Pyro blinked as the world around him changed; from the entrance hall of Elysium Asylum to a strange, dark room. The walls were coated in metal and a dim lamp hung from the ceiling.
“Umm... Hello?” Pyro groaned as the pain in his back and arms intensified.
His voice echoed round the room which, on closer inspection, had a door set into the wall ahead of Pyro. He groaned again.
“I suppose I’ll discover who’s leading this whole thing soon.” he said, standing up on quavering legs and brightening the flame on his head, to check the rest of the room. The door creaked and slowly opened. A figure dressed in a black suit and tie with black hair and black eyes walked in.
“My masters will see you now.” He motioned for Pyro to follow him.
Nyx flinched and a coil of shadow curled around the throwing knife and flung it back towards Skyril. It clashed off four finger knives on Skyril’s right hand and fell to the floor. Ignoring the fallen knife, Skyril glared at Nyx, they both ran forwards weapons raised and met at the centre of the room in a flurry of slashing blades and writhing shadows.
Kallista strained against the shadows, their grip loosened and suddenly she was back on her feet with her samurai swords raised. Striding towards Nyx she pushed at the air, batting Nyx’s dagger out of her hand. The shadows attacking Skyril diminished and she sliced through them, moving on towards Nyx.
“I’d better go.” seethed Nyx diving towards her dagger. Shadows surrounded her and when they disappeared she was gone.
Octaboona raised his eyes from the book he was reading. There seemed to be quite a commotion going on downstairs, he got up and walked down the staircase, past many, many floors before reaching the entrance hall at the ground floor.
“Could somebody please explain what is going...Skyril Oblivion?”
“Yes Octaboona, I survived.”
“Care to explain?” asked Kallista.
“I suppose. Although it’ll take a while. You see, I was with you guys when we were chasing that accursed assassin through the wastelands of the Southern Cliffs.”
“Yes, yes. We know happened, Nyx pushed you over the edge of the Pit of Broken Souls, but how did you escape the pit? And why didn’t you come back sooner?” Kallista asked.
“Well as I was falling, I grabbed two of the daggers I was armed with and slammed them into the rock wall closest to me, the blades sinking into the soft rock in a shower of sparks. My descent began to slow and after what seemed like hours, I eventually stopped all together. I must have fallen a very long way because when I looked down, I saw the very bottom of the pit; jagged and forbidding. On closer inspection, there were many bodies; victims of the pit. I screamed as the horror of it all descended onto me, many, it seems, had walked those few steps too far. I knew I wouldn’t last long in this place so, I grabbed the two daggers and used them, one at a time, like ice picks to climb the long, long way up the side of the pit. By the time I reached the top of the pit, the blades of the daggers were so damaged that they could shatter at any time. I hid, carefully avoiding the pools of moonlight that carpeted the ground. You had all left the wastelands and there was no trace of you to follow back. I stumbled in what I thought was a straight line, hoping to find my way out of there. Eventually I began to see trodden paths and, following them, I made my way back to Ireland. Of course, nothing is ever that simple: as soon as I set foot on Irish soil, I knew in my gut that I was being watched. I turned round and almost crashed into a vampire, poised to strike. I leapt backwards and stumbled into a cocoon of shadow that closed in around me. No air could get through the shadows and eventually I passed out.”
“Understandable, whoever it is we’re fighting probably wanted information from you” came Octaboona’s measured reply.
“Well yes Octa, I thought that at first too, but when I came to I was in a concrete cell with no entrances or exits of any kind. I guessed that I’d been taken there with shadow shifting. Most probably by the necromancer who trapped me in the cocoon. There were bones in the corners of the cell and the smell of decay was heavy in the air. Whoever had captured me wanted me dead. I waited for what seemed like days before anything happened; I heard a muffled thump to my left. It suddenly dawned on me that there must be a complex of cells here rather than only one and that, from the volume of the noise, the walls couldn’t be very thick. I struck the cell wall with one of the knives I had and, after hours of work, finally took out a large chunk of concrete. By this time, the person in the other cell had come to, and was looking with fear at the wall I was coming from.
“Who are you?” The person stammered.
“My name’s Skyril, but all that matters now is that we find a way out of here...”