Fan fiction:Bane Hero of the North/Chapter 3
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Bane Hero of the North is a fan fiction piece by Bane, originally posted on The Dark Library. The fiction series was recovered on April 14th 2010. You can find more information on Bane:Hero of the North article.
Chapter 3: The Black Spider
His eyes are blurring, unable to see correctly in the caverns of darkness he has found himself in. His left arm reaches out to the rock that makes up this particular caverns walls for support while is other arm is hanging down at his side, a chain following it.
Bane is weak and he knows he would most probably die in this dark underground world without help. A shot of green smoke rises from the rock ground like a mini volcano filling the room with its thick and vile smell.
To his calculation it had been only a few days ago when he had escaped the City of Fire and the beast-men. His thoughts recall the beast he had fought in the pit and the group of the beast-men he had to fight to leave the domain He feels nothing but pride as he remembers his victory against thirteen of them with only his fists and chain. He had been lucky though that no more than three could have got at him at one time and thanks the gods for shrinking the tunnel he had fought in. However the barbarian had not left the fight without a few wounds, and it were these that were sapping his strength. A wave of sadness passes him as he thinks of the girl and the other prisoners. What has happened to them now? It was unlikely they survived the destruction of the city. It was best to forget them he said to himself; sometimes things are better left forgotten.
He also recalled that it were adventures like these that brought him from his homeland and to the civilised world in the first place. Already no more than a month spent here, most of which he had been seeking employment, and he has seen more action than he had done back home where only wolves and bears were the targets.
Suddenly his legs give way and desperate iron like fingers grab at the wall but to no avail. Bane hits the ground hard, the wounds and lack of food finally getting the better of him. His head swirls madly as if caught in a whirlpool before his vision goes black and Bane remembers no more.
His hand reaches his head as pain flashes through it momentarily. A quiet curse jumps out of dry lips as Bane opens his eyes. He knows he is lying on a bed, or rather two beds as it seems, each one half the size of a man. His body aches but he notices also that it is healed.
The room is small with only sparse furniture in the form of a chair and desk (the beds of course) and a painting besides the door. For a brief moment the barbarian studies the images on the canvas. It is dark coloured, with swirling purples and greys forming a small village besides a large black lake. A purple rug is by the bed while torches provide light to the room. Gently raising his towering form from the bed with large strong arms Bane then notices that the ceiling is low and would not be sufficient for him to stand full height.
He turns to his left to see a sword hanging from the bedpost. The hilt had been cleaned recently and reflected the light from the torches onto a spot of the wall besides the door. The pain hits him once more but Bane slides from his bed and stands on the cold stone floor stooping low to avoid crashing his head into the ceiling. His boots had been placed below the bed and are on his feet quickly. Shaking his head once more as if the action would throw away the pain he slides the scabbard from the bedpost and ties it tightly around his waist.
With lightning speed the sword flashes silently from its scabbard in an advance position. The sword is heavy compared to other swords Bane had used before but a few test swings at the air cancels out any suspicions about the blade from the barbarian. The blade itself is not intricately designed like the hilt but appears to have been made careful hands.
"It is a well balanced blade. I like it." Bane's words are obviously heard as a low and rough voice pierces its way through the door.
"He is awake!" Bane steps back, till his legs touch the bed preparing himself for an attack. The next moment the door is slowly pushed open and a small man walks in wearing a white robe. A long beard flows out from the cowled figure and is tucked within the man's belt. Bane had heard of people like this before, dwarfs they called them. A small troop of armed men flanked him. They were no bigger than he was when he was a child growing up in the cold harsh barbarian lands he thought. Any resemblance to a child would vanish however as the dwarf's before him were all broad of shoulder and sported beards of various sizes and colour that stood out against their grey almost rocklike coloured skin. As if feeling Bane's tension the white robed dwarf steps forward with open arms.
"Easy my friend we mean you no harm. My name is Flamir." The voice was calm and soft but the fact that armed dwarfs still posed as a threat did not make the barbarian let up.
"Where is this place and how did I get here?" His question sounded like a demand.
