T
Trevor Davis


At the brink of an apocalypse, the fate of two worlds rest upon Vaan and Blaine's shoulders. Across scorching deserts of ash, and turbulent, bloody seas, they set to reclaim their rightful throne and heal the scars of ruin. All while learning the truth as they piece together their dark and shrouded heritage. This is their tale. A tale of two twin bastard sons.


Fantasia Fantasia negra Para maiores de 18 apenas.

#horror #wizards #medieval #betrayal #gore #inkspiredstory #beasts #magic #fantasy #adventure #Action #Dark
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Chapter 1: Doom and Destiny - Vaan

The Earth roared.

I watched the redwoods go first as the planets earthen jaws opened to devour the trees. One-by-one the deep-rooted giants fell, creaking and moaning with voices like that of thunder.

The ground split apart like the hatching of some celestial egg; hellfire beamed through its crevasses painting spires of golden light against the crimson sky of smoke and ash. I glanced up at the moon; it hung there harrowing as ever, its scarlet rays bleeding through the deathsmog. I felt as if it watched me, this heinous, crimson eye pierced my own, leering through the window into the darkest parts of my being.

"Come, Blaine!" I gestured for my brother to hurry. "You're dragging."

We pressed for the Glade, carelessly maneuvering through the dying woodland's maze of tangled briars and brambles. The sounds of the damned returned my focus forward. The poor souls. My heart sank to the pits of my stomach. I could still hear them, those screams - the voice of unimaginable agony. I've never felt so powerless. Watching Rapture take them, flesh and bone grotesquely reconstructed into such vile, savage creations. Maddening how it all came to this, and the guilt I feel, immeasurable. My own life I've gave many times over, and for what? I'm requited with cursing all of humanity.

In all of my trades and dealings, this was surely my poorest.

Abhorrent screeches and snarls echoed from behind. They drew closer, but it was not the damned I feared. My ears rang as my mind flooded with that sinister croon. Through the drones of the damned, even through the calamity of the collapsing planet, nothing drowned the Umbra's hum. But its song -- it beckoned me, reverberating through my mind. Its sweet melody, it yearns. It longs for me and I long for...

"Stop!" Blaine belted. "I need a moment."

I heard his words, but my mind was held in the Umbra's tune.

"Vaan, stop!"

I came to a halt, pulling back the sweaty clump of hair from my eyes. The heat was grueling - sweltering and sticky, but we had no time to stop. Nil a time for falter, my mother would say; every moment lost teetered the scale toward assured defeat and here I find my brother kneeled over on all fours, panting like the royal mutt.

Blaine - the brawn with little brain.

I suppose I'd never much seen him this way; although I know the load of his burden weighed no less than mine. Our strength and resolve had been tested beyond measure, but: "Father Time spares his mercy upon none." We could not rest.

Blaine wiped a trickle of blood snailing down his cheek. "Damn these briars, and damn Father Time." He hung his head, plucking thorns from the shoulder of his cape. "And damn this infernal fuckin' noise. It's driving me mad." His thumbs traced around his temples in small circles. He breathed in deeply, pressing his lips together before grunting forth a sigh, "Vaan, it's over."

Anger bolted through me. To see Blaine so defeated . . . it was foreign to me, bizarre and unnatural. Since childhood he had always admired the thrill of more risky and erratic ventures and somehow, he always found the right words to persuade my company. Blaine pledged himself to the irresponsible call of danger. The riskier the position to find oneself in, the better odds there you'd find my brother. As I looked down upon him now, I wondered if this is how he felt in those days, our younger days when he would chide me perched among the branches of the redwoods, shaming my lack of courage as I stood scared and hesitant at its base.

"So that's it then?" I barked, "We sit here until what - we're ingested into the bowels of L'leh? Sorry, brother, but that is an invitation I decline." He stood as my eyes ran him over. "This is not like you. How could you give in, especially now?" This is not finished. We are almost there. We-"

Another quake hit, loud and violent. The sounds of cracking and grinding stones ripped across the forest ahead of us. I watched as two ends of the path home parted their ways; our way split in two.

Blaine erupted into laughter. "And when we get there - if we get there? Then what, Vaan? Earth is finished, and Eden will follow shortly in its footsteps. We have failed. We were fools. We were fools, Vaan."

I listened as tones of sorrow replaced his laugh.

"Damned fools," he sighed again, wiping the trail of sweat from his brow, "for all we know, The Glade probably rests in the pits. Look around you, brother."

