SOTA Horror Fiction

Discussion in 'Fire Lotus Tavern' started by Fetid SirDidy, Dec 10, 2020.

  1. Fetid SirDidy

    Fetid SirDidy Avatar

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    *Feel free to post a tale or a writing prompt.



    "The Man in the Kobold Dwelling"

    As the Avatar approached the odd looking man, the smell of animals and rot filled his nostrils.
    The sun above was a fiery eye, its stare a blazing inferno causing copious beads of sweat to materialize and run down his face in a torrent. Each drip was instantly engulfed by dry earth.

    Thermal waves emanated from the metal buildings and fencing around him and all was still save for the melodic turning of the windmill powered generators and a crow at the far side of the compound that picked at a bloodied carcass. Even at this distance the Avatar could hear the crow feasting, it's beak pecking and tearing at exposed innards.

    Upon hearing the Avatar's approach the odd looking man held up a hand and beckoned him forward.

    Sskkk. tsssk.. hello friend..sssskkk," the man drawled.

    Bringing clenched fist to mouth, the Avatar cringed at the site of what stood before him. He now saw that the odd looking man was actually a kobold that had the likeness of a Human man draped across its face. The human visage appeared to be tied on with leather string, like a carnival mask. As the kobold began to speak, his tongue flicked wildly behind rows of jagged teeth.

    "Ah, I see you like my face...tsssk", he chortled. The kobold turned his head left and right allowing the Avatar to appreciate the entirety of his Human mask.

    As the Avatar slowly began to back away, laughter pulled his gaze near where the crow ripped at tattered flesh and vein. A trio of bodies lay sprawled on the hardened earth. One of the bodies was large and the other two were small. Two kobold younglings with clawed hands embraced gleefully danced around them, and upon their faces they wore masks of their own; with the likeness of human children.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
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  2. Fetid SirDidy

    Fetid SirDidy Avatar

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    "The Battle"

    The minutes blurred into hours and the hours into days as the Avatar dodged and countered. His hands weakly held onto the wand as he flicked his hand wildly like a dying composer conducting his last symphony.
    Just a little longer. Hold. Hold.


    The avatar was near exhaustion. His reserves nearly spent. All the experience he had accumulated over the years was called into action as he fought, drawing every hidden ounce of power and bending it to his will.


    At last the Cabalist, who had towered over him and caused his near exhaustion was defeated.
    Looting his foes body, the avatar stood in horror. There, on the ground, lay a single gem, a single black pearl, and a rusted fork.

    The avatar was haunted by that fork for the rest of his days.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2021
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  3. Fetid SirDidy

    Fetid SirDidy Avatar

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    “Harvest Night”

    A dull hum was all he heard, and what he saw was a fiery sky.


    Wilhelm Santree was deaf and mute but he could still see.


    The sky was painted with brush strokes of orange and red and brown. Leaves of the same color fell all around him, and he danced as they did.

    Wilhelm Santree was deaf and mute but he could still see.

    He saw his father’s hands, blistered and raw. He saw his mother's apron, tattered and stained. He saw the local magistrate bray and scorn, and he saw the local boys and girls laugh and mock.

    Wilhelm Santree was deaf and mute but he could still see.

    He saw the tall grass swaying in the wind. He saw the shadows of the windmills walking across the ridge. He felt the House on the Hill scream as it lay still.

    Wilhelm Santree was deaf and mute but he could still see.

    He saw the sun dip down. He saw the darkness swallow everything around. He walked toward the House as if bound.

    Wilhelm Santree was deaf and mute but he could still see.

    He stood before the mold soaked door. He pressed damp wood with trembling hands. He stood on a threshold staring into an infinite dark.

    Wilhelm Santree was deaf and mute but he could still see.

    He froze. A voice in the void whispered, but Wilhelm could not hear it because he was deaf.

    He cried out. He knew it called out for them, but they could not hear him because he was mute.

    He watched as the girls and boys moved past him. They entered the darkness and were never heard from again.

