|A Tale of Hell|
A knight trapped in Hell becomes the only hope for his country and kin. Inspired by a dream I had a few years ago. You know the type. This was a dream so real to me that I could feel each cut of the blade and fleshy bond that kept Lokaine, the knight, in Hell. *shudder* Not to mention I woke up with some serious bruises, cuts, and a bloody nose! I decided to dig it out of the closet and end my inactivity here at Transference. I understand the perspective skips a bit, but I wasn't quite sure how to integrate the 1st and 3rd perspective together and still keep the outside situations going on. It's a bit rough around the edges, but I figure ya'll can help me with that. Enjoy!
A Tale of Hell
The kingdom of Valeris was peaceful and prosperous, ruled by a just king, until something horrible happened. Within the span of a year, the countryside was racked by attacks from unearthly creatures. It was soon discovered that a portal to Hell had been opened in an old abandoned castle in the quiet countryside of Valeris. Hordes of the creatures began to attacked the kingdom, led by a demonic sorceress named Dala, the opener of the portal. The king of Valeris was soon killed and the royal army scattered. The remnants of the royal army pulled together under the leadership of a soldier named Lokiane. He had been one of the king's most trusted commanders and bravest warriors. Together they mounted an attack on Dala's castle. Luck was with them, Dala had left with her hordes to attack another ill-fated kingdom. Her castle was unguarded. They chose this time to take Dala's castle and set up an ambush for when she returned. But the castles has its own type of protection, it is surrounded by a dense forest that, upon entering, is caped in eternal night. More hardships would soon fall upon them.
Over the tops of the trees we could still make out the tall, black spires of the castle which seemed to stab obscenely into Heaven itself. Somehow, we managed to feel our way through the forest till we reached the castle's rusted gates. At the gates we encountered a large, demonic creature. Dala had obviously stationed it there to defend the castle. It called itself "Guardian" and it challenged me to a 'fair' fight. I accepted despite the cries of protest of my soldiers. We fought, and though the creature was strong beyond belief but hindered by its slow speed. I stabbed the creature right through its black heart. The blessings of my blade had surely been with me that night. We reached the front of the castle. All too easy. No creatures from the Black Forest had attacked us and there were no guards at the front. I should have listened to my instincts when I had the chance, but I let the apparent weakness in the castle's defense convince me to proceed with the ambush. I took five of my finest soldiers into the castle with me and left the rest to guard our back from any creatures that might sliver from the dark heart of the forest. We began searching the castle for anything we could use against Dala's army, for the Talismans that had the power to release our ensorcelled kinsman and free our country. That is when we heard the cries of battle outside. Dala's army had unexpectantly returned! I quickly order the five with me to return to the others, for our army would need its finest soldiers. Desperately, I searched the castle for the Talismans. Upon finding them,. I ran to join my soldiers, but I was too late. As I passed by a great window, I glanced outside and saw my army being mercilessly slaughtered by the dark army with Dala at its head. Defiant raged tore from my bowels in a scream of hatred and anger most foul. My army had fallen, but I was left alive! With my last breaths, I planned to set the castle ablaze and let bloody flames consume the bane of my land! If I could sacrifice myself for my country, it would be my proud honor and duty. My desperate search for kindling and torches set me through an inviting door.
The room was filled with dusty books and bottles filled with curious substances lining its walls. At the room's center was an alter with a black disk that shined like the sun, but there were no windows to illuminate it in the room. Dismissing the disk as some sorcerer's trinket, I desperately looked around for anything that I could use to destroy the accursed place. No sooner had the door shut that I was thrown down, wrenched, my stomach in my throat. It seemed like I had fallen for an eternity when my body was thrown again, my senses blind, darkness abound around me. After what seemed like an eternity, I became aware that the falling had stopped. My vision was only partially restored then, most undoubtedly the intense heat pressed my eyes closed. Then, the face! An evil smile stretched across his face, his skin shining red against the flames. The devil himself!! Then, the pain! Searing into my soul, coursing through my blood, my veins. Blood smeared my vision and my mind was thrown into a merciless limbo. Those were my first memories of the inferno. My prison and my birthplace, the very pit of my soul.
