The iron linked boots gave a noise something akin to a chime and a clank, before echoing through the forest. It was a relaxing noise and added a bit of contrast to the random calls of a beast and the chirping of birds. It was no later than mid day and the light poured through dense foliage to the ground, splattering the world in a complex pattern. The man stopped at the mouth of a gaping cave, or what once was. It was long since collapsed, now providing nothing more than perhaps a mild shelter from the rain. Was it always this small? Perhaps it just seemed bigger to him when he was a child, or perhaps more had collapsed then he remembered. He felt a gentle touch on his shoulder and looked to his side. A gentle female face gave a tight lipped half smile, as if everything would be okay. Her wings spread as she slowly walked around him, each footstep so soft that it seemed to echo silence against the noise of the wildlife. Her pale azure glow was a comfort, and at ease the man dropped to one knee. He held his mace tight, pressing it into the ground as he bowed his head. “Sister, it's been a long time.”
Two children, brother and sister. It was not uncommon for young children to venture out into the wilderness, eager to explore and experience the old wild, the strangely formed trees, rocks, and hills. IT was always said however, stay away from the cave. The cave was scourge of a place, a stain upon the earth on the western lands of Jaru. For years the Church had attempted to cleanse it, to drive back the foul presence that corrupted the plant life and animals around it but to no avail. And so they warned all citizens of the great city of Shallam, and the surrounding city-states to keep away from the damnable place.
“Brother, Mother says that we shan't go to this place. Let's go somewhere else!”
“Oh shush it's just ghost stories to make you scared. It's not real.”
“No brother, I don't want to go there!” said the sister in a huff, stomping her foot with the ill manners of a child.
“Fine, you can stay here, but I'm going to go ahead. Don't get eaten by all the monsters in the trees!”
The sister gave a small snort and ran to catch up to her brother, huddling against his side. “Oh quit being such a baby. I don't want you crawling into my bed again, scaredy-cat.”
The cave was just as promised, dark, massive, creepy. A perfectly alluring spot for a young child seeking a bit of adventure. “Do you not want to enter?”
“No, we shan't be here!”
“Stop saying that, it's not even a word.”
Despite the sister's protests, he walked to the mouth of the cave. Vines and moss protruded from the smallest cracks within the stone walls. It was a rounded entrance, long unkempt yet it had a sense of craftsmanship about it was created by human hands without the proper tools. As the boy neared the walls, it even seemed as if small letters were written within the stone though nearly impossible to decipher. It was curious though, and he wondered if anyone had bothered to try to make out the cryptic language that adorned the walls of the cave. He squatted down and ran his fingers against the walls, letting every indentation run against his smooth fingertips. He hardly noticed that his clingy sister had departed from his side.
Deeper and deeper she descended into the cave. One foot in front of the other, and then the other. Small lights, faeries perhaps? Glittering, whispering. Small flecks of light that danced against the back of the cave. The small whispers were comforting, happy? no. Empowering? Perhaps.
Step, step, step, how many had it been? Time itself seemed to have stopped. The air was so still that the dust hovered motionlessly. The glistening lights, they were not separate, but simply the refracted light of oiled fur upon a hideous daemon. Smoke poured off of it's body, dripping down as though it was liquid but dispersing in a small puff before making contact with the ground.
The brother turned his head, and he only saw the vague outline of his sister before half the tunnel collapsed, devouring itself with it's own hungry stone teeth. Hours passed before the boy returned home. His voice torn from calling his sister's name, his fingernails bloodied and palms gouged from digging against the solid rocks. He had no other options and alerted his village.
Despite the best attempts from the villagers, they were not able to remove the rubble. Even then, many were reluctant to given the nature of the cave. The sister was never found.
The boy's mother slowly faded into a deep sickness shortly after her daughter was declared dead, and quickly lost her voice. She stared out windows, musing at sunbeams, and slowly let herself fade away. The boy only had himself to blame.
“Someone is here. Something is here.”
The man tilted up his helmet just a bit, looking back at the cave. Many hours had passed it seemed, he had been lost in a reverie and felt that his cheeks were damp. As his eyes raised higher, he saw a woman dressed in a red evening gown sitting upon the upper lip of the cave's entrance. “My my, and what do I owe the pleasure of a priest upon my domain?” she asked. Her legs uncrossed from each other, showing a blatant display of herself before she hopped down, landing on her naked feet. She stood with a gait that oozed sensuality and confidence. A tight lipped smirk upon her ruby lips which glowed against her porcelain skin framed by her flawlessly dark hair. “It's not often I get visitors.”