I dismissed his new-found pessimism and stood silent. I surveyed the ruin trying to ignore the fact he could be right. I watched the redwoods continue to fall like tumbling blocks. Enkindled leaves rode fissure updrafts, sailing embers across what I could see of an ill-fated horizon. The air reeked of sulfur, ash, and death.

I turned to note the size of the fault separating us from home before finally returning to Blaine. "I'm going to jump."

I related right then to those crimson eyes of his.

The same eyes I held when he would equally suggest something as perilous or perpetually stupid. Deep down - away from the throes of Rapture - I found humor in that.

He turned his head and gawked at the chasm before his laugh returned. He began to speak, but I left him with his words.

I sprinted forward; my heart hammered against my chest. I was no longer in control of my limbs anymore; adrenaline and a shallow hope is all I had left to fuel my exhausted body. I neared the edge, channeling every bit of energy as I leapt. My feet left the ground and a glimpse of the fiery bowels of L'leh awaited me below.

I closed my eyes, and for once, only for that moment, everything fell silent. I reflected here. Blaine's dejection saddened me. Memories came flooding to the surface: past times of good - those of bad. To think that I would live to see the day I'd outclass his mettle, how frightfully amusing. Blaine held an iron will coupled with an endurance I could only ever dream to match; yet here I was, living the dream, abiding in this cataclysmal nightmare.

I collapsed in relief as my feet reintroduced themselves to the ground. I rolled over my shoulder, wearing something of a half-smile - quickly shed.

I spit a curse as I watched the redwood fall.

The tree descended fast like the timbered foot of an angered giant. Below -- my brother, running, wailing. He made the jump mere moments before the tree blistered the earth, tearing through the ground like wet parchment.

I sank as I watched his leap fall short. He slammed against the wall of the fissure, head meeting the stones of the crags. I stood completely petrified watching despair etch its way across Blaine's face. He clawed frantically dragging his nails through the coarse soil and ragged earth.

"Father Time spares his mercy upon none," the words hardly passed his lips before they were no longer there.

Everything stopped.

Time as I knew it - reality itself, ceased in existence.

A gut-wrenching sickness ripped through my chest as if my heart were nothing more than thin fabric. My eyes welled with tears. I wept, screaming my brother's name, my voice bathed in anguish and horror. I fell to my palms, trembling, my vision swirling with disorienting hazes of crimson and flame.

I hammered my fists against dirt and ash, cursing the gods one-by-one as my grief diverged to blind rage. As far as Blaine and I had come, for it all to end this way, I was left with many questions, but all ushered too simply, "Why?"

I received a reply, but it was not my answer.

A shrill growl followed one of the damned as it lurched over the fallen redwood, perching precariously among its branches. The creature smiled, revealing monstrous fangs and rolling its crooked fingers to emphasize the crudely fashioned claws growing grotesquely from each tip. It began speaking in a tongue I didn't recognize but could understand.

"Such a pity. Quite a pity. Only one? Tumble did he take?" The beast's twitchy head cocked sideways. It eyed me warily, snarling like a rabid animal. Beams of light poured from the crevasse reflecting off its glassy, jet-black eyes like a pair of obsidian mirrors.

I gained my composure, saying nothing as I gnashed my teeth with the force to crush stone. I wrapped my hand around the hilt of my sword and drew it from its sheathe.

The creature roared.

It lunged forward, diving hawk-like over the crevasse, I, its prey. Within a blink its lethal claws collided with cold steel. It staggered, I countered with a solid kick to its chest, sending it flying to its back.

A screech howled from behind. Another damned passed through the thick veil of deathsmog, snarling and every bit as hideous as the last.

The first scrambled to its feet and charged me. I stepped to the side and returned with a swift, diagonal heave of my sword. It collapsed to the ground severed in two; black, vile liquid spewed from each of its unfortunate halves. I bellowed my brother's name as I drove the blade tunneling through the beast's skull.

"Vaan!"

The world again stopped.

This voice I recognized.

I whirled around to see only the burning forest and the crevasse dividing it. "Blaine?"

"Vaan, here!"

I winced as five gnarly claws shredded cloak and flesh; long, ragged gashes finding an unwelcome home along my back. I turned and struck the creatures jaw with the pommel of my sword before thrusting the blade between its ribs. I found it satisfying how the sword slid through the creature's body with the sound and ease of piercing a rotten melon. I shoved my blade upwards, rending the creature in half; its organs spilled.

