s c a r l e t p i m p e r n e l
Chapter 6 - Escape
|Wandering hastily through the NohBokk sewers, wading in
stinking sludge up to their waists, wasnt TaRa-Lin idea of a worthy exit. Then
again, the screams and shouts from the pursuing bloodthirsty HuraKhor warrior women
made it painfully evident that making a worthy exit was the very least of their problems
else that might prove to be a problem as well were the swirling motions on the surface of
the water, indicating that they were in no way alone down here. The gods only know what
horrid creatures, living for countless generations in this sludge might bring forward. At
first TaRa-Lin was certain that these unseen beasts were more afraid of the
newcomers than the newcomers were of the creatures. She feared the moment when their new
acquaintances below the surface would become more daring in their curiosity though.
from the underground fortress of the Khor had been nowhere near easy. After charging down
the tunnel leaving the execution chamber, listening to the crackling noise of fibers
snapping in the rope set on fire and to the shrill terror stricken shrieks from the two
women left hanging in the flaming remains of it, they again became engulfed by the pitch
black humid and chilly labyrinth.
While running, TaRa-Lin got a chance to question KrisTha about how they had been able to infiltrate the underground fortress. -Ill tell you all there is to know about it if we live through this, she panted forth. -You wouldnt believe how many of these witches there are down here. -I suggest we run for it and leave explanations for later. This sounded sensible to TaRa-Lin so she continued running intent on helping the amazon carry out her storytelling promise. They had not ran for a very long time and in quite uncertain directions when the first evidence of them being chased presented itself mere meters down the tunnel in the form of a HuraKhor war party. These warriors clearly underestimated their opponents, both in number and skill. As they began falling in heaps with their innards hanging on the outside through fresh cuts and slashes in their firm flesh, their mistake became awfully clear to them. TaRa-Lin was enjoying this to the fullest. These girls were truly experienced fighters and thus worthy opponents. She moved forward through them like an sledge hammer, enjoying every new impalement and shriek of agony more than the one before. Nothing beats the sight of your overconfident opponent staggering backwards with her very own blade sticking out of her chest, squirting her life essence all over you, she thought. Soon the last of the Khor warriors, a pretty young brunette, slumped against a wall, yelping in horror and clutching at her side where blood was oozing out rigorously amongst sporadic air bubbles, and the amazon party charged forward down the tunnel leaving only one of their own number behind. The poor girl had gotten away from the formation and had got herself a considerable number of new bodily openings. It hurt KrisTha a great deal to leave the young woman behind but she felt a motherly responsibility towards the whole group and intended to get the most part of them away alive from this lethal predicament and these bloodthirsty whores. Ah, what TaRa-Lin wouldnt had been willing to do for a map of this godforsaken maze. She had an nagging feeling that they were only running in circles. A suspicion that turned into most unpleasant realization as they once more charged into the execution chamber. Even though this brought their spirits down a great deal, it still meant that they could witness the non-presence of LeeNha, the traitorous bitch, now literally gone to the underworld along with her bird friend. The group charged forward indefatigably, stressed by the ever growing crowd of pursuing HuraKhor warriors and priestesses screaming for their blood. Not few of them also howling and screaming at the sight of their own blood and ruptured organs freshly spilt on the shining blades of their amazon opponents. TaRa-Lin truly thought their journey had come to an abrupt end when after a long and tight set of stairs they entered a small storage room proving to be a dead end. She was enraged at the thought that she would seemingly end her days in this subterranean shit hole. The insolent grin she was granted by the LuThara advisor didnt give her much consolation either and she promised herself that if she were to die, that cheeky advisor would taste cold steel before she did herself. -A precarious situation yes? The advisor said calmly, still smiling condescendingly towards TaRa-Lin. -How can you be so calm, TaRa-Lin snapped back at her, pointing at the flickering lights of their hunters torches advancing quickly and loudly up the stairs behind them. -I can help you, the black clad advisor continued as calm as before. -If you can help us, now is the right time, TaRa-Lin once again snapped at her, panic starting to reveal itself in her voice. She was a good swords woman. A tremendously good swords woman actually. But the odds here were all but good. Surely a large number of Khor bitches would taste steel and die while making their way into the small chamber, but shortly so would TaRa-Lin and her companions. -If I help you, she advisor continued. -You must promise to bring me back to my mistresses dwelling, she continued. -To leave me behind in this city of sin and decay would surely be beyond cruel, she continued. -Are you suggesting we add you, a back-stabbing traitorous woman of the LuThara to our group, TaRa-Lin grinned back at her. -This is not going to happen!!, she said. -Then I will tread back