The man stood slowly, pulling his mace
up over his shoulder. “forgive me M'lady, I was just passing by.”
“Her aura.” came a melodic voice through his mind. His angel had seen it first, but as he opened his inner eyes he saw nothing but a void of black.
“Forgive my trespass..M'lady.”
“This must be reported, but we can not engage. This is tainted land, we are at a disadvantage.”
A cruel smirk appeared on the woman's lips. Foul black smoke pooled around her feet as a hideous creature pulled itself from the earth. It was hideously shaggy, oily and barbed, endlessly exhaling a dark smoke from every pour on it's body.
“What, you want to leave so soon? You're the one that summoned me here.” She breathed with a husky voice. Her body turned, pressing unceremoniously against the beast. One leg slid up it's front, exposing the length of her leg as she licked up it's neck.
“Tread carefully, she speaks with the inferno.”
“It appear that way, vessel. My strength is yours, I shall call for a pilgrimage of your body.”
“Hurry, I'll stall as I can.”
The angel simply held her tight smile, but a tension that defied the mortal realm lingered in the air as the daemon and angel silently assessed each other.
“You are far from the west, Apostate. What brings you so close to the jewel.”
“Ah, I have no time for your petty politics. I simply live here in peace. I don't even venture outside of my home very much, but you wished to see me.” She said with a small smile as she stroked over her unholy beast in a sickeningly erotic way that made the man's stomach churn.
“I've no business with the likes of you unholy one.”
“Oh dear.. but you do, and really.. is that any way to speak to your sister?”
A slight pause, before the revelation began to sink into the priest's mind. His sister? She lived? Had he gone all this time, without knowing that she was alive? A sense of joy overcame him, but only to become realized with the most sickening of irony.
“Focus, vessel” The angel screeched at him. It was rare to hear his angel speak in such a tone and only enforced the gravity of the situation.
“Yes.. I'm still alive brother. I never died, I was simply trapped.. but it was not all bad. I had my lover with me the whole time.” she whispered, sucking on the bottom of the beast's chin.
The priest's hand tightened on his mace as his mind reeled from the many sickening emotions running through him.
“She seeks to confuse you, steel your mind!” Cried the angel. Her wings flared wide and sent an intangible gust, binding her strength and her mind with that of her vessel.
“Oh come now brother, don't look so shocked. Does my appearance shock you that much?” She strutted forward, each step a slow sensual dance as she stooped forward a bit, showing a distasteful amount of cleavage. “Or perhaps it's just been that long since you've been with a woman? Come now, am I not pretty?” She gave a mocking pout. “It's okay brother, I won't judge you... you can look upon my body.” she hissed, slowly pushing down the shoulder of her gown.
“Exposing your body like this.. you are not my sister.. you are an abomination!”
“Oh.. such cruel words..” she murmured as she wriggled out of her clothing, running her fingers along the curves of her body.
The priest stood firm, refusing to accept the lewd display in front of him as he stared directly into her eyes. “You can not tempt me, beast.”
“No!” shrieked the angel. “Guard your eyes!” she cried out as she felt curses flow through the body of her vessel. His mistake was too late realized as his body became numb and his breath tightened. His eyes blinked as the world around him seemed to turn to static and his limbs grew weak. “What.. devilry is this..”
“Oh dear brother.. have you been that lonely? That's just arousal.” She cooed with a mocking laugh. “Maybe you do desire me?” she said as a blur shot from the ground, resting in her outstretched hand.
The angel looked upon her vessel, desperately attempting to cleans his mind of the curses bestowed upon him, but they continued to burden his mind and soul at an alarming rate, faster than she could find a way to cleanse them.
Stunned, the priest's mace fell from his grasp as the world around him reeled. Every part of his body ached, he felt acid rising in his throat, yet his mind was too befuddled to form proper words, a slow moan escaped his lips, followed with spittle and bile.
The armor had been crafted by the finest in the realms, yet it gave like freshly churned butter as the ebon daegger slid through it. It was painless for a moment, a sudden damp warmth flooding his chest. His heart fluttered defiantly against the protruding object, only tearing itself deeper and deeper with every beat, and eventually gave in, stilling itself. The angel gave a slow silent sigh of anguish and felt herself torn back to nirvana, suffering the loss of her vessel.
“Oh dear... that was not fun at all.” the woman pouted, turning back to her daemon as they returned to the cave. “It's a shame, I thought my dear brother would have a bit more fight in him.”
And done! I had fun writing this, and it might not be straight achaean, just inspired by a few of the things in achaea. Hope you all enjoyed it!