Legend of Grimrock: Destiny’s Chance. (Part 11)

Tawmis Sanarius – Human (Son of Contar Stoneskull and Yennica Whitefeather)
Taren Bloodhorn – Minotaur
Blaz’tik – Insectoid
Silvertan – Lizardman

How many days has it been?

Day and night pass, without any way to record it. I feel like I have danced on the edge of my sanity; and yet the others continue to look to me for leadership. How was I, a rich, spoiled, runaway child, “elected” as leader of this motley crew?

My brown eyes, hazy and unfocused, looked at Taren Bloodhorn, the massive minotaur who had been my friend for years now; and the only person on this world I truly trusted.

Taren extended his hand to me. I felt his firm grip as he pulled me up, his eyes never leaving mine. “You’re growing weak. Despite Blaz’tik’s efforts, the wound you got from the arrow has become infected.”

I smiled at Taren, and shrugged off his concern. “I’m just a little tired.”

Tarne’s eyes went to my shoulder, where he had tore the shirt apart to rip the arrow out. The edge of the wound was black. I quickly covered the infection with the tattered remains of my shirt. “Like I said, I’m just a little tired.”

Taren huffed, the sounds reverberating in his throat, like rusted, iron gears turning for the first time in centuries. I took another deep breath, “We need to keep moving. We’ve been down here for weeks now, possibly, surviving on meat of slugs –“

“Snails,” Silvertan smiled, correcting me again. (1 – Read about the ‘Snail/Slug’ reference here)

“Right, snails,” I amended. “Who knows what eating that meat is doing to us, being tainted by magic,” I went on to explain. “We need to get out of this place. Now.” I began moving forward.


Taren followed my footsteps until Blaz’tik’s insectoid arms grabbed him, halting the minotaur. Taren looked down at the Insectoid. “The wound,” Blaz’tik began to explain, “it has – tic!- become more and more infected. He will not…”

Taren tore his arm away from Blaz’tik’s grasp. “He will be fine. We will get out of this. We will find him proper medical attention.” The minotaur quickened his pace to walk behind Tawmis.

Blaz’tik frowned. The Insectoid Mage knew that the human’s wound had become infected with The Void Touch; an infection that spread into the blood stream, turning it black, spreading rapidly. The infected individual would first suffer fevers, which the human had already begun; then become delusional, then finally a very painful death. The honorable thing would be to kill the human now. There was no way to escape Mount Grimrock in time and get a cure. The human would be dead soon; and death would be extremely painful.


It’s burning up in here.

I can barely breathe. Too many people.

There. I see Taren. “Taren!” I shout. “Over here!”

Taren Bloodhorn. Minotaur. My best friend. My only friend.

I pat Taren on the shoulder, which takes some effort, since he towers over me, as all Minotaurs typically stand no less than seven feet tall. “What shall we drink tonight?”

Taren looked at me, “Drink? There’s nothing to drink.”

“Nonsense!” I replied, gesturing with a wide sweep of my arm. “At the Silent Quill, there’s over sixty different ales to pick from – and,” I added with a wink, “some of the finest ladies! Even some female Minotaurs. Though,” I nudged him, “I am glad you can tell the difference between male and female Minotaurs.”

I could hear another voice, barely audible over the crowd within the Silent Quill.

“He’s –tic!- hallucinating,” the voice said.

“Hallucinating?” I turned to face the Insectoid, and suddenly found myself no longer standing in the Silent Quill. I was in some kind of dungeon.

“What’s going on here?” I grabbed the Insectoid by his tattered robes. “Where have you teleported us to?”

Taren’s strong, black, furry arms separated us. “He hasn’t teleported us anywhere, Tawmis. He’s right. You’re hallucinating. It’s the infection.”

“The infection?” I began to ask, then I felt it. The pain in my shoulder. I moved my shirt and saw the black around the wound. I covered it again, and looked at Taren. “It won’t be long now will it?”

“I’m –tic!- afraid not,” Blaz’tik replied. “The fever, then –tic!- the hallucination, then the –tic!- pain as the final blackness goes through the heart,” Blaz’tik explained matter-of-factly. “It will feel like –tic!- a thorny rose stem going through –tic!- your bloodstream when it reaches your heart.”

