“It’s beautiful,” Audric whispered as she saw the mysterious object for the first time. She’d seen nothing like it before and couldn’t help but touch it again and again for fear it might disappear soon.
“What is this?” she asked, wondering how a strange object could exist in such a desolate location.
“Where did it come from?” She turned to her companion, also entranced by the object. “You’re the one with magic,” she reminded him. “Do you have any idea what it is?”
The scholar, Giordan, nodded in agreement despite not being sure what it was. It didn’t matter after all, since Audric had no way of knowing if he was telling her the truth. As much as he disliked lying, he found himself unable to admit that his magic wasn’t strong enough to answer her query.
Instead, he went over to where his backpack laid and pulled out the book that contained every spell he knew. He ran his fingers across the etched sigils until he came across a particular spell that would help. He then used to channel a small amount of magic into the object before him.
His eyes widened as an egg materialized in front of him. It was a strange-looking one.
Through it, they saw an outline.
It resembled a human from the waist up, though it was much more muscular and had strange tattoos inked on his chest and shoulders. From the waist down, it looked like a cross between an octopus and a squid, with its large tentacles surrounding its mouth.
“It might be a god,” the scholar tried to explain even though he knew Audric wouldn’t be able to comprehend it in its entirety. “At least I think it is. I’ve only heard of them in stories.” Giordan looked over at his companion with concern before continuing. “I don’t know who this one is though.”
Audric opened up the halves of the egg and a loud hissing sound filled the air. The first thing she noticed was that there was no liquid inside, which was why it had been so light to push despite its enormous size.
Instead, a mist escaped from within it, which smelled of brine and fish. The two companions were dumbfounded about how such magic created such a smell.
“Yes,” they heard an echoing voice, startling them both. “I am Nelos. Entrapped…” The creature paused before continuing, which made Audric suspect it was hiding something from them.
Still, she held back her tongue and let the creature continue its speech. “I am an old god of the ocean. However, I have been in here for so long that I do not know if there are still any children of the Kraken left.”
Upon hearing this shocking news, Audric covered her mouth. She already found it strange that Giordan wasn’t sure what the creature was before.
And now, he revealed that something had cut him off from the rest of the world by an unknown force.
How could this much magic come from such an isolated place?
Giordan nodded and tried to move closer while still keeping a safe distance from Nelo’s tentacles. Audric tried to gauge Giordan’s reaction, but she wasn’t sure what they should do next.
She knew Giordan had some way of searching the creature’s mind, but there were limits to what knowledge he could gain in such a manner.
Audric opened her mouth to question the god further, but Nelos cut her off with a sharp hiss. “You must help me,” he pleaded. “The magic that me trapped also keeps me alive is failing and I cannot maintain it on my own.”
“What happened?” Audric asked, her voice full of concern for the creature before them. She knew if they could not find out what had caused this, then there would be no hope of fixing it at all.
Nelos recounted how many years ago, a group of veiled men had approached him in its lair and disrupted the magic surrounding his home. The deity tried to fight them, however; they prepared for his attacks.
He realized this group was a rogue sect of mages who could hold most of the water back with sheer magic alone and contain him in the egg’s prison.
Since then, he’d been unable to find a way out and lost track of the passing of time.
Deprived of water, they had reduced him to a large saline egg.
Audric couldn’t hide the terrified look on her face as Nelos told his life story. The amount of magic required to keep an entire sea at bay for such a length of time was more than she could imagine.
Yet, some rogue group had captured a god and left him trapped here. What or who could have made such a grand feat?
Giordan felt his heart drop as he remained quiet and searched the creature’s mind. Everything he was telling them was true, and the creature suffered in his tomb.
However, he still could not understand the magic that the mages used to imprison him.
Without knowing what caused this problem, there was no way they could fix it. They had been so enamoured with meeting the ancient god now they believed they could not give him the ultimate freedom he longed for.
“Please,” Nelos begged. “I don’t know if I can maintain the magic long enough for you to find whoever did this. If they return and see me weakened, they will finish me.”
Giordan looked at Audric as she reached out her hand and placed it on his arm. He held up a finger to the god and whispered, “We’ll do our best.”
