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HomeFantasy StoriesLowenna and the Secrets of Darkness and Light chapter 17
Lowenna and the Secrets of Darkness and Light chapter 17
By
rbo

Lowenna and the Secrets of Darkness and Light chapter 17

Lowenna has to get her crystal back

Chapter 17. The Layer Of Darkness.

 

 

Lowenna returned to the place where she had last seen the creature with her crystal. Instinctively Lowenna went to touch it to illuminate the world. Then she cursed to herself that it wasn't there. She activated her light shield to help her see the high rooftops where the creature had escaped.

 

After carefully scanning the area, she noticed some wispy material fluttering in the breeze. She believed it was the same from the dead man she had seen crushed into the wall, “At least I know what did that now,” she whispered to herself.

 

Lowenna studied the building for a moment longer. There were no windowsills or openings, but she could see some grooves, broken bricks, and handholds, possibly made by the creature.

 

Taking a deep breath, Lowenna started to climb, using the grooves and broken bricks, pulling herself up. To her surprise, she found she was good at climbing walls, knowing to test handholds and was able to pull her weight up using one hand. She briefly wondered if she had been trained or if it was just a natural gift. Regardless whatever it was, she was glad when she got to the top.

 

Lowenna held her shield up illuminating the rooftops, hoping no one was watching her. There, in the distance, was movement on one of the tall towers by the dock. Quietly, she started to sprint towards where the moving shape had been. She wished she had her crystal; flying would be a lot faster than running and being able to see and fight the six armed monster would be very useful too.

 

She slid down one roof before launching herself onto the next, pulling herself up. She found more strands of the sticky material, hopefully showing her she was on the right track.

 

Eventually, Lowenna stopped on a tall building overlooking the dock and looked at the tower she had seen movement on before. The top of the stone structure had an open flame shining out to show ships the way to go. One of Orkenza's moons briefly showed its self to help her see but, to her great disappointment, there was no sign of the creature now.

 

Lowenna was crushed, knowing there was nowhere else to look as she climbed back down. When her feet touched the ground, she deactivated the shield and walked over to the tower. She saw more strands of the same material halfway up but soon realised there was no chance she could climb this. The stone changed to sheets of rusted metal halfway up, making it imposable no matter how good of climber she was. There was one door, but it was locked and banging on it gave no reply.

 

Lowenna walked along the docksides sloping edge. The memory of the ship in the painting suddenly entered her mind. She touched the crystal in her bracelet again, and her shield sprung into life allowing her to see. She looked over the edge, glancing at the seaweed and slime that now covered it, with the cold sea below that. Lowenna knew there was an opening. She had seen it in the vision. Her eyes widened as she noticed, more strands of material sticking to the seaweed. Determination spread across her face.

 

She took a few steps along the wall and stopped. The memory of the opening was clear in her mind. It should be right below her.

 

She jumped on to the steep slope.

 

The slope was very slippery. Lowenna was doing her best to stay upright as the cold seawater came rushing towards her. Thoughts suddenly entered Lowenna's mind, “What if I’m wrong, or it has been covered over or... Lowenna fell through the opening with a slimy squelch. Her back and cape were covered in smelly slimy water while her legs still hung over the edge, just touching the sea below.

 

Lowenna went to sit up, but the slime and ooze held her cape down making it difficult. On the third attempt, Lowenna freed herself with a squelching pop.

 

The cape had kept most of the sludge off her back but it was in her hair, and a big lump had gone down her neck. Lowenna flicked her hands removing as much of the slime as possible. That was when she noticed the smell. It was a horrid combination of rotting fish and sewage. She had smelled it before, but here it was a lot stronger. Lowenna cringed and gagged. She could not remember ever feeling so disgusting, as the lumps of scum dripped off her.

 

Lowenna was in a fix now. When she tried to take a step, she instantly slipped over. She swung her arms out trying to stop herself falling, cursing out loud. She managed to grab a ledge to stop herself, but still ended up sitting in the stinky slime. She could feel it soaking through her trousers.

 

Lowenna pulled herself out of the horrid goo, on to the ledge. She was at the end of a pitch-black tunnel. Ignoring the fact, she was now covered in the filthy slime. Lowenna activated her shield again and held it above her head so she could see. Slowly Lowenna walked along the narrow walkway. She noticed the walls were made of the same black stone with a blue tint.

