She had to enter the forest. There was no other choice. She looked behind her as a crash and a scream sounded in the distance. Forcing down her panic, she looked back at the black, gaping maw in front of her. She ran into the Daskar Forest; the legends and rumors of the creatures living in it not stopping her. The beasts in the forest were nothing compared to the things chasing her.
She had been running for a few hours before she had finally reached Daskar Forest and it had been at least an hour since she had entered the forest. Stumbling through the dense undergrowth and trees, she tripped over a protruding root. Holding back a scream of pain from the root digging into her stomach, she sat up and looked around the clearing she had fallen into.
It was the faintest sound, her ears barely able to catch it: the snap of a twig.
She froze. Afraid the smallest movement would signal her location to whatever had made the sound. She knew she couldnt stay in the open, but panic had set in, her muscles locked and her mind over flowed with fear.
The beasts hunting her, known as The Fallen to those who had the misfortune of drawing their attention, were men who had been transformed by their hate, lust or greed into beasts who followed their own agenda.
What the Fallen did to their victims was worse than any punishment the Death Lord could even think of to do to the souls that resided in his domain. Nearly invincible, The Fallen were marked by their glowing white eyes, all black robes, and the black hood that cover their deformed facial features leaving two holes for the eyes.
Slowly, she managed to get her panic under control. Trying to move as quietly as possible, she crawled from where she had fell to a tree only a few feet away. Burrowing as far back as possible into the roots surrounding the trunk she sat; fear coursing through her still body.
Another twig snapped, this time closer. She tried not to shiver, to make a sound, in case The Fallen hunting her was one of those gifted with enhanced senses.
A light thump, like a boot impacting on hard earth, echoed throughout the clearing. The hunter had entered.
Her eyes widened in panic, there was no doubt now that they were going to find her. She closed her eyes, not wanting to see what exactly a Fallen looked liked under their hoods. She waited for the inevitable- the slow, raspy, fetid breath that would announce the arrival of her enemy, the smell of long rotten flesh that would never finish decaying, and the feeling of pure terror that made any being instinctively shy away from them and few places they could be found at.
However, all she heard was silence. Her head lifted slightly as she opened her eyes, spotting a black pair of dirt encrusted boots, covered by navy blue pants. Slowly moving her head and eyes upward she took in the rest of the strangers appearance. A white sleeveless shirt adorned his chest, showing off the muscles in his shoulders and biceps while his forearms were covered in bandages from the elbow to the wrist. His eyes, the color hard to tell in the near blackness, were possibly a brown or green. His hair, however, stood out the most. Short and spiky like any other mans hair, it was the color that drew her attention. Instead of it being a normal color like brown, blond, or black, it was a light green.
There was no mistaking who the man was, she couldnt, she had known him her whole life. The man standing in front of her was none other than the Lord Baron, Thorik. Her only brother related by blood.
Standing up slowly, unable to believe what she was seeing, she reached out to touch him, unsure if he was real or if her fear and panic had truly driven her past the brink of insanity.
Thorik chuckled, amusement dancing in his dark brown eyes. What? He chuckled again, Hard to believe I would come find you like I promised? He grinned, teeth flashing.
She couldnt believe he was here, in Daskar Forest of all places, now. Her brother, the one person above all other beings that she would trust her secrets and her life to was here.
She flung her arms around his neck, embracing him as relief flooded through her like water through a dam. You have no idea how happy I am to see you. The heartfelt gratitude and relief in her voice caused Thorik to grin.
I promised I would find you, and I always keep my promises. He paused, Ready to leave soon, Sister?
She smiled, though exhausted from her escape and the trek through Daskar, she was more than ready to keep going now that her brother was here. Leaning back slightly to look into the talker mans eyes, she grinned.
Thoriks hand brushed back a strand of disheveled silver hair as he grinned back. She hugged him again. Im so happy youre here!
Thoriks smile withered. Moving the arm wrapped around her waist he managed to work loose something in his sleeve.
Her eyes widened as a stabbing pain in her lower back caused her to flinch. Thorik, his grin now twisted into a sneer, twisted the black dagger in her back, forcing a pained gasp pass her bloodless lips.
Why? The only question she could get out before her throat froze with the pain racking her body.
His sneer still in place, Thorik answered, Because, money, power, and immortality are worth more than family will ever be; though you should know that.
B-But, her voice failed as another wave of pain passed through her body.
He stared down at the crumpled form of his sister, his insane laughter echoing throughout the forest surrounding them. As his laughter died out, Thorik once again peered down at her. His sneer returned, Look at how the mighty have fallen. He crouched down as she writhed from the pain blossoming in her back. You had everything- fame, fortune, and power- why would you throw such beautiful things away? He questioned.
She rolled over on to her stomach hoping that it would help relieve some of the pain. The dagger now stood straight up in the air. Seeing the dagger, Thorik grabbed the hilt and pull it out, none-too-gently. She screamed; her betrayal, rage, and pain finally having an outlet.
Thorik grinned, insanity reflected in his eyes as he watched her roll over gasping. She opened her eyes with an effort, it was like lifted lead blocks. When she saw his eyes she whimpered for her brother, this wasnt her brother.
Mistaking the whimper as one of fear, a chuckle escaped as he gazed into her bloodshot and pain filled eyes. It wouldnt be long now, he could see the life draining from her with every breath.
Staring back at him, she saw something she had never wanted to see, no matter what happened in her life.
Thoriks eyes glowed sickly a white.
Her eyes filled with unshed tears. Hes already started the transformation to a Fallen?
His voice broke her from her thoughts, You know you dont have much time left in this world. Why do you fight death? Its entirely pointless! His insane laughter once again echoed around them.
She knew he was right, could feel her life force slowly fading.
As her topaz eyes got duller and her grasp on consciousness loosened, Thorik thought of something important. Ill be sure to take care of your friend hmm whats his name? He paused trying to find the name of the man he was talking about. Well no matter, you already know who Im talking about. Have fun with Lord Death Akeena.
With a final gasp
Akeena shot up in her bed, shaking, with sweat soaking her body and clothes. What the HELL kind of dream was that?
Akeena glanced at the alarm clock, the blinking red numbers showing the world it was currently 4:58 Am. With a muttered curse, Akeena crawled up out of her bed. I dont have to actually get up til six. She sighed, getting up was better than reliving that dream no, nightmare, over again. Feeling her sweat dampened pajamas, she sighed yet again. I might as well take a shower to wash the sweat off.
Going to her dresser, she grabbed another pair of pajamas and headed to the bathroom.