Steam rose as blood gathered, pooling in places, and running down the steps in a thick crimson river. Blood clung to the boots of those fighting their way down the central tower, making each step treacherous and threatening. Some would reach the bottom through the whirling mass of metal blades. Others too slow or too hesitant would never see the great doors that lay around the last turn of the maze. Steel, that harsh and uncaring lover of man, will claim them with her kiss, and all too soon they would find themselves joining in their own crimson waters.
There was a sudden silence. No one dared to move. The journeymen reached the final bend and stood before a massive arch; the great doors opened. No guards stood before them. No monsters lay in their path. The way was clear.
Twin embers red and glowing in the darkness surrounded them. They winked into life at the edge of the torch's light. A frigid mist, sterile and lifeless crept out from the shadows beneath those blazing orbs.
The War Lord Marlak, stood before them gazing over their entire being, red embers as eyes, and with a twist of his lips he smiled, stepping forward. Transforming quickly then reappearing behind them, another vision was seen. A woman appeared with knurled fingers twisted with age, long white hair and a mocking smile. She ebbed away, and a voice was heard chilling and monotone. Screams came from the rooms they overlooked, and it was almost deafening, as War Lord Marlak once again stood before them taking on a pleasant form.
He was a young man, muscles rippling through his arms, covered in golden armor. The sides of his face flesh, and gold armor was part of his forehead. Marlak's hair blended in the same gold color framing the most intense blue eyes. He spoke," I give ye two choices, death or find me the golden shrine of Eclete." He vanished, but his laughter was testing their senses as it echoed through the chambers.
Greed, a terrible fault of this group who were always seeking items, rushed off to the golden covered lake looking for the temple of Eclete. Stepping over the creatures they had slain, they thought more of the golden shrine than their own lives. A deadly mistake, as they chipped at the lake's golden covering. Taking their claymores they stabbed through the golden shell. Shrill laughter was heard from the above manor and a rush of water and rains of fire flowed over their land swallowing up bodies, washing away the too powerful weapons they held so dear. Marlak darkened the sky and rains of fire poured upon the world. Screams of warnings were sent to the highest of magi portals, as the fire seeped towards their backs rushing them into a mass exodus.
Huge masses of people and creatures appeared in this new land looking anguished and mystified. The trees were black with twisted branches and laden with bense fruit. Hunger and shelter was sought by all. They walked through the lush red grasses with trees shading them from the heat. Sounds from a waterfall were heard, next to an obsidian stone tavern.
The waterfall in L’Ombre rushed beautiful aqua water down to the waterfall pool, and had a very sweet taste. It was on the side of a massive mountain to the right of the tavern. The Exodus Night tavern was black, almost looking like glass. It was a sparkling structure with a rounded roof, and massive in size. It had many floors and secret passages. The path leading up to it was fragmented crushed lava. The sun shining upon it had lights of opalescence and glass prisms fell upon the land.
They walked inside the building, a mammoth room of black obsidian stone looking mirror like, but not see through. There was a huge arched fireplace that burned with blue flames. Some say this fire has hidden magic. The Exodus Night tavern's bar has a winding circular design, and is stocked with wines and juices from the fruit trees they had passed.
Again; that familiar face of a man standing by the door with long golden hair and armor welcomed them.
Could it be?
Remember the most beautiful picture, is the picture painted with words.