Darkness, who lingers under the ice. Jalten short stories #7

“Raise the gate!” a guard shouted from the frozen citadel of Aronailos. Mehron walked with determination, staring at the raising gate with fury. His blood-red cape brushed the snowy ground, collecting ice and snow as it did and his hair moved freely in the wind, like the oaks during a storm. After he got inside, the gate was lowered once again. As it crashed onto the ground, it made a sound, which trembled the very ground. Boulders of ice fell from the ceiling, but none of them fell onto Mehron, which was fortunate. He stared at the dark hallway, where there were only a few torches here and there. The underground winds screamed around him, trying to scare him away, but he didn’t falter. He began walking the halls, his every step echoing into the abyss as he did. There were no living beings down here. Not even the strongest of animals dared to enter this layer, even if they could. Mehron walked for hours, not stopping to rest or eat. He kept going; his destination pulling him towards it. And finally, he got there. In front of him, there was a gate, made by the ancient Charitar mages. It had a description carved onto it which read:

No mortal shall enter the prison of darkness. Only the owners of the Warden’s blood may enter,”

Mehron drew his knife and slit a deep wound into his hand. He frowned a bit as his blood began to flow like water. He then pressed his hand against the gate and said:

“Jal ea ti Jal asor itara!”

The gate opened, screaming curses to him as it did, but it didn’t slow him. He kept going. From the depths of the halls, he began to hear twisted and shapeless voices. Voices that made his spine shiver, but remained inaudible to his ears. He also heard sadistic laughter, which shook his very soul. He then got out from the narrow hallways and entered a vast room, where the ceiling as high as the trees and it was wide as a castle. But it was nearly empty. So it had been forever. From every corner of the room, a giant chain originated. The chains continued towards the middle of the room, where all four of them met. There was a giant altar-like structure, where a being, covered in dark ash-like mist waited for him. His every limb was bound to the giant chains and he hanged on them, frozen in place. The being was large, almost the size of a ship and his mere presence made Mehron feel sick and disgusted.

He stood above him, frozen stairs leading down to the altar. He began walking, his steps waking the being.

“What fool has come to greet me?” he spoke with a voice as dark as the oblivion. His words made the very base of the structure tremble. But Mehron didn’t answer. He kept walking down, burning the being with his eyes. “You won’t answer to me, mortal?” the being taunted, unable to raise his head because of the chains.

“Not a mortal,” Mehron shouted, “no mortal may enter this cursed place,” a twisted smile grew onto the being’s face.

“You’re a fool for believing that, Mehron. One day, a mortal will destroy the gates and free me from this frozen prison!” Mehron kept quiet. He had seen dreams of that event and it haunted him. Dreams of humans attacking his home, destroying the walls and freeing this being of wicked evil. The dream never left him alone. “It’s already happening… their so-called unity is failing. Their order is turning into chaos and I’ll feed on their terror until I’m freed!” Mehron frowned and in his anger, he pulled one of the levers on the walls. A flash of light filled the room and the being shouted in agony. The icy chains shined in red as it burned the being’s skin. The darkness around him vanished for a while, revealing his twisted body, filled with horns, spikes, and burns. Mehron’s face was cold as the ice itself, but in his mind, he enjoyed seeing the being feel pain. He breathed slowly, focusing on the sounds of its screams and its body burning. He then halted the torture and walked in front of the being, once again.

“As long as I live, there will be peace. As long my filthy body remains alive, I will keep you where you belong,” He then drew his blade and studied it for a while. He then raised the being’s head with the blade, looking down at him with mocking eyes. “I’d give anything to be able to kill you… such a shame my blade can’t cut through your neck, for I’d do it without a second thought!” He then sheathed his blade again and began walking away. The being began laughing with a wicked and twisted voice. The voice Mehron had heard in his dreams time and time again.

“You’ll have your chance, Grand Warden. I’ll promise,”

As he made his way out from the prison, the laughter grew stronger and stronger. It echoed in the halls and rooms of the frozen structure, trembling its very foundations. Mehron blocked the laughter from his mind; he didn’t want to give any power to his prisoner. This was a cursed place, yet he wanted to go there from time to time and with every visit, his dreams got worse and worse…

This picture inspired me when I created the Prison of Aronailos

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3 thoughts on “Darkness, who lingers under the ice. Jalten short stories #7

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