 

Lowenna suddenly stopped. She could hear something, something clicking. She quickly drew her sword, wishing she had searched for the one she had thrown at the monster when it had taken her crystal. She looked ahead, then behind but saw nothing. To her bewilderment, the sounds seemed to be coming from inside the walls.

 

She kept going, the light of her shield illuminating the tunnel. As she turned a corner, she saw two skulls on the floor, but that’s not what interested her. On both sides of the tunnel, there were metal brackets with unlit wooden torches.

 

Lowenna looked at the shield its bright light was just starting to dim, so she grabbed the nearest torch. She took out a small fire shard out of the blue purse and placed it on the floor and hit the little stone with the end of the stick. Moving quickly, Lowenna propped the stick against the wall, took a step back and closed her eyes.

 

Even with her eyes closed, Lowenna could see the flash; she could still feel the heat. She took another step back, but she could still feel the heat, from all sides.

 

Lowenna opened her eyes and jumped into the smelly slimy water to put out the fire on her shoes. She cursed to herself as she glanced at the thin path she had been walking along. Only now the walkway had fire dancing over it, and the wooden torch she had intended to light was completely ablaze.

 

Lowenna carefully walked through the slimy water to the other side of the tunnel and climbed out slipping on the black stones with her soggy shoes. She grabbed the other torch before crossing back, using the fire to light it. Once it was ablaze Lowenna touched her shield crystal, and it faded back to nothing. Lowenna walked along in the water until she reached a part of the walkway, which wasn't on fire, and clambered out. Only now did she notice the clicking noise had stopped.

 

Lowenna shook her feet, trying to remove most of the stinky slime off her shoes. The smell was making her feel sick, but she pushed on through the tunnel.

 

The torch illuminated the passage. Lowenna passed more skulls and cracks in the walls. She was starting to wonder if she had taken the right path, or even if she was in the right place until she turned another corner.

 

Hanging from the roof were several dead people. The look of terror was still visible on their dead faces. They were wrapped in the fine sticky material and were strung up like animals in a slaughterhouse. Lowenna no longer was worrying about her ruined shoes, only on getting her crystal and getting out of here in one piece.

 

"Click, click." Lowenna heard that noise again. It seemed to be coming from behind her. Lowenna turned and held the torch high. At first, she saw nothing but then noticed a skull in the middle of the path she had just walked down. Lowenna stared at it in bewilderment, had it been there moments ago?

 

The skull seemed to be looking back at her, there was another click, and Lowenna took a step back. The skull had moved.

 

After a moment, Lowenna plucked up the courage to get closer. The skull was just off the floor. Lowenna noticed it seemed to have thin legs. The skull suddenly launched itself at her revealing its underside. It was some sort of spider, eight legs and dripping fangs heading straight at her face.

 

Lowenna swung the torch, smacking the spider-skull across to the other side of the path. She hesitated, looking over at where it had landed. Suddenly there were thousands of clicks. Lowenna watched in terror as the whole wall across the slime started to move. There were hundreds of skull-spiders all moving, each one clicking as if awoken ravenous. Some were dropping from the ceiling. Lowenna hit one with her torch, drew her sword again and started to run.

 

There were a few in front of her, she hit another with her torch and thrust her sword into another one's eye socket, causing it to screech in pain. Lowenna didn't slow down, jumping over another skull. She was scared. The clicking was getting louder. There were hundreds of skull-spiders chasing her, and they were gaining.

 

Lowenna slowed slightly, the path ahead was blocked with the strands of material she had come across earlier. It was a giant web. She couldn't stop, so she thrust the flaming torch in to it. To her relief, the flames slowly were melting and burned away the material making a hole, but the spiders were almost on her, she dived through the hole the flames had made, just before the spiders hit the web.

 

The web held, some of the spiders got stuck ensnared by their own trap, a few made it through the hole but Lowenna thrust the torch towards them, and they stopped unsure what to do. The fire scared them causing them to scuttle away.

 

Lowenna backed away slowly, still listening to the clicks but no spider followed. For now, it seemed she was safe. She allowed herself to breathe. She hadn’t realised she had been holding her breath. Glancing around the dark tunnel, she knew she needed to find a different way out of these tunnels.

