One would be surprised at how much life is in the corridor of a dank, dark dungeon, the fungus, insects and rats crawling around and up the walls. I could hear the water drops falling from the ceiling and colliding with the puddles underneath, ever so slowly eroding away the rugged, uneven stone floor. Moss growing between the cracks in the stone provided more than enough light for me to see by, the light of their aura illuminating the corridor to my eyes. Every fifteen feet or so was a single, heavy wooden door that, if opened would lead into an empty room. The taint was not strong enough to contain our target, however, so I did not bother with checking them.
I gave the signal to move (a barely audible tap on the stone floor as my cohorts could not see very well) and crept slowly and quietly down the hall. New auras began appearing down the hall as we got closer, and eventually I saw the dull, sick green color of the taint behind the door down the hall. The taint gives off a sickening feeling, hard to explain, like the after taste of eating bitter herbs mixed with earwax. I struggled to quietly contain my bile.
Torches began appearing the closer we got to the room, the sparse illumination welcome considering the near absence of any kind of light since we entered this accursed complex. I looked back at my companions; their body’s covered in the black cloaks we were wearing, crouching against the wall, now slightly visible in the dim light given off by the torches. I gave the signal indicating the door as our destination. Reuben, one of my companions, seemed to flicker and appeared beside the door. Reuben clams to be able to teleport, personally I just think he is merely able to move incredibly fast.
The rest of us slowly and quietly moved up to the door. Thor, the real leader of our little group, moved up to the opposite side of the door from Reuben, his long thin blade in his hand. With the upmost caution Jay moved his slight frame in front of the door and waited for Thors signal. Thor looked back at Elle, she had her eyes closed, concentrating, feeling out the opposition in the room beyond the door. Elle is psychic, able to both sense minds and also to move things with hers, she held up six fingers, indicating the number of drek’s in the next room.
Jay took a big breath , and wrapped himself in shadow. He couldn’t become invisible, but he could become dim, and a little transparent. He opened the door and slipped inside to await his moment. Thor summoned a flame in his left hand, readying a fireball to fling at the first enemy he encounters. He kicked open the door and launched his readied flame at one of the drek’s across the room, who instantly burst into a raging ball of fire, and then threw himself at the nearest drek. Reuben seemed to blink out of existence and reappeared beside one of the creatures.
I entered next. The room had ten beds in it and several round tables with chairs, an odd thing to see considering drek’s didn’t sleep or eat. Drek’s didn’t do much of anything, unless commanded to by the wraith that created it. They were human, once, but had been drained of all humanity when the wraith that created them sucked out his essence and turned them into a simi-lifless shell, no longer human at all. The easiest way to tell a drek from a human is its pale white skin, and the drool that will be inevitably hanging from its chin.
I saw we were in luck, as we had caught them unaware. The wraith in the chair facing the fireplace in the corner had not, as of yet, had time to react. I stared towards her, intending to finish this fight before it got out of hand. Drek’s may be slow and stupid, but they were tenacious about their masters business and didn’t want to die. Killing a wraith, however, would instantly kill all the drek’s she was bound to.
I moved towards her, my short blade held ready to cut off her unnatural head when I stopped in my tracks. This wraith was turned recently. The taint was rolling off her in waves, there was no doubt she was a wraith, but she looked so young. Wraiths are created the same way drek’s are, a human is fed upon by a wraith. Males become drek’s, but females become wraiths themselves. They lose all humanity, and even the memories from when they were human. I often wonder if they even know whether they were once human but never stopped to ask. The most unsettling thing about this wraith, was her age. She couldn’t have been more than thirteen when she was changed. She still had the eyes of an innocent little girl. Her long flowing black hair swinging as she turned around to face us, the fear in her eyes reminding me all too much of a human child. Then she opened her mouth and shouted at me. All illusions of her humanity instantly vanished. She rose and grabbed the chair she was sitting in and flung it at me so fast I didn’t have time to move. It struck me with such force I was knocked over, dropping my sword as I fell. In an instant she was over me, her hand on my throat cutting off my air supply, grinning evilly, enjoying my pain, thriving on it. My vision grew dark, I couldn’t breathe, I could feel myself slipping away and then….the hands were gone. I could breathe again. My vision came back and I could see the wraith reeling in pain, Jays’ sword in her heart.
A thick green mist came rushing out of the wound and as it poured out her body shriveled until she resembled a mummy. Jay helped me to my feet. While I was getting choked by the wraith, my team had managed to defeat three of the drek’s, the others had fallen dead when the wraith was killed.
“You hesitated brother,” said Thor. “You know better than to show pity to these monsters.” Thor is my brother. Our grandparents found an old book with many stories about some Nordic gods, in these stories the King of the gods was named Odin. That’s our fathers name, and in turn he named his first born son Thor and his second born Loki.
“I am sorry, it just caught me by surprise.” I replied
“Don’t let it happen again. Never hesitate with these monsters. They don’t deserve mercy.
I surveyed the room. During the battle several of the beds had been overturned, all the tables had been smashed and a couple of chairs were broken. Blood now stained the floor but aside from a few minor cuts and burses we all seemed to be ok. I sat down in one of the few remaining chairs to catch my breath, my throat still hurt from being choked earlier.
“I’m just glad we got the wraith, and can go home now.” Said Elle as she pulled her hood back around her shoulders allowing her shoulder length black hair to swing down around her thin aquiline nose and over her bright green eyes.
“Since we took out the wraith, maybe Master Grafa won’t kill us outright.” Commented Reuben, also removing his hood, revealing his short chestnut brown hair and slightly overlarge ears and near absence of a neck.
“We could just, ya know, not go back.” Said Jay. He did not remove his hood. He preferred to hide the long scar on the right side of his face from his fore head, thru the useless milky white eye down to his chin. He never did tell us how he got that injury but legend has it that he was on the wrong side of a three on one knife fight.
“We are going back, we have to, it’s out duty. Master Grafa isn’t going to kill us. We may pull kitchen duty for the next few years but we never should have come here.” Thor was the leader of our group for a reason. Aside from being the oldest he was also the most uptight, but he also inspired loyalty from his friends.
Thor may be my brother, but we couldn’t be more different. He was tall where as I barley came up to his shoulder. His wavy blond hair contrasted my short brown hair. He was muscular while I was not and his loud personality usually made sure I could sit and brood in peace whenever he was around.
“Come now Thor,” I said. “Isn’t a year a bit excessi…” that’s when I felt it. There was more than one wraith down here. Our work was not done. I could sense the taint of three more, and they were coming our way….