In this episode, Malric is ambushed and captured by the Scavengers.
The interior of the temple was moist and smelled of rotting fish. There were no torches and the floor sloped steeply downwards. Running his hands along the stone walls of the corridor, Malric discovered that the passageway was covered with carvings. Malric shuddered, thinking of the tentacled god called Thulos and the amphibious Scavengers who dwelled below.
As he continued, the decline grew more exaggerated, and he lost his footing several times before he was forced to a crawl. A sticky liquid covered the floor and long eel-like worms moved within the substance. The stench of decay was almost unbearable.
Malric was near vomiting when a draft blew through the corridor. The salty tang it carried steadied Malric’s stomach and allowed him to continue. Up ahead dim torchlight spilled forth from a natural chamber. Without warning the floor fell away beneath him. He was in mid-air for several seconds and then landed roughly on the stone floor below. Instinctively he scrambled to his feet and drew his weapon.
Just as quickly he was knocked back down by a blow to the back of the head. He fell to his knees. Soon figures rushed in around him, their strong arms lashing out from the darkness and disarming him. He was efficiently bound with taut rope and led up a short flight of stairs to a torchlit chamber. He was unable to get a good look at his captors, but by the unnatural way some of them moved he knew that not all were men.
As they entered the chamber, torchlight illuminated the alien features of those around him. They had long, stretched-out faces, yellowish skin with flecks of green peppering their shoulders and backs. They were the source of the reek that pervaded the whole atmosphere of the shrine, that smell of crustaceans dredged up from the sea to die in the sun.
Their breathing was heavy and the air that ran through their slitted nostrils hissed as it passed. Their huge, bulbous eyes were expressionless pools of obsidian. Malric was thrown into the chamber before he could observe them more closely.
To be continued…