At the front of the shimmerying fleshy tower was what looked like some animals orrifice the group looked up towards the summit far above them large black birds circled staring down at the group. Flacidious walked up to the side of the tower, removed a riding glove and touched its glistening surface a slick surface that coated his finger in a transparent mucas the surface responded like flesh spongy under the slight touch.
“It’s warm.” He said from behind his scarf that he’d pulled up while they were in the swamp to mask some of the stench that had been present ever since they left the green rolling hills.
“Maybe the thing bleeds?” Sial said suddenly stabbing at the tower with his spear, the tip slid in to the flesh a black sticking gore oozed from the cut and Sial streined against it for a few moments but the spear was slowly popped out as the flesh reformed and remended itself. Sial groaned and let his gangly arms fall to his sides and looked about at the others in disappointment.
“Looks like that’s a yes but to no avail.” Primela seemed distant as she said it looking like she didn’t quite see the here and now.
“Do you think we knock?” Gilnar asked as he walked up to the fleshy folds of the sealed portal as he got close the surface rippled, Gilnar drew his axes and then the flaps moved away in a swirling motion, inside was pitch black and a warm damp gust went past them.
“Apparently not.” Flacidious said pulling a torch out of his travel bag, Meredit and Erek did the same lighting them all and looking back at the entrance. Flacidious thrust the torch through the portal and they could see inside, it was smooth as though it was formed of polished stone and there were stairs that followed the slow curve of the tower there was a ceiling about five meters above them and the walls seemed bare. The far wall though was mostly hidden in darkness, Flacidious took the first steps inside, his eyes slowly having to adjust to the gloom.
“Well this is an anti-climax” Primela stated as she followed Flacidious and then headed to look at the walls. There were four carved pillars Primela took a closer look at them and after spening several moments staring intently backed away. The pillars were intricately covered in images so grueseome the mind could barely comprehend that they had ever been put to stone let alone actually happend, she looked back at the others and frowned.
Erek was twitchy and quickly made his way over to the stairs looking up he could see the nothing above but more stone and darkness. “We should be quick.” He said in a hushed tone. Flacidious looked at another of the pillars and turned away towards Erek quickly and nodded. Meredith seemed absent of such curiosity and headed after Erek at a pace.
“It’s as though this place were torn up from the hells themselves.” Primela whispered as she slid in next to Flacidious who nodded grimly. Erek led the group up the stairs Gilnar came up last once they were all on the landing it seemed that they were in a corridor intricate arches weaved from ivory white bone bizare hummanoid skulls were placed at the apex of each arch the only light provided was from their torches still. Erek and Sial led the group, Sial looked like he had flipped into the mode of some savage hunter on the icy wastes of the dead lands without sun spear held high, feet carefully as elegently as a practiced dancer stalked each step. Erek on the other hand moved like a strong man holding an anvil all broad shoulders and stomping.
“Can you hear that?” Primela asked looking up. The others nodded.
“Sounds like it’s above us.” Gilnar also glanced up.
“Let’s hope it stays that way.” They didn’t come across a a way into the central room but instead came across another set of stairs heading up and again they went up and again they were confronted by a corridor the sounds from above ever so much closer now. Again the floor followed the same lay out as the last a corridor curving along the outer wall of the tower the same bone arches and elegent walk way. Flacidious touched the inner wall and paused a moment before carrying on.
The next couple of floors followed the same pattern until they came to a larger landing, it seemed like this was more of a room than a corridor still in the centre there seemed to be a room that was sealed off but there were smooth stone benches and the bone arches were nowhere to be seen, there was a wall at either end and a door that looked to be made of a greyish material.
“Well I don’t like this.” Gilnar said as he moved up to the door.
“I agree.” Flacidious looked back down the stairs.
“Ah lighten up, they’re clearly just giving us their guests a nice little place to rest our tired footsies” Sial chuckled as he took a seat on one of the benches and pulled a piece of dried meat out of his bag commencing to chew on it.
“Don’t you have any magic tricks to solve find out what’s going on Mere?” Primela glanced in Merediths direction turning away almost immediately as Meredith shrugged.
