The failing sun glinted on the horizon, turning the sky to a purple hue, and blinding the group of weary sentinels as they prepared to set up camp for the coming night in a small, tree filled valley, near the southern edge of Ashenvale. Teleria sighed, looking up at the sky one last time before turning to walk back towards the camp site.
She noted the small, rather elegant tents were roughly positioned in a semi-circle, all facing inwards, towards a small, flickering fire. She continued to gaze around at her surroundings as she walked. The valley was roughly formed around a central lake, with various species of tree growing wildly on the steep, rocky slopes. Towards the furthest end of the valley, she could just make out a deep, rocky crevice, lined by large, looming boulders, which sent shadows across the valley. She felt the urge to look away, to run, as if some dark, ominous presence was extending its grasp towards her, but she dismissed such things as childish, and continued her lone march towards the camp site.
It was not long after the sun had finally slipped over the horizon, darkening the sky to almost pitch black when she finally arrived back at the camp site. Wearied eyes bored into her as she sat down on a small, blackened log, next to the fire place. The fire crackled and danced, sending shadow’s around the camp, and warming her to the bone. Her gaze shifted warily between the others sat around the fire, occasionally meeting their own eyes, only to dart back to the fire.
She sat there for what seemed to be hours, watching as the fire continued its repetitive cycle, never changing, except for the occasional diminishing of its flames, which was met by the hurried reply of kindling, and other flammable materials, being pushed into its base. One by one, the others returned to their tents, drifting into weary, nightmare-ridden dreams. Barely minutes after they had, the quiet sound of snoring would fill the air, and join others that were already asleep. Teleria found comfort in this, knowing that as long as the snoring continued, she wasn’t completely alone.
It was soon after midnight when the fire went out, and plunged the camp site into darkness. She grasped the handle of her blade, warily rising to her feet as her eyes adjusted to the now darkened surroundings. A sharp crack in the distance drew her attention, along with what sounded like a heavy footfall. Crouching low, she began to make her way towards the disturbance, darkness pressing in around her.
A seeping cold began to fill the air around her, and the ground underfoot began to become increasingly rocky. She began to think she had taken a wrong turn, and ducked low to the ground, hoping to catch a glimpse of the terrain she was currently standing on. Teleria let out a mournful sigh, unable to see anything on the ground. As she rose to her previous crouching stance, her head collided with a branch. Cursing loudly, she brought her blade around, embedding it in the offending branch. This act did nothing more than startle a large group of what appeared to be bats in the offending tree, sending them off in a flurry of beating wings, and garnering a little whelp of fear from Teleria. She took a step backwards, tripping over a stone and plunging towards the eternal, dark abyss which the ground seemed to have become.
Teleria screamed as she fell, trying to grasp onto something, anything, but found nothing but thin, gaseous air. The glow stick dropped from her hand and fell away, as she continued to plunge downwards towards the bottom of the abyss. The dark presence returned again, with a flurry of wings, and a shrill cry. Hundreds of tiny teeth and claw’s ripped into her exposed face, all the while pecking at her as she fell. She continued to scream her loudest, hoping that someone, anyone would hear her, but all this seemed to do was make her attackers more violent, as they tore at her furiously. Teleria screamed one final time, before falling unconscious.
She awoke screaming, holding her arms over her face, shielding herself against little more than thin air. Eventually she stopped, her voice hoarse with fear, tears running down her cheeks. She placed a hand on her face, feeling nothing more than what it should be, smooth, un-damaged skin. She opened her eyes, and recognised the familiarity of the camp site. Gazing around, she saw the others stirring from their sleep, awoken by the terrified screams. The valley seemed to echo with shrill, terrified wails, as the wind rose, as if in answer to her screams. She looked cautiously back towards the crevice, and saw nothing more than what it had appeared to be before, a hole in the landscape, offering nothing more than the same, emanating presence, as it had the previous night. She smiled as one of the other members of the group offered a hand to her to help her up, but as she reached towards him to take her hand, the world around her fell apart, plunging her back down into the same dark crevice, once again.
Ad Infinitum – Without End