The same feeling of fear, shame & regret still loomed over Tharos as he walked up to the stone steps of the palace. His heart is still racing as it was before. As he reached the top of the stone steps. The palace was the same as it was the previous day, a ruin that once harboured greatness, the greatness which had faded long ago in the ever-expanding passage of time.
As Tharos walked in and made his way to the archives, he stared at the figure sitting on the throne and as he stared, Tharos gave a small bow to the figure, then Tharos left the throne room heading to the archives below. As Tharos journeyed deep into the bowels of the palace into the archives. the sand & dust were thick in the air, and the air was stale. The sunlight that was lighting his way throughout the palace was fading, “I will have to rely on torchlight. “he thought to himself as he lit his torch and moved deeper into the archives. It was sprawling and labyrinthine, comprised of an ever-expanding network of winding corridors and stairs, that led to many rooms full to the brim with ancient knowledge, magical artefacts, and enough miscellaneous coinage to keep one family in the laps of luxury for several generations.
As he entered the room labelled architecture and city planning. In the corner of his eye, he spotted faint movement in the darkness, as he directed his torchlight in the direction of the movement. nothing was there. As he moved through and searched through the archives, at the corner of his eye he spotted movement again, but this time the eerie silence was replaced by a low clicking noise. The hairs on Tharos stood on edge, he was not alone, reaching for his sword as he directed his torchlight into the direction of the clicking. There was a flash of movement towards him and with lightning quick speed, three blade-like arms struck at Tharos, Tharos without even thinking swung his sword at the three blades making their way toward his chest, and the blades sparked as they connected. In the light of the sparks and torch light, Tharos spotted his attacker, it had the lanky and thin body of a mummified man, a skeletal cat head and it had three arms each with long blades. the creature hissed at Tharos and leapt straight at him. With another swipe of its blades, Tharos ducked & rolled underneath the creature with him behind the creature, Tharos swung his sword at the creature and with a blow straight and true slashed off one of the creature’s arms, the creature hissed in pain, as a thick black liquid was flowing out of the wound, as its arm fell to the ground. The creature turned around and started its counterattack, Tharos parried & dodged each of the blows, as the fight continued the creature’s attacks were getting slower & slower. The opportunity Tharos was waiting for presented itself when there was a break in the creature’s defences, at that critical moment. Tharos with a mighty blow Decapitated the creature with a single strike, the battle was over with the creature’s head rolling on the dusty and covered floor, oozing a thick black liquid from the stump that was once its neck. Tharos had won, as he was about to sit down to rest and collect his thoughts. he heard more clicking noises in the distance, as he shone his torch light into the direction of the clicking, he spotted more of them. Tharos gave out a small sigh, once again he had his work cut out for him.
The palace archives were now coated in a layer of red & black liquid, and where there was once the smell of stale air, the smell had been replaced by the smell of iron. Several misshapen bodies lay across the cold stone floor. Tharos propped up next to a shelf covered in a mix of red & black liquid Tharos couldn’t move, every part of his being was in massive amounts of pain, the creatures had narrowly missed his heart, however, the wounds they gave him were more than enough to cripple, if not kill a normal man thrice over. However, being immortal, such wounds were little more of a painful inconvenience for Tharos, his body began to convulse, and spasm uncontrollably as broken bones fixed themselves into place, and torn muscles mended themselves together. This was a slow & painful process, and Tharos’s mind was more focused on counting numbers “1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10” This process echoed in his mind over & over again as his body began to repair itself. It was a technique he learned from a priest during his travels in his younger years, it was a technique designed to block out pain, it was a useful technique. “1,2,3,4,5…. Arghhhhhhh” Tharos screamed in pain” “1,2,3,4,5,6, Arghhhhhhh “Tharos’s body started getting hot, and cold sweat dripped from his body, as the convulsions and spasms got worse, the body felt like he was being pierced with multiple spears, the room around him was started to fade in & out as Tharos began to lose Consciousness.
Tharos awoke sometime later, his body fully healed, however, the items on his person didn’t have such a luxury. His sword & armour were completely rusted, and his clothing was torn. Tharos let out a sigh, “Those were my last, I guess I will have to start using the armour & weapons the treasure hunters use ” as Tharos got up & dusted himself off. He continued to search the archives for the knowledge that he sought as he did Tharos pondered what those creatures were.
” it’s possible that the monster that is sealed underneath the city is finding a way of spreading its influence and is corrupting the local wildlife” ” another possibility is these creatures are just remnants of a bygone age like myself”. As he pondered, he found what he was looking for, information on the city’s defences. it was a series of stone tablets & scrolls that to his luck were still in pristine condition. Tharos put the stone tablets & scrolls in what was left of his bag and left the archives, as he made his way up the stairs to the throne room and out to the main hall. The sight of a beautiful sunset greeted him, and as he stood there watching the sunset. A single tear streamed down Tharos cheeks, this was a beautiful sight he had almost forgotten, but one that filled him with a profound joy as he stood there, next to him were figures, dressed in similar clothing, and bearing similar weapons as him, they too were enjoying the view with him. Before Tharos turned his head toward the figures, almost on cue the figures disappeared as quickly as they appeared, as the sun began to fall out of view Tharos made his way down the stairs and headed home.