The Curse of Darkness
© 2002 Foxy

Chapter 1: The Devil’s Run

Down in the bowls of the hot earth, many red-skinned employees worked tirelessly. A door on the North side of the chamber opens. Oddly, nothing seemingly comes through. But the door closed, and latched... A dark shadow is seen to be flitting across the chamber. It stops, and an oddly blood red furred fox steps over to it.

"Do you have to enter like that? It freaks out the new recruits."

The blood red fox gesture over to another chamber, where several frightened looking animals were standing before a great pool of lava.

A cynical, shadowy voice projects itself from the body of the shadow.

"I have to keep in practice, Foxo."

"Well, keep it tame, alright?" The blood red fox said assertively.

"Mm...." The shadow murmured, considering.

But it's murmuring was cut short, as the blood red fox noticed, it was gone.

The fox let out a sigh, as if to say "Why do I bother?", and turned towards the new 'Recruits', brandishing a deliciously long whip.

Behind him, the workers continued.

The blood red fox brandished the whip, bending it backwards and forwards in the eerie light of the chamber. A manic gleam came into his eyes. This was the part of his 'work' that he enjoyed the most. Turning towards the new 'recruits', he fondled the whip tentatively, eyeing up the animals that stood, tied up, in a row in front of the great pool of lava.

But, as was common in his experience, another door opened and a rather stunted, portly creature appeared, brandishing a nasty hammer. This was around 2 meters long, with a great wooden block head, ringed with iron and smeared with blood. The weapon was of Dwarven origin, he could see, and the creature was obviously a dwarf.

The dwarf self confidently walked over to the fox, while the fox himself turned round partly and eyed him with partly suspicion, and partly annoyance.

"What do you want, Groegn?" He said, irritated.

"Well... I need a volunteer...heh heh... "

"Don't look at me!" The fox said, noticing a similarly manic gleam turned towards him from Groegn's direction.

"Of course not… of course..." Groegn murmured. "But I hear you have some... ahem..... 'New blood'."

At that phrase the new 'recruits' shook with fear even more violently than the had recently. Their eyes seem to want to fall out, so numbed with shock and fear they were.

Groegn made his lumbering way over the 'recruits', and cast one of his beady eyes over them. He was so close that he could smell their fear. They recoiled and shook even more violently as he passed them. Eventually, one of them cracked.

Not unusually, it was a rabbit. With a terrified leap it scampered off, raising a slight dust.

Neither the fox nor Groegn batted an eyelid.

Meanwhile, the rabbit scampered out through another door.

"Oh well, one less for the dunking." The fox said casually.

Groegn picked out a chicken for himself from the line. It seemed to be too dim to know a dwarf had grabbed it by the neck, but it might have been scared witless all the same.

Groegn walked over to the door he entered by, chicken in one hand, hammer in other. He put his hand to his forehead and then moved away from his face, twisting the hand slightly in an expression of gratitude. The door slammed behind him, and he was gone.

The blood red fox turned once more to his 'recruits'. He looked at his whip, and decide a test was in order. He lashed out a lightning blow at one of the workers, sending it recoiling back its job at double speed.

The fox grinned evilly with satisfaction. At last, his eyes burned with joyful malice, and he whipped one of the recruits, the animal flailing over the side of the great pool.

It fell. With a deliciously sickening gloop it fell into the lava, which sent up a few flames and sparks in a grateful gesture.

The fox grinned evilly. His work was far from done, as he once more turned half an evil grin in the direction of the remaining 'recruits'......

The shadow flitted through doorways, each time getting down deeper into the complex. The higher levels, near the domain of the blood fox, were relatively low security, with the occasional dwarf with a mildly damaging weapon guarding certain doorways. However, the deeper the shadow went, the higher security got. The Dwarven guards got better weapons and armour, and there were more of them.

On a mid level floor a goblin scampered about, doing nothing in particular. The shadow stopped to watch its games, being almost invisible. The goblin started mocking a nearby dwarf. It was obviously not the brightest of its brethren. The dwarf looked at the puny creature, and at some length, hit it on the head with the flat edge of his sword. The goblin staggered away, in a drunken stupor. A scream echoed down from the upper floors. It was ignored; as screams were too regular to be noticed once you had been in the complex for a while.

Before long the shadow reached the lowest, and highest security floor. Here, Toughly armoured dwarves bearing some of the most decapitating weapons guarded every corner. Here, the shadow stepped into the light. It was not a shadow at all.

The 'shadow' (who we will name as such for a while longer), went calmly through the corridors. Most of the guards stood to attention as he passed, in an oddly solemn gesture. The shadow was not bothered by this, and continued till he reached a large, and magnificent door. Inscribed on it were runes.

To the shadow, they read 'Enter'. To you, or to the guards, they read 'No entry no matter what', and the symbol for death was painted strikingly underneath.

As the door bid him, the shadow entered. The room he went into was a large, gothic chamber, with bones and lava running on the walls. Pools of bloody acid lay in various places. A frightening sight, except his training aided him to cope with it. In the better light, he 'shadow' seemed to be someone under a large black cloak, as black as the night itself. Calmly the creature removed its cloak and he revealed himself. He was a fox. Not evil and blood red like the other, but well built, with chestnutty-red fur. His eyes gleamed, with a look of suspicion and anticipation.

Carefully he hung his cloak on a skull protruding from the wall, and the cloak glowed on, then, off, then on again in a repeating pattern.

Without his cloak the fox was revealed be carrying a package under his right arm. He walked towards the alter at the far end of the chamber.

The throne on the alter blazed with light, as if exploding, and the fox could feel the magic energy flooding towards it. This energy formed into a creature that cannot be fully described with hot words forged together. It had goat’s feet and ankles, and its skin burned with heat, malice and evil. This was none other than the dark lord himself.

After meeting with the dark lord, and finishing his business, the fox returned to the transport lifts, heading upwards and out of the place of evil. His cloak is missing, and he has acquired an amulet of incredible evil magic power… a gift from the lord…

Chapter 2

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