clarkington (clarkington) wrote in colossusfiction,

SotC drabble

I'm new to the community, and I just finished the game for the first time yesterday. I must say that never has a video game affected me in such a way, and never has it moved me to write.

This is the first piece of fiction I've written for SotC. It isn't long and it isn't amazing, mostly just a brief retelling, but I hope that it's enjoyable to some degree. Approximately 1500 words with some spoilers for the game, of course.

EDIT:  Took into account the very helpful "nitpicking" of [info]deadshrimpblues.
When he first made his decision, he had no idea how hard his quest would be.  He had told himself that it didn't matter, because the weight of her body in his arms spoke louder to him than any warnings or laws put forth by men.  Those laws had taken her life in the first place, sucked it right out of her, stolen her breath away for what they thought would be forever.  And for what?  A curse?  He couldn't bear it.

She had done nothing, and they had sacrificed her, Emon and his followers.  But he too had done nothing, and for that he knew he must atone.

And so he had taken that ancient sword from its high place and strapped it to his belt.  He was no stranger to swords, but it had been heavy then at his side, resonating in its sheath with some old power he understoof only through legends.

He would turn them to liars, all of them.  That was the thought that filled his head, that swelled it nearly to bursting as he draped her lifeless form over the nape of Agro's neck and rode hard over fields and through forests dense.  He would not stop until she drew breath again.

Still, none of it had seemed quite real until he reached the great bridge.  It hadn't been vivid enough, and the edges had blurred as the sound of hoofbeats fell muffled on his ears.  At the bridge, everything changed.  The world had not slid so much as slammed into sharp focus, and the colours of lush plains and tall canyon walls and endless blue skies had leapt out and grabbed hold of his senses.  The Forbidden Land was rich and brilliant, almost oversaturated in contrast to the hills and valleys of his long journey.

The Shrine of Worship had waited patiently for him at the opposite end of the bridge like a manmade mountain, a towering stone sentinel keeping watch over all deemed secret and forbidden.  It had been the most impressive thing that he saw, natural or man-crafted, and he remembered holding his breath as the massive door opened to permit him entry.  When it had grinded shut after him, he knew that he would not leave until he had done the impossible.

At that point, it had seemed simple.  He had made it that far already, and wasn't that half the battle?  

The Shrine was massive, but he had found his way easily to the one room he sought.  There he had dismounted and laid her body reverentially across that stone slab.  It was just the right size, and she looked as though she belonged there.  

When the shadows rose up from the stone and crept close, he dispatched them without hesitation by a quick unsheathing of the sword, and then the sky had ripped apart.

The blinding light that shone down from a hole to the heavens had a name he had heard since childhood:  Dormin.  When they spoke, the shrine shook with their power, and he had been given fresh hope.  This was the being that would bring her soul back from beyond.  It could be done.

Dormin had laid his task clearly before him:  Destroy the wandering Colossi, incarnates of the idols he saw along the walls of the shrine, and her soul would be reclaimed.  It was a deal, deceptively straightforward, and the only thing now standing in his way.  He had not asked questions.

"The price you pay may be heavy indeed," Dormin had warned him.

He ran from the shrine with the sword held high in the air, and its light served as his guide. His feet and Agro's swift hooves carried him over such long stretches of land that he had wondered if he should ever find his foe to fell it.  In the end, it had come too soon, and he stumbled gracelessly into the abode of the first Colossus.

He had been petrified with fear, his limbs unwilling to respond to his call to raise the sword or draw his bow or run out from beneath the behemoth's fast-falling feet.  Every step knocked him to the dry ground, and the dust swirled and dirtied his vision.  His palms grew so slick with sweat that he almost dropped his sword on more than one occasion as he ran about the giant's feet with his heart hammering desperately.

When he finally mounted the beast, he could not think about it.  Had he fully realized he had been scaling the body of a moving creature, gripping its fur in his fists to climb up to its head, he might have lost his wits.

He found symbols glowing blue amidst the Colossus's fur, responding to the magic sword just as Dormin had claimed they would.  It was these places that he struck, and mercilessly, stabbing the singing blade down through hair and whatever lay beneath with a violent spurt of black liquid.  It had roared with the voice of the very earth as it died.

It had nearly been enough to kill him, that first encounter, and when the Colossus fell, he felt his very soul shake as he was knocked from atop the creature's head into the dirt.  

Exhausted, it was all he could do to pull himself to his feet.  The Colossus was still, a giant stone monster at eternal rest.  From the wounds he had made came a sickening rush of black, black blood and black tendrils that were suddenly flying through the air right at him.  He had tried to flee, but he was battle-weary and sore.  Those tendrils had skewered him, forced their way into his back and inside him.  They had invaded him absolutely, clinging to him on the inside and slipping into his very being.  He knew agony then, pierced by so many dark and willful appendages, and the world dimmed fatally as he fell to his knees in the dust.

But he had woken up.  From death or limbo or nothing, he had woken up and gotten to his feet to find himself back in the Shrine of Worship with Agro whinnying near the altar.  He had no wounds to speak of and was no longer tired, only dirty.  He had scoured his own body for any trace of where those things had entered it, but he could find nothing but a lingering feeling of uncleanliness.  It had been as though the battle had never taken place, and he began to doubt himself.  Then an intense light had gathered behind him, and one of those immense stone idols had burst into thousands of separate pieces.

That was how it continued.  Dormin would hint at his next foe and he would track it down with the aid of his stolen sword.  He would kill the Colossus and always, always be impaled on those awful black apparitions only to come to on the floor of the Shrine.

Now thirteen of those mighty giants had fallen, some farther than others, and he did not feel as he had when crossing that bridge into the Forbidden Lands. He had come a very long way, and he was tired in his mind and in his heart.  He was so covered with dust and sand and grass that he looked like a wild thing, and he knew that it was not all simply grime.

After felling a giant stone serpent that slithered through the sand of a vast underground chamber, he had realized it.  That had been his tenth victory, and with each of them, he had been changed.  It was not something he noticed after the first or even the second Colossus, but after the fifth, he no longer felt the same.  He no longer felt exclusively /him/, but it was still something that could be ignored.  After number ten, that was no longer the case, for he had glimpsed himself in a shallow pool of water after leading Agro to drink.

Half-dead he looked, with face pallid and hair dark and limp.  His eyes seemed intense and foreign, his brow fierce, and he had recoiled from the pool so quickly that he startled Agro.

"The price you pay may be heavy indeed."

He had heard those words again in his head in that booming voice, and he knew that he was no longer just the brave and possibly stupid young man who had broken the law of his people for the sake of love.  He was something else too, something dark that grew each time his body was invaded by the Shadow of the Colossus.

He had not gotten over it so much as he had accepted it.  He had no other option if he wanted to reclaim her soul, and he would not so much as consider looking back.  He would pay the price, heavy or not.

Now only three idols stood in the Shrine, three Colossi yet to bring down.  It was this he dwelled on as he dropped to one knee before a small stone temple to pray.  The temple was old and completely worked over by the elements, eroded and covered with moss and vines.  Trees grew up through its center, and it stood on a hill in the middle of nowhere, overlooking nothing.  He had found a lot of nothing in his traversing of the Forbidden Land.  Only old giants and loneliness lived there, and he was beginning to feel it acutely.
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