Wednesday, August 7, 2013

13b Dark Grand Canyon

From experience and frequent practice with a clock on hand he knew when he had finished the exercise that somewhere in the neighborhood of four hours had passed. He didn’t feel a raging torrent of power storming around him but he did notice things more clearly things that he must have already felt but on a level that he wasn’t conscious of. It was a cold energy not like the fire he had spent so much time harnessing in all his training exercises at home and it didn’t feel the same as the natural energy he manipulated when he used himself for the power of a spell. It was cold and somehow he could think to describe it as selfish. As he thought the word to himself it made since to him but sounded like a stupid way to describe a source of arcane power, one of the more powerful ones at that, but cold selfish energy it was. There was something else; ever so lightly he could feel others now. These were ones who also touched the weave of shadow power that coated and oozed through everything here. He couldn’t tell from the Weave itself if they could sense him as well but he did know from Volnam that he had to already have at least one or two things taking notice of him by now.
He climbed out from under his resting place and took another look around. Nothing had changed. The no-light was the same sick orange tinted with the brownish fog where there were shadows they didn’t make since because they were in opposing directions with no light source to cause them. As for directions to travel, he really only had up or down and he already knew what was down so he looked up to the Cliffside shooting up beside him and started his ascent. Between the meditation and the minute to look around the entire ledge had turned a sick reddish color that wasn’t really bright like it was getting when he first noticed that the area around him would change, no this spot was actually a shade that fell somewhere between when rich red blood was most of the way into the process of becoming a scab. As he stared at it his hands on the first set of grips he would use to propel himself of the cliff he noticed that in the absence of the bright color it was actually giving off a slight glow like a red Glow stick at Halloween just before it died out. Asmodan lifted his foot a few inches off the ground and watched the red glow reflect off of his shoe it wasn’t strong but he had no clue how far off something like this could be seen this whole plain seemed to be one color so far and a glowing change to that one color had to visible from who knows how far. It was then that he felt something stir inside, it was faint almost as faint as the glow of the ledge but it was their just the same. He felt hunted like some huge demon was about to rip out of the same wall that his hands were resting on and do things to him that… it was fear and fear was healthy it kept people alive. He took another second to calm himself down. Then he headed up the Cliffside. Oristhnx stood on another ledge far to Asmodan’s left as the human began his climb. The Kirogoth watched with deep excitement as he watched the toy begin to pick its way up the cliff side. It was a most horrible tease when the Human began to give off the most enticing hints of fear, all those sweet emotions that made mortal beings the highest prize one could hope for in the abyss. As he watched the thing climb higher and higher he began to plan how he would stalk and tease the thing into madness and before he could get his mind to the joys that would come when the torture was over and the time of feeding began he stopped himself, it would do him no good to get worked up now and end things before they truly began. After he was sure that the mortal was high enough that he wouldn’t be able to look down and see the demon beneath him Oristhnx took wing and glided down to the ledge that the human started out on. He had to mark the trail as his otherwise something else might begin to plan things for his most rare treat. Only a few moments after his was done leaving his scent and his glyph on the ledge he caught the scent of a Succubus not far from him. He heard the click of hooves as she landed almost silently on the ledge behind him. He loved this part, the gloating over one weaker than himself. The teasing that came with finding and taking something from someone that might have thought the prize was theirs.
Leave. It’s mine now.
He purred at her. The Kirogoth expected at least a little fight from her but wasn’t worried he didn’t think there was a succubus in the abyss that could pose a threat to one of his kind.
He’s mine I’ve been on him for a while now. I don’t think I’ve ever consented to sharing my toys with you.
She took a step forward.
I don’t think that one of my kind has needed the consent from one of you since the conception of your caste. Don’t you have an imp to molest or a summoner somewhere to grovel for? I’ve told you to leave!
