It was another gloomy day in the Cursed Vale, it always seemed to be gloomy there. Gliding past trees with unhindered determination, I saw my goal ahead of me and sped towards it. It was a very spacious grave site spread out around an open section of land, almost as if trees refused to grow near it. There were skeletons littered about and I disposed of them quickly enough with a few well placed magical arrows.
Stepping into the entrance of the catacombs beneath, I double checked my gear to make sure I was ready. My radiant corona’s aura shined brilliantly in the darkness, complimenting the radiance of my recurve as glyphs endow it with great power. Making my way down stairways and corridors, I came across many powerful foes guarding chests with the very treasure I was seeking.
I held the gem up in my hand, allowing the glow from my armor to illuminate it, this was exactly what I had been searching for. Suddenly, a scraping noise from behind jarred me from my gaze and I quickly spun around to face the source, but it had gone before I finished turning. Chalking it up to the Cheap Trove Flux mere paranoia, I shook the moment from my mind and socketed the gem into my equipment, feeling the energy from it surge throughout my body. It was then that I discovered another opening, leading even further down into the depths of this dungeon, and I made my way into the silent darkness.
Once my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I was taken aback by the sight before me. A huge spiraling staircase leading down a deep and dark cavern stretched below me and immediately my hands gripped the rock to my side to steady myself. I carefully wound my way down to the very bottom and upon arriving, a dreadful shriek pierced the silence that had caressed my ears a moment before. The sound came from above and echoed through the cavern around me. It was as chilling as undeath, and as loud as a thousand souls wailing in anguish. I knew that whatever it was at the top of the stairs, it would be coming for me soon, so I dove behind a chuck of rock that stuck out from the ground and prepared myself mentally.
I peeked out from behind the rock to look up at the creature only to find a huge, green and black shape slowly descending with spread wings the color of acid. As the being came into view, I noticed a large white skull shaped like a birds as its head, and horns jutting out from the side of it that threatened to impale. It landed with a grace unexpected from something its size and peered in my direction, its glowing green eyes practically staring into my soul. I tried to duck back into cover but by then it had seen me already and let out another shriek, only this time it sounded almost like it was defending something.
With the speed of death itself, it sprang from its perch upon the rocks it had landed and flew into the air. It hovered there for a moment, giving me enough time to charge my bow for an attack. Without wasting a second I poured every once of strength I had into one shot, even drinking a flask to Buy Trove Flux with gain extra strength for a time. The undead bird chose at that instant to dive straight at me, and as it did, I let loose a shot that knocked me on my back. I looked up at the creature just as my arrow struck it in the chest and watched in awe and relief as the energy exploded through it, downing the terror before it could reach me.
As I rose from the ground, the beast slowly turned to ash before my very eyes. I started for the stairs back up and within the silence of the caves, a squeaking noise caused me to turn back. A small animal, akin to that of the beast I had slain, gazed up at me and squeaked once more. Realization dawned on me and regret flooded my very being. I had not defeated some terrible creature guarding gold and jewels, but rather a parent defending a different type of treasure. I bent down and scooped up the baby bird, holding it with a tenderness I had never thought to show to any undead. The bird pecked at my armor playfully and slept in my arms as I carried it back up through the catacombs, and to its new home.