What a week it has been. I am so glad it's over! Anyway, I hope all of you are ready for the next addition of Mortis Custos. This continues from Part 58 written by @zakludick. Enjoy!
“This world is a reflection of desires of the living world.” Said Mortis as he stared out toward the ocean.
“That makes no sense.” Said Magna as she stared at the spot where the man had been earlier. “What person wants a tentacle to wrap around their leg and drag them into unknown depths?”
“Someone who wished to have died by the hands, or tentacles, of the sea.” Said Mortis morbidly.
“That makes no sense.”
“Think about it.” Said Adiran softly as he joined the conversation. “You spend your life out to sea, only to come home to find your family dead or have moved on without you. You wish the sea had swallowed you. Perhaps you decide to end it all by giving yourself back to the ocean.”
“So, this is punishment?”
The knight and mage looked at each other and didn’t seem to have an answer for her, but Helga stepped in.
“Intent has energy behind it. If your intent is to bury yourself at sea as your final living act, that act has repercussions. In that unfortunate soul’s case, instead of longing to be reunited with his family, he sought death by sea. The afterlife granted it for him.” The harpy glided down and landed next to Magna.
“But what about leading a good life, are the…”
She noted that Adiran tensed up at her almost using the gods’ names, but she stopped herself by simply saying, “Isn’t a well-lived life deserving of a good afterlife?”
“No.” said Mortis solemnly, “Let’s continue.”
That clearly had touched a nerve in the knight, and the group fell into silence as they made their way to the back of the castle.
“Here.” Said Adiran as he pushed himself between two rocks.
Helga immediately shook her head, “I am not going underground!”
“Only Magna will.” Said the mage from below ground, “I have made a miscalculation.”
His head appeared from between the two rocks, “The entrance is much smaller than I remember it being. Helga, get Derric. I can’t have Magna go in this way alone.”
Helga immediately took to the air to catch Derric’s attention. Magna looked at her uncle in confusion, but it was Mortis who answered.
“The sewers are a place where everyone’s intent is to throw something away. It is always surrounded with negativity, and it has likely bred beasts unimaginable down there.”
“The sewers? Really Uncle? Could you be any more cliché?”
Before Adiran could answer, Derric joined them with his tongue lolling out his mouth.
Adrian was sitting next to the bed and was absent-mindedly petting Rhyn, who seemed to love the attention. He didn’t know what caught his attention first, but his head snapped to the courtyard beyond the window as a roar echoed. He released the lizard and made his way to see what had drawn his attention.
As he stared beyond the window, he noticed the giant creature that had chased him earlier was roaring at what was gathering around the castle walls. Adrian felt his stomach hollow in fear when he noted the vast ranks of what appeared to be undead creatures.
“What the hell?” he muttered.
Then the giant rushed at the ranks, roaring and swinging his battered sword. However, no damage came to the undead entering the castle. At first, Adrian thought they were ghosts, as he had come to see many of them since coming here, but he knew he was wrong when Rhyn came to stand next to him and sighed.
“So, they’re making their move now.”
The lizard looked up at the prince disapprovingly and muttered, “Princes shouldn’t use that word.”
Amused that an animal had told him off, Adrian simply asked, “What is this?”
“Adiran has spent years gathering people for this event. I didn’t think they would make their move this soon. But then again, many of them wish to no longer be under his control or owe him anything. Then there’s the curse many believe he can break.”
“That didn’t explain anything.”
Rhyn fixed the boy with a withering look and then spoke, as if to a simpleton, “Those are armies in the waking world which have come to do battle for your soul, child.”
“But why? I’m no one special. I’m not even going to inherit the throne, so why…”
Rhyn theatrically threw his head back and groaned, “I am going to make sure Adiran sits you down and talks to you about all of this when he arrives. This wasn’t my job.”
“Uncle is here?”
“Him and a few extras, a few who are very interesting.”
Magna shuddered as cold, grey sludge swirled around her shins. The smell resembled something akin to rotting meat, mould, and stale air. It was enough to make her gag, which was why her uncle had insisted that she wear something across her face.
Even Derric was so disgusted by the mess he refused to walk through it as a wolf. He was walking next to Magna with a similar piece of fabric tied to his face. His eyes were watering; clearly, his sense of smell was far superior to hers.
Their mission was simple. They needed to make it into the castle and find a switch to open one of Adiran’s many exits from the castle. This particular switch was at the end of this flooded corridor. The only thing lighting their way was a tiny whisp of flame that floated before them.
“I can’t differentiate any smells down here.” Moaned Derric as he clawed at the wall next to him with what appeared to be purple claws.
“And I can barely see, so we’re even.” Muttered Magna.
She had been so close to getting back to her brother, and now this was yet another obstacle in her way. The longing to hug her brother was overpowering. She was yet to properly grieve the loss of their father, and she had hoped that once they were reunited, they could deal with that together. Lost in thought, Magna almost landed on her rear end as Derric grabbed at the back of her armour. Before she could round on him. He held a finger across his lips and pointed to the liquid before them.
A tiny set of eyes were floating through the water, not really moving but just observing them. As soon as Magna tried to get her eyes to focus, another set of eyes joined the first, then several more. A shiver of revulsion ran down her back when she noticed the scaly tails which kept the creatures from sinking.
“Rats.” She hissed.
“No ordinary rats.” Derric started looking around him. “We need to get out of the water before more join them."
Enjoy your deep (or shallow) end Zak! Have fun!
Here is an explanation of Chain Stories and here is the current Chainstory Library
Mortis Custos Parts
The Reader List
If you would like to be tagged in every episode of Mortis Custos, leave us a comment and get added in, miss nothing!
Right now I will add people who have been keeping an eye on this series:
@weone, @merenludick, @clairemobey, @therneau, @blitzzzz, @pravesho, @joetunex, @captainquack22, @irisworld, @braaiboy, @sketchygamerguy, @fuego-oscuro, @felt.buzz, @dibblers.dabs, @beeber, @brittandjosie, @tamacvet, @thinkrdotexe, @alonicus, @joetunex, @stdd, @uop, @luizeba, @cryptoniusrex, @agreste, @itzchemaya, @darthsauron