At that he crouched down and readied his four massive legs to spring into the air. He would pursue his prey and if he saw her again he would decide what to do to her. He launched his massive panther like body out and away from the wall and extended his giant sail like wings. Within seconds he was spiraling away on unseen currents of power that to one like him were every bit as real and tangible as wind would be to any other winged predator. Oristhnx didn’t bother checking for any others that might be tracking his plaything, he knew that from this point on the succubus would seek out anyone else on the trail and attempts to persuade them to join with her to destroy or otherwise subdue him to take his prize. As he soared higher always keeping the mortal at the edge of his vision he let his mind wander and drift through all the painful places that he was planning to take the mortal when he was ready, but first he had to start the process of softening him up. Danny was making good progress as he picked his way up the seemingly endless cliff wall it seemed that about every thirty or so feet he passed another ledge that he could stop at if he wanted, but he hadn’t felt the need he felt pumped for some reason. In his mind he began going over the different things that might be contributing to his limitless supply of energy it was as if some sort of weight or dread that was weighing him down before had been lifted. Finally he settled on the fact that since he was now aware of and feeling the power that flowed through this place he must be naturally adapting it and using it to fuel him it was the only thing that had changed since he arrived. The pace was constant hand over hand foot over foot, it was something that professional climbers would have to be jealous of after a while the movements began to almost become meditative for him. Then out of nowhere one of the most terrifying sounds he had ever heard sounded off in the distance behind and above him. He froze and hugged in as close to the wall as he could trying to force his body to mold in between the black crystal outcroppings once he was in as close as he could get he tried to crane his neck around and see if he could spot the source of the sound. As he looked for it his mind played the scream over and over. A scream? No that didn’t fit. A wail? Maybe a… no. No one word would describe it. He began to think of things he knew that had made noises similar to it. Large cats like maybe a tiger, he had heard tigers make similar noises on the nature channel similar to it, but not the same he could almost call it a wolfs howl too but that wasn’t even possible was it? He thought he saw something for a fraction of a second passing back into the mists. It was a flying creature it had to be the only land he was aware of was the land he was currently hugging for dear life. He began to glance around himself a little bit and noticed as he did that his knuckles were white and he had broken into a nervous sweat. He could see the beads of sweat on the backs of his hands.
He began to take hold of himself. It was no creature he saw, not an animal of nature it was a demon and his little fits of terror only fed it, got it drunk or stoned, or whatever it was that he watched happen to Volnam whenever he caught a whiff of a mortals fear. He knew this would be part of it, on some level or another. Volnam told him there would be fear. Fear and torture if he were caught and it was all based on the need to cause pain and misery, Fear and any emotion that could be dragged out with it. Asmodan began to focus on the fact that he knew what the game was and he wasn’t a piece but a player. With the knowledge and the conscious thought came some power over it. He began to suppress that fear, gain power over it and control over himself. Oristhnx was much higher than the mortal taking in what he had earned with a simple scream inhaling the fear using it to feed him. It made him feel giddy even a little lightheaded. Then as sudden as it was there it was gone. The fact that the mortal had regained control over himself might have almost pleased him knowing that the game was going to last longer, but almost as soon as he considered being pleased he was angry. The demon hung there in the air high above his prey and fumed that his pleasure would be taken away so quickly by something as lowly as a mortal. The Kirogoth noticed as the mortal began to crane his neck around to look for the source of the sound. Just as the human might have been able to see him he glided into a thick cloud of the miasma and vanished from sight. After waiting a while in a slightly thinner section of the great cloud of twilight-stuff he found that the mortal had weak eyesight for the keen hunting eyes of the Kirogoth could see the mortal perfectly well he had been sure that the mortal had seen him at least twice as he scanned back and forth and had shown no indication at all that he had seen anything. This was going to be such great sport the demon purred to itself as it climbed higher into the air so that it could approach the plateau higher up and see what he might set up to receive the human once it reached him. Niath watched the Kirogoth ascend and glide away towards the plateau much higher up on the Cliff side. Larger demons always assumed that because they