Greyskin. Chapter 4

Within the spider lair, many eight-legged critters skittered along the floor and walls. The monstrous spiders ranged from tiny sizes, small enough to swallow them in one bite, to giants, capable of feeding demons for days. The biggest one was the queen, a giant spider birthing egg sacks every day, increasing the spider population.

Out of all the spiders, only few grow to mature age, most of the others eaten or killed. And when they grow, they evolve, change, touched by the fel energy permeating the east part of the continent. There are razerlegs, spinewalkers, venomspitters… Each spider changes according to their inner self. Truly, it would be an amazing thing if somebody documented their lives, their changes and their deaths.

But, amongst all the spiders, very few ever become a queen. You have to be strong, ruthless, unyielding and cunning. You have to kill and consume your brothers and sisters, hunt the most dangerous beasts and bathe in scourge. Only the worst of the worst would become a queen.

It was such queen that was residing deep within the cave, the cave Sel attempted to investigate. The queen was hungry, it waited for the meal to be ready, but it was taking too long. The last two-leg should have been predigested by now, but the workers said he was still struggling.

For two days now workers were applying venom and digestive fluids to a certain cocoon under the ceiling. It was big and it was hot. In fact, it was so hot, that the web applied to it was slowly cracking after turning dry, so workers had to apply more and more web. Nobody really observed it closely, each worker just doing their job, but the amount of web and liquid going inside it was tremendous. The sack actually grew slightly, becoming heavier.

For two days queen waited for a new exquisite meal, a weird two-leg, who had both massive amounts of fel energy inside, but also he had something else, something only two-legs from beyond the desert had. The cool sensation when she consumed them was satisfying, like swallowing a star, devouring its light. This one had a very distinguished taste, stronger than any eaten previously. The queen has already tasted some of the two-leg, his two legs tasted just fine.

In fact, they tasted great. And the power they carried… Oh it was intoxicating, invigorating, indescribable… It was just amazing. The queen felt herself growing, and that’s just from a simple limb. She couldn’t wait until she tastes the main course. Granted, acid and venom destroy much of blood and release the fel energies, but the body is sure to have enough. Perhaps the queen can evolve beyond what she was. The eight massive eyes were glowing with anticipation.

After two days, the queen ordered the workers to bring the sack that she was waiting for. She would use her own stomach juice to predigest the pest.

When the sack was cut loose and brought to the queen, she sunk her massive fangs into the exterior shell made of web and injected her own acid. It was sure to digest anything it touched but the web, which was often added onto the cocoon by the workers, as it seemed to be thinning out…

At first, the sack began writhing about and moving, as if the thing inside it was still alive. After five minutes, the movements stopped and the queen was about to feast on the liquid remains of the two-leg. She didn’t get the chance, because suddenly the temperature of the sack increased and it was set aflame, red streams licking away the white web, releasing what was beneath.

As the red flames died down after consuming the entire web, they were replaced by the black flames, darker than the deepest pits of Hells, so dark, they consumed the light around them. Those flames ate away at everything they touched, safe for the person they came off of.

Sel rose slowly from the ground, stretching out his arms and legs. His body was restored fully, only white scars remained in the places where his arms and legs were removed. His legs and his left arm have been reformed, looking almost identical, although slightly whiter than the rest of Sel.

Greyskin was engulfed with black flames, the pure manifestation of fel energy, literally ripping it from the atmosphere and consuming it for himself. It was eating away at the matter around itself to also fuel Sel’s regeneration. The flames came off from deep within the greyskin, from the same place his rage and his bloodthirst resided, deep within his soul. They bent to his will and transformed him as he wished.

Within seconds, flames condensed over the arms and legs, hiding previously visible limbs and changing them. Now, fur covered the arms and legs with massive claws coming from the fingers, sharp and durable. The very first foe Sel fought was fearsome; it also was the most dangerous so far. Just perfect for this kind of party.

The spiders and the queen looked astonished at the display of mastery over the scourge. The scourge was what commanded and twisted mortals and immortals, not the other way around. Such power, it was amazing and wonderful to behold. Each spider drooled venom, wanting to consume the two-leg to gain his power. They didn’t feel fear. They should have.