"You are in the city of Gratneck. A city of dwarfs who were shunned by men above many years ago and have come to live here, the only place that we feel is home below the surface of the world. We found you two miles from our home; a patrol stumbled across your unconscious form and brought you back here to be treated. I am quite surprised however by your speedy recovery, the potions I used to heal you would make a man sleep for a week, you are obviously strong." Bane did not move and held his sword out still. He noticed a few of the armed dwarfs seemed to sweat and their weapons shake nervously in hands.
"How long have I been asleep?" He asked, relaxing slightly, dropping his guard certain that these dwarfs had no wish to fight him anymore than he wished to fight them.
"You have slept peacefully for two days my large friend. Your body itself healed quickly when I had tended it on the day you were brought to me. Tell me friend what is your name and where are you from for we have not had an outsider enter our city for at least a decade?"
"My name is Bane, I am a Kamidian which is a small tribe to the north of the civilised realm." The dwarf seemed to smile.
"I could tell you were not from the civilised kingdoms of Westmarch and so forth. You have a savage aura around you which makes you dangerous." Bane laughed out loud at the comment.
"I have been called that many times little man yet I am young and am bound to hear them again if I live past today." Flamir laughed out loud surprising the barbarian with his rough laughter.
"I have no doubt you will my friend. Come let us walk I will show you our humble home." The barbarian nodded and sheathed his weapon.
"I see you like the sword friend-Bane. It is a gift from us to you"
"I thank you Flamir it is a fine weapon." The dwarf led Bane out through the door and into a long corridor where the barbarian was thankful he could now stand his full height. During the walk down the corridor Flamir waved his troop off who disappeared through a large door to his right. More paintings now lined the walls filled with various images of dwarfs and there home. A large door greeted them at the end of the long walk which was opened by two dwarfs dressed in Iron armour, there faces covered by their plumed helmets visors.
It opened up to the lake he had seen in the painting that hung in his room. All around him he could see un-mortared buildings of peculiar shapes and sizes. The most common buildings were circular with domed roofs. He could see many of its people roaming between houses. The underground world here looked much better than that of the beast-men he had earlier encountered. With that in mind he began to wonder how they had survived for surely the beast-men knew of this village's existence.
"Flamir do you know of the City of Fire?" The dwarf stopped his stride and turned slowly towards the barbarian, a grim look drawn across his weathered face.
"Of course I have heard of it! A city filled with death and destruction and un-natural beasts. We had figured you had come from there, perhaps you were a slave to them?"
"I was a brief slave but I do not like being chained, so I made my escape as quickly as I could. Why have they left you alone?"
"Simply because they have not explored here yet. Our village has a strong magical border that stops us from being detected. We however have sent patrols out towards their city and have seen the horrors there but most who go do not return. It has been a while since anyone has seen the beasts."
"You mean to tell me you knew these devils existed and you did nothing about it! Did you not see the slaves they kept, men and women chained and set to work for the whole of their lives?" Bane's outrage seemed to anger the dwarf who drew back his hood. Bane could make out battle scars strewn across his face.
"Do not imply that I or my people are cowards, these scars were not there when I was born boy. You really believe we could make a difference? You are a young fool but a fool none the less. We can do nothing to stop them. Have you not noticed that there is not many of us here barbarian and there is a reason for it! We have bled enough at the hands of those beasts trying to destroy their race and it accomplished nothing except our own destruction!" Bane was taken back by the dwarf's ferocity with words.
"We were punished for attempting to destroy that favourite city of Mephisto who in turned placed a curse on our own." Flamir regained his composure and lifted his hood back over him and returned to his stroll.
Bane began to follow again, overtaking the dwarf in a few steps forgetting his stride momentarily. With the mention of a curse it had sparked his curiosity
"I apologise Flamir, my ways are different to many people. I tend to rush into things more directly than others. The city is destroyed." The dwarf suddenly stopped and once again Flamir turned towards Bane.
"Destroyed? Are you sure?" The barbarian nodded.
"I did it myself. The city caved in while I made my escape after I had destroyed a statue that was apparently a gift from Mephisto to them."
"He wasn't happy with them after you destroyed the beasts statue?" Bane simply nodded and proceeded with his own question.
"What curse lays upon this city?" Once more Flamir's face went pale and he briefly lowered his head as if in shame. It took courage for the dwarf to lift his face again and the words chilled Bane's blood.
