The Sword Cuts Deep

A Dark Tale of Fantasy

Prologue

     He arranged the eight plates of steel vertically on the floor of the cave, each one was equal to the size of his out stretched hand. He set down the guard of a sword and arranged it perpendicular to the metal, runes were etched across its surface in delicate spirals of calligraphy. Subsequently, he positioned a hilt that was crafted from the smooth bone of a human thigh. The pommel, he placed on the last piece of metal closest to him. It was a hard granite river rock, ground smooth and round by countless eons of rushing water relentlessly flowing over it. It was distinctly different to everything else in his sight, it seemed like a black hole. Night vision that was inherent in all the underground races, enabled him to see the stellate shades of reds blues and greens that glimmered in symmetrical patterns. The imperceptible incandescence took on the craggy shapes of the rough rock and he revelled in the total absence of visible light. The unforged sword shone a brilliant cold azure.

     The darkness was thick; as if the mountains that were above him compressed the inky blackness and he perceived it like an oppressive second skin. It felt like a thick unseen blanket covered him completely and he embraced it. The subterranean cavern was hot and humid from the natural effulgent heat of the stones so deep underground. Crimson radiated all around. The tight, confining space came to a peak over head, and a large crack continued upward in the ancient stone that stood out in black contrast to the chromatic rock. Coal ran in parallel horizontal seams along the wall. The coal was one of the main reasons why he chose this place, it was the catalyst to opening the portal.

     Grabbing a container that was filled with the blood a baby which was mixed with silver; he began to coat the rock walls with the mixture. It steamed on the minerals and soaked in the coal, leaving the silver imbedded within the stone. Moving to stand over the pommel on the sword, he pulled back his long hair and brushed it behind his pointed ears, preparing himself. He had nothing to fear physically, the creature he was about to release could not harm his body. The Shachath dwelt within a dimension of stone, therefore once it left it’s own realm the Shachath could only inhabit inorganic material. They were loathsome creatures, seeking nothing more than to spread malice by twisting the thoughts of others to do atrocious things. The fiend’s desired escape from their molten world, so he would use that and coerce it into doing what he wanted. He would offer it freedom from its domain by inhabiting the sword. In the process of forging the blade- demon and metal would become one, trapping the creature. But the maliciousness of the Shachath’s mind would try to entangle his thoughts and bend him to it’s will. He, however, learnt to control his thoughts centuries ago. All of his kind trained since childhood to discipline their psyche and no other race, in any dimension, could dominate them. He smiled, anticipating the hopelessness and suffering they would cause together.

     He spoke no word, just stood and felt with his mind. Feeling the silky smoothness of the blood and coal, he mentally pushed his mind through. He felt the pull of gravity and he went with it, until that pull became gentle. Knowing he was on the other side, he grabbed onto the particles that freely travelled between his world and the other. With a swift push he pulled his conscious back to himself. Holding onto the gravity with his mind, he pulled back the fabric that separated the worlds upon itself and a passageway began to form within the stone. A bright, orange light flooded through and he had to shield his eyes against the brightness.

     He did not have to wait for long. Tendrils of black smoke began to emerge through the portal and he straightened his back- took a deep breath and wall his mind against any intrusion. The smoke began to coalesce into a shape- it was a large creature, its head reaching the roof. First the feet and legs formed, they were cloven like a goat’s and grew into grotesque misshapen human thighs. The torso was humanoid but gaunt and twisted. It’s muscles were sinewy with the skin stretched tight. The hands came to misshapen claws. It had a bone extrusion on its back which made his malformed fleshless head droop forward. It stood tall and moved its emaciated body in a serpentine way. Thick smoke flowed out through its jagged teeth. Even though the Shachath was ethereal, it appeared corporeal. It’s eyes were bright green lights within the eye sockets and stared directly at its summoner. The gruesome creature instantly tried to penetrate his mind.

     “What do you want with me, Dark Elf?” it’s raspy voice seemed to emanate from the rock.

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