S i l e n t C e m e t e r y
Night of the Living
Drums reverberated throughout the dead city disturbing the silence of the graves that stretched out around them as far as the eye could see, a chaotic mix of tomb stones, plaques and crypts denoting the resting grounds of untold bodies and long unsung heroes of old. A silent cemetery, cursed and abandoned. Bodies of the undead and fallen mages only added to the darkness that weighed on the land here, relics of past "Jobs" carried out by mages.
Fervorous chants echoed to the sound of the beating drums from the chorus of numerous black robed figures illuminated in intense firelight coming from a great bonfire around which bare women danced, enraptured by the thrill of the night's ritual. Each one with their bodies marked with the symbols of their duty, each one entranced with the thought of giving themselves up to usher their goddess into this world.
To one side of the flames the circle of robed men gave way to an altar illuminated by its own fire burning beneath a slender slab held up over the flames by two intricately carved hands on either side. A single hooded cultist stood behind the altar with a blade held high chanting his own tune, illuminated from behind by two braziers like the ones that encircled the entireity of the ritual grounds and warded the area from the creatures that lurked in the night.
One by one the dancing women would break away from their circle to approach the altar and place themselves atop of it's hot surface to have their bodies anointed in oils that glistened in the firelight before, eventually, the blade sliced. From between their legs and up their bodies the knife would cut as they held back their cries even while the knife cut up along their throat.
Still living and breathing, writhing against the altar with their eyes to their sisters still at the fire the ritual leader would plung his hands into their bossums and through their ribcages to pull at their hearts as the lights in their eyes finally faded. One by one, waiting, the one before them being taken and strung up splayed on X shaped crosses set between the braziers.
With the moon rising in the night sky the fire only grew brighter, the chanting more intense, as the last of the women ceased her dance to look towards the altar, limbs trembling as uncertainty gnawed at her, faith withering as the many eyes watched her each step. Fearing for her life she would glide one hand over the hot stone surface, eyes closed, saying her own silent prayer, escape unthinkable.
The heavy drums and zealous chanting surrounding her drowned out the world as she laid herself down and hands prepared her with oil, her head tilting to watch the bonfire, bracing herself when she felt the hands leave her fearing what comes next- the knife.
Rather than ripping into her the blade seemed to glide over her leaving behind a brilliant blue flame to accompany searing pain. It was true. A tear freed itself from her eye as the cultist's hand punged into her chest in a shower of fire that sent twisting sparks high into the air above the altar, searing the face of the cultist himself who seemed to pay no mind. All around the bonfire each of the hooded figures lit up in flame from their faces as a sinister darkness washed over them, light dimming despite the now raging inferno that was the bonfire.
The woman's vision was gone then, fire burst from her own eyes and mouth, jets of flame spewing out from her hands and feet and lifting her into the air as though she were a puppet on strings moved in suspension towards the bonfire.
From the bonfire itself a humanoid figure stepped towards the sacrifice, its body was that of thick smoke and fire. When the two met there was silence and the two forms merged into one in a flash of red that washed away the night painting everything the color of blood. What looked like two great red eyes peered down from the skies above each greater than the full moon.
An unearthly shriek pierced the silence, coming from the new amalgamation formed from the merger, a woman who's eyes were burned out with jagged skin surrounding black boney sockets leaving two beads of fire as though they were its eyes, its limbs were black and charred with red hot hands from which hot cracks reached up her arms, appearing in spots here and there elsewhere on her body. Down her chest where the knife had cut the sacrifice was now a gaping fissure into her body revealing a fiery heart and smouldering embers where there might have been flesh. Wings spread out far behind her like shadows hovering in the air, echos of a once angelic visage. A red broken halo crowned her head over two sleek black horns.
Encircling her head in a two dimensional plane facing any onlooker was a circle of ancient runes, lines criss crossing in animated shapes forming abstract patterns. Their meaning, Language. In it's purest, ancient form. Understanding. Intent. Pure enlightenment radiated out from her, instantly flooding the minds of those who witnessed it.
It bore a message.
Death. Despair. Oblivion. Emptiness. A fragile undoing of mortality was at hand, and a burning chasm as endless as the timeless void.
Mouth still open from the mind-numbing cry it could be seen that she had no tongue, instead her mouth was burnt out with visible bones and sharp fang-like teeth. Her call was not without its purpose, as the earth rumbled. Cultists knelt around her, charred hoods pulled back to reveal skulls where there flesh had been seared away. The bodies of the sacrificed women stirred as well, dead eyes opening with new life.
After a eerie unmoving quiet there was a shudder all around the vast cemetery as the bodies of the long dead finally clawed their way to the surface, breaking from their crypts and rising. All moving from their resting places towards the call of The Necromancer, Aae'phaelleris. Goddess of Chaos.
Deception | Despair | Domination
H 1 S 7 A 7+1 B 8+1 C 9 D 11
d a m n a t i o n