I never would have expected what came around the corner. The limping figure of a man appeared. Scraps of ruddy fabric hung off his body and a horned helmet sat on his head. When it finally came far enough into the light for me to see it I recoiled shocked.
The creature had once been a man but was now nothing but rotting flesh and bone. The creature shrieked and charged me. I swung my bag knocking it backwards. I swung it again and again until the creature tumbled backwards into the well.
"What was that thing?" I asked Richard.
"I must have been a thrall."
"A reanimated corpse. That glowing water down there is called eitr. It's an ancient mythological substance that is extremely poisonous. It must have reanimated the corpses of those who died here. Now their sole purpose is to destroy anything that invades this place."
Fantastic! There was a louder lower growl emitting from the hall now. The next thing to round the corner was a ten times my size and even more terrifying that the dead Viking. A huge yeti corpse came pounding my direction with large heavy steps. I would never defeat that with my sack of supplies.
My breath caught and my heart began beating wildly inside my chest. I backed into a gap between two pillars pressing myself against the wall. The yeti kept advancing. Its massive rotting hand dug between the columns reaching for me. It grazed my arm ripping the sleeve off my jacket. It tried again and again. I managed to free the hatchet from my pack before it was ripped away too. Finally the beast's massive hand hooked me and pulled me from my hiding spot.
I screamed as the beast squeeze my midsection until ribs cracked. It swung me about like a rag doll trying to make me stop. Wielding my hatchet I drove it over and over again into the creature's meaty fist hacking away hunks of moldering flesh. The beast shrieked and slammed me against a wall. The blur of motion was dizzying but I kept on hacking its hand. Finally it got fed up with me and threw me away. I slammed into the wall on the other side of the room. It wasn't the floor beneath me now but the well of eitr. I plummeted down through the air into the well below. This was the end.
I died that day the instant I touched the eitr. I was thirty-six years old. I had been married for twelve and a mother for nine. There was so much I had left undone, so much I still wanted to do. But my only regret as I spun through the air that day was that I would never know what had become of my daughter, my little Lara. Hopefully she made it out of those mountains and back to her father. As for me, I was lost... forever.