were larger and possibly more powerful, that they had nothing to worry about from the castes that had to rely on wit and cunning. She had survived in all three of the major spheres of the abyss and had managed to do well for herself despite beings with much greater potential to cause her harm than something like a Fell lynx although he was a large one. No this mortal would be hers and he could mark the trail with his glyph if he wanted too that just meant that she wouldn’t have to worry about anyone challenging her for the prize all threats would go to Oristhnx and he could handle them or not. She thought back a bit over the recent past. Had there been any other Agoth in the area that she had seen? It had been sometime before she had seen anything else out here. If it was just the three of them she might not be able to take him she would have to keep an eye on the mortal and look for someone else she could trick into getting involved, it would be much more fun that way. The succubus rechecked her veil made sure that it was stable enough to hide her from any unseen thing that might have been watching and took wing. Where to look? She thought to herself as she headed off to yet higher reaches of the almost endless black crystal cliffs. After what seemed like a few hours of climbing and constantly checking back over his shoulder Danny was sure that he was starting to get a sore neck although nothing else so far had actually made him sore, he found one of the many ledges that dotted the cliff-face and pulled himself up onto it. He stood there for a few minutes and looked out into the mists shifting his eyesight back and forth and up and down in a attempt to catch anything out of the corner of his eye that he might miss if he stared directly at it. When he was satisfied that there was nothing else he could do to check for anything that might be hostile he sat down with his back against the cliff. After a short period of time he reached into his pocket to pull out his lighter, the flame dominating exercise something he could use to focus and calm himself. Another small frustration when we realized that there was no lighter in his pocket and that these were not even really exactly his pants they were his... he thought about it for a second and snickered at himself as he seriously thought about using the name soul pants or spirit clothes. he sat there a few minutes contemplating pants in a place where he wasn’t even using his physical body and then started thinking about what made his pants here in this place look like these pants and not some other pants like his favorite pair of pants when he was in high school or a pair of really comfortable sweat pants. Another few minutes passed and he decided that the amount of time spent in deep thought over metaphysical pants was somewhere along the border between a massive and ridiculous waste of his time. At almost the exact same time Danny was coming to this conclusion Oristhnx who had kept his silent vigil over his new toy for quite some time decided that fresh out of a nap or whatever it was the mortal was doing would be the best time to begin to play with him.
Danny got up and was playing with the idea of moving left or right instead of more of the endless up when he thought he felt a breeze and honest to goodness breeze or more of a soft gust of wind which he was willing to take at face value since trying to decide if it was wind or meta physical wind or some energy current would just give him a head ache at this point. He also noticed that the mists were disturbed as if someone had turned on a large fan and aimed it at early morning mist. The dirty brownish fog was swirling in on its self in front of him and off to his right. Curious more than scared or cautious which Volnam would be whipping him for either with his wiry little tail or his barbed tongue. Danny began to walk along what little space his ledge gave him to see if he could see what caused it as he got to the edge and began to peer into the fog which now seemed to be getting thicker he saw and heard nothing no wind or breeze no wings flapping there was just the absence of noise. Oristhnx he flown past as fast as he could just far enough out that if the human had been looking right at him he might have seen a dark shape and as he did he used his wings to throw enough force at him to get his attention and then dropped three or four lengths downward and landed on the cliff once his wings were folded tightly the great demon cat silently began to climb and work his way to the side of the humans ledge that he had approached from on the flyby. Oristhnx lifted his head up above the edge only his ears which laid flat to the sides and his sinister slitted eyes would have been visible had the toy been looking directly at him. As he climbed up onto the ledge his pulled his knife sized claws back into his paws he didn't want to kill it just yet. The Human leaned into the fog peering out for whatever it was that he had felt pass him by. With a slight effort he willed the miasma in thicker along the ledge now even if the mortal turned around and stared directly at him the demon would only be a darker spot in the already dark cloud of fog.
“How close can I get?”
 The demon thought to himself as he inched towards the humans back.
“What can I learn about it?”