“Rose stem,” I muttered. “How… unromantic.”

There was a time, all I wanted to do was die.

For this life, I had been given, to be over.

When the Mages from the Academy of Des, known as the Crimson Order, ripped my mind apart, peeling back memory after memory, and burning them like old parchments, seeking the location of the Orb of Zhandul; knowing that my parents were the only ones rumored to have ever escaped Mount Grimrock, and supposed found the Orb and put it somewhere, because the items was so powerful it could not be destroyed by Mortals.

When the Mages found that I knew nothing, they sold me into slavery, in hopes I would perish, or that the people of Namaer would be blamed for my abduction, leaving the Crimson Order free of blame.

But the day I jumped into the Arena to help defend Taren Bloodhorn, my life took a drastic turn. Suddenly all the thoughts of dying, perished as I fought by this incredible noble Minotaur, who I could tell was innocent of the crimes he had been charged with. (2 – Read more about Tawmis’ origin here)

Now it’s here. Death.

I can feel it breathing on my neck. It whispers my name.

I can almost hear it laughing.

Telling me to surrender. To give up. To stop living. So that I could finally be free of Mount Grimrock and find the peace I so richly deserved.

But I kept taking that next step forward.

My stomach churned. My hands trembled. My knees ached. I felt the world spinning every second I took just one more breath.

Giving up would have been the easiest thing to do.

But that’s when I realized, I never wanted to die. Not even when the Mages of the Crimson Order broke my mind and spirit. Not even when I jumped into the Arena to help defend Taren against impossible odds.

I never wanted to die.

I wanted to fight. Fight to keep living.

I would not die by giving up.

If I was to die, it would be for a noble cause.

Something that others, who survived, would speak about. Tell the tales. So that I would live on, as an immortal, in the form of evolving stories of my heroics.

Sometimes, we don’t get to pick how we die.

It suddenly felt as something gripped my heart with a chilled fist.

I suddenly felt the massive hands of Taren pull me back out of the corridor I had been struggling to walk in. A cold chill ran down my body. As I turned to look at everyone else; I could see they were all experiencing the same thing.

So it wasn’t Death.

Unless it had come for us all; at the same time. (Not entirely impossible down here, I imagine).

From the shadows I saw it.

A figure adorned in black robes, that somehow seemed darker than the unlit shadows of Grimrock. What should have been fingers looked like extended tentacles, like that of an octopus. My eyes stared in abject horror, when I noticed, cloaked in the dark shadows of its hood, there was no facial features; but slithering forth were the same tentacle appearance. Marble white to grey in color, the figure seemed to float across the floor.

When we were sure it was gone, Taren turned to Blaz’tik, “What in the Gods was that thing?”

“Stories –tic!-,” the Insectoid began to explain, “calls them ‘Goromorg’,” he shrugged, “which loosely –tic!- translates in the ‘Common’ tongue as ‘The Soul Stealers.’”

“That certainly,” Silvertan hissed, “explains the sensation I felt in my chest.”

“They –tic!- emit an aurora of fear,” Blaz’tik explained. “Rumor –tic!- has it, that the Goromorg are the original Designers of Mount Grimrock.”

“The First Mages?” I asked. “That would make them…”

“Thousands of years old,” Blaz’tik finished my sentence. “Yes. Once believed to be human, the Designers – the First Mages – obsessed with magic, sold their –tic!- very sanity and souls, to improve and learn –tic!- and become better Mages. It is said –tic!- that they made a pact with a ‘Dark God’ that –tic!- bestowed these powers upon them and supposed –tic!- changed them in its image. They are, without a doubt, -tic!- the most powerful Mages in existence, but the cost –tic!- of magic was … what you saw. They –tic!- no longer appear human. They –tic!- emanate that fear –tic!- aurora, because there is nothing human – it’s literally the –tic!- magic within them flowing outward, seeking to drain any and all –tic!- magic it senses!”

“Why did it not detect you?” Silvertan asked.

