Mysteries Uncovered - Chapter 1

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Mysteries Uncovered

by 6ftDemon

Libraries: Adventure, Horror, OriginalFiction

Published on / 2 Chapter(s) / 0 Review(s)

Updated on

Camilla, along with many other stryx from Sacrum city, have been forced out into the deeper part of the caverns to combat the attacks that have taken place very near to the city lately. Many hardships are faced, but things take a rather personal turn for Camilla. Warning for slightly graphic gore descriptions, as well as some light swearing. I'll update this when I can, but that doesn't mean that will be often.

Chapter 1, Journey's Beginning

The caverns were silent all around, except for the rhythmic tapping of claws and thud of boots on the cold stone ground, as well as the occasional drip of water from the cavern’s river system on the level above them. A young corva led the small group of soldiers behind her, their general beside her. They cautiously poked their heads around corners, into crevices, and generally everywhere they could reach. They weren’t entirely sure what their targets looked like; no one in the city knew much about them, in fact. Mainly that they were incredibly dangerous, their bodies poisonous to the touch. Anyone who’d had a run-in with them was no longer living, whether they died of old age or their injuries.

The corva suddenly froze in her tracks, sniffing the air around her. The general beside her looked up at her.

 

“What is it, Silver? Find anything?”

 

Silver locked her vision on one specific spot off in the distance, lowering her body into a defensive stance. The general motioned for one of the soldiers to go forward and investigate. The soldier seemed hesitant to proceed, but he ventured forward anyway, spear at arm’s length in front of him.

He rounded the corner, having found nothing in the general’s line of sight. Things were silent, but only for a moment. A blood-curdling scream rang out, echoing violently off of the walls around the group. Silver snarled, slinging herself in front of the group, ready to protect them. A flash of light flickered in the direction of the commotion, casting a grim shadow on the stone walls; the soldier’s shadow laid flat on its back, something violently tearing open his stomach and plucking out his organs. Silver felt sick at the sight, hardly hearing the general’s call for retreat. By the time she’d turned back around, the group had already bolted. Silver looked back once more, watching as multiple other shadows crept into view, staring her down. She turned tail and fled, looking out for any followers as she hurried back to the city.

 

3 months later

 

Sacrum city was alive with activity, people and stryx alike bustling about their day-to-day lives.

Camilla sat perched atop her balcony’s railing, keeping an eye on the goings on of her city. Well, it wasn’t exactly her city in its entirety, but she was considered its queen, even if that was just a title given to her. The real rulers of the city were various races of creatures, ones who had either earned their position on the council or just gotten there by inheritance.

Camilla barely heard as someone opened the balcony door, approaching her urgently.

 

“Camilla! You’re here. Come, the council requires your attention.” It was her translator, Richard, the one who was gifted with the ability to speak stryx and universal languages.

 

Richard was born with an intuition, a skill he’d honed for many many years after he was old enough to begin education and training. Despite being a stryx himself, Rich was able to understand and speak universal language, giving him the ability to translate conversations between the two languages. He was assigned to be Camilla’s translator after she was elected onto the council, the first stryx to do so without a rider or handler present to take the title for themselves and have their stryx be a mere mount.

Camilla leapt gracefully down from her place on the balcony, following aside Rich to the city hall, where the council resided.

 

The two companions trekked up the numerous vertebrae of the Guardian Skeleton’s tail towards the city hall, entering the large doors at the front of the building. Camilla and her translator were immediately ushered away into a conference room where members of the council sat around a table, conversing quickly.

Camilla seated herself at an open spot, while Rich sat beside her. A few of the council’s mount stryx sat at the back of the room, watching carefully. One particular harpia seemed rather bored with the whole situation.

 

“Now that we’ve gotten everyone we need, there are some urgent matters that need to be discussed.” One of the older council members stated. A hush fell over the group as he spoke.

 

“There have been a recent series of attacks within these caverns, one even reaching our outer walls.”

 

The group began to murmur with concern.

 

“Luckily it wasn't coupled with any casualties, but some of our soldiers were injured in the attack.”

 

The older being raised an eyebrow as the muttering of the crowd turned to silence once again.

 

“As you all know, one of our scouting groups was attacked while out doing just that; scouting. These monsters have been around these caverns for as long as anyone here can remember, and we’ve been willing to share this space with them. They’d never attacked unprovoked. Until a few months ago, when we lost one of our troop members to these monsters after they were instructed to investigate strange behavior in these creatures.”

 

Someone around the table piped up. “And what exactly do you expect us to do about it? None of us are qualified soldiers, and if we were, we no longer are. Besides, only a stryx has been proven to survive the effects of these monsters’ venom.”

 

The older council member smirked.

 

“Exactly. Only stryx have resisted the effects of the poison these creatures emit. Any other being to be poisoned usually perishes soon after being infected. While yes, stryx are still affected by the venom and may have lasting effects, it can save a life of ours.”

 

Camilla frowned at these words. Stryx are not slaves, they’re intelligent creatures with just as complex a brain as anyone here. Why should they have to sacrifice their safety at the whim of a group of old dudes Who’ve probably never even seen what these things can do?

 

Camilla knew firsthand the damage these monsters could cause. After the attack 3 months ago, a body was found along the path the troop took. The body had been almost completely eviscerated and skinned, lumps of poisonous, venom filled blisters festering where skin was actually left on the body. It was a gruesome sight, honestly. Camilla had accompanied one of the council members who happened to be family of the soldier to see the body before it was cremated.

 

Richard nudged her shoulder to snap her out of her thoughts. She had missed whatever the council had previously debated on.

 

“Then it’s settled. We’ll send out our strongest stryx to find these things and get to the bottom of what is causing these disturbances in these creatures.”

 

Camilla felt her heart sink. That seemed incredibly unfair. Deciding what a stryx-or anyone, really-should be mandated to do without their input was against the city’s code of ethics!

 

Once the council was dismissed, Camilla and Richard were immediately pulled to the side and taken into the back of the building, where they were separated. Richard was kept inside the building, while Camilla was escorted out. She tried to protest, but was approached by the guards at the door, who were ready to fight back if she tried to get physical. Camilla scowled at them, but complied.

 

She was taken into the heart of the city, where the armory was. The escort entered the building, eventually exiting with the blacksmith’s assistant carrying Camilla’s golden armor on a small wagon. Itg was newly polished and repaired.

The trio proceeded to the stables, where other stryx were being rushed away. Seems the council’s orders had quickly been spread around. Many of the stryx were trying to fight back, but were quickly stopped by the guards from the council. Those who did not relent were bound and moved with manual force.

After all the stryx deemed necessary were moved along, Camilla was directed to the battle stations as well. There, she was outfitted with her armor, straps being tightly fastened to her body and elemental essence flaring to life within the gear. After she was deemed ready, Camilla noticed that they had not attached any of her decorative fabrics or gems. This must be it. She was being sent out into battle.

 

Soon enough, Camilla was bunched into the crowd of armored stryx being pushed along the streets of the city towards the outer gates. Once they reached their destination, they were given a rundown of what they were to do; find the source of disruption in the monsters and eliminate it. Do not return to the city until it is discovered and vanquished. This was it. The gates to the outer caverns were opened, and the stryx were sent out. Camilla’s heart began to race as she heard the large doors to the city close behind her, the lock being latched in place. They were on their own from now until the end of this perilous mission.

 

Camilla

1133 words-22

Personal-3

Total= 25 AP

 

Silver

343 words- 6 AP
Personal-3
Total= 9 AP

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