He thought as he decided to reach out and see what random thoughts might be floating off the mortals mind. Not many mortals even trained ones can feel the touch of an experienced demons mind if they are only attempting to read the random surface thoughts that the target is having without usually realizing it. But of all mortals there supposedly is only ever one warlock at a time and a warlock mind once it has started on its path is nothing like a mortal humans mind especially where a demon is concerned. Warlocks are so rare there is no way for Oristhnx to have ever had a reason to think that he may have stumbled upon one. The mist thickened into true fog one of the many thicker drifts that Danny had seen at a distance must have come close to the cliff face whatever it was he was looking for had to have been gone now. Just as he thought that to himself he felt the lightest presence in the back of his mind exactly what Volnam had taught him to feel for, how long had it been there? What did it belong to? He did the first thing that came to his mind and he did it almost without thinking about it which meant that the endless hours of drilling had paid off. Oristhnx caught flashes of the miasma the “wind” that he had made a structure under a blue sky and then just for the briefest fraction of a second alarm. Had the mortal felt him? No it wouldn't be possible. Burning, harsh, painful, vicious burning! There was fire in his skull! The mortal had fire in his skull! No the fire was in Oristhnx’s skull he was burning! The pain was instant and excruciating and before he let the panic bring it out of his mind and into his actual head he broke contact and closed off his mind. But not before letting out the loudest most threatening scream that Danny had ever heard before. He reared up on his hind legs flared his wings and unsheathed his claws.
Danny had set the mind fire as quickly as he could. As soon as he felt the demon in his mind and as soon as he lit it he herd shuffling on the ledge behind him, as he turned he heard one of the most terrifying sounds he had ever heard the shriek alone knocked him off his feet he almost fell completely off the ledge he had his hand down in time to catch himself. He looked up and the thing was there before him, massive leathery wings extended out hammering the air it was a giant cat a panther or something only so much bigger it was up on its hind legs shaking its head back and forth screaming giant knife like curving claws shredding the air before it. A long tail too fluid in
its motions to have any bones in it whipped back and forth cracking the air like a lion tamers whip from a circus. all at once it stopped its tirade and came down on all fours gathered itself and leaped into the air all in one fluid motion Danny tried to get over the side of the ledge and under it for some sort of cover from the thing but as he tried to get over the ledge beside him the thing used its hind legs and both slashed at the young warlocks face and chest with one black clawed foot and kicked him off the ledge with the other. Danny saw the first set of claws coming for him and got his arms up to cover his face but because he had his arms over his face he didn't see the second foot which hit him on his chest just below his neck. The force of the blow was so powerful it sent him pinwheeling off the ledge and into the mists.
He felt horrible burning pain in his forearm and shoulder and his chest felt like something was broken but all the pain was only there for a second before his mind pushed it aside and tried to handle the fact that he was falling. He couldn't tell how far he was from the cliff the mist was too thick. He kicked his legs and flailed his uninjured arm for a few seconds before he realized that it was pointless. He couldn't tell his distance from the wall but he knew he had to be getting closer to it, it was slightly slanted away and he knew that sooner rather than later he would smash into it. Without warning his right foot smashed into something the pain made him scream out as much as the shock of the sudden impact. The force of the hit sent him into a slow spin and now he could see the cliff each time he was facing the right direction. He wanted to reach for his foot but just fell knowing that even if he did get a hold of it he wouldn't be able to do anything to it. Oristhnx kept out of the humans line of sight as he followed him down, he grinned to himself as he drank in the fear from the fall and the shock and pain of the impact with the ledge just as he saw that the human had realized that he would soon hit the cliff side with his whole body the massive demonic feline dived in and hooked his clawed forelegs into Danny’s right shoulder and left bicep the mortals flesh was soft and thin Oristhnx could feel
his claws slicing through it and again he could feel the pain radiating out from the pathetic being he didn't want to drop it so he readjusted his grip with his fore-claws and reached down with his hind legs and grabbed a hold of the inner and outer thigh of his left leg. Once his grip was secure he let out a growl of pleasure and began to climb up into the sky heading towards one of the few caves in the area. At one point in the flight he felt the mortal begin to draw power to itself as it did Oristhnx lashed his gorgeous furred tail out and whipped it across his playthings face bringing another short cry of pain one the distraction cause the human to lose his grip on what little power he had gathered he readjusted his grip on the outer thigh so that each time he flapped his wings the claws moved back and forth a little bit keeping just enough recurring pain involved to try and maintain a constant distraction, it wasn’t like the mortal could bleed to death here unless he was extremely weak willed or had managed to bring his physical body here which it didn’t feel like he had. The fear was coming off of him too strongly, to pure. It didn’t have the smells that came with actual human flesh and besides unless he was losing his touch Oristhnx should have smelt the waste that humans usually gave off when he played with them or at least the urine. No he was quite sure that this was a metaphysical body that the mortal was using as an avatar in the abyss.