 

Lowenna held the torch high. She had stayed on the main path of the tunnel ignoring smaller offshoots and small holes in the walls. She had seen a few more skulls, but they had scuttled away from the fire she held.

 

Eventually, she came to a crossroad. All tunnels looked similar in that they all had a trough full of the stinky, slimy water, which was slowly moving, and all had a walkway on both sides. Lowenna didn't know which way to go until she noticed a few grooves scratched into the ceiling. She imagined having three claw-like fingers, climbing across the roof, scratching the ancient stone for a grip. This was the way she would try first.

 

As Lowenna walked on the tunnel slowly narrowed, up ahead she could hear water falling. She rounded the next bend to find another choice. The passageway kept going further than Lowenna could see, but there seemed to be a new shorter tunnel smashed through the wall, broken stones lay scattered around.

 

Water was falling from the ceiling covering half of the opening and Lowenna put her torch down deciding to try and wash as much of the slime off her. She stood under it, even though it was icy. Once cleaner she pushed her hair back, grabbed the torch and continued down, the smashed through tunnel.

 

After a while, the tunnel stopped, rocks barred her way. It seemed to be a dead end but then Lowenna noticed a small opening to the left. She hesitated, not trusting small passages. If she were attacked she wouldn't be able to move much, but she had come this far, and the only alternative was to go back.

 

Lowenna crawled on her hand and knees holding the torch in front of her until she reached a chamber. It seemed to be a massive shaft, leading upwards. Stalactites hung from the roof; she could see ledges higher up, and water dripped down from the ceiling. Lowenna had a bad feeling and lifted the torch as high as she could. To her dismay all the walls were all covered in webs, she looked up again, and her heart skipped a beat. There was a little sparkle of pink up there, her crystal was hanging down on the web, much like the dead bodies, she had seen earlier.

 

A small smile flickered across Lowenna’s face, but that soon disappeared as a large stone came crashing down, Lowenna avoided it easily before realising it hadn't been aimed at her but had been dropped to cover the small tunnel she had entered the shaft from. She was trapped!

 

Suddenly there was a chorus of clicking from every side. The entire web moved, teaming with hundreds of the skull spiders. There was a screech from up above, something large and evil was up there, watching her.

 

A spider launched itself towards Lowenna. She hit it away with her sword. Another one landed on her back. Lowenna thrust her sword through it before it bit her but more were scuttling across the floor towards her. She swept the torch along the floor just in front of them and the spiders scattered. "They don't like the fire," she thought, wishing she had her pink crystal.

 

More spiders jumped at her, she spun, knocking them away with her sword and torch, but there was too many, and she was severely outnumbered. Lowenna knew she wouldn't last for long, and on cue, she felt fangs piercing her leg. She knocked it away, but another one was on her head she stabbed the torch into it, and it screamed in pain, as she hacked the legs of another one with her sword, but Lowenna was already feeling the effects of the venom.

 

Lowenna shook her head to clear her blurring vision as she swept the torch around her keeping the spiders on the floor at bay. "They DON'T like fire!" Lowenna whispered to herself as she dropped her sword and grabbed the small bag with the symbol of the sun. She threw the fire-shards in every direction, and they stuck to the web like insects

 

She felt another spider under her cape. She spun around trying to get it off her but it sunk its fangs into her back before jumping away. Lowenna cried in pain as the venom flowed through her. She knew she didn't have long before she passed out. She threw the last of the fire-shards, and then threw her torch, hoping the fire would ignite the fire-shards.

 

Lowenna wrapped herself in her cape and made herself as small as possible. Her head was pounding from the spider venom. She could feel some of the spiders trying to get through the cape they were swarming all over her.

 

Suddenly there was an explosion as the first fire-shard erupted in a blinding flash, the fire spreading setting off more fire-shards.

 

The fire quickly spiraled upwards out of control burning away the webs and the spiders alike. Lowenna could hear the spiders screaming in pain as the fire consumed them. She could also feel the almost unbearable heat through her cape. The fire had covered her as well. She hoped the Kraken skin cape would be able to take it. It was supposed to be magic and fire resistant, but this was one mighty torrent of flames.

 

That’s when Lowenna felt a tingle of magic in her mind. With the last of her strength, she threw the burning cape off, and raised her hand in the air, catching the little pink crystal as it fell.

