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 Post subject: Serpent and the Sun
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 8:42 pm
Posts: 1772
Luminous memories flickered their glory in the sable void.

His weight shifted uncomfortably to the left, blood rushing to his head. Ominous shapes on his blood stained hand came to life with every weary blink. Sutra weakly smirked.

A shrill shriek broke the silence. The clash of iron and clamor of armor echoed through the dark tunnels.

Screaming. So much screaming.


The elder shade froze, tucking himself tighter into the nestling crevice he couldn't recall sheltering in. Her frantic breathing and grunting preceded her. A blur whisked by and turned into a distant tunnel. The mad princess. The rumors were true. Touched by a necromancer, she had made the heart of the Rakis tunnels home.

Salted sweat and bitter blood trickled across his nose. The disoriented veteran wanted to numb himself. He focused energies kept him cloaked, using the lack of light to his advantage.

Sleep. Sutra desired sleep. A warm bed and full stomach sounded appealing. After a sponge bath. Sutra grinned as his mind wandered.

Anxious whispering broke his concentration. A rescue party had stopped to regroup. The shade counted five figures. The leader remained mesmerized, as a warrior and healer argued about the best course of action.

"We're too close to retreat! She's right..."
"I'm not risking my life for this, and if you're stupid enough to..."

The slippery stone walls murmured to life. The sound of breaking stone and crackling mortar interrupted the argument.

"Ephestus, what do we do? Ephestu..."

It had been ages since Sutra had last heard the almost forgotten rumble. The guttural rumble was unmistakeable. The shadows muscles tensed, causing him to expand every bit of energy into meditating himself calm.

The terrified party peered into the darkness, their breathing matching their increasing panic. Without shared words, the healer took the lead as the warrior pulled their broken leader. The fourth and fifth figure shifted for a moment after a grunt and muffled cry. The dark outline of the fourth figure sheathed her dagger before taking an alternate route. The unfortunate mark slumped against the wall, crumpling over in labored pain.


The lifeblood of the struggling man soaked into the dingy earth. Sutra wondered how many journeys ended within the confines of these walls. He wondered how many journey's he himself cut short.

The clicking of halberd sized talons broke the silence.

The ground shivered.

Sutra held his breath and focused.

The shivering figure groaned, knowing what was coming for him.

Her scales rattled with every breath. Sutra waited. Silence.

Her head slinked into the space shared by the master assassin and the dying man, causing the already suffocating space to become claustrophobic. Her scaled flesh was black as pitch, mirrored in finish. Terrifying in nature.

Her internal eyelids blinked, revealing stark piercing white orbs. The serpents nostrils flared, inhaling the trace of flesh and blood. The man failed at muffling his teary plead to deaf gods. Sutra's heart pounded to a halt. The sable dragon nudged the man. His screams filled the tunnel.

Dagger length teeth lined the blood-red mouth, her forked tongue wrapping around the man's torso. The figure managed a whimper.

Sutra focused on the last words of the ancient text he had mastered in a previous life.


The slithering neck coiled as the sable dragon's head tilted slightly to the left.


Her left eye flickered wide, before peering into the indention in the wall. She could see past his glamour and obfuscation. The exhausted assassin could almost make out a grin form on the serpent's taught lips.


Her hiss reverberated beyond stone and mortar, past pulsating blood and torn flesh, and into the great beyond.


The sensation of blinking out of existence never sat well with Sutra. Landing on his feet, his knees and hands greeted the wet earth. He found himself unable to keep his insides in.

Sprawling out, he rolled unto his back and wiped the sick from his lips with his tattered sleeve. The thought of a warm bath and bed beckoned to him more now than ever.

The clear blue sky seemed almost painted high above him. The shouts of excited men and women carried over the ridge. They had found the princess, unharmed. Many a prospector perished, but those who survived relished in their small victory.

Thunder claps rumbled through the rolling hills. A wall of black clouds ominously perched on the horizon.

And it wasn't even noon yet.


The general who advances without seeking fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do service for his sovereign, is the jewel of his kingdom. -Sun Wu

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