There was a loud hiss and the sound of water bubbling as Nelos replied. “Thank you,” he said before his voice faded away and the being became resealed in the egg.
Audric turned to her companion with a gulp. “What can we do to set him free?” she asked in a low voice.
Giordan looked at her with a furrowed brow. He believed Nelos was their only hope of acquiring the information they needed in order to help him. If he disappeared, it would be a dead end. Having held out against him this long, were the mages that confident that Nelos could never escape?
“I don’t know,” Giordan mumbled. He spun around to face the ocean god. “Do you know how to break the seal?” he demanded.
“I believe…,” Nelos said weakly. “…. a drop of volcanic water is all I need.”
The two companions realized the cruelty that the mages cursed on Nelos. The nearest regions of volcanic territory were several thousand miles away and any would be rescuers would perish from the treacherous journey.
However, these two adventurers may have had the hope Nelos was counting on.
Audric watched as Giordan rummaged through his belongings, his hands trembling. To their delight, he pulled out a small glass vial full of volcanic water from an expedition when they first started their journey.
Audric revelled in the scholar’s foresight, holding onto the mixture for a time that they may need it. Perhaps for injuries, the travellers’ rejuvenation or assisting an entombed god from breaking out of his confinement.
Holding the vial securely, he went close to the egg and poured a single drop onto it.
The water seeped into the egg and permeated into the cracks of the creature’s dried skin before evaporating almost immediately. The egg reopened and steam escaped from his mouth and it dissipated into the air. Giordan dropped the vial at his feet and looked down before turning to Audric.
“I think we did it.” He exclaimed, “Let’s see if he has a way to get us back.”
Just when Audric was about to answer, the ground opened up from below them and black tendrils of mist coiled up from the cavern. Her eyes widened as she realized that something had happened to the magic holding back the sea. The two of them ran towards their escape as quickly as possible, but they were too late. An unknown force destroyed their ship and water started rushing in from all directions, flooding the surrounding area. The water violently shattered Nelos’ prison, rendering him free from the shackles that bound him.
“Giordan!” Audric screamed as she felt herself being pulled by the ravaging waves. Giordan desperately reaching out for her. He was holding onto an edge of a not yet submerged platform with his fingertips before being thrown into the raging whirlpool.
As the waters rose, it also pulled pieces of their destroyed vessel into the depths of the sea. Audric saw was the ocean above them, as the sound of splashing and the roar of the waves continued to fill the air. She had never seen the ocean so angry and believed it was only a matter of time until they both drowned.
She closed her eyes tightly, trying to ignore her impending death.
When she opened them again, they were both in the vast ocean and a giant red creature with innumerable tentacles was swimming nearby. “Nelos!” she cried, reaching out her hand to him. “We need your help…”
Giordan saw the expression on Audric’s face change to one of horror as she stared at something behind him. He turned around and saw Nelos swimming towards them with a look that made all remaining colour drain from his face.
Audric could hear the sounds of Giordan calling out to her, but she couldn’t answer him. She was too shocked to do anything else.
“Nelos, no!” he shouted as the sea god wrapped a tentacle around each of them. Suddenly, a vortex formed around the center of the creature and he pulled them into it. Everything they heard around them faded away as it dragged them down into darkness.
The ancient ocean god consumed Audric and Giordan. Nelos took them into his body, and at the brink of death, that the pair realized that the ancient gods were not as benevolent as they had thought.
They two hoped for death to take them peacefully, but they found themselves sustained inside Nelos’ body.
Giordan searched the creature’s mind once more and saw even further thoughts that were obscured.
They finally learned what Nelos’ true intentions were–he wanted vengeance for his unjust imprisonment. And now, he wanted nothing more than to rid the realm of the mages so that he may rule over the world as he intended before.
“Thank you for freeing me,” Nelos graciously answered, as if hearing their thoughts. “You two will witness my conquest and once it is over, I will spare you as you serve me in the new world.”
As if on cue, a giant tentacle rose out of the water and reached towards the heavens before the creature set out on its path of destruction.
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