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Kingfisher Chronicles VIII


The Temple of Abaddon


Five days of very hard riding in favourable conditions or seven to ten days at an even gallop (or one day of soaring on the back of a very hungry dragon) to the west of Dvorganna Fjall the Kingdom of the Dwarves ruled by Kai Ang V’shoor or Kingfisher for those that speak the common tongue of Eurodarkia rises the formidable Vermillion Mountains, twisted peaks of black granite forced up from the Rings of Eternal Damnation by the hand of Satan himself to form an almost impenetrable natural defense for the scores of Incarnate Demons that took their chance and escaped from Hell during the time of the Great Splice.


The Vermillion Mountains form an almost perfect circular raised scar from the Northern Sea down through the barren tundra of Central Eurodarkia, a festering cancer on the land, for out of the Vermillion Mountains pours a constant stream of poisoned water, foul air, diseased flesh and corrupted souls.


A vile a corrupted fortress against the purity of nature that would have been razed down to dust and scattered bone if it were not for its unnatural defenses, impenetrable to the “Mortal Races” and near impossible to pass through before any General of War could even contemplate attacking the Realm of the Incarnates within, to even consider forcing through the mountain passes was pure folly. The journey would be almost certain death for the attacker if they were uninvited unless they happened to be several hundred legions in strength and did not consider massive casualties a problem.


And once within the borders of the Vermillion Mountains there is nothing but death and the corruption of flesh. Disease would take a terrible toll upon those sorry few that did manage to breach the outer defenses.


Inside the ring of high granite that is the Vermillion Mountains the carrion eaters have grown fat and become plentiful on the rich harvest provided by the continual work of “The Readers” but the terrible diet that they gorge themselves upon has changed them, corrupted them and made them become foul things that have no rights to life on this plane of existence.


These are wretched and spoiled creatures that have fallen away from what is natural just as the first of the Goblins fell away from their Elven brothers so very long ago.


Nothing that lives within the ring does so unsullied as this is no place for animals or humans, this is a place of absolute corruption where no tree could ever send down deep roots for fear of having them scorched by the very flames of Hell nor grow tall on the soot stained hillsides where a single drop of the bitter water that flows within the oily streams and rivers holds a thousand different deaths for plant and animal alike.


Here within Vermillion Mountains there is only the vivid vermillion purulence of disease and decay painted in the rancid colours of the fallen.


This tortured place is the home of the Incarnate Demons.


And they keep their borders jealously.


Hidden deep within the foothills on the inner edge of the Vermillion Mountain range is the Temple of Abaddon, the most sacred place for all Incarnate Demons on this plane of existence and yet for all its importance to them its entrance is understated with only a few stone columns and statues to mark the fact that it even exists.


Sitting over the entrance to the Temple are a dozen or huge ravens keeping a raucous lookout from the rocky outcrop above the Temple doorway, perfectly camouflaged sentinels for here everything is as black as night and so the ravens even for all their size can only be seen as they flap and screech their hate filled warning calls at each other before falling silent and disappearing into the background.


The Temple of Abaddon is a place of destruction; this is where the lesser agents of the Incarnates commune with entities still yet tied to their Old World, seeking advice and direction on how best to force the interests of those that would starve and waste away during times of peace and contentment.


The incarnate Demons have little interest in fine ales and rare meats on the bone, they instead sustain themselves on a diet of pain and misery and of late the table setting has been rather meager…The Demons of the Vermillion Mountains are growing weaker by the day and fear they may soon have to return to Hell.


The parliament of ravens scream abuse at each other as a disproportionate creature of a man approaches the high arched entry to the Temple; he kisses the feet of the stone statue at the doorway, a statue in honour of Innana, the Queen of the Incarnate Demons and ruler of the Vermillion Mountains as he enters.


The man’s flowing black vestments drag along the floor as he makes his way over to the pens, fat pallid maggots begin to crawl over his bare feet and make their way into every crease and fold of his clothing.


