The Night of the Basilisk
Writing Prompt: Your character fights a basilisk
Two young adventurers rest beneath the stars. Trees keep them company, as do flowers, fireflies, and bats. By all accounts it is a peaceful night guarded by the light of the stars. Black, blue, and a tint of purple rest on the world like a light blanket. The glimmer of the heavens, passing through them.
Keatoph, our hero, turns his head to check on Ophni. The she elf is fast asleep. He feels a mixture of gladness and disappointment at the revelation. He is glad she is resting. He is disappointed because he has enjoyed talking to her so much.
Unlike Ophni, Keatoph cannot sleep. His mind is far too busy thinking about her. He has so often been alone, the very idea that she might be someone who will love him, and whom he can love, consumes him.
His thoughts are interrupted by a distant crack. It is similar in tone to a small branch being snapped in half. However, it repeats itself for several seconds.
“Ophni,” Keatoph whispers. She does not answer. He taps her gently on the shoulder. The she elf opens her eyes.
Our protagonist puts his finger perpendicular to his lips and nods his head in the direction the noise had come from. They listen. There is nothing. Then, before they give up hearing, the sound comes back. This time it is to their left. This pattern repeats itself three more times.
With each new crack, the reverberation of the ground grows stronger and more sporadic.
“Not good,” Keatoph mutters. He stands and throws his bag onto his shoulders. “We need to go,” he insists quietly, offering his hand to Ophni. She takes it and rises.
“If the stories I’ve heard are true, the cracking and the shaking means we are in a basilisk pit.”
“A what?” Ophni gasps.
“I thought those were folklore creatures.”
“So did I. Still, the lore is that they tend to make caves and burrow into the earth after eating each other. In fact, some people have speculated that they are the cause for the many number of caves in Felhind. If that’s the case, it also explains why most people never see them.”
“They eat each other?” Ophni inquires.
“Yes, they tend to hatch in groups and are usually very hungry. How many sets of cracking did you hear?”
“I counted five.”
“Then we should assume that there are five very hungry, very large serpents out there.”
They abandon their camping ground and walk into the array of trees southward. The ground hums with the shakes of monoliths sliding across it. Branches snap, rocks tumble, and dirt rolls all around them.
“Maybe we should climb,” the elf warrior suggests.
“They can climb too, quite well, actually. I think it better if we clear the area.”
Keatoph draws his sword. Ophni uses her magic to conjure her stave. Neither let go of the other’s hand.
In the span of five minutes, they come to a crevice in the ground. Its abyss is darker than the night sky. It’s crack is long.
“Can you jump that?” Keatoph asks the elf.
“I am not certain,” Ophni admits. “Perhaps if I used my stave.”
“Okay, just be quick.”
Keatoph turns to face the arms of the woods behind them. They wrap around each other, hiding the secrets within them.
Ophni lights the stone at the tip of her weapon using an elvish word. A translucent golden stone appears, hovering at the surface of the chasm. She steps back near Keatoph and then bursts forward, jumping for the rock.
Keatoph neither sees nor hears her land. Instead, his senses are caught by the pillar of hazel charging toward them. It’s fangs are short swords. Its back is double laid with shields. It is charging for Ophni.
Keatoph leaps in its path. In a flash he is surrounded by an unhinged jaw. It grabs him in its lips, carrying him forward. Venom drips from its gums, giving its fangs the appearance of marble. Its inner mouth cinches hungrily at him. The young warrior presses his boots against it, fighting the feast of the basilisk. He can feel the ground through the beast on his back. They are still speeding forward. Ophni is still in danger.
Our hero does what heroes must. He grabs the hilt of his blade with both hands and thrusts it up and left with as much force as he can muster. The worm shifts, being steered by the weapon. They miss Ophni and the platform she has conjured. Instead, they plunge into the deep dark.