The full short story of Behemoth follows a lost soul in a very strange place. I have ideas of how I can expand this world, though it depends if anyone is interested and of course me having free time. Both Gray Sphere Saga, Perpetual War, and the board game take up quite a bit of time, eventually though I think I’ll come to the ideas in this short. The art depicts two very odd characters that appear in this story, not the craziest art… one day I’ll get better, maybe?
Edit 1/10/18: This story was originally called ‘Behemoth’. It has since been renamed as I did expand upon the idea of Behemoth. This story is different enough from the new Behemoth to be considered its own short story.
Any questions, suggestions, etc. Leave in a comment below. Enjoy the story below!
The Lost Party
Loneliness ached at the edges of his heart. He stumbled forward, landing at his knees along the rocky path. Darkness surrounded him at every angle, the only light illuminating from the red ruby he carried in his left hand. Sweat beaded from his brow, a drop landing before his eyes as he took deep breaths, staring down at the dusty stone floor. “I left them, for what?” He asked to the darkness, his voice hoarse and exhausted. He turned his gaze towards the ruby, “For some gift… What choice did I have though? We were surrounded, I barely got out there.”
Standing up, he used the wall to steady himself. His leather armor creaked against the movement, the tip of the sheath of his longsword scratching across the stone floor temporarily before he stood at his full height. He reached into a pouch on his right hip for a thin metal band. Bringing the ruby close to the band, he locked it into the empty slot. The light brightened slightly, he wrapped the band onto his right vambrace, tightening it into place. “I have to get out of here.”
Walking forward, he felt his muscles ache, his body leaning on his right leg, the gash in his left leg still hurting. The ruby lit his way, the darkness following him as the stone hallway kept going seemingly forever.
His companion’s voices echoed in his mind, two other strange voices filling in. He shook his head in protest, freezing up as he realized he was at the end of the path. The light showed the edges of the floor beneath him, extending beyond were piles of bones leading up to more darkness. Grimacing he knelt, taking hold of the edge, and slowly lowered himself into the room. Taking hold of the sword’s handle with his right hand, he pulled the blade from its sheath, his eyes studying his surroundings. Fear crept into his racing heart, the sight of piles of bones human and alien alike, illuminated by the ruby, skulls staring back at him with emptiness and grins.
A pair of lights revealed themselves in the distance, fluttering through the air. He stared at the pair with caution, his sword raised in both hands, the ruby giving a faint red glow to the blade.
The pair of lights reached him, splitting off to slowly encircle him in opposite directions. “A man, in this place? How curious!” A voice chirped, the blue light brightening with the words, its shape moving sporadically.
“Odd.” The green wisp replied, moving in a slower spin.
“What are you two?” He asked, keeping his sword raised, his legs spread in a readying stance.
“A good question!” The blue wisp said.
“Spirits,” The green stated.
He lowered his blade slightly, the blur of blue and green shifting around him, calming him, “good spirits?”
“Good? We are merely spirits!” The blue wisp exclaimed.
The green wisp paused briefly as if studying the man, “Who are you?”
“I am Mikhail.” He replied, watching the green wisp of light resume its slow drift around him.
The blue light bounced higher into the air at the mention of the name, “A name for the man! What are you doing here Mikhail?”
“You seem lost,” The green lazily said, its voice seemed to drone out in boredom.
“Well yes, I am lost.” He sighed, beginning to walk among the piles of bones, the spirits drifting with him in their spin. “I was here for this,” He pointed at the ruby sitting within the metal band. “Now I want to get out of this place, I need to get outside.”
“Such a pretty ruby!”
“The ruby glows bright, but what does it do?” The blue wisp sparked
“I don’t entirely know what it does yet, I just know I need it.” Mikhail replied, stopping at the sound of cracking. Shifting his foot, he looked down to see a leg bone split in fragments beneath his boot.
“Why the outside? Why would you want to go there?” The green wisp asked, its voice rising slightly with stress.
“It is where I must go, could you two lead me there by chance?” Mikhail asked.
Mikhail stopped, his head following both wisps, his brow furrowing in confusion, “Wait, which is it?”
“We should help him!”
“To the outside? What if…”
“Nothing will happen!”
“Why should we?”
“Why Oh, yes! Why should we?”
He rubbed his chin in thought, “Well, what would you two want?”
“Peace through destruction!” Both wisps spoke in unison.
“Destruction?” He asked, eyeing the bones around him with renewed curiosity, “Are these bones related to your request?” Mikhail could feel a chill run through him, the lights of the two wisps dimming their glows around him.
Rebrightening in color, the blue wisp fluttered through the air with renewed vigor. “We will help you as long as you!”
“Kill the slayers,” The green wisp finished the statement, its glow returning.
“The slayers?” Mikhail asked.
“Yes!” The blue wisp quickly darted across the bones heading to the other side of the room.
“Follow us…” The green wisp finished, slowly drifting after the blue wisp.
“Well, alright then.” Mikhail shrugged, keeping pace right behind the green wisp, his right hand still gripping the sword. He watched the glow of the green wisp ahead reveal the piles of bones to either side of the path he walked. Looking beyond the path, the outlines of bones piled high above him, tiny slivers of lights staring back at him with a keen curiosity. Leaning to the side, Mikhail could make out the gap in the wall lit by the blue wisp, which waited impatiently, dashing back and forth. He looked up the wall to see it extend above, vanishing into the darkness, the ceiling impossible to see. “Why are there so many dead here?”
