|The Ten Rings: The Tomb of Syethis
Author: Sacron PM
After the events of the first book, the Ten Rings locates the second Shard, hidden deep within the underground labyrinth that is the tomb of King Syethis. Three hunters descend into the underground maze to find the Shard, but evil follows them below...Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Supernatural - Chapters: 20 - Words: 27,314 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 04-04-12 - Published: 02-23-12 - Status: Complete - id: 2999774
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It was nearly midnight in a graveyard of Onaria. The graveyard was in a desolate region of Onaria known as Nocsonia. The only village for hundreds of miles in Nocsonia was a small one near the graveyard known as Vileyard. Not many people lived there, and those that did were very detached from the rest of civilization.
The graveyard was not very well managed of, due to neglectance by its caretaker, a drunk known as Gob. Gob live in a small shed within the graveyard, digging few graves when he was paid to, and spent the rest of his days getting as drunk as humanly possible. It was a wonder he hadn't died yet.
Gob's shed lay between several gravestones covered in cobwebs, and a dead tree grew next to it. Gob was wide awake at this point, downing another cup of mead at his small table. A single candle lit his shed, the only light source in the dark graveyard.
"Ahhh," Gob stammered, slamming another empty cup on the table and wiping his mouth. "That's the stuff, lads. Nothing like a good drink with a couple 'a friends, huh?"
Gob patted his imaginary friend's back, and laughed at a joke only he could here.
"Real rich, Ulfric!" Gob yelled, grabbing the glass filled with mead, and pouring himself another cup. "You've always been the master of jokes, haven't ya'?"
There was silence, as Gob gulped down the freshly poured cup and licked his lips. "Alright then," He said, standing up, swaying dangerously from side to side. "I got one for ya', lads! Take a break, harp player! I got me an announcement to make!"
Gob raised his hand, about to address his imagined audience, when suddenly, there was a loud snarl outside. Gob turned, blinking, and laughed heartily.
"Don't worry, miss!" He yelled, raising his cup to the air. "It's just a wolf or something! Probably attracted by the light or the smell of that pork the chef roasting! I'll shoo it away, then I'll tell all ya' drunkards my joke!"
Gob stumbled over to the door, nearly tripping over himself several times, but succeeded in making it to the door. Gob pushed open the door, and looked outside into the dark graveyard.
Gob looked around, spotting nothing, and laughed. "Must have left! Creature must have smelled me coming and-"
Suddenly, a hand appeared out of thin. There was a crunch as the hand slammed through Gob's chest, tearing into him like butter.
Gob looked down at the hand impaled in him, and managed to croak something out, before the hand ripped itself out of him, Gob's heart clutched in its claws.
Gob stood there for a moment, as if not realizing he was dead. Then, he fell forward, face first into the grass. Blood poured out of the hole in his chest, and his cup bounced on the ground, rolling downhill, past the gravestones.
A hoof stepped over Gob's lifeless body. A figure stood there in the dark. It looked humanoid, but had a goat's head, with pale white eyes and protruding fangs in its mouth. Giant sharp horns stuck out of either side of its head. Long claws decorated the ends of its man-like hands, and it stood on two feet. It held Gob's heart in one hand, a glowing red object in the other.
Baphoment looked at the dead man at his feet, and said, "Pitiful creature. It deserved death, mistress. We could have appeared within the shed it used to dwell in, and broken its neck or slit its throat while it raved on. But where is the sport in that act?"
Baphoment grinned then, and said, "And now…we begin the search tonight mistress. The search for your other halves, trapped within the other two Shards. With some help, of course."
A voice came out of the red object, the Shard, clutched in Baphoment's hand. Baphoment nodded, and said, "Do not worry. I can work out a deal of sorts with him. He will not be able to resist the call. If he betrays us, then we'll just have to find a new minion to do your bidding. Its not like he can kill me."
Baphoment stepped among the gravestones, stopping in the middle of a patch of nightshade that grew here. Baphoment leaned down, and placed the heart of Gob at the center of the patch. Baphoment then held the Shard over the heart, and hissed words into the air.
"From the blackest pit, I summon thee!" Baphoment roared. Winds began to pick up, blowing Baphoment's dark brown fur. "From endless awakening, I call thee from! Come now, show yourself to me, and accept the blood of mortals as a gift for thee!"
A hand suddenly came out of the ground. It didn't burst out of the ground, rather, it came right through. A body soon followed, coming out of the ground, until it stood over Baphoment. The hand of the figure reached down and grabbed the heart. There was a sniffing sound, and then, the heart vanished into the hand's palm. The figure turned to Baphoment, showing off his complete form.
The figure wore a long cloak that obstructed every inch of its body, except its hands, which were a dark grey color and had six fingers instead of the usual five in humans. The figure's face, if it had any at all, was obstructed by a red cowl that it wore over its face. All Baphoment could see in there was a dark, seemingly endless void. In its right hand, the figure held a long sword. The sword had a serrated blade, and its hilt was a shaped like a skull, with flaming red eyes.
"You dare to summon me, mortal?" The figure hissed. It moved closer, the cloak moving with it almost like it was a part of the figure's body. The figure moved its hidden face close to Baphoment's own and there was more sniffing from within the cowl.
"Mortal?" Baphoment said. "I am centuries old."
"Young compared to me," The figure hissed, twisting around Baphoment, its cloak twisting like a snake. "Why have you called me here?"
"I need your service," Baphoment said.
"What?" The figure snarled, drawing backwards. "I serve no master! By what right do you think you can command me?"
"You lie," Baphoment said, grinning. "You served a master once. Ages ago, before I ever came into being. A creature by the name of Abaddon. Abaddon created all creatures of the darkness. He was your master, before he fell in battle with another being. You were free, but you promised to serve his kin in the future. Abaddon had many children, but only one lived to when I came into being. Tiamat. You served her briefly, briefly fighting Father Altima in the climatic battle between those two. You survived, although Tiamat did not, and you've been running wild ever since, haunting, killing, and terrorizing whatever you feel like."
"What is your point?" The figure hissed. "I grow weary of your talk, Goatman! State your business before I slay you!"
"You cannot kill me," Baphoment said. "But my business is that you have been called on to serve again."
"By who?" The figure growled, his gnarled figures coiling around his sword. "You? You have no power over me!"
"No," Baphoment said. "But your old mistress does."
With that, Baphoment held up the Shard containing the piece of Tiamat's soul. The figure shrieked, drawing away from the Shard and writhing on the ground.
"My…apologies…master," The figure hissed, bowing before the Shard. "I meant no disrespect. I simply thought this…creature was trying to order me! But I gladly come back into your service."
Baphoment lowered the Shard. "Good," Baphoment said. "Now, there is work to be done. You must seek out two other objects, the same as this one. They are hidden somewhere on Onaria."
"What is the importance of these objects?" The figure asked, floating up off the ground.
"They each contain a piece of Tiamat's soul," Baphoment said. "Split apart after Tiamat's death by Father Altima and trapped forever inside these Shards. Find them, and we can reunite Tiamat to psychical form."
"Good," The figure said. "I shall…go seek them out."
"Excellent," Baphoment said, smiling. "It's good to me you at last, Thanatos. Tiamat has told me that you were always a competent and loyal servant. I'm sure you'll prove her right."
Thanatos hissed something, and then dove into the ground, vanishing from sight. Baphoment narrowed his eyes, and then said, "Now, mistress, shall I seek out the other two Shards at the same time as Thanatos?"
The voice said something only Baphoment could here. Baphoment nodded, and said, "Very well." With that, Baphoment vanished into thin air, leaving only a series of hoof prints behind.