The City of Decay - Part One

Discussion in 'Content Creation' started by Ender, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. Ender

    Ender Member

    Aug 21, 2016
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    The Mianite Realm

    53 Years Earlier…

    In the Far East, far from any sign of civilization, the sun blazes down on the Desert of the Dead. This is a morbid place. Animal carcasses, and bleached bones lay as far as the eye can see. The reason for so much death is a simple river. It winds through the sand, creating no plants in the wet dirt, no trees lining the bank, despite how old the currents are.

    This is the Siren's Current, a river that parches all, for those who seek it find nothing but a dried trench, but those who do not soon find themselves within its depths. This river is notorious to the locals, as having the most chaotic pattern of all currents. The flooding cannot be predicted, nor can the drying of it. It is as if the river has a mind of its own.

    And it is here where we find the most activity, in this bleak, inhospitable place.

    In the center of this massive expanse of demise itself, spots of green, and dark figures are a striking contrast against it. This is a campsite, for a few dozen intrepid individuals. They are archaeologists, and they are here for the discovery of a lifetime.

    The tents are pitched, surrounding a massive pit in the sand with a diameter of 360 feet. It resembles a quarry, with scaffolding and other supporting beams holding up sandstone and other materials threatening to cave in this expansive area. The desert held back by wood and stone, thanks to the innovation of man.
    At the bottom of the pit, it sharply ends in an black floor. It has no imperfections, completely covering whatever may be behind on the other side. Various individuals line the pit, issuing orders to others, hauling out sandstone and rock uncover more, building more support beams and scaffolding.
  2. Ender

    Ender Member

    Aug 21, 2016
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    He sat up from his hammock, stretching and yawning. He could hear shouting from outside, but he didn't care for now. Morning preparations had to be made, just as always. He favored the norm, rather then a breach in schedule. He was an organized man, and he preferred to keep himself that way.

    As he changed, he took a brief glance at himself in a small pocket mirror, ensuring everything was satisfactory. He was a bearded man, ending at the chin. He was a local here, so he took on the complexion of the desert itself. Tan skin, dark hair, and brown eyes being the prominent features, and almost all of it covered up by the desert clothing he put on himself. An indigo robe as well as an accompanying head-cloth covered his features, and kept out the sand.

    With all being ready, he sighed and stepped out of his tent into the desert. Workmen strode past him, going to and fro, off on their own individual tasks. It was as if he was in the middle of an event, which technically, he was. Skirting around the edge of the pit, he trudged through the sand towards the heart of the activity, where the biggest tent was also located.

    In front of the tent in the distance, he could see two men studying a map laid out on a table. One man gestured frantically, while the other seemed to be calming him down. As he drew closer, the men took notice of him, and stowed the map away. The taller man strode towards him. He looked similar to him, but wore rimmed glasses, which seemed to be the only thing telling them apart.

    "Thomas! About time! Did you think sleep was the only thing to do here?!" Despite the insult, the other man was grinning widely.

    Thomas Avalon chuckled. "You're one to talk, Arthur! You look like death itself!"

    The men laughed, and embraced each other, clapping each other on the back. Stepping back, Arthur Murdan smirked, and gestured to the surrounding area.

    "Beautiful, isn't it? We are the first ones to gain permission from the local Telkan tribe to examine this area. We've already discovered countless artifacts. Pottery, head-wear, jewelry, you name it, we've found it!"
    He laughs heartily. "The museum back in Hensword has already offered thousands for these paltry fragments! Wait till we show them the city!"

    Thomas frowned. "City? That wasn't mentioned in your letter."

    Looking incredulous, Arthur suddenly glared angrily at the other man in the tent, who looked resolute. He wore the traditional clothing of the Telkan tribe, with robes and adornments of jewels upon his head. This marked him as an emissary, dealing with the unknown. Striding forward, he spoke in heavily accented English.

    "This information is sacred. Do not discuss such things with a foreigner. You are the only exception we have made, Mr. Murdan."

    Rolling his eyes, Arthur took aside Thomas, going out of earshot of the local.
    "These tribesmen have been bothering me all week. Can't get them to leave. Says we'll 'defile the ancient ground' or something like that."

    "Tradition does run deep with the locals."

    "Tradition can go fuck itself. We are doing this for the fame! Fortune! The gods themselves will smile upon u- Ah. Well, I mean me."

    Thomas shook Arthur's hand off him, getting the usual frown on his face, for when this conversation came up, it almost always ended in a heavy argument. "Arthur, I am Godless. I'm not an atheist."
    The man waved a dismissive hand. "Same difference around here." Glancing around quickly however, he spoke in a low voice. "Keep that Godless stuff to yourself though. Some men from the Institute arrived last night. A few of them are Purgers."

    Thomas turned pale. "Why would you gather Purgers for this?!"

    Arthur grimaced. "The Institute insisted. Said we needed protection, and they provide most of the finance for this site. Without them, we wouldn't be here."
  3. Ender

    Ender Member

    Aug 21, 2016
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    Here in the past, the Godless faction has just been born. But it was not born quietly. Almost immediately, the first man who created the faction was burned at the stake. He was labeled a heretic, a blasphemer. All those who followed the code would end up the same way.