and meditate over your destiny, she said calmly putting her hands together in a humble gesture and started moving away from TaRa-Lin. -May your imminent death be swift and painless my barbarian friend, she concluded. The group of amazons were gathered around the opening in the wall watching fearfully and firing their crossbows and bows at their hunters who had now rounded the last corner and were no more than maybe thirty feet away. The amazon supply of bolts and arrows had mostly ran out during the earlier battling and thus not as many HuraKhor warriors as they wouldve wished for, stumbled backwards screaming with arrows protruding from their flesh and falling backwards into their comrades and thus making the advance harder for the ones behind them. TaRa-Lin broke away from the group, making themselves ready at the door and approached the advisor, standing by the wall with a content smile on her partially concealed face. -If you can really help us then do so!, she yelled at the black clad woman. -I will take you with us in the hope that you will make yourself useful. -Have no doubt that I will kill you in the most painful of ways should you choose to betray us. The advisors face shone up at this and she started to take on her new task with amazing determination considering it was her most recent allies she was about to betray in the most homely of ways. -Make good use of those barrels and the way out will be revealed to you, she said calmly, pointing at a big stack of barrels in the middle of the chamber. TaRa-Lin could not believe how she could have missed those barrels. It was as if a veil had been lifted from her eyes. Not wanting to give credit to the aging advisor she figured that the effect of the potion given to her before was wearing off and she was relieved that her old sharpness was coming back to her. At least thats what she wanted to persuade herself of.
They made excellent use of the barrels. Not only could they be rolled down the slope of the entrance tunnel with cover of amazon archery to cause great pain and anguish amongst those Khor warriors that had advanced the furthest. Not only did the HuraKhor women have to face the arrows and barrels raining down on them from above. They also had so climb over heaps of their fallen sisters, now adorning the ground of the tight tunnel. Not that it seemed to matter much to them. Their battle frenzy wiping out every sense of empathy in their wicked minds. Some of the barrels managed to maintain a straight course, crashing into their screaming targets while others smashed into the sides of the tunnel, breaking and spewing their content over the stone floor. While the barrels were thrown down the tunnel, the amazon archers had to draw back slightly to allow passage to the girls carrying the barrels to the opening and thus giving the pursuing Khor women who were not immediately hit by the heavy rolling obstacles the chance to advance further, screaming their defiance and rage at the top of their lungs. Continuing shooting arrows at their pursuers might have proven a more effective tactic since the barbed whistling projectiles seemed to infuse greater fear into the women warriors than the fear of being hit by the barrels or sprayed by their rank smelling content. Almost at the same time as the first HuraKhor warriors poured through the opening into the small storage room, waving their swords and shouting their battle cry, a less fortunate fellow cultist just having avoided being hit by a barrel, lost her footing on the slippery floor of the tunnel, some thirty feet down the tunnel. She shrieked in dismay and just managed to grab hold of one of the torches attached to the tunnel wall. To her great disappointment the old holder broke, making her crash face first to the floor, torch in hand.
The scorching heat rolling in over them from behind gave the amazons, fighting the first Khor women the chance to make short work of their startled enemies. Almost as one, the scantily clad war chicks turned around to see what was going on behind them. A maneuver that proved fatal as amazon blades invaded their firm flesh, making them spin screaming to the ground squirting blood over the floor and their cheering opponents. The opening and the tunnel below had turned into a fire breathing dragon. A couple more Khor women managed to throw themselves through the opening into the chamber. They were however lit up like torches and tumbled around in unspeakable agony until a few well aimed amazon arrows through their flaming flesh put an end to their macabre dancing performance. From the opening, panicked shrieks echoed as the doomed girls tumbled around down there, crashing into each other and the walls, trying to get away from the fire consuming their flesh, but being literally trapped in the burning inferno with nowhere to go. -The fire can be a good servant as well as a ghastly enemy, the black clad advisor established. -Quite right, TaRa-Lin replied watching the flaming figures dancing around down the narrow passage. -This is truly no time for philosophy, KrisTha pointed out as she and a group of amazons were frantically trying to clear the floor from the remaining barrels under which the solution to their immediate predicament could truly be found in the form of an ancient wooden hatch with rusty old hinges. -You have done well, TaRa-Lin said to the cloaked advisor. -I would much rather have you as a friend than as a foe, she continued as she was attacking the old wooden hatch with the help of a couple of sweaty and sooted amazons. -The way of the gods are incalculable, the advisor mumbled. -Truly capricious.