My senses came back slowly after my initiation. That is when the first realization of sensation came to me. The smell of blood was fresh in the air from newly cut wounds.. There were deep gashes in my chest, but the pain had not come to my addled brain. Hours of an eternity passed before my eyes could focus on colors and shapes. The pieces of armor and tunic that had covered my torso had been torn away. All my weapons had been stripped. To no avail, I struggled against my bonds only to find that I was held by the foulest of infernal bonds. Around my arms were bits of wrapped stretches of flesh that bound to the wall behind me. My whole body was restrained by some kind of cadavorous material, my arms and legs spread and held down awkwardly. The wall was like human meat clumped together, bloody and stripped of skin and bone. My eyes floated about dreamily to find a curious puddle on the floor. By all my fathers, the memory of the heat is too much to bear even now! The recollection of the sweat and the smell of dead flesh is enough to stir up emotions in me once more! After the smell came the recognition of the dripping noise. At my feet, a puddle formed from the blood that had leaked from the symbols cut into my chest. I had not noticed them before, little would I know the devious purpose of these marks till it was too late. The wounds gaped wide, seeping blood. The stark reality of the situation and my helplessness allowed the pain to reach my mind. I remember howling there in my first few days of anguish. I remember pounding my head hopelessly against that emotionless wall of flesh. For my first week in the inferno, my prison was the incessant dripping of blood and the revolting smell of my own sweat and ripening flesh.. After my pleas for help and my cries of pain quieted, I was able to hear them. It started as a quite whimper at first, but grew and grew and grew into a laugh. I could see their faces in the darkness of my mind then, when all was quiet. I could hear their delighted laughter...
For two years, two eternal years, I dwelled in that God-forsaken place. I only know of this interval because of what others have said about the time of my disappearance.. For two years my mind and body were tormented, the holes poked into my soul filled with that of devil's. My mind was subjected to cruel hallucinations of my wife, every prayer to Heaven answered with pain and anguish from the Darkness. My only hope was to see my precious Regana again during that eternity spent in the shadows, but hope in a place such as Hell, is a double-edged blade. That vision of my wife was the single thing that tormented me most, my days lengthened to longing and deceptions. The visions of her were the Devil's plaything!
The angelic host clamored uneasily. They are the Guardians of Man. The angels that are farthest from the Light of God and closest to the middle realm of man. They serve as protectors for the souls of humanity. One protector shines differently than the others, he is Michael, Lokaine's Guardian. He rallied the angels to his defense. Only a small number of them agreed to come with Michael to raid the depths Hell and save Lokaine. God himself could not penetrate the depths of Hell without breaking the Sacred Pact. All must remain in their realms till Armeggedon is neigh. To break the pact would be to start another holy war before either side was prepared. Only the bravest angels have entered the abyss, but Michael and his small band planned to go alone, becoming renegades of both Heaven and Hell. It is known in both the Infernal realm and the Divine realm that Lokaine is destined to become either the greatest in Heaven, or the Hell. Despite his precarious destiny, Michael would risk his angelic shroud to save his soul from the flames of Hell. Something happened before they could launch their efforts.
The Evening Star
As a parting gift, the Devil altered his appearance. Lokaine's skin pales to a silven white and the badly healed symbols carved into his chest fade to white scars. He is remade in the Devil's first image, the image of the Bearer of the Morning Star. It is a divine comedy that entertains the Devil even further. Lokaine returns to the world of men only to be drawn into the waiting arms of Dala. His purpose: to be her mate and spread the legion of Hell across the earth.
"No sooner than I had arrived back in the waking world of man did Dala and her wretched father demonstrate their hold over me. The symbols carved into my chest were a means of control. If I should cross Him or resist in any way, thought, action, or speech, the symbols would glow and bleed anew and my body would once again be racked with the pain that I had endured so long in the pit. As another piece to play against me, Dala had captured my wife and my family while I had been in Hell. She threatened to send them, with the aide of the same disk that had transported me, to relive the same torture I had suffered through.