“No, mostly I’m more of the shooting people with magic fire kind of spell caster.” Meredith answered and headed over to join Gilnar at the door, she looked at him a moment and hten looked back at the rest of the group. Despite not having traveld far at all they seemed to be exhausted the humid damp sweet smelling air made the simple act of breathing tiring and the way it clung to you was oppressive. Then there was the constant gloom and the sound of crying somewhere above Meredith wiped her brow as the rest collected themselves and Sial finished his bit of meat and seemed to resign himself to getting back up and joining them.
“Well where would the fun be in resting here when there’s dying to be done!” Sial joked and clapped Erek on the back who seemed to almost jump out of his skin.
Gilnar listened at the door again and looked at the others and shrugged opening it and Sial went forward this room looked much like the last with a set of stairs and a wall towards the middle as though there was a giant chimney in the middle of the tower and again a set of stairs leading up which the group followed, and again they were faced by a corridor and another set of stairs, and another, and another, and another, somewhere above the sounds of scuffing. Fatigue had grown with each passing floor and now as they went up another set, less cautiosly then wise they found they had entered a floor of bizare darkness. At the far end of the room something red glowed and some figures were shambling, low moans could be heard form somewhere and there were no obvious stairs.
The Erek who had been first up somehow didn’t acknowledge the figures and walked forward several steps Torch in hand as the movement stopped. Sial behind Erek also failed to pay attention and it wasn’t until Primela reached the landing that the fact they were not on their own was announced.
“Ah, our guests have arrived.” An entirely inhuman voice exclaimed with alien glee. The three looked and then noticed the hummanoid forms and looked set to leap into action. Flacidious behind them reached the landing.
“What the hell was that?” Flacidious asked looking into the gloom. The final two made it onto the landing and Meredith cast a spell to light the whole floor for a short period of time a dozen or so well kept humanoid corpses were carrying what looked like massive frog eggs unlkie the rotting corpses they’d seen earlier these seemed to be covered in elegant tattoos and glowing wards.
“Weapons at the ready.” Gilnar said as Erek screamed like a gibbering child and crumpled to the ground.
“No, no, don’t fret, you’re our honored guests. It is indeed rare to find entities of such wonderfully unique and deeply rotten souls as all of you indeed you will help us no end and I have no doubt that you will revel in every hate filled, blood soaked, feaces stained moment of it.” A voice so cold, yet hot, fast and slow methodical yet lunatic, words that were not words, like rats gnawing at the corners of their minds, maggots liquifying their very being.
Flacidious seemed to rock on the spot, “and fear not my puppets, even if they were hostile I doubt monsters as mighty as you would ever fall victim to them.” A thing rose from a hole in the ground, the source of the cries and screams became evident, a large spherical creature, like a massive eye nestled in the center of a sea of writhing blood red worms with teeth of steel from the bottom of it the legs of a person dangled, twitched and then dropped back into the pit other gore tumbling down after it. From the top of the floating monster dozens of razor sharp tendrals sprouted they wriggled and then stopped and it turned its full focus on the group. In truth it was impossible to describe what it was. It levitated towards Erek, Sial lept towards it and an eye on a stalk appeared from somewhere in its sphere blood red snakes and Sial stopped, and fell to his knees.
“Now now mortal, there is no fighting what is to come, in actuality it’s for the best, I’d recommend that you join us we always have room for monsters like you, so imaginative, so curious, so willing to strip others of everything they ever were.” The creatures unknowable voice was being broadcast directly into their minds, Sial looked close to tears and Erek looked up at the thing, eyes wide, maddened.
“I am Ela. Erek my child you are welcome to join us and you can experiance such wonderful delights for now and all eternity!”
“Erek get away from it!” Flacidious stumbled then threw up in his scarf he had to pull it away as the sick split over everything. Erek though did nothing but nodded.
“That’s the way it must be.” Suddenly a hex appeared below Erek and he vanished, screaming in horror as he went. Now I must hurry, we need more members for our choire and you are all ideal candidates. The eye turned towards Sial. “Ah how many did you torture to death in their own homes Sial? How many children did you throw onto the fires in the rightous name of your prophet? Come let us bask in your wonderful deads!”
Sial let out a scream of agonising terror as Ela began to disect his very being. “Let us bare it all and I will have you all perform in our holy choire and set this world back to the path of goodliness!” Laughters, cries and shrieks of horror. Up became down and down up, a single instant lasted days, days mere seconds.
“What fun we will have.”