I quickly glanced around seeing no other before I ran to the crevasse. Chills flushed through my entire being as I slid to peer over its edge. My brother was alive, hanging from his cloak mercifully snagged onto one of the many rocks jutting from the wall of the fissure. I tried to say his name, coming forth as a gasp if anything at all.

"Vaan!" He met me with a smug grin, his face bathed in red from the blood cascading from his wounds. "It seems Father Time may favor me a bit, yeah?" He ran a fist into the crag, "Get me off this damned rock - and not just this one. I can't die like this. Not like this. Not here."

My eyes brimmed again with tears. I struggled as I tried to find the words to say - to find anything to say . . . "Fuck you."

Anything, but that.

Perhaps Blaine's more uncouth ways were beginning to wear on me. ""I hope you've had your hearts fill of rest," I groused.

"Yeah, yeah," Blaine crossed his meaty arms, trying to look anywhere but down, "now give me a hand, I'm roasting like a fuckin' pig."

I started searching for anything of use around me, skimming over the remaining foliage and trees. I noted the twisted mess of branches and vines carouseling around the trunks of the mighty redwoods. I weighed the risk of its capacity, wondering if the vines could support him long enough to climb out. If it were to snap? I couldn't bear the thought of losing my brother twice in a sun.

The Umbra interrupted my thoughts, probing me unlike before. Its song was different, more melancholy -- sinister maybe. It grew deafening, chiming inside with the timbre of a great bell. My knees buckled and I fell curled upon the ground, hands fastened tightly against my ears. They could not stop the ring, instead it continued to grow. A voice began speaking through the disorienting pitches, awfully deep, chant-like even, and like the damned, I listened as the words foreign, became known.

You have failed, boy. Eden and Earth are lost . . .

It was a dark, nauseating cadence, low and depraved, drenched with impurity, sodden with hatred. I perceived that the voice had to be the Umbra's own. Its song held me crippled to the forest floor. Fear bed in as I tried to push it from my thoughts, trying to think of anything to reclaim some sort of consciousness, something to outplace the noise.

My thoughts brought me back to my brother: the pride in our journey, the victories we claimed together, the odds our swords had met. To have overcome such adversity only to find ourselves, well . . . here, it all just seemed unfair. I saw again the terrors of L'leh and the look of true despair as Blaine slipped into the cracks of the earth. I felt again that last slither of hope, the moment it faded from my grasp.

The anger returned.

I found strength there.

I counted the heads of six more of the damned as I brought myself to stand. They materialized from out of the smog, four on foot, two sinking their claws into the decayed bark of what remained of the trees.

Kill him. Taste his flesh. Feast on his carcass.

A single creature vaulting from the trees came first. I took my sword in both hands admiring what seemed an honest notion of fair play.

The beast quickly closed in.

"But the only thing they will taste-" I drew back my blade, locking my gaze within the damned's sinful eyes, "-is death."

The beast's outlandish face met with sharpened steel, completely severing its head from its thick, vein-ridden neck. A streak of blood cut across my face in a morbid smear of blackened ooze.

The drones of the Umbra continued to bell from within. I turned toward the others, trying my sleeve at the spatter. "Come now," I taunted, "they say hesitation is defeat," I drew my attention to the moon, "I'll slay them all. I'll cut down every last one - and after that, I'll kill you too. Do you hear me? I will kill you too. I will spill your guts, slit your fucking throat!"

The Umbra's song again changed; it rang loud and off-key, scattered with dissonant and disagreeing tones.

End him.

On command, all five of the remaining damned stormed forwards. Snarls and anguished yelps followed as I cut through them. My blade danced like a cyclone of steel: blocking, parrying, slicing, stabbing, hacking, and slashing until every last one laid before me - my promise half fulfilled.

The earth again quaked. I heard my brother call as I slung the excess gore from my sword, plodding quickly through the gruesome pool of blood and steaming entrails. I returned to the edge of the fissure elated to see Blaine alive and well.

"By the gods, Vaan, what is taking you so long?"

I ignored him and redrew my focus to the trees. I realized I had not much else of a choice as I made haste for the fallen redwood. I cleaved my blade into both ends of its trunk and tugged one of the knotted vines, snapping it free from the surrounding overgrowth. I retuned to the crevasse burdened with thoughts of my brother perishing in the molten seas of L'leh - a worry rooting deeper as I tossed an end over the edge. "Can you use this?"

