Tide of Doom

A certain beach on a portion of southern Arventian coast was eerily quiet. Tiny rippling waves lapped at the water’s edge. The salty smell of the sea wafted in on the gentle wind. Slightly inland was a fishing village. It was late afternoon when the waters were abruptly disturbed; the sun sat high on it’s blue throne in the sky, casting a warm glow on shimmering waves. It began with an exodus of marine life. Thousands of crabs skittered onto the beach, crabs of all color and kind. Next came a multitude of fish, washed up like miniature grounded boats. The sandy shore became a mess of fish, crabs, and other stranger ocean life. The crab army marched further inland, dissipating into the grassy hills. The fish, without legs, were left wriggling by the thousands in the moistened sand.

Mere minutes after this phenomena of nature occurred, something more sinister followed. From the rising and falling of the sea came an army, an army not made up of crabs. From a distance they came forth, silhouettes in a mist that had inexplicably formed. The foreboding mist rolled in, hugging the coast like death’s embrace. Out from it they came, forms solidifying to the eye.

An army of creatures, humanoid in appearance, yet lacking the stride and posture of a conventional man. Their heads slowly rose from the water, fierce reptilian features; ears pointed like daggers, scaly flesh the color of sapphires, eyes that resembled whirlpools of seaweed and oceanic rot. As the creatures drew closer the water level lowered to reveal their midsections. Brawny chests littered with scales; it seemed to the observer’s eye that they were decorated in armor. An armor plating that appeared organic, as if grown out through natural means by it’s wearer; much like the way a man grows a beard. The armor was hefty, looking as if it had been forged by the ocean god himself, using materials ripped straight from the unknown depths. Coral-reef, often used to decorate the homes of fishermen, grew from their heads like matted hair. It was a sight to behold. The perished ocean-life that lay at their webbed feet as they ascended the shore.

The creatures wielded golden tridents that would have shone blindingly bright in the sunlight, had the sun not been suddenly obscured by stormy clouds. At the precise moment the beasts hobbled onto the dry land of Arventia, the sun had been blocked out.

A bitter rain began to fall, a wicked storm brewed in the heavens. The skies lost their blue luster and took on a pale gray hue.

Hundreds of the mysterious creatures walked on shore, the sand was packed down under their great collective weight. Out from their ranks came forth a chieftain. His scaly body was not blue like the others, but purple. He had an air of authority about him, he gestured wildly with his trident, an extension of his sinewy arm. Gurgling sounds emanated from him, from the gills in the sides of his elongated neck. It seemed that this was their form of communication, a horrid sound, a cross between a man drowning, and the sound a basin makes when being drained of water. Soon the beach was packed, the things milled around aimlessly for a spell, as if to collect their bearings. Then the creatures hopped up and down and danced as the rain fell around them, it appeared they were familiarizing themselves with the methods of upright locomotion. Walking seemed foreign to them as they shambled farther inland. Their leader let out a series of shrill inhuman shrieks that reverberated off the rocky hills and surrounding forests. A call to war, a call to conquer. With that their numbers went into the lands, led by the creature with the purple scales, and elaborate purple armor plating.

That coastal fisherman’s town was unaware of the looming threat, it was a day of rest, and by royal decree no work was to be done that day. Thus the fishing boats had been moored at a nearby inlet, and no fishermen were present to witness the approach of the oncoming aquatic army.

The settlement was situated in the middle of a tree cluster, slightly elevated by the hillside. The homes were built on a fertile patch of land that served as an excellent means to grow produce. The meager buildings were constructed from logs placed crosswise to form walls, the roofs were made of matted straw. Children ran about chasing one another, weary parents sat on porches, resting their eyes.

The creatures climbed the hillside, at least one hundred of them descended on the unsuspecting villagers. A child of no more then five summers was shoved down by one of the creatures, the thing drove it’s webbed foot into the boy’s head, pressing his face into the mud, the boy unable to get oxygen, writhed as spasms raked his body, then he was still. The creature free of remorse, looked down at the deceased boy as if noticing him for the first time, as if merely noticing an insect he had crushed.

A man ran to the tiny corpse, the boy’s father. Tears flowed from his eyes, it was if all he saw was his dead child and not the dozens of creatures that now shuffled on unsteady feet towards him. The man fell to his knees at the site of his dead son; then he looked around at the monsters that surrounded him. A look of dread graced his countenance, then a nearby creature ran him through the back with it’s trident. For a heartbeat the three points jutted from his chest, then the weapon was savagely pulled from his back and the man fell face-first to the mud, the earth soaked up the pools of blood. A father and son lay side by side, two corpses that were stepped over and on by even more of the monsters that pushed onward. The village was obliterated. Buildings were literally pushed down by the overwhelming numbers. Women, children, butchered without mercy, or a second thought. The ocean had given birth to a force so great it seemed nearly unstoppable. The hills were swarmed upon by an oceanic army that was so great it dotted the surrounding countryside like a swarm of ants. From that tiny coastal village the army went forth, decimating anything and everything in it’s path. None survived that initial onslaught, except one. A lone man atop a black horse, watched from a rocky precipice as the harrowing events unfolded. He knew there was nothing he alone could do for the villagers as they were slaughtered before his eyes. Once he was able to break his awe-stricken gaze from the carnage below he jabbed his boots into his steed’s flanks to gallop away at full speed in hopes to inform the next closest settlement of their impending doom.

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