Author Topic: Athoon Mimm: The Silent Black  (Read 616 times)

Coal

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Athoon Mimm: The Silent Black
« on: February 02, 2024, 03:38:40 PM »
A musty journal buried deep in the mountain written by a twisted creature who peered briefly into the mind of a solitary Urndlikr Tjorn, Jasper Boulderkin. The telling is disjointed and fractured. Taking place shortly before he died and then was reformed. He speaks of this Dwarf's mind as jarring and intense. The reverberation of his thoughts resonating violently for many days after.

   

    "Rage. Dark and pitiful rage. The long halls pulsed and tightened with the sound of dense steel shod boots clamoring towards some forgotten end. The blood pounding amplified everything and sweat poured from him until his back was thick with it. Something stirred, something horrific: A rotting clawed thing with tentacles that twitched sporadically. It lumbered and lurched, probing the halls for any sign of what came. He could feel it, scratching madly at the sides of his mind, desperately prodding at the life that was locked inside. He shared its lust, its hatred, the arrogance that furiously gashed at his skull.

    There was then nothing, so focused on his hate he could barely feel the weight of the beech in his hand. He was near it now, a hazy form drifting in unreal motion. Strange lights danced on his flesh, and yellow fire raced along the walls.
   
    Dense weight was crashing into his head…...

   “Was it a rock?” he thought in a barely perceived whisper.

   The creature leered “Give in. Heel thrall.”

    The command did nothing but bend his nose. Eyes bloodshot and streaming tears, he brought his axe to bare. Purple dead blood splattered his snarling face and the creature screamed. Not in vanity or superiority but in horrific end, its writhing damned mass battering the walls and tearing at the stone. Kin-Child had bitten its neck and now was drinking. It looked up in defiance for a brief moment but swiftly a boot came down upon its skull. A sickening wet sound followed and the beech was in his hand again as something scampered away.

   Rage, dark and pitiful once more took him. The long halls pulsed and tightened, his heartbeat pounding in his skull.

   Thump.
   
   Thump.

   Thump.

   The sound slowly drifted as the passage stretched. Pressure and heat consumed him.

   “How long?” The thought was fleeting as the black rock gave way into more nightmares.

    The sunlight then assaulted his eyes as he crashed outside. Blood was everywhere, streaming in great cascades all around. Rent and open like hungry mouths starving and desperate for satiation he stumbled into the soft moss below a tree and drank greedily from the creek that ran beside it. A fitful, twitchy rest fell upon him and like an animal he sank into the dark dream that was his mind."


« Last Edit: February 02, 2024, 05:47:29 PM by Coal »

Coal

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Re: Athoon Mimm: The Silent Black
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2024, 10:55:44 PM »
The stout mold, the clever lichen, and the noble fungus.

A small journey into the strange world of mountain ecology.

“Stories of Jasper Boulderkin, written and formatted by untitled author”

   The Ecology of the mountain is often a misunderstood thing.  Upon first inspection it appears as barren as any desert or salt flat, only inhabited by struggling plant life and starving skittish creatures. However, on further study, you find a vast crawling terrain with a diverse section of highly specialized and hardy vegetation. Indeed your a cave is no different then any temperate forest or verdant jungle. No one understands this better than your typical Dwarf. If perhaps your common Stone-Born’s attitude and culture seems alien and somewhat violent, then take the time to fully examine it. Understand them in the context of the environment they live in and you will find them as rich as any society. Just as a cave first appears dark and imposing remember, that too is how the Dwarves will first appear to be.

First chapter: Mold

   Mold is the backbone of the dungeon ecology. Growing in great roaming patches wherever water has been trapped by the densely packed halls deep underground. Nutrient rich and remarkably resilient, mold is largely responsible for the removal of “cave waste”, turning it into something that is altogether more useful and available to the many other flora and fauna that call it home. To call it important would be a grave understatement. Without its growth, I doubt there would be such a vast and impressive array of useful and bizarre life under the mountain. Coming in such a great deal of vibrant and impressive colors (especially when considered it will live its entire life in mostly complete black) such as Violet, Crimson, Green, Blue, Yellow, even “Grave” and “Stone”. I have no question one could spend their entire life (and write many books) just covering this topic alone. The wonderful qualities of such vegetation are known mostly by the Dwarves, and the few folk who are brave enough to delve deeper into this strange and beautiful landscape. Upon inquiry Jasper noted:

   “The funny purple ones lets ye see folk who be hiding around.”

