The birth of a shade

A dreaded event that happens every few decades has once again arrived

Tremors travel across continents

A horrid terror fills the hearts of creatures across the lands

All who feel it tremble, though they don't know why...

...The shadow mother shall once again bear a child of darkness.

Shadows gather around a small village, the darkness circles ominously in the village center. The shaking of the buildings grabs the curiosity of those inside them, and the villagers go to find out the source of the rumbling. As they gather, the tornado of darkness gradually loses speed, until nothing but a dark spot on the ground is left. Before there was time to inspect the area, it bubbles intensely, like a pot of boiling water.

A large spike stabs up from the hole. A dark figure slowly rises. People watch in horror as the shade slowly acquires form. The arms and legs crawl out of the body like a spider out of a crack, and daggers shoot out from the tips of its fingers. Yellow piercing eyes pop out from the face, and the mouth tears through the skin, revealing teeth like bone-saws and darkness in its throat that chills the onlookers. Two slits cut through the skin above its mouth, Sharp ears jump out of the sides of its head, and crystals line themselves on the top, creating a crown of deep crimson. The skin changes from the black of the abyss to a dark shade of sapphire. It writhes around, trying to contain its newly found form, limbs bending and cracking into place, then in an instant, all movement stops.

The villagers, unnerved, mutter to themselves, one says "what is that thing?" another responds, "it must be some sort of devil." "It's not moving, is it dead?" one asks "If it is, I'm sure as hell not touching it." retorts another.

The chief of the village sits in a corner, a look of contemplation on his aged face. As they discuss with each other what they should do with the thing that appeared in front of them, the devilish form's lack of movement starts to be a source of discomfort for the village.

One of the larger men of the town move towards it, a large shovel in hand. "What are you doing?!" exclaims a farmer.

"I'm doing something, which is a lot more than you fools are doing Jorges" the bulky man snaps back, the impatience clear in his voice. Jorges backs down, slumping his head.

"Wait, Lander." someone shouts before the man can continue his march. "I feel approaching with such clear antagonistic intentions will just scare it." The village chief warns as he rises to his feet.

"Are we really considering the feelings of a demon?" Lander remarks "It literally just rose from an abyss and moves like a possessed corpse, It clearly hasn't come on peaceful terms"

"Attacking everything you don't understand is certainly an effective way to quicken your journey to Hades, but don't drag us into your suicidal approach to the unknown." The chief responds, slamming his staff into the ground.

Exasperated, Lander grabs the chief by the collar "If you want to talk about your feelings with a hell-spawn fine, but do it when there's not an entire village at stake." Throwing the chief to the ground, he continues towards the creature. "Sometimes I don't know why I even try to protect you, imbeciles" Lander mutters to himself, half complaining at the chief and half to himself, as the villagers run to the aid of the fallen elder.

As he approaches the figure, Lander's level of disgust grows "Such a horrid thing, why would the gods allow this to exist." As he reaches the body, Lander checks to see if it's still alive. The body is motionless, although it seems to be breathing. He reaches to grab it, but it suddenly twitches, causing Lander to step back impulsively. "Damn thing almost gave me a heart attack." Shaking his head, he once again tries to grab it, but right as he touches it a spike of darkness shot out of the body, stabbing his shoulder and knocking him down.

The creature's head shoots up, eyelids suddenly open, with a stare so intense that the fallen man felt it cut deeper than the wound in his shoulder. Its body shoots straight, stretching out its limbs, before shrinking to the size of a child. It examines the people, who froze in awe by what had just occurred, seemingly studying their features. After a bit, it's smiled widely, with an expression as if it had made a discovery. Grabbing between the two slits above his mouth, he pulls out, creating a pointed tip nose, and pushing the bladed tips of his fingers back, shaping them into nails. Then he closes his eyes, his brow wrinkling and face turning red, as small crystals pop out between the crown of the larger ones.

The dark form returns his gaze to the beings that surround him, smiling wider and pointing at himself. The villagers stare in silence, with dread shaping their faces, appearing like the statues that line the Gorgon's Garden. A young woman screams in terror, breaking the silence and causing panic to release into the crowd. "The dark army has sent a shapeshifter to slaughter us all" one cries, another throws the man in front of him forward and runs, tripping himself in the attempt, causing the creature to giggle to himself.

Lander grasps his wound and shouts, "Calm down, you pathetic cowards, are you running from an Imp? I would understand you scrawny weaklings running from its original form, but now it's the size of a child! Just surround it and get me my spear, I'll impale this beast and end our little predicament." The Villagers relax at his words, and they hurry to do what he asked.

The Chief, now sitting back in his original corner, wrinkles his forehead as he thinks over the appearance and transformation of the new creature in his head. His daughter-in-law, kneeling next to him, looks at the creature with intrigue. It appears to be examining their behavior and mouthing out what he hears. "I think it's copying us, father" she mentions to the chief, his forehead now creasing more.

Lander overhears her as he wraps his wounded shoulder with bandages, and questions the shapeshifter, "So you act like a spy too, huh, demon? Tell me who sent you and I'll give you a much more pleasant death."

The creature stares blankly at Lander. His eye twitching, Lander continues, "A spy who can't speak, your uselessness is becoming more apparent by the second. I guess the dark army is much more pathetic than we realized," he mocks, putting on a vicious smile.

The creature giggles to himself again, "I like you guys, you're funny."

His hand tightening, Lander responds, " So you can talk, you pathetic excuse for a spy"

"You pathetic excuse for a spy" The creature repeats in a deep mocking tone, as he tries to copy the pose.

"Are you mocking me" Lander growls as his veins pop out of his body. The creature falls to the floor and breaks out in uncontrollable laughter. The villagers who were fetching the spear had just returned as Lander tears it from them and stomps toward the creature. "I tried to give you a pleasant end, beast, but I guess the only thing you deserve is to be sent back to hell in the most miserable way."

Lander begins a charge, positioning his arm to thrust. The chief snaps his head up shouting "LANDER NO!" but it was too late. Right before the spear could land, something popped out of the ground, knocking Lander to the ground as a loud clang sounds throughout the village.

"What just happened?" Jorges shouts out.

"Something grabbed my leg," Lander yells back as he tries to pick himself up, "Did you dimwits see anything?" They respond with a decisive, but confused, no.

Before Lander can get up, something forces him back down. A figure jumps out of the ground, throwing small blades out at the villagers surrounding them, knocking their weapons out of their hands, and landing onto Lander's back, forcing his legs on the back of the rough man's neck. Before anyone can react, a voice echoes throughout the area that causes them to shiver "I'm going to need you to stop right there." A dark figure rises in front of the small demon. "Your young men have such aggressive tendencies..."