The vine draped against the steep crag. Blaine reached out, teetering death by the nape of his cloak. I drove my sword into the ground and coiled the vine around its hilt as he took hold. I sat bracing my boots against the length of the blade and called for his ready. The vine snagged tight, leaving me with only a hope that he could hoist himself free. My sword bent and leaned against my brother's weight. I pulled, wincing at the agonizing twinges of pain that surged amongst the gashes in my back.

A scream rattled from behind.

I turned to see one of the damned separated from its more mobile half. It crawled toward me, butchered at the waist.

"Blaine - I have a guest." I tugged and heaved at the vine growing anxious as it pulled closer. Awfully upset seemed an understatement as I observed the determination and reprisal in those obsidian eyes. Its malformed, primitive arms raked through the dirt, clawing with an unnerving aggression.

"I'm coming," my brother yelled.

The creature screeched, gurglings of blood trailing from the corners of its gape.

"Almost there."

I saw his fingers appear along the edge of the crevasse. "Blaine!"

His head surfaced - I released the vine and sprang to my feet. The damned razor-like claws grazed my calf as I lunged into the air. I dropped heavy, plowing my gut-sopped boots through its skull, crying out with every blow

"Stay.
The.
Fuck.
Down. . ."

I paraded the damned's mangled face until its brains were reduced to nothing more than a thick batter of black, repulsive muck.

A hand laid across my shoulder. It was fair to say my tears were awful at hiding because I found them again. I seized my brother and buried into him. No scholar, no poet, not even the quill of the best wordsmith along the shores of the Southern Shelf could ever compose the words to describe the warmth of that embrace. "I thought you were gone."

"Oh, gods-" Blaine shrugged me off, "-if you're gonna do this you should have just left me to die."

I smiled, looking up to see the gleam also masking his eyes. Always the rugged brawn, my brother, but down deep, I knew his heart was as big as my own. To see Blaine act himself was at the least comforting. "You will not live this down."

"Live what down?"

I smirked. "You know, that time I saved you? That time you asked me for help, dangling there helpless like some hooked fish."

Blaine expression hardened. "I should hook my fist through your jaw for taking so long."

I patted my cheek, "I offer you the chance, brother. It may be you last."

He laughed and instead offered me his hand, "If that portal is destroyed, it surely would be."

I nodded and took his grasp with that, we moved.

For a short while we stumbled brashly through a dim-lit wood of deceptive shadows and ill footing. The uneven path was underlain with knotted roots, making each step one step closer to injury-and one injury one step closer to death. My wounds had soaked my garments with blood. Our breath fell heavy and the thick scent of sulfur and smoke provided no favor. We passed a shroud of tall bushes, and it was then I saw it.

"The Glade!" My excitement overwhelmed me. I turned to glimpse Blaine's reaction only to find he had none. "Did you hear me? We made it! I cannot believe we made it. I can see the clearing."

Truly invigorating, this feeling, renewing me as I rushed forward. I stumbled out of the throes of the forest and into a vast meadow at the heart of the wood. Memories came rushing back to me. I remembered how my brother and I would lay on our backs mesmerized by the stars sprinkled so brilliantly above us. How we would find constellations, replicating the luminous specks with stick-drawn dots amongst the dirt.

It depressed me as I looked up now. Rolling smoggy hazes veiled all but that damned, disgusting eye of a moon basking the clearing in its eerie, scarlet hues.

It pained me to see, the Glade was hardly recognisable. The meadow sprawled as a mere shell of itself, void of how I remembered. The once verdant and wavving tall grasses, the alluring flora; they all hung wilted, and sapped of life, inevitably dwindling to ash.

I noticed the logs of cedar framing a ruined, wood cottage. It sat dead-center of the meadow, long decayed. The door hung diagonally on one hinge, roof partially encaved.

"Home--"

Agony exploded through my back.

My face acquainted the ground's unforgiving embrace. What little breath I still held fled from me. I managed to roll over, gasping for breath as Blaine's hands constricted firm around my throat. I looked deep within my twin brother's eyes; they sat like black marbles in their sockets. Hysteria consumed me as I clawed at his hands and pressed against his weight. I tried to speak but managed only a croak. The more I struggled, the more I began to lose. My lungs burned for air.

My vision faded as I felt my consciousness pale. Blaine leaned in close, his soulless, jet-black stare drilled into mine as voices of the abyss left me with the whisper of one final - "Farewell. . ."

4 de Março de 2022 às 20:51 0 Denunciar Insira Seguir história
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