The Bliss of Zarn’Gha

This one was written for olithoi, a dark fantasy tale set in a world I intend to fully develop when I have the chance to do so.

The young lady was struggling with all her strengths against her hooded captors, as they dragged her across dank catacombs tall men and women wearing dark pieces of armour, and the crest of the once forgotten religion of Zarn’Gha, the defiler of weak minds. She had been captured in broad daylight in the dead center of the Diamond City of Annazeth, an undeserved fate for one who was only trying to get to the central market to buy a shimmering fabric for her future wedding gown. To the evil occultists, it didn’t matter if she was a bride in the world of men, but only if she was fit enough to play that role in the world of primeval deities, and the answer was a resounding “yes!”

Some of the Knights of the Royal Order of Annazeth had tried to stop them but to no avail. Their swords, shields, and noble horses were no match for the combined magical strength of the vile group, a power that had spawned from blood, ash, and the shimmering essence of countless innocent victims over the course of millennia. These evil arts could turn just blades into weapons of self-inflicted death, docile animals into nightmare stallions with razor-sharp teeth. Many people will never forget what they saw by the city gates that day.

The horde of religious fanatics kept moving, dragging the poor girl by her hair without a hint of remorse. They stopped in front of a cavernous shaft that looked like the mouth of a giant vermin from the First Era of Careth, their voices coming together in a hellish hum, the mantra of their utter devotion to the tenebrous force underneath. And then, the tallest of the men had her drop to her knees and stare at the jagged rock walls for a few seconds before sending her to a fall that surely meant death.

It didn’t. She fell more than five hundred feet into the dark depths, but touched the ground gracefully, in the center of a massive cavity, a chamber dug up by burning hands that would never be seen again.

She wasn’t alone in this dank space. A scarred man, and with half of his body tainted in blood, was chained in front of her, long platinum hair obscuring the left portion of his face.

“They found another, I see….” He muttered, in a faint voice, as if he was still recovering from a gruesome form of torture and had no strength for anything else.

“Another for what?” she asked, beginning to tremble even if unwillingly. “Why are we here? What are they going to do with us?”

He smirked and spat on the floor.

You mean you don’t know? This is the playground of Zarn’Gha, the recently reawakened Ancient! An angry and hungry being who seeks the ultimate form of Creation in the form of thoughts consumption! He’ll be here any second from now, and things won’t be pretty for you. Trust me, I know. I’ve seen the things that happen when he’s allowed to run free!”

She gasped in horror, looking nervously in every direction on the lookout for the impending dread, seeing nothing more than shadows and sprawling darkness beyond them.

“If he’s as evil as you s-say, then h-how…” she began stuttering. “… How come y- you’re still alive?”

“So pretty, and yet so naïve! Where are you from? From the Plains of Asgharan where ignorance is cultivated as if it’s a blessing? Don’t you know anything from the history of our continent?! The Ancients are entities of dark ether! They have no physical substance! In order to play with mankind, they need hosts!”

His last sentence was accompanied by a growl as his weak body began to glow demonically. The man’s hair wriggled and she saw his spasmodic face and wrinkles of thunderous Power morphing into sinuous cracks. He released himself from the chains that bound him without breaking them, but simply passing through and his hands reached out to clutch all the gloom around and make the chamber brighter than a red sun.

The girl fell back, obfuscated, only to open her eyes shortly after within a world of erotic horror. Countless women filled the space, their bodies contorted into strange shapes and angles that had nothing natural about them. Their skin was dull, shriveled, their eyes completely devoid of any emotion, suddenly reminding her of the forbidden stories of Middle-Urth, that mythical place that only existed in the books of the great libraries of Tabikon and Yagonesh. For all purposes and effects, they weren’t truly alive, yet their lips moved sensuously, their nails scratched the irregular soil or played with their firm, naked breasts. They were all smiling vacantly, for they were about to have a new Sister.

The man that was now Zarn’Gha clenched his fists, sending a signal to the thrall army to spring back to life. They moved in unison towards the innocent prey, grabbing her feet, licking her legs, shredding the meager clothes she still had on. An undulating mass of arms, legs, and tongues restrained her inside an orgiastic web, her uncontrollable fluids tainting her skin, changing its color to match their own.

As the mystical predator slithered forward to claim her essence, she opened her mouth to welcome him whole. The Bliss of Zarn’Gha became hers, forever.

And there will come a time when she and her Sisters will march alongside the other devoted followers to search for the crystal artifacts that will enable the other Ancients to sip through, a time of great obscurity, but also of unwavering submission, a time I know it will come, but can’t say for sure when.

There are conjectures disguised as prophecies that say that the Great Downfall will begin on the 2011th year of a calendar yet to be invented when all the lands have lost their original names, and fetishes of the mind grow about in gardens everywhere, whatever that means…. It is with these words that I put my quill to rest, with this possible warning that I prepare myself to welcome the Last Sleep….

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