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Roja

Evil in the Forests; The Horror of Mount Riven

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Evil in the Forests; The Horror of Mount Riven

by Aira, with some story edits made by Roja

 

Journal of Ko'Ash

V.12 p - 4v-9k

 

I tell the story of a land named Doonray, where now lies Riven Sea. A land before Krantar Br'guaan, before Grubani, and before time. I tell you the story of a struggle against good and evil, and the fate of the early Grubani - that rested only in the hands of the gods. This...legend...passed down from the elders, gives us knowledge of the past. The past that was Doonray. The past that was haunted by nature. A nature gone wrong. Terribly wrong.

 

"A crack of thunder rang about the eastern shores of Doonray. They sky was dark, lit only by the volcano of Mount Riven, named after King Riven of the village himself, in the land that would be known as Grubani. Swirling clouds of ash and smoke rose from the depths of the earth and into the sky, hovering on the horizon, giving warning to the villagers below. An icy tingling crept into their spines. Screams could be heard from women, some forcibly pulling their children down the cobblestone streets to the outer gates of the village. Another great roar of thunder broke out as the volcano released its fury and shot molten rock into the sky. The smell of sulfur was everywhere as lava rained down upon the helpless town. Thatched roofs were set ablaze, burning with relentless passion. Still more screams rose into the heated air, only to be drowned by coughing and hacking. Smoke was snaking through the streets, poisonous fumes stabbing into the lungs of the helpless villagers.

 

Somewhere in the mess of it all, a boy was trapped under a wooden beam. His house appeared to have toppled over, stones cast asunder as rubble. The boy's black hair waved in the wind as he tried to free himself, struggling in vain. His icy blue eyes were cast upward as if looking to the sky for answers. His mind reeled as the smoke poured into his lungs. Everything felt so hot and dry as the world around him began to darken. He struggled harder and harder, frantic for his life, yet his strength seemed to slip away with every breath he took. It was all too much for him. He fell faint against the hard cobblestone road.

 

Somewhere near the back of that same house, a woman cried out, "Mosly... oh, Mosly! Where are you? Mosly! Please, oh Gods, please..." She worked her way around the broken jags of wood and stone till she found herself at the front of her house. She gasped as she looked down to find a clump of unruly black hair, ashen skin, and icy blue eyes staring somewhere into the sky. He was caught underneath a wooden beam. It was her Mosly, her son. She worked hard to free him, her tan dress flying freely in the unmerciful wind. Her hair, like her son's, was black, and it too seemed to surf the air, sometimes getting into her face as she carefully, but hastily, moved the beam from her son's chest. As she did, a stream of blood ran from a hole in the boy's side, and flowed between her feet into the streets beyond.

 

The ground shook violently as the volcano shuddered once more and released its rage upon the village. Ash fell down like a winter's snow, as lava rained from the sky. Something hit the woman in the knee, and she toppled over in pain. Getting back up, she frantically picked her son up, holding him firmly as she ran towards the gates of the village they once called home. The other villagers were gathered around the gate, and there was no doubt that the same thought ran through every man's mind: What had they done to deserve this? What ever had they done?

 

But this wasn't the end to the destruction. For anyone that stayed behind knew true terror. The ground beneath their feet shook violently. The volcano began to collapse in upon itself. Rocks tumbled down, lava boiled and gurgled inside the earth, spurting and splashing on the surface.

And then the Great Wave came.

As the volcano collapsed it created a large crater in the ground. The ocean water tumbled inside, waves rose and fell. It overtook what was left of the village, uprooted trees, the screams of the villagers were lost to the sound of the crashing storm of waves and winds.

It changed the landscape, forever.