The forest around the cave was filled with agonizing hiss of the dying breed of monsters. Anybody who heard it made it their goal to get away, as nothing could truly contest with a being capable of dealing such pain.

The spiders were mercilessly slaughtered, their limbs torn away, their eyes gouged out, their chelicerae broke. Each and every spider that came was slaughtered and then consumed by the black flames and by Sel himself. Their essence burned to fuel the rage Sel felt. Their bodies brought strength and power for the future. It was a feast to behold.

In the end, only few survived, most spiders running, hoping to get away. Sel looked over the scene of carnage, seeing scarce remains and molten rocks, touched by his black flames and singed by the heat coming off of him. It was carnage, pure, unadulterated slaughter. The flames were dying out, and so the greyskin returned to his normal appearance.

As the two-leg left, only a single spider remained in the cave. Tiny thing, smaller than a palm, it hid within the many cracks of the cave. It waited for the screams of its brethren to end and then it waited for the silence to settle. It waited to make sure that the monster who slew everybody left. Afterwards, it slowly slithered out of its hiding place and made its way towards the exit. It wanted to leave, to hide, to hunt. Before it did however, it found something curious. A small cocoon, size of a human forearm was hanging high from the ceiling. It wasn’t there just two days prior, and it smelled good. Fear was an alien emotion, but hunger was feeling all spiders knew, so it was no big deal that the spiderling forgot its plans of escape and instead went for the bundle, which was filled with a digested limb of a being that killed so many of the arachnids. Hunger was more important to take care of.

Getting home took Sel a bit of time. The spider cave was some distance away, so it took him almost two days to get back. They were two long, agonizing days of hoping, wishing that his woman was still ok. He was absent for about a week, most which he spent with spiders, and for most of which red orc was back. Sel hated that orc; he was going to eat that fucker alive. To leave him to die after cutting him down… That bastard didn’t have decency to end his life. Sel felt like he was roasting within the cocoon, venom, acids and his own fire all assaulting him. There was no pain however, pain was alien to Sel, but there was a lot of fire.

When he made his way towards his home, he despaired. There was smell of blood and smell of sex. Not his sex, not his blood, but it was within his cave. The fire that Sel was hoping to extinguish by coming home, by touching Her, by seeing Her safe, it was instead made bigger, stronger.

The fire raged on and so did he. He came into the cave hoping to find Her alive, only to see a body, gutted and empty. Devoid of life. In a huge pool of blood. It was bruised and scarred, the eyes missing, teeth missing, tongue cut…

Sel couldn’t stop himself. The one thing that could quench the fire within was gone. He didn’t know what to do with the body, but he would figure it out later. Now he needed sweet revenge. Wanting to let out the cry, to inform the enemy he was coming, he let out a soul-piercing sound. It was reminiscent of a wounded cat or a dying wolf. It was sad and angry. At first it was like a normal howl, but then it got amplified by Sel’s changing physique and amplified further by the flames. The whole forest heard the howl that led to a massacre of the demons.

When Sel stood up from his knees, the fire engulfed him, changing from his default appearance the same way it did in the spider cave. Now, he was completely covered in fur, his hands had massive claws. But he also had chitinous shell around his joints, on his hands, his chest, shoulders and back. His face was covered by a mask, hiding his eyes. From the sides of his face two insectoid fangs were showing with a jaw reminiscent of a beast with sharp teeth. The things that threatened him the most were now making him more threatening. The fire subsided, leaving only the new form behind. Being burned would be too merciful for those who wronged the greyskin.

The red orc spent good four days having fun; he took everything the greyskin had, knowing to be safe as that little bastard was dead, eaten by spiders. Now he was just resting, after having eaten and drunk everything in the cave below. The girl below struggled, but after all he put her through, she writhed on the floor and finally died. Red orc was ecstatic.

Hearing the loud cry from outside, red orc thought it could be anything, a beast, a dragon, an archdemon, but not whatever he should had truly feared.

