Fiction: Whispers on the Wind
The morning in Whisper Gulch was quiet. Almost eerily so. There was not a sound to be heard. Not even the sounds of work that usually emitted from from the chasm.
Several weeks ago, a team of dwarves from the Explorer’s League were sent down after initial diggings proved that they was, perhaps, a sign that would point them in the right direction of their birth origins. There was much excitement buzzing amongst the dwarves, which began to affect the rest of the settlement of Westguard Keep as well. Joy, after all, was an infectious thing. However, not one person from that exploration team returned. The only signs that they still worked—and lived—were the sounds of explosions from their dynamite sticks, to which then a faint rumble would follow as earth and stone dislodged away into the waters below.
The residents have since grown used to this racket going on day and night. To hear explosions, when they should be hearing songbirds to announce the coming of a new day. And to hear the faint sound of pick axes against metal amongst the northern outskirts of the town. So even they, on this unusually quiet morning, found it odd that there was nothing to be heard.
Have they finished their work at long last, they would think as they would prepare for the new day. Some stood at the town entrance—waiting. Hoping. Wishing.
But no one came.
(The night before)
They are coming for you…
Ravine shut her eyes—a vain attempt to block out the voice that’s been calling to her on the wind. A voice that’s been whispering to her terrible things in her ear.
It was your fault…
“SHUT UP!” she screamed out. Shadow energy flared from her fingertips—wild and intense. She had to focus her attention on something. Anything. Her rage was threatening to consume her. She was becoming unstable again.
“It’ll be all over soon,” a deep, masculine voice spoke from behind her. Was it possible for someone to be speaking through the dwarf who stood behind her, pick axe high in the air? The voice that spoke did not sound like his own, devoid of dwarven accents and enunciations. His eyes stared up at the human woman before him, blank and devoid of sentience. “Soon you’ll be in the embrace of-”
His words were cut short as the warlock turned around towards him sharply, and the crazed dwarven explorer faced the full blow of a shadowbolt. Hitting him square in the chest, shadow energy seared through his clothes and burned his skin. Falling backwards from the force of the blow, the the grip he had on his axe loosened in his hand and bounced away, before falling off the bluff—tumbling down into the river below.
He never rose to his feet again.
Give in to your fear…
Ravine’s eyes were wide as she searched for that voice. That… that damned voice. “WHERE ARE YOU?!” she screamed. Her hands were shaking, both out of anger and of fear that she felt sinking into her bones. This place… everything felt wrong about it. Yet the mists and the darkness of the night shrouded any means of escape. Lanterns did little to help, failing to illuminate the cracks in the ground that she walked. More than once did she almost slip off the cliffs into an uncertain watery death.
Become what you’ve been hiding from for so long…
The source no longer seemed to be carrying on the winds anymore. No. Was it all in her head now? Ravine wasn’t sure. If she couldn’t trust her senses, what could she trust?
Trust…is your weakness…
Yes. That’s what he said too. Slowly, it was starting to become clear now. That’s why she left them all behind, wasn’t it? Trust, friendship. They were crutches. Burdens. She had no use for these things.
Turn loose and forget…that these are truly your friends…
Ravine smiled. The air would smell of fire and blood tonight. There were so many enemies here… so many that want her dead.
But she needed to survive. She couldn’t die yet. She would not die here tonight.
Kill them all…before they kill you…
She happily complied.