After the failed attempt at setting the thing on fire and the moves it took to insure he was in enough pain to not be able to concentrate enough to focus the power he needed to try it again Asmodan tried to offer a little resistance as possible at least while they were in the air. He didn’t know how long they flew but it seemed forever the gashes in his arms legs and shoulder never stopped their steady stream of blood. The stagnant air no longer felt stuffy or hot he was starting to feel cool all over except for the throb in his lower leg where it hit the ledge. He closed his eyes and began to focus on steadying his breathing he tried to ignore everything that was going on around him and to him but his hellcat of a captor must have noticed because no sooner had he closed his eyes and taken his third breath than he was jolted back to reality as his leg began to be sawed into he screamed out and fought hard not to black out he was hit with a strong wave of dizziness and everything began to spiral in his vision. Then he was free the fiend had let go of him and he was sailing through the air. The brown light and heavy mists were gone all of a sudden and he was in total darkness he slammed into something most likely a wall and
Fell to the floor and began to roll in a broken heap for five or six feet and when he finally stopped he was laid out in total darkness. Danny had read a book about cave diving before it had described total darkness the complete lack of any light. it’s not something that many people living in a modern city will ever deal with even at night in a house with all the lights turned off and the curtain closed there is always some small level of light whether it be from a cellphone while its charging or an alarm clock and outside even with heavy clouds there is still the small amount of light that makes it down from the moon or the stars. Here there was nothing outside didn’t have any sort of discernible light source to begin with and here there was absolutely nothing. He tilted his head in the direction he thought he came from and saw only black. Danny lay there for another minute or two and slowly started to slide himself backwards trying to feel with his elbow in case the ground fell away into another ramp or a pit or something, after a few seconds he felt what he thought was the rear wall and propped himself up against it.
Oristhnx was crouched down like any house cat prepared to pounce on the most recently found baby mouse. His fore legs were pulled up under his chin and his hind legs were pulled up tight under his tail which was whipping back and forth in anticipation. His wings were pulled in tight against his back making himself as small as possible watching the human crawl towards the back wall. His only concern was what to do to the human next. He was beginning to notice that when there wasn’t actually something happening to the human he wasn’t afraid or at least he wasn’t giving off any level of fear or any other emotion that Oristhnx could pick up on. This was quickly becoming boring. He let out a deep growl similar to the one he had used on the ledge when he first began this encounter. Ohh how Oristhnx loved humans, no sooner had he began to growl than he was rewarded with that sweet intoxicating scent of fear. There was something else that he was getting from the human some other scent that was having a similar effect on him. It wasn’t something he had ever encountered before it wasn’t any emotion that he knew of. After a second of being focused on it he realized that it wasn’t an emotion at all it was something new and he wanted more of it. Without a sound Oristhnx began to glide across the floor down to his prey. He stopped just short of the humans injured foot and stopped to think what he should do, how he should carry on the game and then it came to him.
Asmodan had just started to gather himself when he heard the growl it was deep and drawn out. Having grown up with cable Asmodan had seen plenty of animal shows and had seen more than a few specials on big cats he had heard Lions and Tigers, Panthers and Leopards and even a really expensive surround sound system did absolutely nothing to prepare him for the kind of ancient primordial fear that comes from the complete knowledge that you are something’s prey. It was paralyzing there he was vaguely aware of something inside of him screaming at him to do something, to run, to fight, to do some neat magical warlockey thing to save himself. All he could do was sit there and shake. The growl stopped and all he could do was sit there and hope that it the growl was a trick to force him to move out of the darkness and out where it could get him. He tried to trick himself into thinking it had left or given up. These were all things that Volnam had told him that no Demon would ever do not once one had found him. Despite the warnings and the endless hours of lectures from the Imp he still tried to tell himself that he was safe for now. All those things running through his mind and they all crashed to a screeching halt into an instant unbearable red wall of pain. It felt like something was chewing his foot off. He screamed and began to kick with his other leg. He could feel each tooth as it ripped into the skin just above his foot. He kicked and kicked but it felt like he was just stomping on a mossy stone. Finally whatever it was whipped its head back and forth and then tossed him back across the cave. He couldn't tell where in the room it had tossed him but it had let go and he began to scramble. Asmodan rolled over onto his stomach and began to crawl on all fours as fast as he could when he hit the wall it didn’t even phase him he simply picked a direction and began to move. He kept his shoulder against the wall as he went the wall moved away from him and he followed it. The floor began to slope upwards and he became hopeful.