The farther the group advanced down the flooded stinking tunnel, the lesser their guiding light became. The torches they had brought from the storage room had burned down and now the only thing that guided them was their senses and the occasional light coming from a street well high above their heads. During the times when no light could be seen at all the comforting and steady voice of the advisor did the job that the light lacked quite well. The creatures in the water around them had, just as TaRa-Lin had feared, become more and more familiar with the newcomers and had started to come closer and closer. Occasionally one of them would swim by real close making a startled cry emanate from one of the amazons, having the creatures body swim past her. One could tell that they were huge because of the motion they made on the surface as well as the whirls they left behind them in their wake. -Breathe easy and no sudden movements, the advisor commanded. -We dont want these foul creatures to smell our fear or they will soon taste our blood, she continued. -We should be at the city edge within the hour and then we are out of this stinking town. TaRa-Lin fought back the urge to tell the cheeky advisor not to command her group, but the position they were in, wasnt the most adequate for such a move so she would let it go for now. She was actually rather thankful for the guiding, because as skilled as she was in a regular fight, these circumstances were all but normal and she didnt want to end up as food for the fishes or what ever the hell these abominations swimming around them were. Something else that disturbed TaRa-Lin greatly was that the sounds of their pursuers that had gone away shortly after leaving the area near the hatch, had somewhat come back. Amongst the low murmur from the streets far above them, the occasional shouts and curses that were all too familiar to her could be heard now and then, sending shivers of fighting lust down her spine.
Suddenly a crashing sound from behind startled her and she turned around just in time to see a group of HuraKhor warriors burst through a rotten through wooden door onto a small platform about ten feet above the sludge, from which a set of stone stairs led down into the mucus on the far side. The light from their torches licked the walls and their howls floated over the stinking waters. The fact that their petty torches did little in lighting up the tunnel worked well in the amazons favor, giving them a chance to aim thoroughly at their unsuspecting foes. -Hold on to your bowstrings for just a little bit more, the advisor whispered to the amazons, as the group of Khor warriors started to advance down the stairs. More and more of them continued to come out the door and also a couple of Khor priestesses in white cloaks and metal masks appeared at the opening. They maintained their position on the platform surrounded by a few warriors seemingly set aside for their protection though. Although they had had the chance to build up their supply of bolts and arrows in the storage room, TaRa-Lin was slightly concerned about the number of enemies streaming through the opening. A miracle might be needed to get them out of this situation alive.
It would also have taken a slight miracle for the HuraKhor women not to hear the distinct "twang" sound of a bow letting its arrow fly and even more of a miracle for them not to hear the sounds made by the dying priestess falling loudly to her knees, shrieking in agony and clutching at the arrow impaling her through her lower abdomen and sticking out from her back. -Run you fools, run!!, the advisor commanded as she picked up her garment as best as she could and started wading down the opposite direction of the tunnel towards an opening previously unseen in the pitch black tunnel. Apart from two eager amazon youngsters that kept shooting with great success at the enemies with their bow and crossbow, the rest of the group followed the advisor toward the opening in the wall. No light was shed on the Khor women making their way down the stair, so the two amazons kept shooting at the ones by the opening, causing panic and confusion on the tight platform. A Khor woman standing at the very edge got hit in the throat, clutched at the shaft in her windpipe and fell gurgling, headlong and with blood squirting, from the platform and into the sludge in the midst of her advancing fellow warriors in pursuit of the fleeing amazons. She had barely touched the surface before it started to move as if it had come to life. Whirlpools twirled everywhere as the creatures below, clearly attracted by the blood, started moving around like crazy, seeking a new juicy prey. As the group of amazons charged down the tunnel, several more of the HuraKhor wenches fell screaming and joined their late sister in her demise with amazon arrows protruding from their proud flesh even if the most part of them still stood and were now more eager than ever to cut those amazon bitches into a million pieces. Not hearing the desperate cries from the two priestesses on the platform, which told them to withdraw, they moved forward, crazed with the promise of imminent revenge on their fallen sisters. The two amazons stood proudly waist deep in the sludge. Their last