"First comes the heavy breathing, then the extreme panic as you try to deny your reality. After, is rage from the depths of your very soul towards everything to bring you to this point in life. Even further still comes the deal-making, with anyone willing to make one to change your situation. Yet no one will, or even can, strike a bargain with you to remedy the inevitable. Nearing the end of this abyss, you will feel a deep sadness so overwhelming it shakes your very bones. The final and most important step is accepting the fact that you have just left the world of the living......" a woman's voice swims through the darkened room.
"However, this was not the case for the hero. Although the man had done all of this, he would still not find the eternal darkness that comes with one's death."
"No, for such an easy way out was not meant for our young hero..."
"But I get ahead of myself! Shall I start from the beginning young...." She trailed off.
"Eh...." The hag pauses to think for a moment.
"Forgive me for I didn't catch your name when you arrived, traveler..." the old hag's milky white orbs scanned around the room, almost glowing in the dark as she searched for whoever had entered her abode.
"I did not give it to you to start with, witch! I merely asked you where my target is!" The young man laughed as he spoke. "But you may call me Dram for the time being." He boomed, poking his small chest out, attempting to appear more intimidating. However, it just makes him look a fool. "Now please, tell me again.... the one I seek... Do you intend to say he has already passed on? When? And how???" His face took a serious look upon its features, the voice coming from his chest rumbling unnaturally loud for one his size.
Rocks begin to fall from the roof of the small building the two were conversing in, nearly hitting Dram on the top of his skull. The earth shook violently, enough to split the stone walls of the modest home. Light cascading in, finally illuminating the space. It was a small room with three doors leading elsewhere in the abode. The fireplace on the left wall cold, seeming to have not contained a flame in quite some time. The stone in which was clean of any soot, as well as ash and wood.
The rest of the room was very plain, only a single rug next to the hearth. On top of which sat the crone in a very odd-looking rocking chair. Before the young man could figure out exactly what made the chair strange, he noticed the hag glaring at him. The savage look of an animal coming across her face as she did soo.
The hag's milky eyes swirled like a white galaxy of infinite rage, showing this woman, no, this THING was not human. Though it tries to hide behind the innocent wrinkles and grandmotherly tone, this thing was quite formidable. As she began to speak, her tone of voice became as dark as the deepest part of the ocean. Crushing down on the young man with such a force, he nearly fell from its weight.
"I AM NO WITCH BOY, NOW BE MINDFUL OF YOUR TONE OR BEGONE!"
With that, Dram fell to his knees hard, shooting pain from his leg up his spine. He did not do this of his own will, of course, but his body just did so of its own accord. The once-proud boy kneeled there for some time, shining orbs now growing a bit dull as if he had died and the life was leaving him. Slowly, however, the shine came back to them as a deep crimson trickled from his ears, and Dram started to register what had just happened to him.
"Y-y-y-....ye.......yes Ma'am......" Then the world went black for Dram, his head drooping down as he lost consciousness. Upon waking, the boy noted his vision was quite hazy. The hag still sits in the same spot she did before, gently rocking back and forth.
"Ah! I see you finally wake. Art thou ready to listen to this old hags tale now?" The rocking comes to a halt, the woman's oppressive gaze upon Dram once more.
"I am..." Dram said softly, trying to regain his lost composure.
"Good, now be quite as I spin my yarn for ye." The hag's cracked lips come to a thin smile.
As the woman's words began to fill the home, Dram could see the story play out before his very eyes like he was there. A picture paints itself in the boy's mind, the hag's words seeming to hold great power in them.
"Consciousness upload complete."
The strange voice rings in Atrimeaus's head, his eyelids fluttering, allowing the dull light to enter. Stirring as he starts to bring himself up from the dirt, the only sound that fills his ears now is a slow drip of distant water crashing upon the rocks. A sharp pain radiates up the man's back as he brings himself upon his palms. Peering up, Atrimeaus is greeted by the sight of a jet black stone, unlike any other in the cave he found himself inside. The stone's surface seemed to ripple like a pond when a heavy stone gets cast into its depths. Curious now, Atri placed his right hand upon it slowly. It was unbelievably solid despite the ripples below the cold dark exterior, the chill of which shot up into the man's arm. A shiver now working up his appendage, he retracts his hand from the odd stone. Atri then sets his eyes upon a smaller stone slab closer to the entrance.
Atri whispered, "Write everything, set it upon stone." The words chiseled into the smooth surface, with several more blank slabs' piled next to it. Pondering on the command for a while, Atrimeaus decided it would most likely mean to produce more stone writings such as this. As for how he would go about knowing what to write down, he did not know. Just then, a deep grumble came from the man's stomach.
"I should find something to eat..." Atri moved his hand to cover his gut, trying to suppress the loud noise. A deep sigh escaping from his partially parted lips as he brings himself to a standing position. Muscles straining greatly, the man moves forward towards the entrance of the cave.
Dull light now growing brighter with every step, Atri noticed that this entrance did not lead directly to the outside. Instead, the smaller cavity opened up into a much larger cavern. To the right of the man, a massive opening in the stone allowed light to pour in.
Any further exploration of the cavern forgone, Atrimeaus sprints towards the entrance. The man's obs hurting from the intensity of the light as he grows closer. Upon adjusting to the illumination, however, he was greeted by a stunning view. A sea of deep green plant life as far as the eye can see, eventually colliding with the cold blue of the sky. A mighty river flows down the center of the majestic forest. Many birds soared above the dense green of the forest, many more landing below the carpet of plants.
A sudden shriek from below, followed by the sound of rustling in the forest, reached Atri's ears. With a gust of wind, hundreds of birds flew past the man knocking him back.
"HOLY-" he was cut off as a massive creature soared after the flock. It had leathery hide, a sharp-toothed beak, several times larger than even Atri. Whatever it was, it was hunting.
The creature slams its beak shut around several of the small birds. A sickening crunch is audible as it dives down to disappear below the cliff once more.