“Stupid mortal did you forget? You are in cave in the side of a cliff your leg is ruined you cannot climb where will you go? Stay where you are, allow me to play with you. Beg me to kill you. I won’t, not anytime soon anyway. But there is actually a hope that has a chance of coming to pass.”  
It was there and then it was gone. The voice was sweet or at least the feelings that were sent with the voice were meant to make it seem that way. It was death and Danny knew it. This was the toying with that he knew would happen if he should be caught and he had been. The weight of the realization sank in and began to drag him down the brief excitement he had felt at the possibility of finding the exit and making his way out was destroyed he couldn’t fly or levitate or anything else he couldn’t even send himself home.
“Ahh yes see, you know that I speak the truth. Stop now, give yourself to me. Surrender. Let me chew the flesh from your bones a piece at a time, it won’t kill you not here. It takes much more to kill a mortal without his body your souls are soo resilient.”
Asmodan attempted to set the mind fire again but this time the Demon was expecting it and managed to somehow reflect it. He felt the warmth to late and then it was searing pain so much heat so much burning inside his skull he stopped his dash for freedom and curled into the fetal position is hands to his skull screaming and sobbing all at once. he couldn’t even manage to dispel it from himself it had somehow stopped being his spell as soon as it was reflected back he lost all control over it. He burned, he burned and he screamed and writhed in agony alone in the darkness. he had no way of knowing how long the only part of his mind that he was conscious of or even seemed capable of functioning were those pieces that felt pain.
Oristhnx tried to taunt the little thing a bit more to tease it ask it if it thought that using something that apparently hurt so badly was polite considering how much he himself seemed to dislike it. But after the first few minutes he came to realize that this mortals mind wasn’t capable of conversation and such excellent pain at the same time. He thought of taking another bite but decided that where wouldn't be a point since the human wouldn’t feel it anyways. So after a while longer watching him squirm became old and the fell beast oozed up the ramp and out to the cave entrance where he laid down and opened himself up the feast that was flowing up to him from his toy down below. At some point the pain stopped the fire in his mind burned itself out. There were embers of it that seemed to smolder just behind his eyes but the actual fire was gone. Danny laid on his side near the bottom of the ramp he knew because he could see the small chamber now apparently the color changing effect he had on the crystal outside on the cliff face was the same in here and once the color changed enough it gave back a faint light. It wasn’t much but it was enough. he moved as little as possible, just lifting his head enough to let his eyes drift around and see his surroundings. It was a small circular chamber probably ten feet deep and eight across. The ramp was behind him and it lead up at a steep incline and beyond it was more blackness. There was no demon in here with him that he could see but if it didn’t have to let him see it. If it had any powers similar to Volnam it could make itself invisible. As he laid there going over what had happened in his mind he began to mentally work down his body for what hurt and what did not, which proved to be a very bad decision. Each wound began to throb as he became aware of it. Soon it wasn’t only burning embers behind his eyes it was deep slices in his shoulders and thigh and a smashed chewed leg. As the pain began to build again he was ready for it. He began quickly throw up walls in his mind killing the pain. Finally he put out the last of the burning. Once the pain was controlled he began to mend the least of the injuries it would leave him weaker as a whole but he could regain his strength faster once he was done. He moved himself back to the rear of the cave and turned so that he was facing the ramp and he began to watch and to wait. Oristhnx was still laying out at the cave mouth enjoying the slow flood of feelings that was trickling up from his new favorite toy when he realized that the slow flood had gone from a flood of fear and pain mixed with mental images of the torn and broken pieces of his body, To an almost nonexistent trickle of pain and discomfort. So his toy was healing already was it? Well he better go back down there and maul him a little bit maybe bite a hand off or rip off one of the ears. Something that will last a little while. the fell lynx was back on its feet again and having