    Wilhelm Santree was deaf and mute but he could still see.


    A dull hum was all he heard, and what he saw was a fiery sky.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
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  4. Fetid SirDidy

    Fetid SirDidy Avatar

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    "Arrow Black"

    The boy died on a Tuesday.
    The arrow that pierced his skull was fletched on a Wednesday but this was of no importance to anyone other than Rolf.

    Rolf stared at his breakfast. Two eggs, a slice of bread, and a glass of Ardoran orange juice.
    The eggs were runny, the bread stale, and the orange juice acidic.
    The same breakfast Rolf had eaten since being stationed here; 127 days and counting.

    127 days.
    127 nights in this god forsaken city.

    Rolf sat in the guard tower, hen feathers in right hand and wood shaft in his right as he skillfully assembled his object of destruction.
    In his minds eye he saw Tanya's boy, Thomas Cumpston, and he shuddered as he imagined the light in the boy being snuffed out.

    Rolf put the arrow down and clenched his hands. Closed fists, open fists, closed fists.

    He dipped fingers into a small bowl of ashen paste and spread it along the shaft of the arrow he had just created.
    The bolt blackened.
    Rolf became darker.

    The iron head of the Black Arrow glistened in the early morning light. It’s target, a young Thomas Cumpston gleefully strode across the square.

    Rolf loosed the arrow and awaited the inevitability that followed; a symphony of screams.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
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  5. Fetid SirDidy

    Fetid SirDidy Avatar

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    "The home on Spectral Peaks"


    “It was a dark and stormy night.”

    In the candlelight Liam looked at the page while his left eye twitched madly - something had gotten in his damned eye. He rubbed at it, knuckling it deeply. He tried to focus on the words written on the page, but they were obfuscated by a veil of blurriness.

    Crumpling the page, he tossed it aside, laid out a fresh one, and began again.
    Or at least he tried.

    The wind howled outside and the shudders on his window shook in brief intermittent spasms.
    Clack, clack. Clack, clack.

    Liam caught himself chewing on his thumb nail;
    His mind had wandered again.

    He licked the feathered pen in his hand and dipped it into the ink pot that sat on his desk. Holding the pen above the fresh parchment, he pondered for a moment and then brought it down. But he did not write.

    Ink began to spread out in a circle where he held pen to paper.
    The pen did not move.
    Liam did not move.

    A noise outside had caused Liam to utterly freeze. The sound came from something foreign, something strange, something terrifying.

    Something Liam could not fathom was outside. He was certain it was there. And that certainty scared him into the paralytic stupor he found himself in.

    Clack, clack. Clack, clack.
    The noise came again, and Liam began to whimper.
    Clack, clack. Clack, clack.

    Liam remained still but his eyes darted toward the door.
    He thought he heard scratches.

    Clack, clack. Clack, clack.
    The shudders shook with more intensity. The latch finally gave way and the shudders burst inward, and along with them a bout of frigid air.

    Then, suddenly, the wind died down and the shudders on the windows settled, then lie still.

    Liam let go of the pen. It lay, still spreading its ink on the paper. He took a deep breath. His heartbeat slowed. And then he let out a laugh; a full belly laugh. God, he hadn’t laughed like that in ages.

    All was quiet while moments passed.
    His mind had wandered again like it always had.

    Walking to the window, Liam looked outside.
    All he saw was dark. But the dark did not frighten him.

    He moved to his bedside, pulled down his trousers and got into bed.
    Leaning over, he snuffed out the candle on his bedside table, and closed his eyes.

    While in a deep sleep, large brown spidery arms pieced the window shudders and a multitude of beady eyes stared at Liam as he slept.

    In his dreams, while horrors consumed his waking body, Liam heard the shudders.
    Clack, clack. Clack clack.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
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  6. Elgarion

    Elgarion Community Manager Moderator SOTA Developer

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    Got this mentioned on the events page, thanks for your stories!
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2021
  7. Womby

    Womby Avatar

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    "Unexpected"

    Visitors to Owl's Head with a taste for the macabre might like to visit the former home of Sir Ewan Masterton, scene of the strangest case to ever confront Lord Delbert Enmar, Commander of the Owl's Head Guard.
    The following description records the events that transpired one fateful night in this normally peaceful community.

