on my part we were through. As the room illuminated around us Marcus came into sight, bow string tight and arrow nocked. The cave was littered with arrows. I entered with my hands up and slowly walked forward but stopped when I saw the whites all the way around his eyes. I started trying to calm him down when another wailing shriek rose up from the back of our cave, so loud and piercing it seemed to be coming from inside our own heads. Marcus joined the scream with one of his own and began firing arrows. The first hit me square in the shoulder and the second sunk into Banshees side. Raine jumped Marcus trying to tackle him, I joined in as soon as I got back up. Between the two of us we eventually subdued Marcus.
A while later he regained his wits. He seemed mortified to have shot us but didn’t remember doing any of it. Raine set about healing while Marcus got the arrows out safely. I started searching the room for the noise and any clues as to what it was, Marcus began to do the same as soon as his task was done. We found writing on the wall and a crown and backpack on and next to the skeleton. The bag contained two very nice curved daggers, I gave those to Raine, and I put the circlet on myself. Banshee said that all were magical but she couldn’t tell what they did, we’ll just have to wait and find out I suppose.
The writing on the wall was the fairly creepy ramblings of the poor soul whose bones were in the cavern. All it really said was that him and his friend had trapped “it” and that he was the only one who made it. The skeleton had a clearly broken leg. No wonder the poor guy couldn’t leave. We decided that the “it” needed to be dealt with if nothing else for Marcus’s sake. Marcus, Raine, Banshee and myself geared up for a fight and then rolled the boulders in the back to the side. Inside was a twenty foot round cave with a low ceiling and a couple large rocks. We all cautiously entered the cave and began to look around, but almost instantly a deafening scream punctuated the air that almost dropped us to our knees again. Then this…thing slithered and squelched its way from behind a rock. It looked like a three foot blob of fetid flesh, covered in hundreds of gnashing mouths all seeming to be…gibbering at once. And for every mouth it had a rolling bulbous eye accompanying it. The little horror oozed along leaving a viscous trail of gray slime behind it.
We all were stunned by its appearance at first, and then when it screamed again. I wasn’t really doing it justice before, but then there aren’t really words for a noise like that. Just try to imagine thousands of hot needles being pushed into your head and then pulled out from the other side and you might start understand what it was like to hear that thing. By the time we had recovered it was almost on us. Banshee managed to get off a spell before it began enveloping her. We could all hear the sound of tearing flesh and a sickening slurping sound. Raine began trying to pull the thing off her, Marcus started pumping arrows into it as fast as he could draw, and I laid into it with both blades.
The thing was as tough as it was nasty and about halfway through the fight we found out it could spit acid and blind us. But eventually we encircled it and after several arrows and cuts of my blade it dissolved to a pile of rolling eyes. Grossest. Enemy. Ever.
There were some other trinkets around the cave we gathered up before leaving the cave and crawling back through the tunnel. We couldn’t tell what time it was in the cave but we decided to camp by the river and rest up. The silence is almost unnerving after dealing with the screams for so long but it is still a welcome change. However while I sit here writing I cant help glancing at Marcus’s sleeping form. When he attacked us there wasn’t a shred of humanity left in his eyes. It scares me just remembering them. I pray we never get to a point where he becomes our enemy.
- Justin D’moore