a lazy stretch something that made him look much to like a common house cat when he had an idea. let’s play with our food a bit longer he thought to himself and with that he hopped out of the cave and began to ascend, soaring up beyond where the mortals meager eyes could penetrate the haze. Asmodan had worked himself into a deep meditative state one that was entirely focused on the present nothing should be able to approach him without his knowing it, invisible or not. His leg was still very tender but he had moved his ankle a few times, there was slight discomfort but no real pain. The bones felt strong, not as good as new but they should be able to support him on the cliff. Slowly getting to his feet he left his meditative state of mind and began to focus his effort on preparing his voice, if he were to see another demon especially that one he would be ready for it and any of the commands that passed through his mind were much worse than setting the mind flame loose on it. He carefully worked his way to the ramp and up it to the chamber that he was sure he entered the side of the cliff from. He looked around and could see hardly anything. The light from the chamber below did no good for this room. There was the faintest bit of light at the mouth of the cave and that was some kind of fluke because he already knew that the light outside didn't really come from anywhere and didn’t affect things the way that a normal light source would in the physical world. After waiting at the ramp for a minute to see if his eyes would adjust to the darkness and learning that they would not, he kept his back to the wall and slide along its uneven curves to the mouth f the cave and again waited and watched. He considered reaching out with his mind and decided against it. If there was anything in the area that didn’t know about him he didn’t want to announce himself. There was no ledge outside the cave and his last decision of going up ended up going badly so he decided to go down. He had probably lost almost all of the ground he had covered during the fall anyways. He carefully lowered himself over the edge and began to feel for footing as he watched the crystal before him start to redden as he touched it. Neither direction would give him any advantage as far as hiding from anything, and anyone who found the cave would know exactly which way he went. As he thought about it and how the only thing other than the smog and the heat that he had encountered that didn’t tear him up and throw him off a cliff was the ground and it was narcing him out too. Sent a flash of anger through him. Deep anger he wanted to hit something but there was nothing to hit and he needed his hands to hold on as he descended. as he climbed he noticed that at the point where he got pissed off the crystal also took on a more intense shade of red, more like when he had spent some time on one of the ledges above. Now there is something to think about, he thought to himself. There was no shortage of hand and foot holds as he worked his way down and he was maintaining a decent speed. After some practice he began to kill off any random emotion and focus on only his hand and foot placement and what the next movement would be. He noticed that the red trail was very dim only barely visible as he moved. Anytime he did let any stray feeling make its way to the surface the red was back up again until he could get himself under control again. He didn’t stop, only kept working his way downward. He told himself that he would not stop until he reached the bottom or something stopped him. On and on he climbed unlike before when he was heading up. This time he was getting tired and sore but only from the areas that had been damaged by the demon. As he thought about it he realized that he wasn’t even sure what type of demon it was. He began to work through the most common demons he had studied. he decided that it was a Kirogoth which only partially fit since this demon had no horns that he had seen and from what he could tell the ears were feline not a bats. As if only thinking about the fiend was enough to summon it out of the mists. Danny had just gotten a good hand hold and was looking for a place to put his foot when he glanced up just in time to see the damned thing diving out of the sky at him. Its wings were pulled in tight and its arms were outstretched claws extended and spread. It was going to pick him straight off of the wall. That’s what its plan was anyway but it hadn’t expected Danny to look up when he did. Just as the demonic predator was in range to reach out and snatch the warlock from the wall. Asmodan used the voice and gave his command. it was simple and it worked. He looked the attacking demon directly in the eyes and commanded him to
Fall.
“Fall.”