“A slayer was made here, these are all those who had fallen for its rise,” The green wisp replied in its monotone voice.
“What exactly are these ‘slayers’?”
“You’ll see one soon.”
“Mikhail! Hurry up!” The blue wisp screeched. Seeing him come close enough, it fluttered towards the man, “This gap leads to the exit, come along, quickly!”
Lowering his head, Mikhail moved into the gap, taking short steps as he was forced through the tight passage. Reaching the end, he entered a new hallway that changed directions, its ceiling much higher. The red glow of the ruby lit his way as he walked, the blue and green wisp flanking his sides.
The loud snarl in the distance caused him to freeze up, his sword rising into the air, the blade glinting with red. “What was that?”
“Mindless scavengers, they always follow the slayers, taking what is left behind.” The blue wisp hissed.
The green wisp spoke up, “They merely slow the inevitable… but maybe you will give hope once more, Mikhail?”
“Alright, will I have to fight these ‘scavengers’?”
“Most likely,” they both said in unison.
Nodding in understanding, Mikhail moved down the hall, the smooth stone broken up with rocks, cracks, and the occasional mushroom or other fungi growing, drips of water sliding down the wall. A sound of chewing, ripping, and growling echoed towards him.
Coming to the end of the passage he found himself in a large chamber, on the opposite side was a crack that stretched from the ground to the ceiling with an opening at the top where a dim gray light shone through. In the center of the chamber laid a dead carcass mutilated beyond recognition, and surrounding it were a half dozen mutated blue creatures. Their skin was stretched across their bones, large white eyes turning to look at him, the single black pupil widening. Razor sharp teeth grinned at him, blood covered lips pulling back across their black gums.
“I assume these are the scavengers then?” Mikhail asked, readying himself, his eyes staring into the black pupils.
“Yes.” Both wisps said.
A snarl bellowed from the closes scavenger as it lashed forward, its long bony tail trailing behind with a snap.
Sidestepping, Mikhail swung the sword down, cutting the scavenger’s head clean off. Twisting to his right, he brought the sword across from left to right, catching the second scavenger leaping towards him. Its body flailing past him. Seeing the other four scavengers baring down on him, he leaped to the side.
Rolling to his feet, he felt pain shake through his body from his left leg. Glancing down he noticed the wet spot of blood growing beneath his pants, the leather still hanging loose around the gash.
Spotting the third scavenger aiming for his bloodied leg, Mikhail pulled his leg back, stabbing the sword down into the scavenger’s spine. He watched the creature spasm; using his right foot, he ripped the sword out, the momentum sending him to the ground.
Seeing the fourth and fifth scavenger baring down on him with fangs and claws, out of instinct he raised his right vambrace. The teeth of one scavenger latched onto the vambrace, the ruby glowing brighter and causing the scavenger to explode in an instant. The fifth scavenger caught in the shockwave burst apart, its remains launched to the side, fire searing the flesh.
Standing up slowly, his eyes wide at the shock and the crimson blood covering his body. He noticed the final scavenger slowly pacing around, its eyes studying his stance. Gaining back his wits, he growled at the beast, the sword raised in his hands.
The scavenger snapped back, its teeth chattering. It lowered itself to the ground, its head tilting before it quickly dashed away into the depths of the cave, vanishing into the blackness.
“Excellent work, Mikhail!” The blue wisp squeaked, appearing by his side.
“Definitely.” The green wisp added, shining beside the blue wisp.
Swinging the sword to the right, blood splashing off, he sheathed it. Taking a deep breath, he slowly limped towards the gray light. “Thanks, I guess…let’s see these ‘slayers’.”
Stepping out onto a cliffside, Mikhail froze up in awe and horror. Shining across the sky were gray rays of light. The light left a sickly color to the valley that stretched out from the cliff. A sickly purple river flowed through a forest thick with trees covered in webs and tendrils. The bleak mountains beyond left with massive craters shaping their faces, black clouds covering their peaks.
Walking through the dense forest was a massive five-legged scaled creature. Its body was a mountain itself, its gray scales rippling with muscle and fat. Spikes lined its thick body, two lengthy, ripped wings lay to its side folded up poorly, the tips digging into trees, pulling them from their foundation. Its head had no features saved for rolls and bumps and its single gummed mouth, teeth cracked or missing from its jaw. Its large tail slid behind its body, no attempts to keeping it off the ground made by the creature. Loud shockwaves of its feet stepping into the ground echoed across the valley, the creatures labored breathing filling the air.
“What is that!” Mikhail exclaimed.
“One of many slayers, the apocalypse of this world!” The blue wisp yelled.
“Unless someone stops it all.” The green wisp seemed to sigh.
“What world is this? This is insane…” Mikhail stated, slumping to the ground in defeat at the sight of the gigantic slayer, his body drained of energy. He was left speechless. His mind raced in fear, madness gripping it. He felt the presence of the behemoth nearly on top of him, the heat and pressure crushing his soul as his mind went crazy, darkness taking him.