Level 07 ~ Vixie cont’d

Sheya glanced over to Vixie as they walked down the steps ahead of Feanthar toward the deepest level of the ziggurat. “So, the cultists didn’t make you wear that get up?”

Vixie slumped her shoulders and huffed, “No! I like the way I look! Why does everyone have a problem with it?”

“Well, you are showing a lot of skin… That’s not usually, socially, uh…” Feanthar scratched the back of his head, still looking nearly anywhere except at Vixie.

Vixie was glad Feanthar and Sheya had let her into their group. Even if it was only for a while, it was nice to have companions. Plus Feanthar’s miracles were amazing. Vixie had never actually met a real miracle worker before, the way he’d healed her wounds… She didn’t heal like that, and she healed better than most. Then Sheya was a tough mercenary, there was just something about her… Then she smelled it. Sulfur. Feanthar and Sheya stopped not long after Vixie.

“There’s something wrong…” Feanthar clutched his staff, and Sheya’s eyes narrowed like she meant business before she said, “It’s getting hotter in here.”

They ran down the last of the stairs just in time to see a pillar of black fire rise up from an altar set up in the center of the lowest level. Five cultists were arranged around the altar, arms upraised, as the frightened children in the cells cowered as far back as possible. The heat from the flames washed over them carrying a powerful stench of burnt flesh.

“Abandon these crimes against Heaven now!” Feanthar pointed his staff at the cultists and the crystal at the tip flared into bright light.

Laughing the head cultist turned back to face Feanthar, “You’re too late, miracle worker! The demons are already on their way!”

“Shit…” Sheya paled considerably and began pushing Feanthar back toward the stairs, “We have to go, now!”

Vixie flexed her claws and got ready to pounce on the cultists, but all at once the cultists were drawn into the black fire and consumed. About the same time, the smoke from the fire fell in a curtain over the stairs, and it became pretty obvious nobody was leaving anytime soon. Sheya left Feanthar back closer to the stairs before stepping back up next to Vixie with her batons ready. Vixie felt protective miracles surrounding her and Sheya as Feanthar prayed behind them.

Then the stink hit. A massive deformed creature appeared as the fire died down, carrying a rusty two-bladed spear and flooding the lowest level of the ziggurat with the stench of rancid pus and rotting meat. Vixie thought she was actually going to be sick as the thing gurgled and sputtered at them, Sheya actually looked scared and Feanthar’s prayers briefly switched to the non-miracle inducing kind.

“Let’s do this!” Vixie bared her teeth as she lunged in at the thing.

It lurched and blocked her claws with its spear, twisting and deflecting the next four strikes in Vixie’s flurry. The thing was faster than it looked, and the more it moved the worse it stunk. But then Sheya stepped in opposite Vixie and began a series of methodical blows, each one leading into the next instead of the chaotic flurry Vixie favored—which depended more on speed and force. Sheya was getting some hits in, but the creature lashed out with unrelenting fury that didn’t seem to respond at all to her blows.

However when it twisted to lash at Sheya, Vixie got the opening she needed to plunge the claws on her right hand up under its ribs and into its chest cavity. It felt like the thing’s body was trying to eat her! And she howled as she ripped her arm back out, smoking from the creature’s acidic blood. Not good, they were just getting started and already…

Feanthar’s miracles seemed to hurt the thing a lot more than anything Vixie and Sheya were doing though. Even Vixie’s chest-cleaner looked like it probably hurt her more than the demon. She wasn’t even sure she’d felt any organs in there that should have been—lots of other junk though. Then the thing actually pinned one of Sheya’s arms with its spear, causing the hardened mercenary to scream in pain. Trying to take the thing’s attention off Sheya, Vixie leapt onto its shoulders and with a good twist snapped its head all the way around backwards. Creepy, how all that did was get its attention.

Then Sheya pinned its arms to its sides with her batons before foot-sweeping it. Almost as soon as it hit the ground, Feanthar finished it off with an impressive pillar of holy light.

Before they could celebrate however the creature’s corpse bubbled, “Kill… king…”

Three orbs of flesh rose out of its body and flew away up the stairs even as the smoke wall disappeared. Relief slowly set in to the children as the profane aura left the ziggurat and they realized they were safe. Vixie, Sheya and Feanthar however looked at one another, and knew it wasn’t over for them.

“We get heals before we deal with that, right?” Vixie looked to Feanthar.


5 Responses

  1. Chelsea says:

    I like your use of smell-e-vision.

  2. Mari says:

    “… and Feanthar’s prayers briefly switched to the non-miracle inducing kind.”

    Awesome line. He’s pretty adorable, I gotta admit.

    Vixie, too. xD “We get heals, right?”

    Ohs, by the way, I was confused. I thought the children died because it said the flames washed over them and one could smell burning flesh in the other post.

    • davidludwig says:

      Really good to get comments from you, so thank you for that. In particular quoting the parts you like really helps me as a writer to know what I did well.
      As for the flames and such, the children were in the cells and the flames washed over the cultists performing the ritual. The children were there as a ‘welcome to Niar snack’, but the sacrifices in the ritual of summoning had to be willing.

  3. J.T. says:

    You would think that a demon would get a better than rusty weapon. I guess hell isn’t what it use to be.

Trackback URL for this entry