A thick layer of grey cloud sheeted the sky above. The morose quilt drifting slowly sideways, yet showing no end. Bolts of lightning brought occasional spots of light to the dank monotone accompanied by deafening claps of thunder. A storm was raging in the heavens yet there was no rain, there air was clear as the thunder and lightning continued on.
Below was a ruin, riddled with smashed stone structures and overgrown vines. Granite pillars stood with no tops to complete them. Wrecked structures jutted aimlessly out of the mud below them. Long dead plants littered the ground, robbed of all that previously gave them life.
Overlooking the whole area was a vast waterfall, the top hidden beyond the layer of cloud. At the base, there was a deep pool where the falling water collected. The force of the falling water striking the pool threw up a white spray, but the further afield the water was clear. Near the edge of a pool Kharadin floated face down, seemingly lifeless. He circled as he drifted, without a soul around to pull him from a possible watery grave.
Minutes before drowning, he opened his eyes, wearily staring down into the darkness of the pool. He tried to take a breath, spluttering when only water flowed in. Suddenly realising that he was underwater he flailed and surfaced gasping wildly for air. Still gasping, Kharadin flicked his head back to send his soaking hair behind his head so he could observe his surroundings. Seeing the edge of the pool he lethargically swam toward it, so he could rest.
He dragged himself up onto the bank and laid on his back, gazing upwards at the waterfall. Did I just fall down from there? In fact, where the hell am I? He sat up, trying to remember anything that might tell him where he was and why he was there. Looking down at himself he realised that he was not wearing any armour at all, only the light cloth garbs he wore underneath which were now soaked through. Where is my armour? What the hell is going on!? Unsure of what to do, he thought it best to explore his surroundings. If he could determine where he was then he might be able to formulate a better plan of action and may be able to work out how he got there. Standing up he felt his sword against his leg, he hadn’t noticed that it was there until now, at least he could defend himself if need be.
Turning his back to the pool Kharadin saw a stone pathway between two lines of broken pillars. The path itself was cracked almost beyond recognition, the numerous runes that were carved into it now looked little more than broken messes. Steadily regaining his composure he began to walk along the path, observing the ruins around him and trying to get an idea of what this place was. At the end of the path stood a huge metal gate hinged on two tall stone walls. Five massive barricades sealed the gate shut, Kharadin rested his hand on the cold metal, pushing against it to gauge its strength, none of the gate moved. Infuriated he drew his sword and held it above his head, striking down at the barricades with all the force he could muster, yelling as he brought his arms downwards. The clash of the steel against the fat metal bars sent sparks dancing through the air and caused a sharp metallic ring to echo throughout the forgotten structures. As the sound of the strike dissipated Kharadin heard something scurry past behind him, he turned around to face whatever was there with him but saw nothing before him. A loud clap of thunder sounded as lightning bolted across the sky and he began to step cautiously away from the gate, sword readied. He heard the rustle of leaves and the snapping of twigs to his left and the sound of sharp claws rattling against stone to his right.
“Show yourself!” he yelled at the top of his voice now standing in the centre of the cracked stone pathway. Behind him the scuttling sound got faster and closer, swinging round quickly a lizard like creature jumped furiously at Kharadin. The beast slashed him across his chest, cutting through his garbs and leaving three shallow cuts in his chest. He kicked the thing away, leaving it stunned on its back. Ignoring the blood weeping from the wounds he just sustained Kharadin thrust his sword down through its chest. Black blood spurted forth from the creature’s body as it squirmed, trying to hold on to its rapidly dwindling life. As it stopped moving Kharadin heard the same scuttling noise as before coming from either side of him. He turned to his left pulling his sword from the first beast’s lifeless body and swung it in front of him as he span. The body of another of the monsters fell to the ground sliced in two, both parts twitching and oozing the same black blood.
Just before he could turn and face the other behind him, it jumped up and clutched to his back, sinking its razor sharp teeth into his left shoulder. Screaming in pain Kharadin dropped his sword and reached round his back, grabbing the creature and throwing it over his head. Picking up his sword he ran over to where it landed and struck downward with the edge of his blade, cutting off the beasts head. Black blood sprayed from the decapitated body’s neck as the head lay still to its side.