Fables of the Borderlands

Into the Grey

Act: II Scene: I Survivors of the Ancient Temple

Finally it was over, though none of the four would ever be the same. This was never truer then it was for the thick skinned barbarian of the eastern steppes. Jalyve he told them, though now his name had never meant less. It had been a central pillar of pride in the young barbarians life to have been given the name of his tribal forbears. But the horrors of the temple had stolen that from him, robbed him of his identity, and made him a hideous beast only worthy of a wretched violent death.

The head of a horned bull had twisted the once strong warriors face in a manner of such odious permanence no joy in the world could ever force even the smallest grin upon his now black leathery lips. The barbarian’s skin crackled with a primal energy that carried a bestial musk, which wafted from his body in a faint black cloud with every stride. Stranger still the dungeons horrors had carved cruel mockeries of human faces into his back, chest and leg, which gawked and groaned like the damned who wallow in the swamps of hell.

Jalyve had known few towns which would have willingly accepted his presence within their taverns, and now he would know absolutely none. Yet, he would not consider the call of the great vastness that opened out before them. The hall in which they stood had been ruined for many years. Perhaps the hammer of the gods had set the mountains to quake in a time before the first stone of the Keep had been set, and with the hammer’s clash it took with it the shoulder of the mountain, and wherever this ancient dungeon hall had once lead.

Yes, indeed the call of that great void into which the four could look out into the entire valley and forest 1000’s of feet below had something to offer them all. For Jalyve it would be the end of humiliating form at the bottom of that abyss beyond the last tile of the ancient hall’s reach.

For Nadia the elf it would be the end of the shame she would forever feel at the demonic visage which had taken possession of her face. Her slender nose switched for slitted nostrils in the middle of her face, her tongue dark narrow and forked, hair that had grown for centuries now would be never more.

Violet the thief, born within the hamlet under the watchful guardians of the Keep, had suffered a imprisonment in a cell with no walls or doors, her choices and experiences placing her within an alignment opposite the destiny two loving parents had hoped and prayed for. From her cell she would forever gaze into a bottomless pit of covetous greed, and murderous zeal. Chaotic evil urges whispering suggestions that would forever undermine any rationale which could hope to return her to the path laid out before her at birth. The abyss, beyond the ancient hall offered her future victims well deserved lives and possessions that which now lied between her and a perditious road of insatiable roguery.

Finally Jynxx the Gnome, or Leopold the Lion as he had been called in the Keep, stared into the vastness of the valley abyss of the gathering silence of the last breath left the demonic lips of the devils that lay on the floor of the ancient hall. A line had begun to be drawn through his name in the celestial kingdoms as well. As he placed his hands about an exotic crystal prism once the possession of an Imp which had moments ago almost slipped away with the Gnome’s soul. As Jynxx stared into the great beyond, the prism gave a sudden immediate twitch, though never moving. A twinge of energy tugged along the vein of his arm, and leaped upon his heart. The gnome felt a loss in value in his very preservation as he stared to the valley floor, the great vastness offered simplicity which seemed to echo by another new and selfish force within his mind. How beautiful the view, and cool the air. Such a sweet smell such vastness, this new voice whispered to him. Ah but a little closer, yes, how nice. That’s right but a step more to appreciate the wonder of the great vastness below.

The obvious duality of black and white were now completely obscured from the survivors. The two were now merged in their minds, each of them had passed into the grey having come this far. Now not even they could tell, that they were more truly victims of the harrowed halls. They had prospered nothing, and had been reincarnated as the living embodiment of the terrors of these insidious temple halls.

Had the the gods known this when they cleft the mountain shoulder here at the ancient hall? Known that the last hope for this dungeons victims would be the call of the great valley abyss? Or was it the principalities of darkness that plotted this last trick for the would be survivors of this horrid place, a passive suggestion, or simple alternative to the despair and cruelty that would birth itself by the day, hunting each one down by the inevitable arrival of exhaustion, the vampire that vacates human will…

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