The command was both physical and mental and its effect was immediate. He had waited long enough and he could tell that the mortal had let his guard down, he was no longer constantly looking around and mentally searching for anything that might pose a threat he was beginning to ponder something watching his hands and feet as he climbed. Time for another round of play with the human. Oristhnx was ready to win this round as easily as he had won the last. He launched himself down the cliff like another feline might launch itself upwards into the air to snatch a low flying bird. His wings tucked tight so as to not catch on any of the longer pieces of the crystalline cliff that might be sticking out. At the last second just as he was about to bring his claws in to snatch the unsuspecting man from the wall the man looked up at him. His mouth moved but Oristhnx couldn't quite make out what he said not out loud anyways but mentally he did, his mind was locked tight he had placed all the possible mental barriers to protect himself from another attempt and that nasty fire trick the human got him with before. But this time whatever it was, it was simply just there in his mind. It was as if Oristhnx hadn’t ever even learned how to protect his mind. “Fall” he heard it and understood it and had no choice but to obey it as he passed the mortal he didn’t attempt to catch him to claw or rake at him to bite or lash out with his beautiful tail he just fell. At some point in this forced paralysis he hit a ledge across the bridge of his forehead and went into a roll the cliff slanted out and away and he hit it at full force no matter how hard he tried to extend his wings or at least catch himself with his claws he couldn’t stop himself he smashed into outcroppings of crystal, ledges would free fall a little while longer and hit something else. He could feel muscles tear and yowled in pain when he felt a sharp first in his right shoulder and a short while later in his right hip. Long after having given up at physically trying to fight what ever it was that was forcing him to let himself fall down the side of a cliff that he wasn’t even sure there was a bottom too he saw a platform coming at him it seemed like it was too large for him to bounce or roll off of. Just as he noticed this end to what felt like an eternity of punishment at the hands of gravity he noticed his legs tense at the thought of the impact as soon as he felt his body’s response he arced his back and twisted in midair as only a feline can. Legs coiled like giant springs and both wings flared out. As he brought his wings out to do what he could what must have been a fracture in the left gave way under the force and snapped. The speed of the fall was slowed slightly and having himself upright and ready to land probably helped but the impact itself was horrific. The Demon knew what was about to happen and let out an ear shattering growl the instant before he hit. Forcing out a scream of rage rather than one of pain as he hit. His legs absorbed some of the impact before sliding on the smooth surface of the black crystal and being forced out and away from his body. The already damaged legs on the right side of his body were blown out and away with such force that as the main bulk of his body hit the ground it felt as if the legs themselves were being ripped off of his body. A geyser of the rusty colored viscous fluid that passed for blood in most demons exploded from his mouth and nose. It was as if someone had filled a plastic soda bottle with some horrid liquid laid it on the ground and then stomped on one end. He could feel his skin tear in places, splitting as the force of the impact attempted to smear him across the mirror like surface of the black ledge. In all his immortal life in the countless battles and other dealings he had endured in two separate spheres of the Abyss, never had the Kirogoth felt such agony.
There was no way to judge how long he laid there. There was no real need to gauge time for a being that did not age. He had lost himself in his injuries the pain too severe to focus on anything else. Almost any other form of life anything not demon would have passed out from the shock of it. But without magical means demons did not sleep or lose consciousness. They simply endured, healed and in most cases sought revenge. As he began to sort through the pain and piece back together what had happened, why he was there. He realized that injured as he was, being out in the open was an open invitation to anything passing by. Growling through the pain it caused he used his left side to drag himself closer to the cliff face and then slowly built the power needed to conceal himself. The crystal seemed to expand out and away from the wall and floor until it looked like there was an abnormal bulge on the ledge. He could still be heard and smelt; any demon that relied on the heat of their preys body to hunt would still see him. For most things and from any real distance he shouldn’t be bothered. Once safely out of sight, Oristhnx began to take stock of his surroundings he noticed that on the far side of the ledge from him there was a small opening not nearly as large as the one he had thrown the mortal into. It struck him then he hadn’t given the mortal a second thought since he had fallen. What trick had he used? It was not any form of mental attack he would have felt it coming and besides no mortal had the mental power to force a hold that powerful on any demon and hold it that long. The mortal hadn’t shown any ability at magic while he watched him climb the ledge and used nothing but a mental attack to defend himself when he had first attacked. His thoughts began to cloud over with rage the more he thought about it. The powerless feeling as he fell. The anticipation of the impact as he saw the ledge below him. after an unguarded second it was like he was living through the fall again and the shattering ripping feeling of hitting the ledge. He tore his mind back from the fall and focused on his camouflage.


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