"The Black Spider my friend. It is a monstrous beast the size of a large dog. It comes to us six times a year at night, taking away most of our young as if trying to shorten our numbers. If that's its intention it has worked. We have tried to kill it but have resigned ourselves to our fate. Indeed it comes here this time tomorrow night."
"Do you know where it dwells?"
"Yes my friend. It is not far from here and is said to be guarding a large amount of collected treasures." As if striking a nerve the barbarian's eyes light up at the word of treasure.
"You are sure if this?" Perhaps this is a gift from his deity. He would be able to relax a while and spend evenings in taverns drinking and taking pleasure in the wenches that roamed the streets of towns.
"Perhaps we could make a deal my friend. If I rid you of this spider maybe you could help guide me back up to the surface world as well as giving me a cut of the treasure we find." The dwarf smiled warmly and placed his hand on Bane's arm.
"I applaud your bravery friend but it is a great risk you will be taking if you go on this quest."
"I know the risks Flamir. Just give me a guide who can lead me to the spiders lair and then afterwards to the surface world." Flamir to this point was not sure whether or not Bane was serious about taking on the beast.
"Very well then for I can not change your mind…I will give you a guide." With a smile on his face the barbarian answered.
"Besides, it gives me a chance to test this new blade out!"
A small fire burned in the corner of the room in which Bane had been led to by Flamir. Two heavily cluttered table's lay side by side to his left. A bookshelf sat to his right besides a small door. A candle burned violently hanging from the ceiling.
He found himself sitting down on a desk provided by Flamir, as the chairs were too small for the barbarian. He could hear an argument come out through the door besides the bookshelf where Flamir had entered. It raged on for several minutes before it died out like a storm does. The door was opened by Flamir who led a smaller dwarf out and into the room.
The dwarf looked angry, arms folded and lowered eyebrows. The dwarf before him was smaller only in height compared to Flamir but was much broader. His beard was the same colour as his skin, perhaps slightly darker Bane thought as he studied the dwarf closely, but the beard was cut short of his neck. His belly was larger than Flamir's was which brought a feint smile upon Bane's lips.
"This is Corim, he will be your guide to the beasts lair and then he will take you to your world above." Corim did not look happy about the position Flamir had placed him in.
"Very well, we leave now." Bane's deep voice was full of confidence but in truth he did not know whether he should carry on with this. Too late to back out now he thought, he had given his word, something he would go happily to hell to keep.
"Excellent. May the gods smile upon you barbarian." Flamir clapped his hands together and clapped Corim on the shoulder.
Bane stood up and stared at Corim, who gave a nervous glance towards Flamir. He lowered his head and slowly pushed his way past Bane towards the door opening it quickly. Bane followed him without looking back to Flamir.
"Great task you set yourself Tall-one!" Corim spoke softly while clambering over a few rocks that lay besides the lake.
"You know where you are going dwarf?" Corim nodded.
"Unfortunately yes. Black Spider and all that. You will not be able to beat it." Bane did not stop to answer the dwarf but carried on past him, making his way over the rock with more ease than Corim.
"If that is so then I will not complain. It will be at least a mans death." Corim laughed aloud sending a chilling echo through the caverns and tunnels ahead of them.
"A mans death 'eh. Well if you think that be it then I'm not gonna' stop yer but you are still crazy. No gold is worth dying for." Bane chose to ignore the comment.
"Light a torch and stop complaining, your not the one who's got to fight the thing." The dwarf made to say another word but stopped as Bane gave him a wild stare.
Bane was completely amazed by this underground world. He had heard of caves that led underground before but he did not realise a whole world crawled beneath the glare of the sun. Large rock spear's hung from the ceiling and poked from the ground threatening to attack the wary.
The scenery around him changed constantly, from long black tunnels to greens and reds. It reminded him of a mountain he had entered a few years ago in his homeland with his friend Tukuram. It was there he tallied his first kill on his day of manhood.
"We are close, you can see the trail it leaves when it moves about." Bane could see clearly the white silken threads that hung from ceiling and wall alike.
"The beast is further down that tunnel." Bane nodded and took out his sword looking in the direction of the tunnel that Corim had indicated. For a moment he found himself unable to move, a fear creeping upon him. He shook his head and proceeded towards the darkness, an even more frightened dwarf hanging behind him, knife in hand.