    It should have been the perfect crime.
    An informant had told Gratnor that Sir Ewan Masterton had the most impressive collection of gemstones in the entire Vale.
    He also told Gratnor that Sir Ewan spent every Friday evening in the Fire Lotus Tavern after sending his only servant on a weekly supply trip to Kingsport.
    His Knight Marshall tower keep should therefore have been unoccupied.

    The entry was ingenious. The powerful stealth potion had been expensive, but Gratnor considered it a worthwhile investment as he managed to slip inside unnoticed when Sir Ewan ventured forth.
    Once inside, he headed straight for the hidden room that would surely be the place where valuables were kept.
    Entering the room proved no obstacle for Gratnor, who had spent many years honing his skills as a thief.
    Surprisingly, however, the room was empty, save for a trapdoor that apparently led to a basement of some kind.

    Cautiously Gratnor descended the ladder into the basement. Not wishing to alert any person or creature he might encounter, he felt his way along the wall in the dark.
    After several twists and turns, Gratnor came up against what felt like iron bars.
    A loud clanging sound behind him caused him to freeze in his tracks, and he suddenly found himself locked in a cage on the edge of a large room as various people in robes lit torches.
    In the centre of the room was a large altar.

    As one of the people in robes approached his cage, he recognized the face of his informant who smiled at him, then turned to his colleagues and said "It is time. The sacrifice has arrived."

    (Originally published by me in The Unreliable Travel Guide, Nov 16, 2014.)
     
  8. Fetid SirDidy

    Fetid SirDidy Avatar

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    “The children huddled around each other, writhing like wasps. Iron spikes, still dripping with blood flanked them on either side. Laughter, screams, and cries of ecstasy filled the halls as I watched the spikes move inward. In a spasm of terror and disgust I hurled out my morning breakfast; chunks of beef and corn littering a pool of bile on the floor beneath me. I ran. I ran and I ran. Never looking back, but forever looking forward into a dark abyss, unable to unsee the children.”

    -from “A secret Journey into Artiface” by the thief Drastin.
     
  9. Womby

    Womby Avatar

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    "Souvenir"

    The badly mutilated body revealed a tale both silent and eloquent. The shattered sword in its hand told of a fierce battle, while the head resting some distance away spoke of a particularly brutal end to what must have been a terrifying struggle for survival. A battle that was lost, unwitnessed, in this impossibly convoluted series of underground passages.

    Something caught Womby’s eye and he bent down and retrieved a note lying next to the body.

    “To the person reading this note: I guess if you are seeing this then I must have been killed. Shed no tears for a reckless adventurer. It was bound to happen one day. However, should you ever find yourself in Ardoris, I beseech you to inform the guards of a criminal who goes by the name Fluffington. Glib of tongue he is, for he managed to extract my life savings in return for a worthless map that has resulted in my death. May he suffer eternal torment!”

    Womby Fluffington pocketed the note before returning to the exit. Another souvenir for his collection.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2021
  10. Fetid SirDidy

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    “Supper”


    The butcher’s massive knife descended with a grace that would rival even the best swordsman. The blade gleamed while it made its descent, reflecting pearls of sunlight that sparkled off the iron cookware that lay scattered about his worktable. It cut through scale and bone with ease and made a thwack sound as it came to rest on the wood before him where a monstrous fish lay. With a flick of his wrist, the butcher flung aside a large plated head which landed on the ground a few feet away from him. Two mangy dogs who had been soundlessly watching pounced on the head instantly and began tearing at it with tooth and nail.

