The Cloud Castle – Page 08


Perilous Jack quickly slays the Crawler standing in his way and slips through the Warp Portal.

The Portal opens into thin air; he falls, landing upon a hovering platform of rotten, slimy wood. It is the stench that strikes him first, hard as a blow to the face. Wet stone, stagnant water, rotten meat – and a very particular sickeningly sweet smell he has come to associate with only one type of creature – Worms!

The cavern is thick with them. They wriggle on the walls, squiggle on the platforms, squirm across the Green Pipes. There are Creepers and Crawlers among them, Blood Worms and Round Worms, and others he cannot identify. The air buzzes with giant flies, and everywhere, wherever there is a free surface, is covered with Slimes.

The second thing that strikes him is the paralytic tentacles of a Carrion Creeper. So entranced with horror was he at the sight of the cavern of Worms, that Jack failed to notice the creature advancing upon him across the platform. Now, as his limbs stiffen and his sword falls from numb fingertips, he sees the real horror waiting for him far below. Partially submerged in a pool of foul water looms the incredible bulk of a Brood Queen, foul progenitrix of the many races of giant soft-bodied Worm.

His death will be neither swift nor merciful. He will remain paralyzed, implanted by the Queen with a bundle of her eggs and when they hatch, the young Wormlings will feast upon his entrails from the inside, until they are large enough to emerge and begin the strange cycles of their lives. But he will be alive while they feed . . . he will feel everything . . . he will spend his final days wishing this were . . .


Return to 1 and begin again or continue the adventure in Perilous Jack in the Land of Death.