 

 

It was almost a year after Mount Riven's eruption and the tsunami had turned the village beneath its lush slopes into a sea. The reality of it was still etched into the survivors' very souls. They had had to move to the three villages to the west of the mountain. It had been a long and hard travel; many people died for lack of food and water. Most of the pregnant came down with unknown diseases, causing even more deaths among the party. What many people didn't seem to notice was that they were being followed. Followed by those that had caused the explosion beforehand. Whispers could be heard traveling through the forest the villagers took to. Some of the unsuspecting women were snatched secretly from the group, leaving their husbands and children bewildered at their absence. Now whispers were about the villagers themselves, whispers about an unknown evil around them, darkening their travel. The migration had taken at least a week in all. The people that sneaked away from the group to snatch vegetation in the forest were only snatched away themselves. Taken back to the volcano. Back to the underground caverns, where they would be gruesomely tortured and torn apart. But no knowledge of this was in the minds of the weary travelers. The children didn't last long; about a couple of days and they were so exhausted that their bodies shut down on them, leaving them lying on the path to be picked up by Them.

 

When they had finally arrived at the first of the villages, the women of the tribe greeted them, welcoming them with great hospitality. The wounded were bandaged and medicated, as well as fed to their hearts' desire. There was a feast that very night, in which all the occupants of the village would gather to take part in honoring their God. It was a new moon that night, giving hope to the tribe that they would have another chance to please their God. But instead of having a joyous evening, a cold tingle crept up the spine of every man, woman, and child as they ate. Something wasn't right. Perhaps it was the woods, which were oddly quiet. Not a sound coming from the massive expanse of palm and fir trees. Towards the end of the feast, everyone was as silent as death itself. Which was what everyone suspected would be coming their way, by the feel of the night air. It was cool and dry; that was not a good sign to the villagers. This was exactly how it felt just before the great eruption of Mount Riven.

 

The villagers glanced about them into the forest that surrounded the village. Something definitely wasn't right. A woman dressed in a blue robe stood in the silence and pointed toward the northern woods. "Look! Argh! Look, over there!" she shouted. Everyone turned their heads to the direction she was pointing and gasped as well. In the firelight, they could barely see a clawed, brown, oily-skinned hand curl around a stalk of a palm tree. An oblong head was hidden in shadow, as well as the rest of the creature. A black silhouette in the quiet of the night, looking hungrily at the horrified villagers. One big, murky green eye stared lustfully towards the gathering, dancing about wildly from one man to the next. It popped its head out and screeched at them, opening its mouth wide to show a set of needlelike teeth, saliva oozing from the mouth. It had no tongue, yet the teeth seemed to spin. The mouth was lopsided and located exactly under the one large eyeball. The most hideous of sounds filled the air and dozens more filed around him. They looked to be about 4 feet tall. Three rolls of what appeared to be fat were draped on the creatures' abdomen. The one in front took a slow step forward slightly crookedly, as it had ball-like toes and noodle-like legs.

 

The woman that had shouted before screamed out in the dead silence. Everyone seemed to come out of a trance, and began running about trying to cram themselves into the houses around them. The creatures dispersed, snatching several humans at a time and taking them back into the woods. The rest of the villagers had locked themselves up in the thatched homes. The creatures easily broke through that barrier, knocking down the door and setting fire to the roofs. The humans poured out and ran like headless chickens into each other. That made it easier for the creatures to grab them. In almost 5 minutes the village had been cleared of life. Some had managed to escape through the eastern forests, but the majority had been captured and taken to the depths of the earth where they would surely die slowly and painfully. It wasn't until 7 years later that a team of elvish explorers discovered the cave, hidden deep in the mists and forests, in the volcano where cries of pain and the blood-curdling rip of flesh could be heard from the entrance. One of the elves doubled back, running for his life, as the others peered in - only to be snatched from their boots and taken in to join the damned souls already captured.

 

 

The gods thought it best to keep Mount Riven hidden away, in the sea, but even still it is said that the horrible cries of pain and suffering can still be heard by the sailors who navigate Riven Sea around the Grubani Peninsula. But even more horrifying, they can be heard on the coastline of Grubani. Once you hear those cries, you take off running. For if you're taken, the horrible cries will become your own as you suffer what many before you have suffered, as you're skewered on a metal pole and your flesh is being stripped from your bones by dull, metal spikes spinning round n' round your body. Round n' round n' round... n' round...

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