   What other mysterious properties could they yet contain? I dearly hope that over time we can, together, unravel the secrets of these aloof and unapproachable caverns, and the many molds that happily grow wherever they can.

   


“Please readers stay in tune for the next chapter where we cover the clingy and coy lichen. They may seem like freeloaders, but their wild spirit uplifts and supports the many creatures that would call these uninviting caves home.”
« Last Edit: February 16, 2024, 04:18:55 PM by Coal »

Coal

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Re: Athoon Mimm: The Silent Black
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2024, 04:10:04 PM »
      Staring upwards at the stars he places the drink down. The stone is cool and the night air crisp, full of chirps and croaks. The smell of rosemary cooking into the goat he killed earlier wafts slowly throughout the air. Tears ran freely down his face, the salt tingling his lips igniting the corners of his smile. One by one he speaks their names, waiting for the feeling to end before carefully placing another on the wind. Each one a burden lifted, weighty chains held for too long.

      “Go, I am sorry to have kept you. I thought it was my duty, but I made you my prison. You are no longer an excuse.” He speaks the words softly to each one. Delicately exhaling and setting them adrift.

      He floated through the forest. The weight that had been lifted felt impossible. His flesh tingled and the breath swirled in his lungs. Each step was light and jovial taking him further and further. Blood raged into his legs thrusting him forward with great speed. Water flecked and streamed from his face catching the moonlight with fragile sparkles. He ran, bounding rocks and crashing through bushes until the sun crested the hill.

      Returning to camp he fell into an oblivious rest, unable to struggle or protest. The black held him safely and jealously. No weight, no dreams, nothing.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2024, 08:59:43 PM by Coal »

Coal

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Re: Athoon Mimm: The Silent Black
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2024, 06:34:25 AM »
   Bellows howled as the fire swirled and turned blue. With a growl he threw another vial inside. Bursting it bathed him in sun like flame.

"Hotter" he grunted with a low dissatisfied nod.

   He clutched a large still beating heart of a pit fiend and hurled it inside. It flickered and spit magma wreathing his face in flames. The forge was straining now to contain the heat. Death rolled from the entrance turning the the air to ash. Any normal man would have suffocated, burned to cinders. But he was Undlikr Tjorn. Keeper of the long halls of Djerg and blood of Aldr. Pressure consumed him while his eyes darkened.

"It must be hotter still. Hot enough to kill a god."

   He grasped cast iron buckets of cooled lava taken from the bottom of the mountain and tossed them inside. Grabbing hold of the bellows he worked. Screaming he pumped until his muscles ached and his vision was blurry. The air was pulsing with waves of intense heat and the forge now glowed white hot. Wordlessly, a slow smile crept onto his face.

"That'll do. Oi aye, that'll do."
« Last Edit: March 29, 2024, 02:00:46 PM by Coal »

Coal

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Re: Athoon Mimm: The Silent Black
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2024, 01:30:35 PM »
  They surrounded him. Bestial amalgamations of man and animal. Howling creatures that clawed his form. Fire raged everywhere, a conflagration that consumed all. Even while burning they frenzied. The smell of burnt hair and flesh widened his nostrils and the smoke made his eyes water. He drifted into slaughter, his blood pounding drowning out their feral screams. The abominations tried to smother him in a mass of burning cursed flesh but he swatted them aside growling lowly as his eyes darkened.

A cry...

  Someplace in the back of his mind froze. His body raged and his thoughts turned dark. His vision narrowed to one point beyond the smoke.

"No."

   It was his only thought as he climbed their writhing twisting forms. Bones crunched and body's bent in the wake of his passage. Leaving behind twisted masses of once tortured flesh. Time crawled, each step an eternity. An entire lifetime of reflection passed on each breath as he approached a body upon the ground. Gently amongst the field of rent flesh he reached down and picked it up. A small, delicate form lay mangled and torn. The warmth had faded and the eyes were dead.

"No."

   There was nothing. His legs bounded and carried him long past what his ragged breaths would allow. His body burned and consumed itself in feral desperation. His animal took over, smashing growling creatures that lunged from the shadows. Tree's moved aside and rock gave way. There was nothing but a trail. A trail that lead to a cart. A cart that would take them away.

"No."

   The thought was a command. A singular plain spoken truth that drove his entire will. He was bent to it complete, broken apart from the rest of anything. Reality faded until that was all that was left.

"No."


