The Daemon’s Journey: He is Instructed
This is a small part of a larger group of writings. Just rewritten and sent in a somewhat different direction than the original writing.
THE DAEMON’S JOURNEY – He is Instructed
Darkness reigned in this place; darkness, illusion and clinging madness. Far below ground; below the deepest cellar of the deepest vault of the pile of rotten, overgrown stones and broken columns above, the Daemon had descended to a place where no light had ever shone and no hope had ever penetrated nor ever would. The Daemon knew to give no credence to sights and sounds here; no credit to any of his physical senses. Yet through his haze of terror sensations there were. Was there music? The thin notes of a flute piping in the distance? There was a foetid smell, the nauseating rot of primal decay, that seemed to ebb and flow born on a wisp of an indecently groping breeze. It was his third summons to this hell-pit and he hated it for it melted his bones with terror; terror beyond which even he, with a lifetime of spreading evil and death, could summon.
He walked forward; it didn’t matter the direction since all paths led to only one abominable destination. Each halting step forward he took black fear grew stronger in his blasphemous soul. His steps wavered, became a scraping shuffle. Soon the near paralyzing terror had brought him to his knees, whimpering; and then to all fours like a beast. Crawling, slavering, humiliated he cursed himself and the fate that had brought him into the sphere of the Entity who dwelt here. His galloping heart told him to stop and return as he came; to turn and flee. But he knew that it would be useless. His limbs would not obey; neither turning nor halting was a choice he could make now. In this forsaken place his will seemed not his own and all paths only led onward.
And then, abruptly, he was greeted by that emotionless, alien voice speaking softly, buzzing, hissing in a low tone through the deceiving darkness. Speaking? No, not speech, yet still it seemed to whisper in his ears as well as his mind sometimes it was a single voice and then it would become a chorus of many voices all saying the same thing. Which it was, many or one, he could not tell.
“My lord,” the Daemon rasped as he threw himself down groveling before the speaker. That voice whose speaker he had never seen; whose visage or form even his immaterial senses could not grasp; but seemed to slide and slither uncannily over and around the speaker the one time he had dared to use them; an Entity whose immeasurable power seemed to wash, like a foul tide, over and through the Daemon.
“Your work with the mortal sorcerer goes well?” queried the abhorrent chorus.
“Yes, My Lord. He suspects nothing. He is determined to complete the casting.” The news of the Grivax’s destruction he kept carefully guarded in his mind though he feared it futile.
There came no answer for some length of time. Then, “Excellent! We await the Conjunction and the Appearance. All must be in readiness by then, Slave. There are still many tokens remaining to this game, all of which must be carefully played. Now listen closely while I instruct you as to your part and my will.”
The Daemon attempted to lay perfectly still while the maddening, whispering voice filled his head but it was like a jagged razor stripping his sanity and reason until he thought he could not withstand its painful sibilance a moment longer. He panted and moaned softly; writhing, digging his brazen claws into the substance of the floor.
An eternity of torturous pain seemed to pass before the Entity had finished imparting his instructions to the Daemon. “Go now, Slave. Compose yourself and go. Messages shall be sent you by the usual courier when the stars are right.”
He dragged himself to his feet, shivering and shaking in a palsy. A fearful insanity filled his spirit almost overwhelming him. Sobbing heavily; drool sliding and dripping down his chin he stumbled away from the dreadful Entity’s presence. All directions now led outward from here. The enveloping, uniform black of that hell-chamber soon faded to a normal lightlessness. His demonic senses were again guiding him. He fell to his hands and knees retching; exhausted by terror, realizing that he had soiled himself and cursing, hating, loathing himself and the Entity that it could unnerve him so. Then with a hasty look behind he summoned what strength he could, gathered himself and scurried like a terrified child, like a cowardly mortal, away from that unseen horror.
As he climbed the stairs of the tunnel leading up to the world of light, the insufferable terror faded enough that he could recall the Entity’s commands. Madness! Absolute, abject madness! How was he to encompass this thing’s desires? Yet it meant his life, at least, at the very least, to ignore them. By the Black Eye of Orandis! A Jai* lorehold? Did such even exist in this time? Wherever he turned he saw only certain death as the as the sure outcome.
The journey up the crude, cramped, twisting stairway was not a short one but in time he emerged into the cellars of the crumbling temple. The Daemon felt some relief to stand upright again. The darkness here was clean; his panting eased. Here the ceilings were impressively high; vaulted, arched and supported by giant columns carven with glyphs of some long forgotten tongue that was unknown to him. And there were few enough of those of which he did not have at least a smattering of knowledge and his memory stretched back to the age of the Skydreamers. Indeed this temple must be ancient for he could think of no religious or historical association with the outré glyphs represented by the carvings. It occurred to him that a Jai lorehold, if still extant, might be able to provide him with answers. By the Three, that was a good jest! And a jest deadly as well. The Daemon shuddered inwardly. What has this cursed Entity in mind? If the Jai slumber, let them sleep!
Once beyond the ancient pile of stones the sense of terror slowly dissipated. The Daemon leaned unsteadily against a tree breathing deeply the cool night air. He sat down and tried to calm himself but found it difficult. This experience struck him harder each time he was called into the presence of the Entity. He doubted that his sanity could withstand another such summons.
*rhymes with eye