Of everything, and nothing…

The gray fox seemed to glide effortlessly down the stone steps. His cloak lightly touching the ground as his whisked his way deeper into the dark abyss, he coughed lightly in the cold air. It was darker down here in Castle Marl. They only used the underground portion of the caste for two purposes: To keep prisoners, and to keep treasures.
No wonder why either, the frigged air was damp and made the fox uncomfortable. The idea of doing anything of importance in this underworld darkness made him shiver.
He continued his decent, the light from his torch sputtering against the stone walls. His fur was darker than that of his brothers and sisters and in the dim light of the sconce, he seemed to disappear entirely. Well, that's to be expected of a Marlfox.
He made a jarring last step as the ground finally leveled out and he could feel moist soil between his toes.
"Ugh. Disgusting." He muttered kicking a small sightless grub away to the side of his path. The sooner he finished his father's task the sooner he could return to the comforts of the castle above.
He continued his way and turned the corner of a supporting pillar to be greeted by the warm glow of a fellow underworld traveler.
Well, not so traveling. He was actually asleep. An overfed, fat water rat sat in a wooden chair next to a massive wooden door. The door obviously held something of importance as there was a jumble of locks and chains keeping is well bolted shut.
The rat's belt hung loosely around his waist and a series of metal keys on a massive ring was slipped onto the leather. He obviously found his job of watching the castle treasury less than enthralling.
"Wake up you oaf." Stephar belted, kicking the chair out from under the unwary rat.

ooc- Yay, my first new thread since coming back! 😛

The fat, overfed water rat spilled to the floor, unmoving. There was no breath or heartbeat.
    The cold corpse lay on the flagstones, one paw outstretched. Inside was a crumpled and bloodied scrap of parchment.

OOC- Very nice reply. Short and story altering. lol. Not what I expected to happen.

BIC- "By my whiskers!" Stephar swore, He skipped forward and turned the water rat over with the butt end of his staff. Yeah, he was dead for sure. The fox gave a swift kick to the lifeless animal. He despised water rats.
It was then he noticed the note. He reached down and tried to pry it from the claws of the rat. The rat had been dead a while. The corpse was cold and the claws had clenched tightly in a death grip. After carefully maneuvering the paper carefully from his grip, he finally managed to detach it from the owner without tearing it.
It was damp and crumpled but the ink on the paper was still legible. It read:
"I'm still here
DL"
Stephar wrenched the keys from the rat's belt and began unlocking the heavy door one lock at a time. It took a while. Obviously they wanted nothing to be able to get in… or get out.
When he finally removed the last lock, Stephan pushed the door inward. Once the light of the torch illuminated the inside, Stephar was forced to take a breath of shock.
In the center of the cell, was a single steel post with chains attached to them.
Every fortnight Stephar had to come here and inspect. Every fortnight had been the same. The bones on his father's old captive had always been there still chained to the floor. Until now.
Stephar started to shake. He had always thought his father crazy. He'd always been paranoid of his old enemies and had made sure that even the ghost of his vanquished foes could not come back to haunt him. Now Stephar was worried his father hadn't been crazy after all.
The walls of the cell weren't the same of before either. All over the walls, images and phrases had been cut deep into the stone like a steel animal had clawed into them. Among the jagged inscriptions he caught:
"Freedom in death", "You cannot escape judgement", and "You cannot kill the Death Legion".
In the center of the wall was a gigantic image cut deeper and wider than the rest. It was the same as the note: a monogram of DL conjoined.
Stephar heard steps behind him and whirled around, axe raised in the air to strike.

20 Years earlier:

Chieftain Lael stood with one footpaw upon the stargazing stone. He looked down from the cliffside, appraising his people, his holt.
    Holt Gabriel the paradise of the Lael's lifetime. Here he and his father had found peace. Here he grew up.
    "Here I will live the rest of my days," Lael breathed happily. "Those were the words my father first spoke, when he saw this place." He turned to his comrade. "Kendren, come stand with me. You can taste the sea from here."
    Kendren, a lithe-looking black sea-otter, stepped up beside his chieftain and friend. He remembered counting stars from this stone, when they were smaller.
    He took a deep breath and smiled. "I can smell the peaches from here. The breeze must be washing through the orchard."
    Lael snorted. "You don't miss the sea much, do you?"
    Kendren reverently reached down and touched the large, flat stone they were standing on. "I spent many hours counting stars, trying to forget the ocean. I don't miss those memories."
    Lael was quiet for a long moment. "I don't miss that life, either," he admitted.
    Kendren had many made many fond memories on this stargazing stone, overlooking their little valley. Today, he made another one. He decided he would never forget this moment. He studied Holt Gabriel in every aspect and detail, like this was the last day he'd ever see it this way.
    "We really battled some demons in our time, didn't we?" Ken said with some grudging pride. "Black sea-otters. Plague of the southern seas. All those rat-infested ships we sank, and all that gold we plundered… but we never struck so rich."
    Lael smiled lightly. Ever majestic in his posture, fur black as black, but his voice as quiet as a brook, the creature was every inch a chieftain.
    Until the end of my days, Kendren thought, This will be my home, and this will be my chieftain.