Even with all these weights pressing in upon me, I defied Dala's unwanted affections in respect for my wife and my immortal soul. Once again, the horrid symbols ran red with blood and pain enveloped my mind. I was warned not to resist again, or the consequences would be dire. For days I comforted myself with the thought that my soul was immortal, they could never take it away from me. Doubts slowly slipped in to weaken my hopes. My soul had been torn in the inferno. It had been filled with His essence. How so was it eternal corrupted by the very heart of evil? The question spread to consume my dwindling sanity. I secluded myself as far away from Dala as the castle walls would allow. I sat considering my situation, staring into the starlit night. Would it not be better to end it all now? Suicide ran through my mind over and over. It was my only comfort in those hopeless nights when I joined the audience of Dala and her accursed Father.. A simple blade or a leap from the window would be enough to break free. I would pray for the hand of God to catch my fleeing soul as I died. .But..no...to commit suicide is to throw one's own soul eternally into a restless Purgatori. In that old castle there was no escape.
Hope on Nameless Wings
As Lokaine washed in his sorrow and hopelessness, a single star illuminated brightly in the night sky and descended slowly down. At first, he dismissed it as a falling star, some heavenly body being cast down ,like he was, into the depths of Hell. The falling star grew brighter and seemed to pull away from the night sky as it filled up the space of the window. Lokaine stepped back in amazement as the brilliant light began to form into a winged being. The white light softened into a handsome male figure garbed in snow white robes and adorned with a heavenly shroud of light and glimmer. Every part of his aspect seemed to reflect light un-shining in the dark of night. Lokaine's paled features hardened, his tone resentful as he addressed the angel, " I know you....you are my Guardian." The angelic figure kneeled before him and slowly rose, " Michael...", he filled in where Lokaine could not. To the souls of man, the Guardians are nameless.
He tried to convince me to fight. This being whom I somehow knew so well, whose name had always escaped me until now. We quickly entered into an argument. I yelled insanely at him, like a man possessed, for a man possessed I was. If he was my Guardian, than how could he have let me fall into the abyss? How could he have let me suffer for so long?? I posed such questions to him and received a stark reply. Michael told me that he tried to catch me when I was falling, but was knocked away by the Darkness and held back by his fellow angels who feared for his safety. For, what is one angel against a legion? He asked me again to fight, to free myself, to fight against the Devil himself! The thought almost made me laugh aloud. Forbidden by the oldest of laws from interfering with matters of the soul, Michael insists upon deliverance being in my own hands. It is the divine gift of God, the holy bequeathment of Free Will to Man. I am the only one who can save myself, he says. The action was, at the time preposterous. Again, I refused to cooperate. My soul had been torn asunder and with it, my courage had fled. How does one fight against a power that profound? Michael turned to me then, shedding his glowing countenance upon me. "And what of your wife? Should she be allowed to suffer as you have? As many others have. Did you know that....that she has a child now ...your son."
My son...Before I was taken, Regana had been with child. Fresh blood poured from the symbols on my chest, droplets littered the floor. Michael noticed, speaking in angelic chora that I will never forget, "Your own blood betrays you. You can fight them, and when you do, the entire Host will be with you. God will be with you. Fare thee well. Your spirit is strong. You have a great destiny ahead of you, but it is of your own choosing. You can be either the greatest in Heaven . . . or in Hell." He softly sighed the words "Have hope..." as his body became as light and once again a twinkling star in the blue sky above. His wings left white streaks of brilliance in the air. His last word to me....hope.
Hope....that has a new meaning for me now.
* * *
(September 5th, 2003, 8:28 am)
It's a bit like a medieval version of Spawn ;)
Very nicely told though, rather cool story. I like the hellish tough, gives the story quite some drama element.
(January 21st, 2004, 3:03 am)
Excellent, well written and not typical or trite. It resonated with me, please write more.
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