Gramp’s Journal – Chapter 24 Excerpt
Suddenly the first growl sounded out and Genny screamed. The darkmoor leapt quickly from the shadows and just as quickly fell to the ground lifeless. A sudden flash of light and its being was headed to the spirit realm. Two more leapt out and howled one last time before dead moss crunched under their lifeless forms. Another came with teeth bared and claws poised but it too fell in silence.
Shadeyla’s high pitched screams tore through the darkness. The faster the darkmoor came the faster they fell silent. The whooshing of staffs and stones broke the air as the whistling of torts echoed outwards. Yelps of pain and squeals of anguish answered back as darkmoor tried in vain to take us.
Genny screamed as one landed aside us with claws slashing away. The whoosh of a staff was heard before the thud of it hitting the darkmoor dead on. A yelp of pain was released as it tumbled backwards and a tort ended its suffering forever. Another leapt at the gargan behind us and his arm swung at lightning speed to knock it aside. Another leapt onto his back and was quickly flung into the mur before its teeth could find their mark.
Minutes seemed like hours as they came and then it stopped as suddenly as it started. Back to slowly stalking alongside us they went as Shadeyla’s shrill voice sounded out her warning.
“You will die in this swamp. You will all die,” she screamed. “You Denegrille will see the realm of darkness true. This I swear.” As her voice trailed off the attacks began again. This time they came from all sides at once. A frantic mix of battle took place all around me as Genny held me tighter still.
A skittering yelled as he was dragged into the shadows. An implet yelled as two darkmoor attacked and all three tumbled into the mur. Shadeyla’s hideous laughter broke the air in echoes as the attack continued. Growls sounded behind me as I turned to see a gargan taking three into the mur with him. An implet yelled as he was dragged off and then another right after. In minutes the attacks stopped again and only the noise of darkmoor clumsily stumbling alongside us was heard.
They had come in groups and most had been taken down quickly. Still, they had taken a few of us with them as well. Shadeyla laughed loudly at the losses we suffered. Her shrieking laughter tore through us in waves of pain piercing our eardrums.
“And still you come closer,” she screamed.
“How much further is it to the stone forest?” Parish whispered.
“The darkness hides its light from us,” Oble Tere whispered loudly. Denegrille chanted something and the other skittering joined in. Suddenly a bright light began to shine in the distance.
“There it is,” said Parish, “If we hurry we can make it.” A vicious growl sounded out and a snap broke the darkness as if a whip had suddenly been cracked. More howling was heard as more snaps filled the air. Darkmoor were being tossed aside on both sides as green glows dimly lit the shadows around us. Then the loud croaking began echoing in every direction.
“It’s Bogs!” I yelled in happiness.
“And it looks like he brought friends,” Parish said.
“We must hurry,” Treylessa said, “They clear the way.” Loud snaps and constant croaking filled the air as we hurried towards the light of the stone forest. We hadn’t slowed a bit as we saw the opening just ahead. I could see the giant crystals shooting up out of the ground. One by one we ducked down and carefully made our way in. With all of us finally inside its safety we sat down to catch our breath. Genny cried softly into my shoulder as I held her close and tried to tell her we were safe now.
“They dare not come here,” Treylessa said.
“The pure light is too much for them,” Parish said. The floor of the stone forest was as smooth as glass and reflected the colors of every crystal around us. It was like sitting on a giant mirror with one strange difference. There was no reflection of us to be seen anywhere. For the next few minutes everyone lowered their heads in silence for those we had lost. A third of our group was already gone. Feeling guilty I went to speak but Treylessa spoke up first.
“Do not see to blame yourself,” she said, “Were it not for you we might have lost many more in other realms.”
“We lost so many just to get this far,” I said sadly.
“It was your coming to Otrindara that alerted us to what was already happening,” said Parish.
“We will gather why we are here,” Trey Tere said, trying to change the subject to get our minds off what we could not change.
Treylessa said we could collect stones so other realms would not need to come here for a long time. Looking around I was truly amazed at what I saw. Genny mentioned how beautiful it looked and how such a place could exist in the middle of such darkness.
Each stone glowed no matter how big or small it was in size. Thousands of thick, thin, long, and short crystals grew out in every direction imaginable. Though they were called stones in Otrindara I could easily see they were all crystals. Some were so thick you’d need to smash them to get one while others were thin enough to shatter if you touched them. Every color imaginable was here and it created a dazzling display.