Ken woke suddenly as a paw touched his shoulder.
    Reality sunk deep, like a dagger into a bandaged wound. He was in chains. His village was gone. This was Castle Marl. I'm a slave, he remembered.
    It was nighttime. Moonlight poured through the shattered compound roof. On the dusty ground nearby, Lalia lay curled up beneath her blankets. Her eyes were open.
    Ken searched her worried face. "Lalia, you woke me?"
    "You woke me first," she said quietly. Her expression was sad. "You said his name. In your sleep."
    Kendren sighed, but lay unmoving. "I dreamt of Holt Gabriel."
    "I know." Lalia turned away from him and pulled her blankets closer. "I know, Ken. I miss them, too."

OOC- We need someone to join Stephor in the dungeon. Any takers?

OOC: I'm new but I would be glad to try if you would give me a little info about where you want to go.

OOC: If they've asked for someone to join, you may jump in without hesitation. You'll be guided and helped along the way if you need it. Have fun! (Topic Cleaned)

Gonff slid silently through the passages of Castle Marl.  He had heard of the treasures hidden here and decided to try for a far greater prize than those which could be found in regular vermin camps.
    So far this trip had been easy.  The rats of the castle guard had all fallen asleep and were easy to slip past.  Then Gonff heard a sound of pawsteps and a swishing tail.  Darting into a side passage, Gonff watched as a fox swept past.  By his garb, Gonff could tell that this fox was most likely part of the ruling line, and, being a curious creature, he decided to trail the fox and discover where he was headed.
    Through many long passages the fox strode and Gonff followed.  As the fox turned a corner, Gonff paused to be sure of the surroundings.
    Peeking out, Gonff saw the fox strode across the chamber and face a rat who seemed to be asleep in a chair by a large door.  Suddenly the fox kicked the chair and the rat tumbled to the floor, Gonff stifled a gasp as he realized the rat was dead.  The fox irritatedly wrenched the keys from the rat's belt and swiftly unlocked the many clasps that held the great door shut.
    It was then that Gonff decided Castle Marl was not the place for him and as the fox opened the door and peered inside Gonff dashed up the stairs in an attempt to escape this dreadful place.

Stephar couldn't see the beast as it moved too quickly and seemed well acquainted with hiding in the shadows itself, but he saw a small blurry visage of dark shadows flash up the steps. It was too small to be a castle guard, and it was running. Whatever it was, he was sure it had something to do with the dead rat and the strange note.
Had they been infiltrated by an assassin?
Squeezing the stave of his axe harder, he charged up the steps on light feet.

OOC- Gonff, let me know if this is helpful to you. Otherwise I will clam up.

When you jump into a thread like this, you want to post something that makes it easier for someone else to reply. Open-ended like introducing "A dark shadow detached itself from the wall and slither closer" or " 'Ahoy matey!' The mouse paused and waited for a response" or anything else you fancy. I just moves stuff along quicker. Sometimes you can find a perfect opportunity to creep in a body gaurd or something. Nobody special. Just an extra voice to be heard. Sometimes those are the most fun.

The reason I say this publicly is that there are a great many new people in here and some more seasoned members that haven't caught onto this yet. Either way….

Sorry Walkin... I won't jump in on this. A little to far along for me and I don't want to drop out unexpectedly.

Ooc: Thanks Creigon. 😄

Now, Walkin I think somehow Gonff needs to meet up with Seth's slaves.  What do you think?

Bic:  Gonff felt that he was running in circles.  Even though he thought he had returned along the passage the same way he had come, he knew that somehow he had turned wrong. Suddenly he turned a corner to find himself running down the same passage he had gone down earlier when he was following the fox.  Even in his precarious situation, the irony almost caused him to laugh out loud.  He decided the only way to escape would be to hide in the chamber before the locked door or perhaps in the previously locked room.
      Heart beating, breath rasping, and feet pounding, he raced down the steps to try to hide and escape from the fox.  Reaching the end of the corridor, he darted into the room and hid in the only spot he could see, behind the dead rat.

  • 12
    Posts
  • 1651
    Views