I sat there, shackled by my own fear. The wild things were scratching and howling outside the condemnation of the abandoned shack in the woods. And I was there... curled up in the corner of what was once the living room, now an ashen mess.
A forgotten ashen mess.
Upkeep has been abandoned here, for years, it seemed. What was to become of me; I, the one who delved too deeply into sorcery? I, who believed he could stand against all odds? I, who used devils as my guides, my weapons, my shields, my strength?
The wild things were rattling that old door now. The door trembled loosely in the frame. My blood froze over, chilling me clear to my soul as though the plagued winds of the underworld filled my lungs.
I was so close to my demise that I could taste it on the back of my tongue. I could try and fight, or I could stay here and wait until the wild things broke in, or until the pounding of my heart went silent and beat no more. I could no longer face the hellish place I'd led my now dead party into. This forest of damnation was alive, and after doing way with my friends, it'd come to swallow me in pieces.
Even now, the latch was rattling loose; the deadbolt could only withstand so much strain. The wild things climbed all over the shack, trying to gnaw their way in. My presence thrilled them not.
But could I trust my devils enough to put my life in their hands?
One of the wild things let out a mind-piercing howl and shattered the dusty window. In absolute terror, I saw the lupine head of the creature to which the howl belonged. Sharp teeth, lips a-quiver with rage and unsatiated hunger, the monster's head was planted atop a hulking humanoid body covered in fur. The creature crouched to poke its snout through the newly shattered window to sniff me out. The beast opened up its horrid mouth, its teeth slaked with thick cords of salive and the blood of my friends.
The latch of the front door was nearly off the frame now. Finally deciding on a course of action, I scrambled and fled to the next room, getting far away from the shattered window and weakened door.
I thought of my friends, and how they died protecting me. They went down fighting. Bravely. I ran for my life... I never could be as courageous as them. I brought this. My sorcery awakened this forest, and retribution was nigh.
It was when I found a safe corner in the next room over that I realized something. I realized it as the door finally gave free and the sound of clicking mandibles and the din of many skittering legs reached my ears.
I was just a monster. I was a beast with no way out of a perilous situation, just like my attackers. That gave me the will to fight.
I saw the large legs of the slope spiders feeling around the doorway. The giant werewolf was trying to crawl through the shattered window.
I stood firm, my back against the wall, and I dug deep into my repetoire of devilish forces, deciding on the finest devil I could manage.
Somewhere in its own dimension, my chosen unholy atrocity's eyes opened.
Like the enormous werewolf ripping away pieces of the shack, I tore open a gateway of darkness between my attackers and myself. Out came the cries of the woeful and wicked, as my devil gained entry to my hellscape of isolation. I let the right one out.
A muscular mass of inhumanity divided me from certain death. The black gate shrunk away, and I gazed upon the scarred back of a horned devil with cobalt skin and pointed ears poking through its twisted mane of hair. In its hand it held a chain, the dull gray links matted with the blood of its previous victims.
I didn't trust my devils. I didn't love them. Not anymore. Trust and love was for humanity. This devil once tried to kill me, due to my lack of control. But now I've come to accept my own monstrous side. I wanted what this devil wanted. I wanted to bring glorious destruction to my enemies. We had a synergy now, this devil and I.
The devil raised its rattling chain and swung it down on top of the first spider to crawl through the doorway, causing the creature to burst. Legs and goopy ichor splattered all over the floor; the spider stood no chance against my devil, my living weapon.
Soon the entire room became an ichor bath. Disembodied spider parts lay all over the room, stained and twitching no more. My devil whipped every spider to come crawling through the doorway, killing and ripping them to pieces with its chain.
Soon, only one monster remained: the werewolf.
Sensing the bipedal horror's location outside, my devil wrapped its huge fingers around my arm and lifted me up, setting me away from the wall.
Then my devil raised its knee and stomped its foot through the side of the shack, blowing it out into the dark and hungry forest outside.
I heard the crazed snorts and snarls of the werewolf as it came skidding around the side of the shack. My devil went outside to confront the monstrosity, while I stayed behind in the safety of the room. The werewolf rushed my devil in an attempt to tackle it. With quick reflexes, the devil wipped its chain upward, tearing the werewolf's chest open. Both monsters went to the dirt and continued their fight.
A musty wind blew, carrying the scent of the werewolf's blood into the room. The scent of blood compelled me to use my black magic. To power my dark spells, the reagent was life essence, be it my own, my devil's or my foes'.
I let out a shaky breath as my fear turned into deranged excitement. The werewolf was clawing my devil up, while the devil had its chain wrapped around the werewolf's throat.
I drew upon the werewolf's life essence and channeled my power into the beast. Raw magic crackled and surged at my fingertips like electricity. My curse on the werewolf left it growling and, in its own way, screaming in torturous, unending agony. Were the werewolf anything less than a creature three times my size, my magic would have left it robbed of its ability to mobilly function. But the werewolf was a powerful being. It was still fighting my devil, despite the pain it was in. It tried to climb off the devil to come after me, but my devil was still strangulating the beast, holding it in place.
Without my devil, I would have been dead by now. Like my friends.
My devil punched the weakened werewolf across its head, knocking the beast unconscious. The devil rolled the werewolf off it and stood back up, the chain swinging at its side. My devil was wounded as well, but not as badly as the werewolf.
My magic had no effect on a foe that was unconscious, so I dispelled my pain curse right then.
Just when I thought I'd gotten out of this alive, it all took a turn for the worst.
A blade went through me, into my back and out my chest. I could hear the pained sobs of the woman holding the sword. My devil watched me slowly perish, and I choked on my own blood, listening to her final words to me.
"You led them into a trap... my husband—you killed him...! He was your friend! You sacrificed them to these monsters, and for what? The demon I see before me?"
I choked, "Yes."
When the spiders and werewolf mangled my friends, I forged their bodies into an amalgamation: the devil standing here, watching me die. Of course my devil wasn't helping me now... because justice has been served.
Fine. I always knew I'd die this way. Now that it was happening... I wasn't so scared anymore...
Giltiné take me... I'm yours to... comm...an...
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