arrows put to good use, sticking out of HuraKhor womens bodies. One of the two priestesses on the platform had taken an arrow in her back as she was trying to prevent her sisters to enter the treacherous waters. She wiggled backwards, moaning in agony, trying desperately to reach the shaft entering her left lung from behind. Her ankles got entangled in the ropes surrounding the platform and like a pendulum she fell backwards , smashing her back against the stone wall and thus having the arrow pushed all the way through her, spraying her advancing fellow cultists with her thick red blood. The two amazons were ready. One slightly in front of the other, their blades held in a ready stance and staring defiantly at the approaching Khor women. When the first one of the two warriors was swallowed by the sticky goo, both her fellow amazon and the foremost Khor warriors took a hasty step backwards. A tentacle shot up from the greasy sludge, wired itself around her slim wait and jerked the shrieking amazon beneath the surface in an instant. One of her hands came up above the surface, gripping at air as if trying to hold on to her dear life. It was quickly followed by her entire arm, ripped off at the shoulder and shooting out from the sludge as if spitted out, but from what. The warrior women shrieked in mortal terror as the creature or whatever it was made its way midst their line on its way to a calm spot, clearly intent on consuming its prey in peace. Terror that the last amazon, consumed by rage over her fallen sister, used to get the upper hand she could against this painfully superior enemy. Her blade had barely left its resting place between the swelling breasts of the nearest screaming HuraKhor bitch as she got some quite warmly welcomed assistance from the slime dwelling monstrosity below. Another tentacle shot out of the stinking porridge and wired itself around the head and shoulders of one of the closest Khor warriors. The poor girl shrieked shrilly as she was jerked out of the slime, her legs kicking wildly. At the same time that the force of her attacker crushed her ribcage with a short series of loud crunches, her bladder let go and thus spraying her amazonian foe with her urine. After this initial preparation of its meal, the creature started to move down the tunnel clearly intent on enjoying its prey in holy peace. Its intention cruelly interrupted by the numerous blade wielding HuraKhor warriors piercing its flesh. Had the warrior gals focused less on their new enemy than on their previous one they may have saved a couple of lives. The turmoil and confusion caused by being attacked from two sides brought great losses onto the cultists. A huge loss of blood for the cultist nearest to the amazon who got her throat cut open, falling back into the goo clutching at her squirting neck, blood trickling from nose and mouth. A tentacle shot forth from the surface, made a graceful curve in the air before going back below, circling itself around the legs of a screaming cultist, lifting her and swinging her around in the air in large circles. Her helmeted head crashed once against the stone wall and a second time while swooping the second priestess from the platform from which she fell shrieking, cursing and waving her arms desperately trying to find something to hold on to. Another cultist suffered the indignation of having her chainmail top cut open, revealing her luscious bosom. The amazon blade sticking out of it ruining the perfect symmetry of the two fleshy globes totally. Her killer stood behind the cultist feeling life slip away from the girl. Her helmet long since discarded in the fighting, her brown silky locks falling to the side along with her limp head as the cultist coughed blood. The amazon watched the fight against the fish monster go on indefatigably as she stood there with her shivering victim, holding her up with an arm around her chest. -How does death feel as its creeping upon you, bitch?, she sneered at the doomed girl. Had she not contemplated over her kill and the fatal beauty of the dying girl so much, she may have heard one of the warriors ordering a fall-back, seen the group of warriors slip back through the opening leaving a great number of dead and dying fellow cultists splayed over the stone and in the water. Some in the grasp of the unmentionable horror beneath the surface and other simply discarded and crushed beyond recognition. She may even have made an attempt to remove her blade from the dying girls chest and readied herself for the attack coming in the form of a crazed cultist swinging her sword. The Khor woman ended her steel wielding performance with a swift pirouette after which she drew her blade clean through the body of her fellow cultist and into the muscular tummy of the amazon behind her. As a last gesture of good faith from the gods, the last thing the amazon saw in her agonized state of blood puking nausea was her killer yanked from the water and dragged shrieking shrilly down the tunnel towards a grisly death. She held on desperately to the limp body of her victim as the cultists weight leaned against her, forcing her below the surface, the pain in her stomach overpowering her. A defiant but silent scream on her lips. Her eyes screwed shut.