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The Flameblood - Part 1

The Dungeon is dark. The lights had been turned off for the night, and the only light was the faint glow of my people in their fiery robes and armor. Skeleton Commandos hid in the shadows, their rocket launchers loaded on their shoulders. Hell Armored Bones are in their best battle gear, forming a phalanx down the front of the Dungeon. Diabolists, my brother and sisters among them, stand on platforms high near the ceiling, ready to rain living hell down on the adventurers when they come in.

I have no part in this. I am not a fighter, and I am too young anyway, barely 160 years old. My 161st deathday had been three weeks ago. Or as close as I can figure in this lifeless place.

I can hear sounds coming from the outside. This is the closest I have ever been to the door. Eons ago, according to my grandskeleton, there was a mighty skull that guarded us from harm until a giant skeleton had been defeated. However, a heroic adventurer destroyed the skeleton and saved the man that had been cursed. The mighty skull is no more now. It lives on only in stories as the Dungeon Guardian, our hero.

I can smell the air coming in from the outside. It is sweet, the first air I have ever tasted that did not reek of Water Candle smoke. Those Water Candles - they were perfected by a genius of a skeleton, long ago, in order to increase our spawnrates exponentially. They worked, pity on those foolish adventurers who came to us. Our numbers were amazingly strong.

I jerk myself from my thoughts to concentrate on teleporting outside. It's a tricky business, teleportation. It takes immense strength of will - I've met older Diabolists who had studied for years and still can't get it done. But I concentrated all the same and focused on rearranging my molecules on the top of that platform right above my head. Easier said than done, given that I've never seen it. But I manage it all the same.

It is strange, my first breath of fresh air. It smells of things that live, not bone dust and relics. I have never smelled this before.

And oh, the view! I see all the land from the Dungeon. We live atop a hill, it seems. At the foot, there is a land of lush grasses and exotic trees. Bats flit around them. Farther, a land of cold with leafless trees. Even farther, there is a purple land, full of a radiating evil that draws me like an adventurer to gold. At the farthest ranges of my vision, I can see sparkling blue waters, like those from a book I saw once, and golden sand. It is amazing, too much to take in.

And that is when I decide I will see it all. I will be an adventurer, roaming the lands and claiming them as my own.

I make my preparations the following day. A spellbook I read once goes in my traveling pack, fashioned from a robe left behind by an adventurer - now long dead. I change into my red-and-bone green robes, the ones that stop at the ankles and will not trip me up. My Inferno Fork stays in my left hand - always. I am odd in the respect that I cast with my left hand and defend with my right. Most Diabolists are the opposite.

I feel the bones in my hands creak as I teleport to the top of the Dungeon once again. It's an odd sensation, like your flesh is twisting. Diabolists are not meant for combat. They are meant for magic, and that art is one few have the knack for.

I continue teleporting. The sun is rising, and I know I must go to that evil land first. The other places can wait.

I reach the foot of the hill. The green land stretches before me. It's a lot bigger than it looked from the Dungeon. But I will cross it and be a great adventurer. I must.

This soon proves easier said than done: It is soaked in water, with fish in it that I have seen strip creatures to the bones. I am already bones, but they would go for my robes, which lend magic power.

I end up evaporating the whole lake with my fire and teleporting over the smaller ones. I am to the snowy land, and the sun has set. It's cloaked in darkness, the eyes of gray beasts gleaming yellow as they leap over me.

I find my first real challenge here. Three elementals based off ice flutter over me on their moth wings just as I am about to step out of the snow. They start firing their ice bullets, frosting up the hem of my robes. They thaw quickly, and my fire takes out the elementals. However, my fire is in danger of going out, which cannot happen. This cold land is not for me.

I make it into the land of evil. There are massive chasms and purple, spindly trees. I teleport down the first chasm I come to. Teleporting down is easier than up by far. It's like walking.

Down below is a world of purple and brown light, emitted by evil-looking altars scattered throughout. There was once water here, but it is now acid that does no damage to me. I merely swim through it with my bony hands.

Soon, I come to a chamber. It has a purple orb in it. Several insect-like creatures float around in it, speaking as one.

"Awake, servant of evil, and speak to the Master."

I place my hand on the orb, and purple light immediately blasts out through my bones.

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