Before the Endless #8 – Endless Legend

“Stay down, if you know what’s good for you.” A bloody furrow ran across Anushkas left shoulder, but the woman only seemed more invigorated for it.

Zuzana kept her crossbow out as she approached. “I don’t think it thinks that far, Anushka. Finish it off.” The sound of the spear stabbing through the creatures neck punctuated the sentence.

“This one is alive.” Blagoje had bound the Cultist he had tackled. Its arms were broken and useless, but it was still alive, as alive as the creatures of the Cult could be said to be.

Varun was probing the various injuries he had sustained. They seemed much like Anushkas, painful but non-threatening. “Do we really need one of them alive?,” He waved a hand towards the stone doorway that had appeared out of nowhere, prompting the urgent battle, “We’ve found the entrance.”

Zuzana looked about the mountainside, looking for signs that other patrols had seen the fight. “Let’s bring it with us for now, see if it is of any use,” She nodded at Blagoje, who nodded back, “Blagoje carries until exceptions happen.”

Zuzana walked up to the doorway, running a hand over the carvings. The script was angular and precise, each symbol easily distinguishable, but none of them told her anything. The material making up the doorway was a dark-brown rock which, now that she stood in front of it, stood out like a sore thumb on the side of the mountain. She was surprised they had not seen it clearly as they had ascended the path. Both the hard stone and the script must have been many hundreds of years old, and yet they were untouched by the passage of time.

“I am surprised we did not find this last time I was here.” Varun too was examining the inscription, looking as impassioned as she had ever seen the usually-relaxed Ardent.

Velabahlekes voice came from behind her, sounding a little distracted. “Many legends about the Endless mention their myriad ways of concealing their sanctuaries from unwanted eyes. Most likely you can only see the entrance when you know where it actually is.”

On an impulse, Zuzana turned in place, regarding each of her team-members in turn. Varun and Velabahleke seemed entranced by the supposed entrance to an Endless Vault. Anushka seemed nervous, her tattoos emanating a subtle blue light as she scanned the mountainside for porcelain-faced archers bearing down on them. Blagoje seemed his usual stoic self, working on piling the Cultist corpses besides the mysterious doorway. The one survivor had also quickly been thrown inside, bound at its hands and feet and gagged. Zuzana had never had seen one of the porcelain-creatures captive, but she suspected the gag was more for their own peace of mind than any practical use in silencing the creature.

“No need to linger out in full view,” Anushka held her spear again, crossing the threshold into the stairway, “if this supposed vault is indeed hidden from plain sight, let us make use of that.”


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