THE BEAST

A Top Ten Adventure
By Josef Koelbl III


Prologue


Cartoran hurried through the cold stone corridors of Oranbega, his long white beard trailing behind him. His aids struggled to keep pace with him and their feet echoed throughout the lost city.

The time was approaching and Cartoran had to make sure all was in readiness. Long had the Circle waited for this moment. From the first reading of the ancient scroll their excitement was almost a physical presence within Oranbega. Now the time was here. The moon, planets and stars all aligned in the proper order in their proper place. The chants had been prepared and the readings had long ago been completed. "Power is at our doorstep.", the mage thought as he entered the cavern the ceremony was to be preformed in.

In the center of the cavern was a large round flat stone glowing blue with the ruins and markings that had been etched with care. Five lines led away from it to four smaller stones with similar characteristics. Upon each stood a Circle of Thorns mage representing the four elements: Fire, Water, Earth and Air. The fifth line led to a larger stone much like the others. It was raised higher, however, and this was where Cartoran took his place. The attendants spread out around the room circling it, their green eyes glowing with anticipation.

Cartoran raised his arms and began the ritual. "We call upon the Darkness…"

"O-Wah…", was the response from the elementals.

"We call upon the Dusk…"

"Tanna.."

"We call upon the Twilight…"

"Siam…"

"We demand the Power…"

"O-Wah Tanna Siam!"

"We command you come forth…"

"O-Wah Tanna Siam!"

"We command you!"

"O-Wah Tanna Siam!"

"We Command You!"

"O-Wah Tanna Siam!"

"WE COMMAND YOU!!"

"O-Wah Tanna Siam…O-Wah Tanna Siam…O-WAH TANNA SIAM!!"

Suddenly, all light was drained from the room and a still coldness took it’s place. Then an explosion of light and there, in the center of the circle, it stood. Twelve feet tall and covered with thick slabs of muscle. It’s appearance was like a Behemoth Overlord but it was black, larger, thicker with a great forked tail that swished slowly back and forth. The demons mouth held row upon row of razor sharp teeth and atop its head sat two curling horns. Its eyes glowed red with anger and its black bat-like wings twitched and fluttered.

"Who has summoned I That Have No Name?", the demons voice grated and rasped like two slabs of concrete scraping against each other.

Cartoran stepped forward, a look of superiority on his face. "We have, Demon! The Circle of Thorns has called you forth. With you at our command, to do our bidding, the world above will tremble and the Circle will have the power!"

The demon studied the sorcerer, looking him up and down. It turned it’s head back and forth surveying the room. Finally it’s gaze again fell upon Cartoran.

"Command? Bidding? Fool! I serve no one but He Who Has Not Named Me. And the power I reserve for myself!". With that pronouncement hanging in the air it’s great fist swept Cartoran aside flinging him into the cavern wall where he fell to the ground dazed.

The mages and attendants in the room fell silent, stunned at this turn of events. Then as one they charged the demon, yelling their battlecrys which turned to screams almost immediately.

The demons sharp talons sliced one of the mages nearly in two. Another was picked up and hurled 30 yards away into the wall of the cavern and then fell 40 feet to the floor, broken and dead. It cut through the Circle like a scythe leaving blood and entrails in its wake.

Cartoran groggily rose to his knees. Slowly he took in the sight before him. The mages, the guides, masters and overlords and even slaves were strewn about. Life had fled the cavern and left behind only misery.

Suddenly the demon was before him. Cartoran recoiled in fear but the animal wrapped its two hands around his head and pulled him to his feet.

"So, fool, you wanted power.", the demon sneered.

Cartoran hung limply in the demons grasp. "I don’t understand. The ritual was preformed. You should be in our power, demon." Even now the mage could not understand his failure.

The demon laughed. "Idiot! I am no demon! Look into my eyes, little magician and see what you have brought forth this day!"

Cartoran looked into the glowing red eyes and screamed. And as the animal twisted off his head and tossed him aside the last thought Cartoran has was, "We have doomed the world!"

The demon looked about and sniffed the air. The fear was an almost palpable presence. It heard the yells and calls coming from adjoining chambers. It smiled, flashing it’s long razors of teeth and made it’s way from the cavern into the cold stone corridors

And Orenbega screamed
TO CHAPTER ONE >
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