Azriel peered over the gate that separated Vossia from the Corrupted Desert. Despite the numerous stories of souls lost in its magnificent storms or the sightings of terrible monsters born of corruption, Azriel could not quite satisfy his curiosity of the ominous desert plains. It was midnight and Azriel had been keeping track of the guard shifts at this exit, he knew this was his chance to jump over and explore the sands for what would be his third time. He effortlessly climbed the wall using the strategically placed holes he’d made during his last time over the wall in case he wouldn’t have the luxury of time to turn open the main gate. He flipped over the top and came crashing down, leaving a large cloud of sand and knocking the wind out of himself in the process.
Azriel regained his composure and stood up to admire the candid view of the night time sky he had of the desert. Despite its obviously dangerous nature, Azriel could see the beauty in it’s sky as threads of dark energy struck across the skyline in rapid succession. But with dark corrupted energy meant there would be monstrosities near the source of the light, the same monstrosities he suspected to have slain his parents years ago. Azriel took one last look behind him before he ran off into the desert in search of clues to his parents demise, luckily from experience Azriel knew which paths to take to avoid the interference of corruption. He skipped past markers he’d made in the column like structures that protruded from the sands to let him know if he was on the right path and approached the spot where he had to cut his last trip short.
Before him was a partially submerged building with a design he’d not seen before in any history book. Azriel smiled with glee as he irresponsibly jumped into the first opening he could find and slid down the tilted surface before he finally met the floor. He stood up unsure of where exactly he had landed due to the lack of light. He took a deep breath and tried to focus his essence towards his hand to make a light from the glowing energies that he would produce. After a long minute, a light illumination began to circle around his dark hand, revealing his immediate surroundings. The walls near him were crumbling apart when he touched them, but the parts that remained were spectacularly decorated with beautiful hieroglyphics. Although despite being able to identify what the pictures were, he could not deduce what they meant.
Azriel moved his hand coated in the energy of his essence closer to the hieroglyphs to see them better, but the moment the energy coming from his hand touched the wall, the entire room burst in a spectacular light coming from the glyphs along the walls. Azriel could not stop his mouth from dropping at the spectacular scenery that was unfolding before him. Beautiful art works adorned the partially caved in ceiling, and along the floor there were remnants of what was probably a very expensive set of rugs. Azriel realized now that this was no ordinary building, but in fact a tomb. As he walked down the lit corridor he could feel the building begin to shake gently. He dismissed it as another part of the tomb falling in, something he didn’t care much for so long as it wasn’t falling in where he was at.
The further Azriel went into the tomb, the more ominous it became. Questions raced through Azriel’s mind as he felt along the walls for a secret passage way. “Who’s tomb is this?”, “Why hasn’t anyone else been here before?” are some of the thoughts Azriel whispered out loud as his hand slid across a stone that slid into the wall opening a passage way that lead deeper into the structure. Azriel couldn’t contain his smile as he thought of the discoveries he’d make not only furthering the search for his parents, but for the potential of treasure too. But the moment Azriel stepped foot into the passageway, the lights that once glowed a dim orange, now transformed into a purple haze that began to fill the room. “Shit, a trap!” Azriel said as he stepped back immediately. Behind Azriel the entrance he’s slid in through began to collapse inwards revealing the violently purple sky above him. Azriel grit his teeth as he began to unsheathe his sword, he realized now that this tomb probably belonged to someone who had a hand in the disaster that caused this desert to be in the state it’s currently in.
The distorted sounds of what seemed to be tortured soul echoed through the collapsed ceiling and into Azriel’s ears. He rushed to the now open ceiling, he had to move now or he’d be surrounded by the monsters and devoured. As he climbed the rubble a tendril from above grabbed his leg, yanking him out of the building and on to the now swirling sands. Purple lighting illuminated the skies and before him stood a monster three times his height. It’s arms were gelatinous tendrils and its body a organic nightmare of parts seeming stuffed together into one thing. Azriel used his sword to sever the tendril that was wrapped around his leg. The monster screamed even louder than it had before and began to charge at Azriel. Sword in hand Azriel began to run towards the monster, going against all of his survival instinct telling him to run away as fast as he could. When his blade met the monstrosities torso, it tore through it as if it were paper and the monster fell apart into two pieces. Azriel knew the monster was not dead, but he didn’t have the luxury of standing around to wait on its regeneration when a corrupted storm was forming around him.
Azriel sprinted away from the monster and followed the path he’d laid to direct him back toward Vossia. Lightning of corrupted origin struck the area directly in front of him, causing him to stumble and fall. He picked himself up, but not before the monster he’d left behind had caught up to him. “Hey big ugly!” Azriel said standing up towards the monster, “Shouldn’t there be more of you here?” He said, knowing that during corruption storms, more monsters were to spawn from the small rifts to corruption created by the energy from the storms. The monster was not much for conversation, as it immediately shot both of its arms toward him. Azriel rolled to the side evading the monsters attack and began to run towards the central mass of the disgusting creature. As Azriel approached his target, a third tendril erupted from its central mass and grabbed him by the torso. It began to secret a liquid that started to burn away at the tan dessert cloth that he wore. He screamed in pain as the liquid made contact with his skin and began to sear through, despite this he managed to grip his sword and cut the tendril off, causing it to erode along with the acidic liquid it secreted onto him.
Azriel’s sword began to glow with a blue aura, the color of his essence, as he began charging once more towards the beast. The beasts other two tendrils began to retract towards its body, but not before Azriel made a powerful vertical slice through its body matter. Charging his energy into the blade Azriel began to slash rapidly at the monster to prevent its regeneration, reducing it to ashes that began to erode with the swirling winds. As the monster eroded, the storm began to calm, leading Azriel to believe the monster was just another part of the trap. He sheathed his sword and began to trek back to Vossia. “Why did those glyphs affect the corruption near by, and how’d it summon that monster?” Azriel though aloud as he approached the walls of Vossia. Once again, Azriel left the desert with more questions than answers…but this would not be his final trek into the Sands of Corruption.
Image credit goes to “Oktanas” on deviant art.