Beyond!

Countdown to Oblivion
One night left to Live

The screams that had been echoing down the stone hallway finally ended. It would have been a relief had the silence not meant that you could be next. There had been ten of you in these cells just yesterday. The fourth to be taken to the room with the black door at the end of the hallway had just ceased her screams. That meant that any of you could be next. As that damned black door opened, you think back on what led you to this moment…

Footsteps echo down the hallway towards your cells. Stopping at the door to Grigori’s cell the jailor, a slight, non-descript man, looks in dispassionately. He calmly wipes a stray drop of blood from his cheek onto the thick later apron he wears, where it disappears into the red mess covering it. Grigori lays huddled on the ground in the middle of his cell, weeping in a fetal position. Lucius watched with a sick fascination as the jailor moved closer to the bars.p. “There there. It’s almost over now. A few hours with me and then it will all be over.” the jailor said consolingly. He took another step towards the bars of the cell. He had been exceedingly careful with this lot, having heard many strange stories. He hadn’t made a single misstep with them. That final step towards the cell holding Grigori the Knife was his first mistake.
p. It was also his last.
p. Lucius saw the weeping form on the ground spring in to motion with his hands outstretched, and realized the man hadn’t been weeping, but laughing. Like a bolt fired from crossbow, he flew quickly and just as deadly. Lucius turned away from the grisly sight, while questions were shouted from the cells farther down the hallway.
p. This time the screams echoing down were sharper and higher pitched. They also ended quickly. The twitching form of the jailor slumped to the ground, both his eyes gouged out and his scrambled brains sending conflicting signals to his spasming body. Grigori stepped back, his thumbs soaked in gore, and smirked. Not as nice as one of my pretties, he thought, while lazily tracing a blood soaked finger across the strange symbol tattooed across his chest.
p. “Did someone just die? I swear I just felt someone die!” asked the slight figure in the cell nearest the heavy wooden door leading out to freedom.
p. The hulking figure of the guard by the door started awake at this. He slammed his truncheon against the bars of the gnomes cell, and lumbered off down the hall towards the jailor’s form, whose twitching had mostly stopped. He make a querulous grunting sound, as his tongue had long ago been removed, by the very man he was leaning down to help. He looked up at Grigori, who shrugged and spread his still red hands as if to say “who, me?”
p. The guard fumbled with his keys and moved to unlock Grigori’s cell. Lucius could tell by the way the guard moved that, while he was a dumb brute, he was a deadly one. Something in this cell prevented him from accessing his magicks, and he hadn’t heard the oily whispers of Nemesis since he was locked in here. He was surprised to find he missed them. He felt helpless to watch as the guard, clad in a black leather hood with a blood stained apron tied tight around his bare chest, stepped into the cell of the mad man across from him.
p. Grigori tried to dodge around him, but the guard was surprisingly fast. He stumbled back, hold his side where the heavy blow from the guard had likely broken some of his ribs. His face twisted in a mad grin he tensed for one last assault.
p. A cacophony of shrieks brought everything to a halt. The form of the jailor had resumed it’s twitching. The sound grew louder, until everyone was clutching their hands over their ears. The occupants of the other cells, who thus far had stayed quiet and unknown, poked their heads between the bars and looked down the hall to see the cause of the awful sound.Guard and captives alike watched in horror as the twitching grew more frenzied. The body began to leap and twist around on the floor and the sound grew louder. Just when everyone thought their heads must burst from the noise, it ceased along with the unnatural struggles of the corpse. Before anyone could do more than lower their hands from their ears in confusion, the body burst open into a mass of writhing tentacles.

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Jailbreak!
Avoiding execution seemed like a good thing...

As the tentacled mass that had been your chief tormentor rose into the air, borne by several tentacles, the guard grunted something between a scream and a laugh. An acrid smell rose, and Grigori stepped back to avoid the puddle of urine growing around the guards feet. Further down the cell block, a scream arose, sharp and plaintive. One of the other cell occupants was shrieking in an odd counter measure to the sounds coming from the creature.

The normally silk whisper Nemesis used while speaking to Lucius was gone, replaced by something the young man had never heard from the entity. Fear. “If you wish to survive the night, we need to flee, now!" it said. Before Lucius could give voice to the sarcastic reply that sprang to his lips, the guard in Grigori’s cell tried to flee.

He tried pushing past the creature, who had now risen into a vaguely upright pose, and half a dozen tentacles lashed out, binding him by limb and waist and neck. The guard was no small man, but was lifted into the air seemingly effortlessly. Dozens of smaller appendages quested out and roamed around the guards body, then pressed through his skin and into his thrashing form. Within seconds, the body began to…deflate, as some vital essence was being drained from the guard and into the creature, which swelled in size.

No strangers to blood or violence, the men in the cells still had a breaking point. At this, they all began to struggle against the bars of their cells and scream. Grigori tried to duck around the creature and leave his cell, but found his way blocked by the horror. It seemed like they were all destined to join the no desiccated husk of the guard when a crash at the opposite end of the hallway caught their attention.

“Y Ai Bahn’oth! Bug’geb grah’n, li’hee n’gha!” shouted the smaller of the two people moving down the hallway towards the monstrosity. That one, a human male of advanced years, was shouting this stream of non-sense while the other, clad in the armor of a Hellknight was holding up a symbol of some sort. The symbol glowed with a green energy and little sparks of power shot off it it. They advanced on the creature, which recoiled and wrapped itself in its tentacles. The Knight held the symbol forth, and the pops and sparks of energy increased.

His voice echoing strangely from inside his fearsome helmet, the Knight shouted to the other man. “This isn’t going to deter the larva long, Branson. Free these ones, and lets flee!”
The older man produced a set of keys and went to Lucius’ cell door. He gave him a stern look, as if to say “I am helping you, but don’t make me regret it” and set key to lock. The cell door opened and the young man quickly exited and made his way towards the door out of the dungeons. The creature being driven back gave Grigori the opening he needed and he deftly ducked out of the cell and moved after the younger man. The old man, Branson evidently, moved to the remaining occupied cells and began to unlock them.

A cry from the Knight brought everyone’s attention back to the scene unfolding there. The symbol flashed brightly and then exploded in a burst of green light. The Knight was immediately engulfed in the creature. A shriek from the thing sent every man in the hallway to his knees, except the Knight who stood tall. The monster sloughed off his armor and slid back wards. Lucius was about to raise a cheer for the Hellknight, when the man turned and fled. The former prisoners looked confusedly at one another.

Despite his heavy armor the Knight ran quickly down the hallway, screaming to the men at the end to flee. He was thrown forward a second later by an eruption of flailing tentacles from the monster. It swelled in size to fill the entire hallway. Branson added his cry to the Knights, and he pushed everyone towards the exit.

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