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Bringer of Night: An Unwitting Accomplice


by icy_catalyst

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Preface -

Somewhere hidden in a remote area of the Lost Desert, a tomb that smelt of death and riddled with dark history lay buried deep in the shifting sands. If one knew the exact spot of the tomb and pressed right against the dunes, a soft yet menacing snarl could be heard, filled with the sounds of a burning anger fuelled by the will of a killer. A killer known as the Bringer of Night.

     Centuries ago, when Neopia reeked of foul history, the Bringer of Night sought nothing but a kill. In fact, one kill turned into many, as well as a senseless addiction to hunting a particular population of Bori who lived in a community well-built on the sands of the Lost Desert. Those hideous talons, eyes slitted and gleaming menace drove fear into Neopia, and stories of weeping families were never told; the Bringer of Night spared no-one he hunted.

     After several years of heartache and grief, the rampages ceased unexpectedly. At first, no-one knew what had happened, but it was later discovered that the Bori population situated in the Desert had become statues of brilliant ice, caused by an unknown force which had frozen the Bori community's inhabitants as a way of protecting them from the terrifying Bringer of Night. It was also believed that the evil denizen was stopped in his tracks by this force, and since then, supposedly forever trapped in a tomb buried deep within the Desert...

      ***

     On a dark, hazy night, a demon stirred, his slitted, fevered eyes shooting open. He couldn't move much at all, for he was trapped inside a dusty, cobweb-riddled sarcophagus with no hope of escaping, at least, without the help of another. A rusted lock made of ivory was latched on to the casket, which wasn't a problem if the creature was able to harness his monstrous strength. However, it was an ancient, logic-defying curse which kept him pinned to the coffin and the crumbling tomb walls which caved in on all sides, one which could only be broken by one who knew the tomb's secret location.

     The creature turned his head ever so slightly, and his face contorted into a wicked version of a smile as he stared in the rough direction of the tomb's door where the curse reversal was written in hieroglyphs. He could feel the spell weakening already, shaken by the presence of its potential breaker nearby. The only one who had any hope of destroying the curse. How close the fool was, the monster had no clue, but he knew that his time wasting away in this tomb was coming to an end, and feeling the coffin door shudder and slightly loosen at the touch of his raking claws confirmed it. At this, the creature could contain his triumph no longer, and in the distance, the residents of the Desert heard an outburst of cruel, sharp laughter piercing the air...

      ***

     Callum, a desert Ruki, was stumbling through the night in the hopes of finding shelter when suddenly, a howl ripped through the desert air towards him. The sound racked through his mind and chilled him like nothing else could. However, after shaking off the fear, he felt like he should go after it and investigate. A seemingly magnetic pull pounced on his weak body and before long, it was instinct coupled with an unknown force driving him forward.

     Part of his mind questioned this, trying to creep past the constant, almost rhythmic pounding of his feet which only spurred him to go on, but Callum couldn't find the reason in himself to even just stop and take a breath. However, after shaking off the fear, he felt like he should go after it and investigate. A seemingly magnetic pull pounced on his weakened body and before long, it was instinct coupled with an unknown force driving him forward.

     Being the thief of a noble family in the heart of the Desert had him scampering across at least half the landscape, trying desperately to find a place to stay without stirring questions or the attention of the authorities. A tiny voice inside Callum's head wondered why he would try to snatch an intricate, jewelled goblet knowing about the immensely tight security, but this thought was immediately dropped when suddenly, he felt that all-powerful force cease with a sharp, painful tug at his mind.

     Noticing his surroundings properly for the very first time, he realised he had walked out of the main hub of the Desert and into an unfamiliar area where the dunes shimmered oddly and occasional whispers could be heard. Before Callum had time to decide whether to leave, he heard a low, hoarse voice float towards him.

     "Come, adventurer... X marks the spot... Come seek it out, and my treasures will be yours... "

     Treasure. Callum's eyes shot up greedily and flicked eagerly from side to side, but his face fell when there was no 'X' to be seen either way. He grunted in frustration and glared up at the sky.

     "No X, no treasure. I don't know what you're going on about-"

     Suddenly, the sand was shaking beneath him and Callum had no hope of escape as the dunes split open entirely, dropping him down into the crevice below...

      ***

     In his dusty coffin, the monster heard a sharp crack as the tomb shook violently and shards of sandstone fell to the hard earth of the tomb floor. As the chaos ensued around him, he laughed hoarsely to himself; the deep rumble was cruel and layered with malice.

     "Not long now before that runt deciphers those hieroglyphs and sets me free," he growled in satisfaction. "I knew this place couldn't hold me for long... "

      ***

     Callum went down hard on the ragged surface below, followed by a shower of sandstone which narrowly missed his head as he ran into a corner of the cave for cover. With a cry of anguish, he looked up at the fissure opening and made a rough estimate of the distance to get back through the hole. His chances weren't looking good.

     "First I prove to myself I'm a rotten thief, next I'm lured by some... thing thinking I'm on my way to treasure but then landing myself here in some sort of cave," he muttered darkly. "Clearly someone wants me down here... "

     At these words, a snarl echoed through the tomb and bounced its way to Callum. He cringed, but forced himself to stay calm as he moved slowly forward. The low sound continued but he fought to ignore the pressing fear as he shuffled across the rough floor always in a forwards direction. His courage was rewarded with an imposing, stone door which had an inscription written in hieroglyphs, appearing in front of him. Still suppressing the growing fear building inside, he began to translate the inscription.

     "A hidden danger filled with history lurks in its place down under...

     "This terror will rise again, repeating those times we would rather forget...

     "The lure is the marker, the lust for treasure...

     "It is only a fool that could be standing here, the unwitting accomplice who didn't run... "

     As soon as the last syllable passed Callum's lips, a tremendous shake took the weight from beneath him, resulting in another hard thud. The shake didn't come from the roof this time, however, but the door which was now in ruins. Callum couldn't see much in the dim lighting of the chamber ahead of him, but a looming shadow only a few steps away made him stumble backwards. The figure slowly revealed himself into the main room of the tomb, and the familiar face so often seen in books and sketches made Callum want to bellow in fear.

     "You don't know how much I've waited for this moment, adventurer," the Bringer of Night grunted as he stalked deliberately forward, taking the first move as history began to repeat itself...

The End

 
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