October 31, 1999
Looking at the massive cave entrance that stood about one hundred yards away and the mysterious, endless darkness that lay past it, I had a shiver of dismay. Questions arose in my mind of why I was there, and if I was crazy enough to actually proceed within. I kept telling myself it was my destiny, and that fate had brought me here to learn first hand why people came and disappeared or returned to the world a crazed man, and to make it out alive to tell about it.
I started to walk towards the entrance, looking at the silly little satyrs playing by the side of the long river to the south. Upon coming to facing the massive entrance, I looked upwards at the top of the cave. It was a good fifty feet up and one hundred feet wide, meaning the Fire Giants were probably enormous to have to live in such a big cave. I gazed into the darkness and nothing was to be seen. I chanted a few words and held my ball of light, while making myself invisible, for it is said that the Fire Giants are blind to those invisible, unlike some creatures of this perilous world. I took one step in, and another, and another very cautiously. The deeper I sneaked into the lair, the greater the sense of uneasiness that came over me. With my light held high I ventured deeper, till the light of the outside world was unseen, and my simple ball of light is all that guided me.
I peered around the corner of a turn in the cave and, seeing the coast was clear, I continued. After a few moments, my eye made a faint outline of a massive door that lay roughly twenty yards away - I came upon the door and noticed etchings upon it that I was unfamiliar with. Being the curious man I was, I ignored the etchings, believing that they were a symbol of protection that the Giants believed in. Strangely enough, being as large a door as it was, the keyhole was of my level, a keyhole that was unlocked, which amazed me. Why would the Fire Giants keep their fortress unlocked? "No matter," I muttered to myself. I gripped the handle of the door. This was it, I was about to learn the mystery of it all, and if the tales of the Giants were indeed true.
Pulling the door ajar, my heart sank with fear. After a moment of hesitation, I slipped to the other side of the door to see a cave that was larger than any castle I have known. Torches kept the room bright enough that I could discard of my ball of light. I peered around the room, seeing no Giants at all, but a strange smell was lingering in the air that dulled my senses. After adjusting to the putrid smell, I began to slowly walk around the massive cave that served as a single room. My fear was somewhat relieved with the realization that I was, infact, invisible. The room had a door to the west and east, both of which were open, and an entry way to the north. I decided to exit to my west and it did seem strange that this door was also open.
After a moment or two of walking, I came upon a staircase that led upwards, which I scaled after a bit of effort, being that the steps were bigger than a normal step, probably suitable for a Giant's foot. I came upon a top of a tower, which was empty. "Shouldn't there be a guard posted to look for intruders?" I wondered. Then something caught my eye - it was a stain of blood on the stone floor. I bent down to examine it and it looked fresh, maybe only a few hours old. I sensed that something was wrong.
"This is indeed strange," I said aloud to myself. I determined to find the cause of why there was a missing guard and a blood stain. "If it was recent, then why isn't there a corpse here?" I thought. I climbed down the staircase and followed the path I took into the large room.
I returned to the room and walked north through the entry way. I walked down a long passage way - I estimated it to be a mile and a half! I saw a door a few feet further down the tunnel, but there was also an open grate that I saw. It seemed strange, but I concluded that it must be a treasury, so I ventured down. I was exhausted upon reaching the bottom of the stairwell, for it was very deep. The floor beneath my feet felt soft, and as I looked down I saw the floor was starting to crumble underneath me. Panicking I ran north as the floor disintegrated, and I felt myself starting to fall so I jumped for dear life. Luckily, I caught the ledge of more stable ground. As I looked down I saw an endless void of darkness that was directly below my dangling body and, with a bit of effort, I pulled myself up and collapsed on the solid ground with a sigh of relief.
After a moment of rest, I sat up to examine my surroundings. A tunnel lay before me with two doors on either side - the one on the right side seemingly cracked open. Climbing to my feet, I set off down the hall walking on a carpet of red, as I viewed a majestic and decorated hall. The walls were of marble and bright torches flickered a blue light. Upon arriving to the door, I carefully pushed it open - I peered into the room, but the darkness clouded my sight. Taking one of the wooden torches that were mounted on the wall of the hallway, I started to warily walk into the dark room.
Of taking my first step into the room a sense of horror fell over my soul, knowing that beyond the entrance of the door was an evil that was beyond my comprehension. I ignorantly walked into the room, curiosity driving me.
My light was faint, but it lighted the room a little. It was a fair sized room that looked like a dungeon almost, but with no chains or torturing devices. On the other side of the room was a large steel vault, seeming almost ironic that it should be in an area like this. I made my way over to the vault, watching my step, for the room was a dark shadow that was almost impossible to see in, despite the fact I had a light. I felt my way up the vault door, looking for a handle - there was a keyhole and a handle, but it was already open! Still, I grasped the handle and pulled it open.
Within was a large sum of golden bars, how very strange! An unlocked vault that was still filled to the brim with gold, and I still hadn't seen a single Giant. With a puzzled look on my face, I turned around to see that I hadn't been alone.
A dark figure lunged at me with a dagger of some sort, but I just barely dodged it else it would have sunk into my heart. The dark figure fell to the floor and hesitated a second. I stared dumbfounded and stunned at the realization that if I had not turned around, that dagger could have been lodged in my back. The figure got up and stood erect. He was of the same size of me, meaning this was no giant, but a human! He raised his dagger again, ready to make a second attack, and I took a step back, still in a state of shock, as if to run.
Suddenly I felt my feet being kicked out under me from another person that had been hiding in the corner behind me, and I fell on my back with a grunt. I staggered to my feet, and I had just enough time to see a number of figures rush out of the shadows. In the corner of my eye I saw a pile of enormous corpses that had appeared to be the Fire Giants, realising that these rogues had killed the population of Fire Giants, and were here to kill adventurers like me.
As I realised this I was tripped again. I lifted my head to see a wave of pure power blast me against the wall, followed by three more shockwaves. I fell limply onto the ground, but after a moment I got onto my hands and knees and started to crawl back the way I came in. Yet my torch had fell and the flame had dispersed - I was blinding crawling around a room that was darker than a moonless night. I felt a sharp kick to my chest, cracking a few of my ribs and I staggered and fell to my face. The darkness that concealed the room turned blood red before my eyes.
This answered why daring and brave adventurers had never come back alive. I had come to learn why they had disappeared, and I did, for a cost that was far too great I thought in the last few seconds of my life. I could feel the life seeping from my broken and bleeding body as I felt the hands of the figures stripping my body naked of every possession I owned. The end was here, pictures of my life flashed through my head, and I heard laughing, the rasp, sour laugh of my attackers. Laughing at my reasons for coming to this god awful evil place, the horrid sound mocking my being.
My body fell limp and lifeless to the sound of mocking and laughing. There would be more to come, but one day this place will be invaded by those who are led by God, and will destroy these murders. A gloomy night fell over the world, as another wasted life was expelled to the world of lost souls.