    Placing the large knife down, the butcher reached into the belt at his side, unsheathed another one that had a long slender blade, and proceeded to deftly fillet the ancient looking behemoth. When finished, he gently placed the thick strips of meat into a leather sack and held it, along with his other hand, out. A man with a pointed and lordish looking face grabbed the sack and tossed a few coins on the table. The butcher only nodded and wiped the blade off on his blood-stained apron.

    Throughout the rest of the day the butcher received all manner of creature which he cut, quartered and divided up skillfully. The coins piled up ever so slowly and the blood on the table increasingly pooled along with them.

    At last the sun began to dip toward the horizon and the butcher made his way home. Before entering, he removed his blood-soaked apron and dipped it into a barrel of water beside the door. The clear water in the barrel darkened, creating a pool of radiant hues of pink that matched the sky as the sun set. The butcher stood for a moment and watched as the sky brightened for a moment in a dazzlingly flash of brilliance and then went dark. With a few strong twists he wrung out the apron and went inside, closing the door behind him.

    A large steaming cauldron hung above the fireplace hearth, and the butcher’s stomach rumbled as he stirred the pot with a long-handled spoon. The fire crackled and cast shadows that danced on wood and stone. Aside from a polished dark table that sat in the opposite corner and a cage on the floor next to it, the room was mostly bare.

    Filling a bowl, he shuffled to the table and sat down. As he ate, he glanced at the cage on the floor beside the table. In it, a gagged man with eyes wide, murmured softly. His left arm had been removed at the elbow and had stitches caked with dried blood. His right hand, with wounds far more fresh, was missing all of its fingers.
     
  11. Fetid SirDidy

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  12. Fetid SirDidy

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    “Creepy Dolly”


    Small fingers tugged at thread.
    The first stitch always fought the most. This she knew.

    She tugged a little harder and the knot cleared so that she was able to complete the stitch.
    Her hands trembled and her knuckles felt large and dull.

    She spent most of her days sewing. All her days really, she thought pausing for a moment, although that wasn’t quite right. It’s as if she’d been sewing for one day. One long day.
    She wasn’t even sure when she had begun to sew or where she had learned. Perhaps her mother had taught her. Perhaps she had learned on her own.

    Her mother.
    She tilted her head for a moment while completing another stitch. She could no longer remember her mother. Come to think of it, she could no longer remember herself.

    Small fingers tugged at thread.
    Most of her days were spent sewing because that is what she did. This she knew.
    She completed another set of stitches.

    Just then a black door opened and out of it something emerged. First the points of horns appeared. Swirling spears of bone that curled and reached high slowly revealed themselves. Next to materialize out of the dark void was a hoofed foot which stepped forward and clapped down on the floor. Another few seconds and He emerged completely. He who was ancient came forth carrying a squalling infant no more than a few hours old. He placed the newborn on a pile of coal next to the girl.

    Tying off the final knot she held out her dolly so that He could take it.
    She threaded a new needle and grabbed the child he had brought.

    Small fingers tugged at thread.
    The first stitch always fought the most. This she knew.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021
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  13. Womby

    Womby Avatar

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    "Journey to Kingsport"

    According to his hastily scribbled map the tavern was located in Kingsport.
    It had taken hours of torture to extract that information from Lord Xychra. Not much of a result after investing all that valuable time.
    Still, Lord Xychra had mentioned an associate who ran a tavern in Kingsport. Perhaps he could be fooled into leading him to the stash.

    After locating the tavern nestled by the Kingsport docks, Dhank stepped inside to discover a small, dimly lit bar that had obviously seen better days.
    The only occupant was the bartender, who paused what he was doing to glance up. A slightly raised eyebrow demanded an explanation for this intrusion.

    “Lord Xychra sent me” said Dhank. “He has directed me to collect some items from his stash, and asked me to show you this as proof”.
    With that he dropped Lord Xychra’s ring on the bar. The same ring that less than 24 hours earlier he had removed from his Lordship’s lifeless body.
    Slowly the bartender picked up the ring and examined it carefully. “Very well. Wait here while I fetch the key and write down some directions.”

