Froggacuda and the Necronomicon

Posted: November 1, 1998 in Writing
Tags: , ,

[An unfinished start to some sort of crazy adventure]

The sky tore open violently and green lightning splayed skeletal fingers across the black clouds which hung like shrouds over the dark city. A vast peal of thunder which bulldozed across the landscape of concussed concrete and broken stone caused most to clutch their young nearer and pray to nameless gods beyond the sunless sky. In the brooding temple whose obsidian walls were rumoured to be mortared together with the souls of curious cats, the chanting of cowled priests echoed in a cacophony of insane voices pronouncing mantras strange to their tongues. Nothing stirred but the wind, which tore through the streets as if it were searching for its own sanity.

Bowing low and sweeping the limb of a freshly dismembered Elf across a huge intricately carved disk set into the floor, a heavily armored priest stirred the heavy vapor of hanging incense into whorls of mustard-colored smoke. The sonorous drone of the hundreds of faithful surrounding the raised platform was punctuated by shrieks of horrible ecstacy that sounded as if they were being torn from the lungs that uttered them. Open to the sky that still crawled with eerie claws of lightning, the grooves and patterns of the altar seemed to undulate under the weight of the blood that coursed over it, libations spilled to an entity who was not to be named. The priest was bone-tired, but ululated praise in a hoarse voice, aware that she was being watched hawkishly for any sign of weariness. Again she repeated the syllables that she had learned in the stygian depths of the Temple through a tiny door that confined misshapen creatures that had never seen the light of day; again she made the joint-cracking motions that nearly dislocated her spine under the weight of her ceremonial armor. Flinging the appendage behind her to be devoured by the horde of mindless worshipers, she threw her helmet back and screamed from her soul at the thunder-ripped sky above her. The blood on the altar began to boil, and then, from the five-pointed star set into the middle, proceeded to turn a tarry black.

From the shadows of broken architecture high above the slimy mosaicked floor of the Temple, a hooded figure stood at the edge of a crumbling floor and watched the woman howl. Pleasure twisted skeletal features into a rictus grin as shivers travelled through the figure at the sound. Looking past the tops of ruined columns and unfazed by the dizzying height, the figure traced a symbol of Power in the air with the twisted tip of an old staff. In a voice that spoke of the spaces under children’s beds and half-open closet doors, Tarkarthiss M’ang, the self-proclaimed most powerful man in Orkland, began to whisper: “The Book!”

The priestess, hearing his words on a ragged gust of wind staggered, then spun around to face the grovelling assembly. “The Book!” she shouted; the mantra changed to reflect this new instruction. Blackened blood ran freely from the altar, stickying the marble of the platform and steaming with nauseous fumes. The faithful began to chant the word, half retching through the stench of the cloying incense and scorched blood. The fires of the braziers at the four corners of the platform whipped chaotically as the wind combed it into streamers of orange flame. At a motion unseen by those on the floor, Tarkarthiss sent the hanging symbol plummeting into the center of the altar.

An avalanche of thunder tore the sky open, and a bolt of greenish lightning as wide as an elephant impacted the altar, shaking huge chunks of rubble from the ceiling. The cries of the faithful were drowned in the hideous sound of worlds juxtaposing for an instant, a noise like a gigantic ribcage being ripped wide. The braziers, flung from the platform, sprayed burning oil over those present; the blood caught fire and burned with a green flame, engulfing the priestess, who laughed maniacally as she screamed. The lightning struck again, sending tentacles of green electricity scything through the crowded worshipers. Glowing with a white-hot intensity, the center of the altar blinded those who dared to look at it. Tarkarthiss grinned wider, and brought one hand up to shield his sunken eye sockets from the third and final impact that was expected.

The agonized screams of the cultists were cut short by a terrible crack of thunder that sounded from the altar as the bolt struck, sending fist-sized fragments of stone everywhere. Struck deaf, the wailing of the dying was cut short by their bodies melting as a wave of energy pulsed through the Temple, bringing down more of the ruined structure; the nearby mountains trembled in their efforts to produce a riochet echo that slowly died into a low electrical hum of pure Power. Stray branches of the green electricity rippled over a gaping hole where the altar once rested; only the white star remained intact. Materializing from thin air, hovering over the five-pointed symbol, a Book came into existence. Bound in a leathery substance that looked moist, it nearly breathed. A huge lock kept the contents shut. Tarkathiss stepped nearer the edge of the perch and inhaled deeply in satisfaction.

A stray bolt of lightning fell from the sky and hit the white star, winking it out, and something inhuman seized the Book with large-clawed hands. Tarkathiss, taken aback, cast aside his hood, revealing the fireballs that were his eyes in his grey skull, and gaped at the intruder that had suddenly appeared in the middle of his Temple.

“Guys!” gasped the Froggacuda, “I got it! I’ve got the Necronomicon!”

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