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Library: A tale from the woods.


Author: victor
Date:Oct 6 2003

Everything seemed normal that day. I was walking through the woods of
Calythien, gathering materials for new instruments. I had walked all day, the
sun was shining and it was very hot, despite the brisk wind. I came by a river
and decided to camp for a while, and then leave before sundown. I opened my
sleeping bag and listened to the river, flowing slowly, making a soothing
sound. I was quickly asleep.

*THUMP*.... *THUMP*... *THUMP*...

I woke up to the strange thumps.. not very loud, but enough to wake me. I
opened my eyes and noticed that it was already getting dark. But when my sight
cleared, it was a sight I would never forget. The sky was unnaturally dark
with patterns of different colours. Looking up I noticed small spots in the
sky, that seemed to get closer.. closer.. and there was that thumping again, I
looked around and it became clear what were those 'spots' making the sounds..
birds of all kind were lying everywhere, crushed from the force of the impact.
The river had turned muddy, with dead birds flowing down the stream. The wind
had calmed down, it was very silent, except for the birds, that were raining
down so hard now, I had to cover my head with my hands.

I started to feel very anxious, and knew I had to look for shelter. I ran
through the forests for an hour or so, starting to feel like the forests would
never end. Beginning to lose my breath, I stopped for a few minutes, and
continued walking. At some point the thumping stopped and it began to rain,
normally this time. Maybe there were no birds left... Feeling better I started
running again but soon heard a booming voice 'There is no reason to run young
bard'. First I saw no one around, but looking more carefully I noticed there
was a group of ents, forming a circle around a small pond. 'This is it, you
can run if you wish, but you can't escape it.' said the ent. I was already so
nervous, I didn't even stop to ask what it meant. I started to run even
faster, as the sky became darker.

Finally, I could see the walls of Calythien above the forest line.  As I came
closer to the city, screams, strange, horrible voices filled the air, becoming
ever louder. I walked over the bridge to the city gate, it was open... the
guards were gone too. Despite the bad feeling I had, I didn't want to go back
to the forests either, so I carefully entered the city. To my surprise, even
after going through many blocks, I still couldn't see anyone around. The noise
I heard outside, seemed to come from inside the cathedral now, and was
quieting down.

I was standing at the cathedral gate now, as suddenly a wave of brown,
horrible smelling water washed in from the west, carrying with it, rats,
snakes and other creatures of the sewers. Quickly I saw another wave coming
in, but this time it was huge, higher than some of the houses. I had no
choice, but to enter the cathedral. I opened the gate, entered the courtyard
and quickly slammed the gate shut, and heard the water bash against the gate
with great strength. I walked through the courtyard to the door leading inside
the cathedral. I couldn't hear anything inside anymore, so I opened the door
and walked in.

Coming inside I saw big creatures, walking in line to a magical vortex,
carrying bodies over both of their shoulders. It seemed that, to my luck, I
had arrived just as all the creatures had passed through the great vortex. At
that point, the water was already coming in the cathedral too. The whole town
must've been flooded. I had to enter the vortex or drown. I waited as long as
I could, and then walked through.

It was merely a quick flash, and I was standing in the Church of all Gods.
There was no one there, only some weapons, armour and torn clothes lying on
the floor. For a second I felt safe, but then saw a group of creatures to the
south, looking for priests and monks in the tower. Orcs, horribly mutated. I
started running, trying to flee out of the church, but the street was full of
orcs, chasing down any who still were alive and slaughtering them without
mercy. The wooden parts of buildings were decayed and the stone footings
cracked and green in color, the streets flowing with blood. Booming voices
from underground trembled the earth,  I couldn't understand them, but they
seemed to command the orcs. With the church and the streets swarming with
orcs, I was forced to run through the church yard to the cemetary, looking for
a way to escape. I could hear the orcs already on my tail. Suddenly a decayed
hand rose from the ground and grabbed my ankle, making me fall down on my face
to the muddy ground. I struggled to get my leg free, but the grip was only
getting tighter. As I turned on my back, I saw the sky, full of huge,
disfigured faces, almost as if the gods themselves were moaning in agony. But
the view was quickly blocked by an orc, who walked next to me, put it's leg on
my chest and raised it's axe above his head...

'Wake up, young bard. It is time for you to go home, this woods aren't safe in
the night.'  Breathless and sweating, I opened my eyes. It was the ent from my
dream. Still confused I stuttered 'the orcs.. they..'  'Yes' the ent said,
'The forest has shown you, what the future might hold. Gather parties of brave
warriors and great mages, rally them with your songs, and your dream may never
come true...'