   

Coal

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Re: Athoon Mimm: The Silent Black
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2024, 12:06:31 PM »
   He pulled the mangled corpse from a small tunnel. It had been stuffed there unceremoniously. Upon inspection it was hardly complete. A limbless torso of what looked like a Barovian man. The work was unmistakable, Neuri. If he had to guess a rat. A solitary one likely. A runt feeding on the weak and helpless. A truly debased and pitiful predator. The location was close to heavy foot traffic, must be desperate.

"This close to me forge... nay good. Run pass this spot lots." He grunts and tosses the body into the water to be washed away. "Poor fecker probably nay wanted to be a snack."

   His mind turned to the wedding and another grunt escapes him. The tension had been building in the week prior.

"What the hell are you doing? Get it together" he smacks his helmet and growls lowly.

  How long had it been? A week? Normally not gone this long, he was beginning to worry. Years of instincts were screaming at him, instincts that had kept him alive a long time. Something was wrong. He tried to push the feeling down but it burned and made his muscles twitch. His trembling hand grabbed at a flask and he pulled a deep draught of some fiery liquid. His nostrils flared and he stared deeply down the hall.

"It's nothing" he repeated to himself slowly the words ringing hollow and having little meaning.

  He drifted into the dark places in the back of his mind. The animal he had kept caged there. The feral beast that had kept him alive. His powerful heart beating rapidly and rhythmically causing his body to swell. The pressure was rising and his eyes blackened.

"Nothing, it is all nothing." He whispers slowly to himself as he treks the hall. Solitude, silence, and black were all that greeted him.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2024, 02:01:58 AM by Coal »

Coal

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Re: Athoon Mimm: The Silent Black
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2024, 12:35:27 PM »
  The bellows screamed hot air as the forge began to glow. His hands were shaking and his chest was pounding. Suddenly he clutched at his heart with a low and sturdy growl. He had not been able to drink in several days. He eyed his flask then slowly drifted his gaze back to a table in the corner and saw her there. Not as a cold Neuri corpse but as a smiling mischievous merchant.

"How's it going?"

  The words rang sweetly in his ears and he caught himself upon his quenching tub. His vision was blurry with tears and his eyes raced around frantically.


"Why didn't you find me? Why didn't you tell... what..."

  Immense pain like knives pierced his sides and his chest tightened. Through gritted teeth he grabbed the bellows again.

"Promises made, and promises kept Mistmoors. Soft sands and Rum await. I don't... I don't.. this one being the hardest. I dunno if I can take it."

  How many had it been now. The names he speaks softly into the mist.  The doubt crept into his mind but he bared his teeth and roared in fury. The forge was white hot now, the room radiating in waves of intense heat. He walked up to the body and with trembling hands grabbed the corpse. He held her for a moment seeing her freckles, her tiny bowler hat, and her cheery smile. Reality snapped back and the corpse was blue. The eyes were bloated and already starting to rot. A mangled lifeless Neuri. He grunted falling to a knee his head swirling. Slowly standing he walked to the forge and without a word threw her inside.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2024, 05:22:21 PM by Coal »

Coal

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Re: Athoon Mimm: The Silent Black
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2024, 05:27:10 PM »
  He stood upon the cliff staring out over the ocean alone. The ashes had long since been carried out to sea. The salty air swept through his nostrils and trembling hands rest at his side. Memories flooded his brain while his heart pounded in his chest. A plate of crisp bacon and soft eggs, Six dice, sweet mirthful laughter. One by one they came and went. He knew he had to forget. He grabbed his flask and howled taking a small sip. It was all he could manage, all he could do to stay alive. Memories came flooding back and his body wracked with uncontrolled tremors. Sobbing fell upon him and he wailed for an unknown time. The drink reminded him of her, yet he couldn't stop.

"I need to forget. I am sorry. But I have to forget."

  The sun was starting to fall and the horns on the ship blared. Slowly he walked down the cliff and aboard a vessel he had commissioned with the last of his coin.

"Nevuchar Dwarf?" The deckhand grunted in a short bark.

"Aye, aye." Jasper replied tersely.

It was decided. Back to the land of his Fathers birth. He wondered if the story would be the same. What would he remember? What would he know? His eyes became blurry and he quickly grabbed for his flask. Memories flooded back and his eyes rolled in his head. A new life amongst kin. Perhaps he will stoke again the forges of Corvia. The thought caused him to smile.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2024, 12:56:01 PM by Coal »