Knives Dark – Chapter 6 – “Arclaud”

In the top room of Golias Tower, situated upon the Cliffes of Arkenaa and overlooking the great Kazenaa Sea, there was a table-like slab resembling a coffin in its dimensions. Ornate bas relief of skulls, ribcages, claws, and teeth were sculpted meticulously into its stone, once white marble, now nearly black with the refuse of time.

Upon its flat top lay a man, sprawled, his eyes closed and his face turned towards the ceiling. He wore no shirt, his muscled torso slick with moisture and gleaming in the little moonlight that filtered to the center of the room. Through the center of his chest was impaled a mighty silverish sword whose double-edge cast an ethereal glow in the darkness. It had an ornate hilt decorated with a single eye in the pommel, its handle resembling scales and its guards two wings. There was an almost imperceptible hum in the room, so quiet one would think it a trick of the mind, that indicated there was something electric upon the air.

Outside, there was the flash of lightning, then some seconds later, the rumble of its accompanying thunder. The sound of rain pattering against the stone set the orchestral backdrop. Of a sudden, the man’s eyes gaped wide open, bloodshot, glowing green then blue, as he took a deep, ghoulish breath that sounded like a demonic screech.

Blood gushed from his chest, pouring over the stone, dripping onto the floor where it disappeared into the darkness. Strained, ghostly breaths escaped the man’s lips, which now parted to expose sharp incisors and a particularly long set of fangs. His eyes stopped glowing, and became black as coals.

The man spoke aloud, towards the ceiling and the heavens beyond, in a raspy growl. “Why doth Thou not kill me yet, my Lord? Why let me to linger, upon this abode? Thou knowest despite its beauty which I praise for Your Grace, it is to my heart and soul, a wretched home.”

With his left hand, he gripped the blade, the double-edge slicing into his palm and fingers. Blood trickled from his hand as he squeezed. The muscles upon his arm bulged as his arm began to vibrate with tremendous tension. The sword itself began to bend, before at last the steel snapped, and it broke in two. The hilt half went flying, clattering some yards away upon the stone floor.

His abdomen bulged as his entire torso lifted. Blood squirted outward from his wound as he slowly, painstakingly sat up, the portion of the blade still stuck in the stone slicing through lungs and heart until it finally exited completely through his backside. Sitting up for a moment, the man coughed blood, rolled off the slab, and fell upon the moist floor, unconscious once more.

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