    With that the barman left the room, and Dhank replaced the ring on his finger.
    The barman eventually returned with a rough parchment and a large iron key.
    “Follow these directions and they’ll take you where you need to go."

    Following the directions was straightforward, as the location was only a short walk away, beneath the docks.
    The key opened a door into the town sewer and Dhank slowly made his way forward, cursing his oversight in not bringing a torch.
    He could no longer see the map and inched forward, first following the wall on his left, then the wall on his right before becoming hopelessly disoriented.

    Eventually the passage he was in led to a small platform overlooking a large channel filled with a dark and menacing liquid.
    It might have been water, but Dhank wasn’t about to bet his life on it.
    Suddenly he found himself rooted to the spot as he was struck by a spell cast from somewhere behind him.
    Dhank heard footsteps circle around him, then a torch flickered to life revealing the bartender who had sent him here.

    “Lord Xychra would never have parted with that ring. It's a shame that you killed him. He used to send me the ingredients for my special meals.”
    The bartender came closer as he spoke, and Dhank could see that he wore a butcher’s apron and carried a large set of knives hanging from a leather belt around his waist.
    On the opposite side of the platform, visible for the first time in the light of the torch, Dhank could see a butcher’s station.

    “I guess you're the last.”
     
  14. Womby

    Womby Avatar

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    "Seven Days"

    Day 1
    I’m keeping this journal because if I don’t write things down I think I’ll lose my mind.
    We could have run. We could have gathered the children and a few of our belongings and fled south.
    Ingrid, our eldest, wanted to leave with her boyfriend but I wouldn’t allow it. I hope I did the right thing.
    Instead we chose to hide in our winter storage cellar. After closing the access hatch, our neighbor Avrok covered it with a large cupboard, so it is now completely hidden.
    He has no children and is no longer young, so we all agree he should be safe from harvesting. We are relying on him to let us out when the soldiers move on.

    Day 2
    We hear movement upstairs. The soldiers have set up headquarters in our home. We have plenty of food, but will run out of water within a few days.
    We have a pickaxe and a couple of buckets, so we decided to make a tunnel.
    If we can intersect with the well in the square outside, we will have unlimited access to water.
    We can only dig at certain times of the day when our sounds are covered by the screams coming from above.
    We may not succeed, but at least it gives us hope, and is infinitely better than the impotence of sitting here in silence.
    Best of all, the children have perked up, as they have something to occupy them.
    This afternoon we heard a commotion. Ingrid recognized the voice of her boyfriend amongst a group of prisoners that had been dragged into the square.
    Then we heard screams, and I had to physically restrain her. I can only imagine what happened to them.

    Day 3
    My heart leapt into my mouth as I recognized the voice of Avrok. I could hear him being dragged into the headquarters above, and he clearly sounded distressed.
    The head of the guard kept demanding to know where we were, and Avrok denied any knowledge.
    Despite being told he could spare his life by giving us up, he refused to answer.
    His execution was sudden and perfunctory, and the horror of hearing his body hit the floor was prolonged by the sound of it being dragged outside.

    Day 4
    We have made good progress with the tunnel, but still have not reached the well.
    Are we heading in the right direction? I am trying to hide my disappointment, but I can see in her face that Emma shares my concern.
    Keeping our children’s spirits up is proving difficult, and the need for total silence is taking its toll.

    Day 5
    Ingrid has developed a loud cough. We have hidden her in the tunnel and covered the entrance with dirt-filled sacks. Unfortunately we’ll have to stop digging until she gets better. Still, it seems to be working, as we can no longer hear her cough.

    Day 6
    I feel sick. She’s dead. Ingrid is dead! Everything is spiraling out of control.
    Eventually I plucked up the courage to tell Emma.
    I don’t know how she found the strength, but she was able to keep the youngest two distracted while I removed Ingrid’s body.
    She had slashed her wrists. When I moved her, I found that she had left a note:

    Don’t stop digging.
    I love you.
    Ingrid


    I hid her under some firewood, with what little dignity I could manage.