An adventuring party found the cave later, after trying to find the source of the horrible screams just days before. The whole cave was destroyed, no survivors from either demons or captives were left. Everything was covered in spider webs and some kind of acid, as well as burned. The rocks, clothes, weapons, gold, everything was melted, incapable of resisting the heat from some source. It was like something as hot as the sun walked through. Perhaps an Infernal was on the loose.

No bodies could be found, other than few rare pieces. Whatever was left of people was mostly liquified by either heat or acid, the rest was simply gone. Over the walls were deep gashes, as if a strong demon beast swept through. Some blood could be found on the walls and the floor, but it was impossible to decipher to whom it belonged previously, all of it was burned.

Deep within the cave, a single whole body was found. It was ripped apart, limb from limb, shredded into tiny little pieces and left to rot. It was the only body that was not burned or molten. It’s like whatever fire raged through the cave temporarily subsided to torture a single red orc. Every bit that could be removed was ripped away. The tongue, eyes, ears, nose, nails, fingers, wrists. It is like somebody went through great lengths to cause as much pain as possible. Adventurers were horrified to find those remains; no mere demon could torture like that and leave the remains.

Throughout the cave a smell of burnt flesh and rot could be felt. But there were also other smells. Fear, primal, unadulterated horror, terror beyond anything known could be felt in the air. The adventurers could almost feel the terror that demons in the cave felt. There was smell of evil, vile smell of feel energy, wanting to devour all life and consume the world forever. And death, many smells of death could be felt, the thick musk of dead flesh with smells signaling ending of one’s life, filthy smells, making people wretch their guts out. There was also a smell of sadness, of something weeping, hurt deeply by loss, of remorse.

And within the cacophony of horrific, terrifying smells there was another feeling, one of the relief, of vengeance and of righteousness. Something felt good when it went through the cave, or at least as good as it could after sustaining a loss of something precious. A wrong has been righted.

People who discovered the cave couldn’t put together what happened. There seemed to have been spiders, a demon beast, an infernal… Whatever happened to poor inhabitants of the cave was unknown. Most of them were dissolved and sucked up by spiders, others ripped apart by claws and eaten raw. Only thing that was certain is that no survivors were left.

The adventurers also discovered another cave lower down. In there was a mess, somebody tried breaking as many things in there as possible. But, in the middle, there was a big cocoon, woven from thin silver thread. It was tough and elastic, it seemed to radiate light and heal injuries. Nobody knew what was inside before, but now it turned into a lucky charm of sorts. Of course luck only lasted until the next person wished to have such an artifact and put a knife in your ribs, but its properties were good. The rope was named ’Goddess’s Strand’ as if it came from the head of some long forgotten deity.

When Sel was done, he denounced his house. If the goddess that led her people just stood by, watching her people, her only remaining child die and get tortured, she didn’t deserve to have her house. If she did nothing when the only person who could calm Sel was being killed, Sel would not carry the name of that goddess.

To him, the world seemed evil and unfair, twisted, warped even… Yes, Sel felt that the whole world was warping around him, making him feel rage and fury. So, Sel would become the one to warp the world to be the way he wants. He will be Sel’de-Warp. He will be his own god.

Having consumed every bit of life that was in the cave he calmed down, but when he consumed the girl who could subside the fire within, Sel received the light that girl carried inside. He had some from the start, but now it shone brighter, helping him calm himself. The haze of fel energies was lifted somewhat, allowing Sel to think clearer and broader. He had no home and no family, he was alone. So, looking up he saw the sun going down slowly, and he wanted to go down with it, to follow it where disappears. He walked towards the setting sun, towards the west. Within him a fire raged, but his face reflected nothing, carrying an expression of indifference as if he was not bothered by the world around.

4 thoughts on “Greyskin. Chapter 4”

  1. Well that was dark, but still enjoyed it.
    And you really need to put an indicator or some sort of mark to tell the reader of POV changes (cutting from MC to the adventurers), it was confusing at times.

      1. OK but try to obviates when you seaway when you changing the scenery or time.
        (I was confused when you started talking about the adventurers then changed to him eating you know who)

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