Resurrection - By R. A. Salvatore

Chapter One

Inthracis sat in his favorite chair, a high-backed throne made frombones packed together with a mortar of blood and pulped skin. Tomes and scrolls, the tools of his research, lay open atop the large basalt table before him. The soaring walls of the three-story library of Corpsehaven, his fortress, loomed on all sides.

Eyes stared at him from out of the walls.

Made from the heaped decay of thousands upon thousands of semi-sentient, magically preserved corpses, Corpsehaven's walls, floors, and ceilings could have filled the cemeteries of a hundred cities. Bodies were the bricks of Inthracis's keep. He regarded himself as an artisan, a fleshmason who smashed and twisted the moaning forms into whatever contorted shape he needed. He was indiscriminate in his choice of materials; all manner of bodies had been pressed into the structure of his keep. Mortals, demons, devils, and even other yugoloths had round a home in Corpsehaven's walls. Inthracis was nothing if nota fair murderer. Any being that stood in his way on his rise through the ranks of the Blood Rift's ultroloth hierarchy ended up in one of his walls, decaying and near death but still sensate enough to feel pain, still alive enough to suffer and moan.

He smiled. Beingsurrounded by his dead and his books always settled his mind. The library was his retreat. The pungent reek of decaying flesh and the piquant aroma of parchment preservative cleared both his cavernous sinuses and his cavernous mind.

And that was well, for he desired clarity. His research had revealed little, only tantalizing hints. He knew only that the Lower Planes were in an uproar and that Lolth was at the center of it. He had not yet determined how best to capitalize on the chaos.

He ran a mottled, long-fingered hand over the smooth skin of his scalp and wondered how he might turn events to his advantage. Long had he waited to move against Kexxon the Oinoloth, Archgeneral of the Blood Rift. Perhaps the time for action had come, during the Lolth-spawned chaos?

He stared into the bloodshot, pain-filled eyes of his walls but the corpses offered him no answers, only lipless grimaces, soft moans, and agonized stares. Their suffering lightened Inthracis's spirit.

Outside Corpsehaven, audible even through the walls ofpressed flesh and glassteel windows, the scream of the Blood Rift's blistering winds sang their song of agonya high pitched, rising keen, similar to that made by the dozen or so mortals Inthracis had personally flayed. As the sound subsided, Inthracis cocked his head and waited. He knew that a planar tremor would follow hard after, trailing the wind's wail with the same certainty that thunder followed lightning in an Ethereal cyclone.


A slow rumble began, just a soft shaking at first, but building to a crescendo that shook the entire fortress, a paroxysm that caused flakes of skin meal and dried hair to rain like volcanic ash from the high ceiling of the library. Inthracis suspected that the entirety of the Blood Rift, perhaps even the whole of the Lower Planes, was shaking. Lolth had torn the Demonweb Pits free of the Abyss, he knew, and raw, purposeless powerreified chaospoured into the Lower Planes and sent shudders throughout the cosmos.

The multiverse, Inthracis knew, was in parturition, and the cosmic birthing was rattling the planes. Reality had been reorganized, entire planes moved, and the Blood Rift, Inthracis's home plane, groaned under the resulting onslaught of energies. Ever since Lolth had begun her... activities, the barren, mountainous plane had suffered a plague of volcanic eruptions, blizzards of ash, and thunderous rockslides that could have buried continents on the Prime Material. Fissures opened at random in the mountainous, rocky landscape, swallowing leagues of earth. The churning, gore-filled flow of the Blood River, the great artery that fed the body of the plane, roiled in its wide channel.

Given the upheaval, Inthracis had several times increased the magical protections that shielded Corpsehaven from such threats, but still the danger gave him pause. Corpsehaven sat on a level ledge sculpted from the otherwise precipitously steep side of the Blood Rift's largest volcano, Calaas. It would not do for an unexpected landslide or volcanic spasm to send Inthracis's life's work skidding down the mountainside.

The wind outside rose again, a low whine that grew to an unbearable keen before beginning to die. Behind the wind's wail of pain, Inthracis could just make out the conspiratorial whisper of a word. He sensed it as much as heard it, and it was the same word he had been Copyright 2016 - 2024