The tunnel smelt of decay but Bane did not mind the smell, the one thing gnawing at him was the amount of tangled corpses and bones wrapped in the spiders' silken threads that lay on the ground or strung up on the wall.
"Stay close to me dwarf and prepare yourself, I do not like the look of this."
"You are the one who wanted to come. I would have been happy to just stab myself at home in the arm and just say we tried to kill it." Bane shook his head at the comment.
It was not long before the pair found themselves in a large circular cavern, one in which its ceiling was lost in darkness above. Large amounts of the white silk thread covered most of the walls, even a large one above their heads that formed some kind of net. Bodies of the dead hung from it while bones and other items lay scattered across the room's floor. The stench from the tunnel was strong here Bane thought as he looked upwards, trying to find an enemy in the darkness.
"I believe it is here my little dwarf-friend but where is the gold Flamir said was here?" Corim shrugged his shoulders while beads of sweat rolled across his forehead.
"Blast you Corim. There had better be gold here!" Bane's raised voice had alerted the spider, and only a keen instinct made the barbarian dive from his position where a second followed by a large black spider.
Bane could see it came from one of the many holes in the walls, where it now waited to pounce. It was at least as big as an ox he thought. A series of large red eyes sparkled like gems at him while a string of venom hung from its open jaw. Its large hairy abdomen bounced against the rock wall. Corim panicked and began to run which started the spider off. It leaped towards the running form of Corim with a quickness Bane had thought impossible for a creature of such size.
"Corim behind you!" Bane's warning shout saved the little dwarfs life. Before the leaping spider made contact Corim had dived and rolled aside while reaching at his belt. The dwarf pulled forth a small pouch and threw the contents over the passing spider. The powder was white and at first seemed to have no effect on the creature. Horrified Corim began to crawl quickly towards Bane who had found his feet again.
"What was that powder Corim?"
"A special brew I made for times such as this. It should be burning him now. It won't kill it mind…. just wound it." Bane could see smoke rise from where the powder had fallen and the spider screamed out, legs flailing madly and jaw open a steady flow of venom pouring forth.
"Looks to me you have angered it even more dwarf." The Black Spider lunged towards Bane, snapping its jaw close to the barbarian's neck. Bane managed to get his sword up in time and managed to get away from the creatures poisonous maw. The spider reared backwards and raised its two front legs high in the air; a shriek followed it that sent a chill down the barbarians back. Bane spat out the mounting saliva in his mouth and sent a curse flying from his mouth.
"Damn you, by Bul-Kathos I shall kill you creature!" Bane charged and swung his sword slicing through one of the raised legs. A fury overtook him then as swirling red mist began to clot his vision. He could feel his head swim. With the speed of a cat Bane sunk his broadsword deep into the spiders skull and used it to leap on the creatures back.
Bane gripped the sword and mustered all his strength as he drove the sword further into the creature's skull. Thick spurts of black blood leapt at him coating his bronzed skin with gore.
Finally the spider sunk on its legs and crashed hard against the ground, an angry looking Bane on top, still driving his sword home. Its legs began to frantically twitch as it went through its death throes.
"I think its dead!" Bane nodded and stood up breathing hard, wiping the creature's blood from his brow with forearm. "Are all barbarians as crazy as you or are you the only one?" Bane laughed and wiped his broadsword clean of blood with a piece of material he found laying on the floor besides his foot.
"We are all like this, well most of us. Now where is this damn things treasure hoard?"
"Well…ummm…there is something you should kind of know barbarian. There is no gold." Bane turned towards the dwarf violently and grabbed the dwarf's tunic pulling him close.
"What do you mean no gold?"
"None. Nothing; as in does not exist." Bane's eyes narrowed "All part of Flamir's plan you see. Send the strong one against it. That's what he said, that's why he gave you that sword." Bane shook his head and looked at his sword; that was payment enough.
"You will take me to the surface dwarf or I'll take up my anger with Flamir." Corim nodded his head.
"Right you are! You doubted me did ye? You can trust Corim." With that the dwarf picked up the torch he had dropped and began leading Bane out of the cavern.
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