Hand of Fate (and Foot of Balrom)
The commander looked down and the sizzling mound of black slimy flesh and gingerly poked it with his sword. Immediately, the metal glowed red and he dropped it with a gasp, raw red blisters forming on his hand as he looked at it in disbelief. The fallen sword glowed a fiery orange for a moment in the puddle of… whatever it was… and then its form began to warp as it melted into the ooze. The commander stepped back hastily. Suddenly, the mysterious disppearance of an entire platoon of troops had a feasible explanation. But at least it was dead.
He raised his visor and squinted across the great black mass towards the wall, the last remaining tower suspended incredibly over the vast encroaching chasm that was calmly swallowing the land. As he looked on, a bright bolt of lightening briefly pierced the darkness around the tower and he had a sudden horrible image of vast tentacles reaching up from beneath, tenderly grasping for the tower. The bolt hit, but did the tentacles recoil? He did not want to know. Turning away, he retched.
Slowly, the void-creature behind him oozed stealthily forward. The commander, preoccupied by the bout of nausea, felt his feet getting warm. He looked down and with a sickly shout, attempted to wrench his feet from the goo as his boots charcolised. Staggering free, feet burning, his firghtened mind threw up a spell, learnt many years ago in childhood that might alleviate the burning pain. But even as he hesitated to cast it, the creature oozed on, and the small healing he was able to achieve was not enough for him to escape the creature’s eternal embrace…
Then all was quiet again. The dark mass moved stealthily back towards the rift, its appetite sated for now. where the River Risk flowed endlessly into nothingness, where even darkness could not prevail.