Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Albinor Chronicles Chapter 12
"The Altar of Lolth"

By Marcus Pan

March 19, 003"

Corellon awoke. He was lieing on a straw pallet in a dark room. Against the far wall was a large, iron-bound, oaken door. The polished stone blocks of the walls glistened with water and moss, basked in the flickering light of a torch that came through a barred window on the door. Footsteps rang ominously in the echoing hall outside his cell, blending together with the low shaking of chains on an armored man. An occasional whimper of some unnamed soul of a man reached his ears, resonating in the corridor and adding a ghostly effect with the steps and chains.

The room he was in was a 20' X 20' cell with walls formed of polished, stone blocks roughly one foot square. The stones were cracked and broken in spots. Moss grew thickly in the corners. It was very damp and water slowly streaked the walls giving off a strong smell of decay. The Elven King lay on the pallet of straw and thought of many things. Is Barrazzo still alive? What's happening back in Alfeim? And, most importantly, what was all the excitement about a little over two weeks ago, the drows running about in turmoil and the sounds of battle filtering through the walls from above? Was it his men in the battle? Or were the battle cries simply a figment of his delirious imagination? His thoughts were shattered as the door flew open and slammed hard against the inside wall. Standing in the doorway were three, black-robed, drow elven men Ragwulf Calds, Erric Vangroom and Orduin Grimoire. Orduin and Erric entered with chains and shackles. Not wanting to fight and not having the energy to do so, Corellon gave in easily and allowed them to lock the shackles about his ankles and wrists. He was lead out of the room and down a long corridor lined with doorways. The four of them went down a stairwell and emerged in a wider hallway. This level of the dungeon was more preserved and well-maintained than the one he had just came from.

They walked through a large doorway into a large room. The floor had a path of black, polished marble through the middle. The rest of the floor was white marble. The walls were hung with tapestries depicting drow elves cavorting with huge, black spiders. The largest tapestry, on the north wall, showed a pentagram surrounded by various, archaic symbols. A half-naked man, obviously of high-elven stock, was tied, arms and legs spread-eagle, on a large, black, marble block of stone at the far end of the room. His head had been shaved. Corellon was lead in this direction. Against the far wall another high elf was chained. He was ragged and dressed in a similar fashion a worn, dirty cloak like Corellon. Corellon was shackled against the wall beside him. The man rose his head and Corellon recognized him. It was his captain, Barrazzo Swordthruster.

Before they could say a few words to each other, some of the torches on the walls were doused. Three black-robed figures strode into the room holding candles. All had strange, spider-shaped markings threaded into their robes. The man tied to the altar began shaking his head violently in a state of delirium. Grimoire stood before the altar, his back to the Elven King. The other three clerics knelt before the altar holding the candles. Grimoire rose his hands and began speaking in a strange language. "Ia Lothla," he began. "Ia Lothla symbolica." The three others rose to their feet, circling the stone in a strange pattern while dripping wax onto the floor. "Lothla symbolica nethrud, symbolica porat. Lothla destra enem. Symbolica porat." The three clerics knelt and the shape they had traced on the marble floor with the wax took shape. It was a five pointed star, a pentagram, surrounding the altar stone. There was a bright flash of light. The three clerics began a low-key humming that menacingly echoed off the stone walls sending chills running the length of Corellon's spine. Orduin lowered an ornately-carved dagger to the man's chest and pricked him. The man's eyes closed, his head swaying back and forth. Orduin lowered the dagger again to the man's chest and began tracing a pattern in his flesh. "Lothla destra enem, symbolica porat." said the evil cleric. Raising the knife above his head, Corellon saw the bloody outline of a pentagram carved into the elf's flesh. "Ia Lothla porat de Ordra!" There was another bright flash and the bloodied man screamed. The humming of the clerics increased, seemingly coming from the walls themselves. The pentagram outline on the floor burst into flame, giving off a searing heat. The chest of the screaming, elven man rippled. A long, black leg pierced through. Rivulets of blood poured down the altar-stone. Explosions, like thunder, rocked the room. The man's chest exploded outward in a shower of blood and flesh and a large, black spider emerged. Flashes of light surrounded Orduin and he turned to the Elven King, the bloodied knife still in his right hand and pieces of flesh from the man's chest sliding down his cheek. "Meet your doom, high elf!" he yelled at Corellon. "The doom of all high elves. Feel the power the drow have harnessed. 'Tis the Spikra, spawn of Lolth!" He laughed maniacally, drunk with power. Then Corellon blacked out.

The above item may have been edited by the author since its first appearance in Legends No. 28.

Altar of Lolth