    This led to the creation of an organization known as the Purgers. The leader, a horrible man known as Tyrand, dresses his followers in robes resembling the fabled Grim Reaper. They have begun a massacre, and all who resembled or followed the Godless are publicly executed.

    Ten or twenty years later, after the formation of the Godless are accepted predominantly, Tyrand and his followers are hung outside of their headquarters, and subsequently burned. Priests of the Gods, and the Godless alike currently label the area as hallowed ground, surrounded by the stench of death.

    But it is now that Thomas finds himself in danger, torn from the desire to be safe, and the desire to explore. As always, exploration won.

    "What did you tell them about me?!"

    Arthur placed a hand on Thomas's shoulder. "You are a foreign archaeologist, and a follower of Mianite. They are expecting you to wear this," He produces a pendant, a star in the middle of a circle. "For good luck. Don't worry, I've already told them you are shy about your religion, and they only expect you to wear that pendant."
    Thomas sighs. "Fine." He snatches the pendant, and puts it around his neck, feeling disgruntled.

    Arthur nodded. "Good. Now, time to cheer you up. I'll fill you in on the city, while that tribesman is away."

    As he spoke, Arthur wove a tale that entranced and fascinated Thomas. The story was deduced from the carvings and etchings on the pottery and other artifacts found.

    Long ago, there was a village. It was known throughout the region. The title it was given, was Ramlia. Their people were dying. The animals had been driven away by pestilence, and crops were corrupted by a mysterious disease that they knew nothing about. All food was rendered inedible.

    They prayed to Mianite, and asked him to help in their time of need. He took pity on these small villagers, provided them with the most enchanting oasis, and a winding river throughout the desert. This pleased the villagers, and they sacrificed much to Mianite throughout the following week.

    But Dianite saw this, and simmered quietly. The villagers were starving due to an insult they had dealt to him. A shrine nearby, dedicated to Dianite, was demolished and replaced with Mianite's shrine. In a rage, he set loose the disease, and drove the animals away.

    Now, his brother had ruined his revenge. But he could not take direct action, lest he wreak his brother's wrath. So he cunningly killed a nearby villager, out of eyesight from his brother, and molded its form into an unspeakable monster. A beast, neither living, nor dead.

    He unleashed it upon the village, and watched as it changed villagers into monstrous creatures. The creatures spread a plague, an airborne virus, throughout the Village. Coming into contact with it would provide the same result. The villagers, horrified, once again pleaded to Mianite for help. Unfortunately, Mianite recognized the disease, this horrible corruption, and harnessed the desert. The village was swallowed by sand, and buried underneath the rock.

    From Dianite's rage, he suddenly realized how he could prosper. He created a plan, to not only bring back his shrine, but create an entirely new group of followers. Before the villagers could suffocate, he manipulated the rocks, and spread them around. Eventually, the entire village had a cavern to themselves. He showed himself to them, and promised he would eliminate the disease only if they would promise themselves to his servitude.

    In despiration, most of the village did so. Those who didn't were thrown to the creatures as their last meal. He destroyed the disease, and created a barrier of black rock above. This rock was translucent, and would offer sunlight to the crops. The river above was allowed to soak into the sand, and trickle down into the cavern, as their very own underground river.

    The creatures that were left over served as guards to the village, and were the only beings that journeyed to the surface. They would find small homes and towns, and kidnap the residents. Those that were deemed fit were made slaves to the town. Those that were not served as a sacrifice to Dianite.

    In time, the villagers began to think themselves as pure Dianitee, and strove to show this to their now beloved god. They built statues and monuments to his power, and in return he gave them knowledge. The village quickly turned into a city, as the village made buildings that reached all the way up to the top of the cavern, touching the black rock.

    Dianite soon saw fit to bestow treasures to them, gold, jewels, armor, weapons, all that he held no room for, was given to them. The city was made into a sort of storage center for Dianite's personal belongings. What better way to protect materials sacred to you, then to leave it with those who would deem praying in your temple in the wrong way, as a sentence of death?

    After such a long time, the city was forgotten, and none have found it since. All records of its existence was lost. Until Arthur Murdan found a codex that said otherwise.

    Thomas gaped at him. "So you believe that the black floor in that pit below, is..."

    "The very same translucent rock that fueled their crops, yes."

    Arthur's grin was enormous. Before Thomas could speak, he suddenly frowned and waved him off. "Yes, this dig is extremely dangerous, but I have complete confidence in my abilities. The natives described are obviously long dead by now. No civilization could survive for millennia."

    Sighing, Thomas gestured to the artifacts. "So what does this mean for us, besides scriptures that may or may not be true?"

    Suddenly, a serious expression appeared on Arthur's face. "Because, if what the artifacts, the codex, and stories say are true, there are a millennium's worth of treasure stored deep in the ground beneath our feet, all sacred to Dianite."

    A smirk appeared on his face, he put his arm around Thomas. They turned towards the deep pit, now turning dark due to the setting sun. The story had taken longer then he had thought. Or perhaps he just knew how to sleep in.

    "And we are going to steal it."
  4. Charlisse

    Charlisse New Member

    Feb 8, 2017
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    Ender you artistic genius.
  5. bombshellgirl

    bombshellgirl New Member

    Mar 22, 2017
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    Well written. All I can really say...

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