Out of the Abyss

Descent into Darkness

Darkness. You wake up to darkness.

Soon, you realize there is a heavy cloth hood on your head, letting in little light. Judging by how little you can see, you suspect it is still night. Your hands are bound by chains that is connected to an iron belt around your waist. You have also been relieved of your belongings and stripped to your breeches.

Someone, with hatred in their voice, commands you in a language you can't understand. You are jerked to your feet, where a slave collar is snapped around your neck. It must be connected to a neck loop, as you feel the push and pull of others also connected to the same device. Others around you moan in pain or cry in despair.

Next, you hear another command, again in a language you don't understand. You hear a whip crack and suddenly, you are moving through the woods at a moderate pace. The neck loop sometimes jars you forward and sometimes chokes you as it holds you back. After an hour, you no longer feel grass below your feet, but hard stone. You slowly realize you are no longer on the surface.

The next amount of time is a blur. You can't tell if it has been hours or days, but you become exhausted and beaten. During the journey, you fall occasionally, choking on the slave collar as it threatens to hang you, but you catch yourself and get up. You stub your toes on hard rocks. When you dally, you are whipped on the backs of your legs. This becomes your trek: jostling, prodding, stumbling and choking.

Along the way, you come to recognize you are passing through different things. Sometimes, you are unbearably hot as you hear the burbling of some thick liquid. Other times, you are freezing cold as wind whips around your legs. In the distance, you often hear cries of creatures or the crash of a rockfall. Handfuls of sour mushroom-like squares shoved in your mouth occasionally, although you can’t tell if it is daily or less frequently. Water is poured in your mouth and haphazardly across your body a couple times a day.

Finally, after an unknown amount of time, you hear the drow cheer for reasons unbeknownst to you. In the distance, you hear the thunderous noise of a waterfall that grows louder with every second. Finally, you are stopped while you are unchained from the neck loop. As the hood is taken from your heads, you blink amidst weak light emitted from lanterns that seem to hold some kind of strange fungi. You are shoved into a small slave pen made of steel bars, perhaps 4 feet tall, making you crouch down. The smell of unwashed animals is strong. The eyes of various other creatures, those that also seem to be slaves, watch you from other pens.

You hit the hard stone floor, collapsing into a deeply troubled sleep.


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