 

Instantly Lowenna felt the magic surge through her. Her eyes flashed pink illumining the world around her as a shockwave erupted from her, forcing the fire and dead spiders back to the walls.

 

Lowenna looked up to see the outline of the creature, which had attacked her and took her crystal earlier. The pink outline spared her tired eyes all of the details. At that moment, it launched itself towards Lowenna, but she had already clapped her hands above her head and swept her arms to the sides.

 

A large ring of pale pink fire now was between Lowenna and the spider creature. It hissed as it hit the flames. To Lowenna’s dismay, the flames didn’t stop it completely, its five remaining arms penetrating the wheel trying to grab and scratch at her.

 

Lowenna brought her hands to her chest, “Take this you monster!” she screamed, before pushing her hands into the flames.

 

The creature screeched in confusion and pain as the wheel of fire was launched up the shaft, with the creature still on top of it, the fire now burning through its armour. There was a sickening squelching thud, as the screeching stopped, replaced by gasping and a rough hiss before the creature went silent.

 

Although far away, Lowenna could still make out that the creatures still twitching, impaled form, stabbed on a large stalagmite. A drop of black blood landed beside her, sizzling as it touched the floor. Lowenna took a step back, still feeling weak from the spider bites, but thankful the magic would heal her.

 

Another drop of blood fell and another, It bubbled and sizzled as it started to spread, Lowenna took another step back, as she watched the puddle grow and sizzle. She knew she shouldn’t touch it. It seemed to be alive.

 

Lowenna quickly looked at the wall. There were handholds, but the wall was still smoking, and she could feel the heat from it. She looked again at the blood puddle, which had now covered most of the floor. She jumped onto the wall, the hot stones stinging her hands. She placed the pinkie-grey crystal in her mouth and started to ascend the shaft as fast as she could.

 

Lowenna climbed quickly as possible until she reached a little ledge that she could stand on and rest for a moment. She shook and blew her sore hands trying to get the feeling back into them, as she looked down to the bottom of the shaft.

 

A few bubbles erupted from the blood that now covered the whole floor. That’s when she realised her cape and sword was still down there. She saw the hilt of the sword slowly melting into the blood, and cursed out loud. She had liked the cape and sword but knew that there was nothing she could do about it now.

 

She turned back to the wall, which had cooled slightly and started to climb once more. Lowenna heard a couple of clicks. Some of the spiders had survived. She didn’t know how much magic she had left but knew it wasn’t much, and now she had no weapons to defend herself with.

 

Eventually, Lowenna reached an opening and clambered through it. She looked upwards at the creature. It was still moving. Unbelievably it was still alive, trying to free its self.

 

Lowenna took the stone from her mouth and pressed two fingers against it summing the spark, she pointed her fingers at the creature and watched the beam of light go through it, hitting the stalagmite behind it. Suddenly the whole roof collapsed as tonnes of rock fell down the shaft on top of the creature. Lowenna jumped backward, only just in time avoiding the large falling boulders. Lowenna looked over the edge, “There is no way that thing could still be alive,” Lowenna thought as she headed down the tunnel hoping for a way out.

 

Lowenna deactivated the seeing spell and reactivated the light shield, so she could still see. The tunnel seemed to be going on forever. Eventually, she found another shaft leading upwards, “Upwards is good,” Lowenna thought, as she placed her crystal in her mouth and again started to climb.

 

It was a little unusual climbing with the shield on. Lowenna kept trying to avoid it before realising that it couldn't stop her hands or get in the way, as it was made of magical light.

 

After climbing for a little while Lowenna found some man-made metal rungs like a ladder, she looked up to see a small glow of a fire above her.

 

Lowenna smiled in relief, “Finally a way out,” She thought to herself, as she climbed the ladder rungs. There was a metal grating covering the shaft. Lowenna tried to move it, but it was bolted. Lowenna had had enough of being in the tunnels and shafts. She pressed her fingers against her crystal to summon the spark. The grey spark flickered on her finger. She was almost out of magic again. She hadn't thought about it much, but she had used magic a lot since arriving in Hymdale, and the crystal needed more time to recharge.

 

 

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Copyright © © 2015 by Robert Stevens All Rights Reserved

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