This level was just as cold as level 5 had been at the entrance, and there was that same heavy mist that was hanging around in the air.
You were about to call for another level when you heard a blood curdling scream somewhere off in the distance and the hair on the back of your neck stood on end immediately.
“Oh shit… what was that?” you thought, frozen in place with fear.
The scream abaited and you were left hanging in the eerie silence that followed.
“We should go,” you whispered to Ægir.
Just then the scream came again and it sounded even more urgent than the last time.
Ægir’s ears flicked back and forth and he shifted from side to side, tossing his head and backing up a little as he snorted with discomfort at the harrowing sound.
“Easy, easy,” you whispered to him.
In your efforts to control him, he stepped down off the platform and trotted out into the ghostly trees that were standing, twisted and bare, closest to the platform.
“Back, Ægir,” you commanded in a fear stricken voice, your whole body prickling with goosebumps.
The scream came again and with a fright, your leg pressed into Ægir’s side, making him jump into a canter and take off into the mossy, damp forest that had low lying mist floating about ankle height.
As Ægir pounded along the haunted level, his hooves kicked up the mist, making it very difficult to determine where you were and by the time you had him back under control, you had not idea how to get back to the teleport pad.
“Shit,” you hissed out loud, looking around in the darkness.
The scream came again and Ægir jumped to the side.
“Hey, woah,” you commanded him with shaking hands, trying your best to control both your emotions… and his, “I… think someone might be in trouble?”
The echoing of the scream bounced around the rocks and trees, and you looked to see if you could make out anything in the misty darkness.
Suddenly some bats appeared and flew directly in front of you, making you gasp with fright. Then came the cackle of a witch-like creature and Ægir backed up.
“I don’t know where we are… let alone where they, the person screaming, are!” you muttered softly.
The scream came again and your head snapped to the right. It seemed to be getting closer.
“What is it?” you whispered when you saw Ægir’s ears prick up in that direction.
Squinting in the darkness, you saw a large hollowed out tree up ahead and decided to hide beside it. If anything came past, you could jump out… or turn and run… you hadn’t quite decided on what you would do just yet.
Pushing for Ægir to make his way over to the tree, you practically held your breath, petrified at what might appear.
“If it’s someone being hurt what should I do? Do I just attack those who are hurting them?”
Your ears strained in the darkness, trying to pick out the sounds of anything approaching.
Suddenly out of nowhere a barbed wire rope wound around your left arm and pierced your flesh, digging in and grabbing firmly onto you as you were ripped off Ægir’s back and down onto the misted, damp earth.
You screamed, your anguished and terrified sound drawing cackles and malicious laughs from some hidden people that were just out of sight in the mist.
“You got her?” one dark, haunting voice asked.
“Yeah,” the reply came, “easy as.”
You jumped up and tried to pull the barbed rope from your arm, only succeeding in tearing your right hand in the process.
Your vision has gone a little blurry from the tears of fear but the shadowy figures that had caught you weren’t the easiest to see either.
“W-Who are you?” Your voice was quivering and full of uncertainty. “What do you want?”
“You,” one skull mask wearing being said in a deep voice, his comment drawing out more hideous cackled from his fellow members who were appearing out of the mist behind him.
“What do you want with me?” you asked again, fighting the barbed rope as you were pulled towards the cloaked figure who was wielding it.
“Best we don’t tell you,” he sneered, his sneer, the only dimly visible thing about his face.
It was at that point that you heard Ægir suddenly roar with anger and lunge forwards, bowling over two of the members of this clan.
“Get it!” One of the group screeched.
You pulled back and struggled wildly to get free, only making the wire cut deeper the more you struggled.
“I can’t get out! I can’t get out” You panicked internally.
Ægir was doing his best to get to you, knocking people over left, right, and centre and you were giving the cloaked guild member a hard time as you fight through excruciating pain to get free.
Suddenly your wits came back to you and you let out 3 loud laughs.
“Ha! Ha! Ha!” you shouted, acting like you had suddenly found something funny.
“She’s gone mad,” someone commented, thinking you were now insane with pain.
In your vision you saw your sonic attacks pulse out and shudder through your cloaked captors body- they were none the wiser, but their health had been dropped a little.
“Ha!” you called again, “you think you can contain me?”
“I’ve already got you, you stupid bitch,” he snarled, reeling you closer to himself.
“Ha!” you shouted again, fighting tooth and nail to stay away.
“Knife her, boss! We have enough potions to keep her just alive,” one member called out.
“Hey!” you shouted at him, “cool down!”
Suddenly your fan blades appeared and in a split second you had struck your captor across the face and arm in a two handed side slice.
He yelled with pain and surprise and let the rope go.
You weren’t exactly sure how you got out of there but the next thing you knew, you were back on Ægir’s back and tearing off into the darkness with the rope barbs still embedded into your arm.
Ægir had had time to get his bearings by then and took you straight back to the teleport pad and you were back up on level 44 within a split second.
Now back in the light, you had time to survey the damage… and it wasn’t pretty.
Blood was cascading down your arm, from out and around the barbs that were still wound around your limb and your health bar was clicking down the percentages at an alarming rate.
“Home, Ægir,” you said in a shaken voice, “I need to get this rope off and a health potion into me before I die.”