“Because without my spellbooks, I am –tic!- unable to memorize spells,” the Insectoid shrugged. “There is next to no magic –tic!- emanating from me, and any magic that is –tic!- is drowned out by the more powerful magic flowing within –tic!- Grimrock.”

Then I felt it.

I clutched at my chest. I bit down as hard as I could.

Taren was at my side. “What is it? What is wrong?”

“Rose… bushes,” I managed to sputter out.

Damn the Mage. He was right. It literally felt like a rose stem was being pumped through my veins; and its thorns were ripping me apart inside.

I let out a scream and collapsed.

Just before I faded into darkness, I heard Blaz’tik say, “It heard. It’s coming back. I can sense it.”


Perhaps Taren is right.

Sometimes, I’m simply too stubborn.

Even to die, it seems.

My eyes fluttered open.

Immediately I was gripped by the pulse pounding sensation of fear, which only seemed to rush the sensation of ‘the rose stem’ growing through my veins. I let out a gurgle of pain, blood trickling out of my mouth and onto the cold, grey floor of Grimrock. I stared up and saw that demon mage thing – the Goromorg had Silvertan in one of its tentacle hands, and Blaz’tik in the other; while its face had somehow ensnared Taren’s own face, and appeared to be sucking the life from him. Taren’s body was rigid, not moving.

“No,” I growled. “No. Not like this. Not like this. This is not how he dies.”

I forced myself up, my arms shaking violently, my body begging me to lay down again and sleep the Forever Sleep.

That’s thing about me, I realized early.

I don’t want to die like this.

I am fighting to live.

I force myself up, first onto my knees, then slowly I stand and draw the sword I had acquired from one of the undead soldiers earlier. I wanted to run and charge the Goromorg, but I could barely walk, without needing the wall to support me.

The Goromorg seemed so focused on devouring the soul of my dearest friend that it had never heard me approach. I shoved my sword into the creature’s back, and aimed the blade upward. I wasn’t even sure if this damn thing could be killed.

It didn’t even let out any sounds of pain. It did, however, drop all three of my companions and turn its attention on me. When it turned, it yanked the sword out of my feeble grip. If anything, I had bought my companions, and my dearest friends, only a few more seconds of life, assuming they were not dead already.

“Come at me,” I spat at the creature, my blood splashing onto its black robes.

It seemed to pause and stare at the bloodstain for a moment, before both tentacle hands lunged around my throat, wrapping around it tightly, like slimy, tiny, extended fingers. I tried to raise my arms to fight it, to somehow pull myself free – but this was it. I had given everything I could.

This was how I would die.

Staring into the soulless eyes of this Goromorg.

Suddenly the Goromorg rose about three feet; a look of surprise in its soulless eyes; before the white glow faded to a cold grey, and the creature released its hold on me. We both collapsed to the ground; me, dying, my own legs unable to support my weight; the Goromorg, dead.

I looked up and saw Taren’s minotaur horns covered in black blood.

He immediately kneeled down, “You did it. You saved us.”

I chuckled, blood glistening on my lips, “That’s what a hero does.”

“We thought you were dead already, as did the Goromorg as it passed you,” Taren tried to smile.

“I got better,” I muttered. My vision was fading. He was a lot more blurry than I remembered him being. Reminded me of that one night at the Red Dragon Inn – I don’t think I have ever been as drunk as I was that night.

But this wasn’t because I was intoxicated.

This was it.

I was finally, truly, dying.

My hand reached out to Taren’s rough, Minotaur cheek. “Live. Make it through here. For me. Tell my story…”

Taren swore that Minotaurs were incapable of crying, because they lacked tear ducts in their eyes, but I could swear I saw his eyes glittering more than usual in the torchlight.

“I will, my friend,” I heard him say. “I will.”

Then my world went black for the last time.

(Writer’s Note: I flipped back and forth from narrative perspective; because in hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it directly from Tawmis’ view; because it limits what I can do! I returned to this story, because I purchased Realms of Arkania on STEAM {if you haven’t, you should, especially if you like Legend of Grimrock). Anyway, was just going to be a short segment, but the characters had a lot to say apparently, and it just kept going… so is this the end? You don’t REALLY think this is the end, right?)

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