He does not consider them, they are of little importance to him and serve only to return his readings back into their basic constituent elements.


Deep inside the temple of Abaddon the acrid tang of brimstone pours out from the numerous squat black bodied three wick candles that are casting their flickering light within the soot stained walls of the temple. Strange creatures dance within the shadows as light and dark move fluidly across the temple walls as though possessed.


The bitter black smoke that hangs in the air cuts through the sickly sweet stink of death and decay. This place is truly a Hell on Earth; this is where the Incarnates give worship and make their sacrifices.


The stone block upon the High Alter runs freely with the steaming gore that had poured from the last offering.


Fresh blood was running over the congealed remains of an earlier sacrifice and slowly dripped from the well worn edges of the stone slab like the cooling black tallow that dripped from those diabolical candles that surrounded it; large pale pink maggots heavily engorged with their putrescent sustenance found within decomposition writhed lazily in countless millions upon every surface.


Flies moved in vast clouds around the shifting haze of the candle smoke; here is a place that they need not search hard for their foul duties, everyday there was ever more spent flesh for them to render down into base components so that it could be taken back into the cycle of life once more.


The innards and body parts of those poor souls too slow to escape the collector’s attentions decorated the floor.


Once the victims had been ‘read’ by those that possessed the power to do so they no longer served any purpose and were simply discarded, piles of flesh slowly losing the vibrancy of life and richness of colour simply melted into the great mass of human liquid that stood festering in collection pools set deep into the black marble floor.


The creatures hands, black with old gore reach into a pen to extract another victim for reading. He drags her by the hair. She says nothing, she does not struggle.


After being kept in such depravity and filth for what seemed a lifetime the girl wasn’t in the least afraid anymore, she neither cried out nor struggled as she was taken to the alter and thrown naked onto the wet warm stone slab. She turned her face away from the pens and into the sticky mess so that she could avoid looking into the face of her killer. She did not want that face to be her final image of this world.


She closed her eyes and was home, happy at the hearthside with her family. She was the last of her kin; soon she would be with her family once more.


She accepted her end in absolute silence. She was finally free and away from the horrors that had engulfed her.


The blade ran deep.


She smiled; a tear ran down her once pretty cheek…The end was here…Finally.


The creature of a man tore out her innards and threw them steaming onto her lap.


Scrabbling in amongst the rope like gut he tried to extract the future…But the future was black.


Looking closely at the shape and texture of the liver he tried to ascertain hope…He could see nothing but a fog of obscurity.


Perhaps there would be a light of possibility hiding within the safety of her womb…but alas there was only darkness and solitude held therein.


There was nothing of future prosperity dwelling within the waxy white fat around her kidney’s…Only famine and pestilence lay ahead.


The stomach held no signs of happiness for him…Nothing but dismay and consternation.


Finally he held her heart but it was as lifeless as a stone block as it beat its final mournful rhythm.


Not again he thought…Not again!


The sacrifice was unsatisfactory…The reading was poor.


Frustrated he pushed her twitching remains from the alter on which he plied his trade. He was finished with her, let her return to the elements from which she was created.


The man’s irritation at another failure was plain to see, he had hoped for a better outcome but the female’s innards had ‘read’ badly. The sacrifice had been unfulfilling.




The act of sacrificial reading could be so exhilarating but once again it had failed to quell his longing and now he found that he was in utter torment.


He has to find news of a pathway for his masters, otherwise they were all lost in the sea of peace and tranquility that threatened to drown them in a rising tide of fulfillment and happiness.


He returned to the keeping pens and dragged another victim to the alter as once more he would try to find glad tidings of torment and woe.


But again he fails.


And so he tries again…


Each time the blade is used ever more forcefully than the last as he tries to attain the satisfaction he so desperately desires…But he cannot find it…There is no hope for him.


Eventually the pens hold nothing more.


Freshly broken and torn bodies lay everywhere.


It’s all in vain.


His world is black.


His masters are doomed.


They will starve within the year if a route to war cannot be found .

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