Chapter 1: (Part 5) Rise of the Fallen

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When they arrived at the entryway of Zerethian Pass, all they saw around them slowly faded away. They felt an eerie presence as they continued on through the grey surrounding. No sound was heard from the valley, but voices of the companions still strong, echoing deep within its grasp.

"Don't lose each other!" Theodren spoke loudly. "One false turn and you may kill us all!"

As they continued through the fog, a sudden movement grew in the distance. The movement came closer, and the mist separated in an instant. The eyru girl was struck by an arrow! Sticking deep into her right arm, she screamed in agony!

She yelped, in so much pain it was difficult to speak properly. She bashed her knees against the ground as she fell off her horse with a loud cry of surging pain. "Help!"

"Not now, not now!" Carrion rid over to her with distress in his voice, dismounting to stand beside her, unsheathing his sword and shield.

The horses were stopped in their tracks, the dust picked up with a neigh. They all withdrew their weapons while looking in every direction, focused. Confused, the dead silence quickly returned.

There screamed a cracking sound, a snap in the nearby distance that banged in its echoing flow. The sound came closer. Something appeared within the fog...faded...yet well seen.... It was a dark figure surrounded by human remains. The cracking of bone shattered all over the floor as it stepped.

Cloaked in dark gray with black shaded symbols, it slowly approached them without any struggle in each step.

"You there! Are you the one responsible for my friend's wound?" Carrion asked with fury bursting on his aged face.

The fog slowly faded away as if it were only an illusion. The being came closer, pure skin of a pale unshaken face with glowing eyes, glowing red like blood!

With another two slow steps, the being was revealed completely. Blackened long smooth hair, a sharp jawline, a defined and determined forehead, blank expression, and a look.... The look was unlike any other.... It held power to it, and made them tremble just looking at it for more than a second.... The eyes remained completely open, almost like that of a dead body, but one could easily tell between the two, for the haunting image the being gave off would return night and day when they feared to see it most.

There was silence for quite some time filled with the elf girl's agony. Carrion continued to stay beside her to try and comfort and guard her. While the being looked to all of them, it specifically targeted Carrion. There was a grin; a grin that lacked all manner of happiness, of emotion. It was scoffing, but for something far less redeemable.

Carrion gripped his sword firmly, his breath drowned, and body quivered. The others looked at him in confusion, yet remained focused on the area around them.

"It-it's-it's HIM. It's-it-s Almar. He was there." Carrion eyes widened, the others gained the realization immediately, and they all targeted him.

Changing stance, Almar lowered his left leg and angled his right elbow behind his back, the palm of his hands aiming towards them.

Theodren couldn't wait any longer. He charged Almar on foot with his longsword, aiming to kill Almar before he could do anything to stop them.

Running full speed, metallic clanging increasing in volume the further and faster he went, he pulled his sword upward. He aimed to cut him in a left downward curved strike, from a rather powerful and large steel sword, which held a cross guard and was finely crafted.

Skidding to an abrupt stop after the attempt, before the results were clear, however, Almar grabbed his blade, snapping it in half with only the grip of his finger tips. Despite the large wall, Theodren, who basically plowed down whatever came in his path, stood no chance to Almar.

Almar gave a smile that seemed to mock Theodren as he continued trying to push to kill him.

Zoran was shocked by Theodren's foolishness, which was odd of him, as he normalized it often.

Theodren's arms were getting sore, the little that remained of his blade was shaking while in Almar's grip.

Two arrows struck Almar's arm; blocking it with the target itself, as if the arrows themselves had vanished.

"Theodren! Get out of there!" Zoran shouted nervously. He was running at Almar, but with his two shots ending in failure, he feared the fate of his brother.

A dark shade surrounded the group once more. Zoran held himself in place, rather than rushing further forward, still with his bow held back and arrow ready to fire at whatever came at him. Everyone else stood behind Zoran as he continued watching his brother, their hands touching the mist. Theodren grew weak, falling beneath Almar while dropping the remaining fracture of his blade. Zoran rushed to him, putting the arrow in its quiver while Carrion followed closely behind.

"Theodren!" Zoran called, falling at his feet only a few inches from him.

Carrion started to panic, losing his sight in the darkness. He watched as all those around him quickly fell not far from him, though the sight itself was difficult to really comprehend. Carrion gripped his sword in the right hand, shield on the left. For thirty years of slaying dragons and all other beasts, this was the first time he actually felt fear. Only his childhood could suffice.

He charged into the darkness like a mad man, completely unable to keep balance in each step. His shoulder was cut, and he too fell unable to fight back. All of their senses escaped them.

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