    Day 7
    Finally some good news. We have reached the well. Fortunately we have enough rope to reach the water below, and have started filling up barrels.
    Since Avrok’s death we have no way out, so we have started another tunnel that should take us to the nearby wheat field. Hopefully we can reach it before harvest time.


    "What’s this, soldier?"

    "Just some scribbled notes, Captain. I found them in that hidden tunnel we discovered under the storage cellar. They were with that last group we sent off for transformation."

    "Add it to the weekly report. The mages collect all that stuff. I guess it gives them something to do when they’re not transforming children into elves."
     
  15. Womby

    Womby Avatar

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    "The Gift"

    Slowly, ever so carefully, Feldring secured the final gem in place.
    The ornate cloak had taken several months to craft, and represented the culmination of his skills in textiles, tailoring and alchemy.
    All that remained was the final step. Once completed, the cloak would cause its wearer to age rapidly, proving fatal within the hour.
    After two hours, all that remained would be an easily disposed of skeleton.

    Feldring summoned all the skills resulting from many years of alchemy and completed the cloak.
    Tomorrow he would present it to his wife for her fiftieth birthday, and the day after he would be able to invite the attractive wench he had secretly been seeing to take her place.
    He had lost a lot of sleep working on this project and now, overcome with exhaustion, he collapsed onto the makeshift cot in his workshop and fell into a deep sleep.

    Shortly after, his wife Portia tapped on his door to inquire if she could bring him some food.
    Hearing no reply she tiptoed in and saw him lying unconscious on his cot.

    “Poor dear” she thought, “he works so hard.”

    The window had been blown open by the wind, making the room bitterly cold.
    With loving care Portia laid the newly completed cloak over Feldring's sleeping body, and quietly tiptoed out.
     
  16. Fetid SirDidy

    Fetid SirDidy Avatar

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    Ooooo. Haha. Brutal :D
     
  17. Fetid SirDidy

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    "A waste of time"

    “Ha Ha”, Arnello shouted. With a bravado only befitting the great swordsman, the Spaniard twirled and with his infamous blade, Mantequilla, executed his coup de grace. The RAW trolls head was split clean through from the bridge of his nose to the back of his head. His body toppled and Arnello quickly bent to pick up the top part of his skull. He held it for a moment and then with a flick of his hand threw the remnant upward and came down with Mantequilla once again, slicing it cleanly between the eyes.

    Arnello pulled a coin from his belt pouch and tossed it to the ground. It landed between the split eyes of what was once the RAW trolls face.

    “Las lágrimas nunca se acabarán,” Arnello said as he spit and walked off.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2021
  18. Fetid SirDidy

    Fetid SirDidy Avatar

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    "NWBB"

    "A tamer develops an understanding of all creatures.


    A tamer takes pride in keeping his gear in perfect order.

    A tamer bends his will to that of the creature he tames.

    A tamer does not fear, fear is the mind killer.” (*)


    The Corpion Destroyer’s several eyes darted and blinked at the sprawl of pages that ruffled in the wind on the sand before it. With a loud click of its massive claws, it turned and sauntered off, carrying with it a bevy of fully geared tamer corpses.









    (*tips hat to Frank Herbert)
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021
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  19. Cordelayne

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    These are AWESOME you guys! I also loved listening to my dear old friend @Asclepius narrate some of them. Very reminiscent of original "Grim Sisters Anthologies" I have in all my homes. Would love to get a copy of these in-game! :D
     
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  20. Fetid SirDidy

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    "While I walked through a field, I passed a scarecrow and was struck with an odd sensation causing me to turn my attention toward the effigy.
    Upon closer examination I saw what appeared to be blood soaking through the canvas wrappings and bits of tattered flesh visible from within a hole undoubtedly made by nearby carrion eaters. A putrid smell emanated from the horror and I fought the urge to run in terror.
    What kind of monster would display such a thing, and who is the poor soul beneath the wrappings?"

    -musings from “My journey through Novia” by Tellor Kain
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021
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