The darkness was becoming an almost physical and tangible thing, swallowing up the light from the lanterns carried by Sam and Penny.
As the shadows gathered around them, Sam noticed twin patches of absolute blackness that seemed to be darker than the surrounding shadows, like two holes in the fabric of reality. Before the last glimmer of light could be swallowed up by the darkness, Sam reached into one of the many pockets of his coat and drew forth the Light of a Thousand Summer Days.
A soft golden glow spilled forth from the crystal, dispelling the darkness and illuminating the chamber like the light of the rising sun. Immediately the twin sources of darkness withdrew from the light, revealing themselves to be two cloaked and hooded figures wearing layer upon layer of tattered black robes like the skin of an onion. Nothing was visible beneath their robes, and both figures hung suspended in mid-air while an angry reptilian hissing could be heard from beneath their hoods.
"Your light will not help you," whispered a voice in a sibilant hiss. "Where there is light, there is always darkness."
"...and when that light fades, the darkness consumes all," whispered the other mysterious entity.
"Who are you?" Sam asked.
"We are the Harbingers," the first one replied, "the servants of the Nameless Ones. We existed before Time and Space began... and we will survive long after the last stars have burned to embers."
"Surrender to us," the second one whispered seductively as the shadows once again gathered around them. "We will show you things no one has ever seen, and take you to places no mortal has ever been."
Sam Smith covered his ears only to discover that their evil whispering was not only in his ears, but slithering into his mind.
This is what the Serpent from the Garden of Eden sounded like, Sam thought. It's what a man hears before murdering his wife and children in cold blood and turning the gun upon himself...
"Don't listen to them, Sam!" Penny cried out. "They only want to destroy you!"
"Be silent, little faerie!" one of them hissed. Sam stared in mute horror as the Harbingers cast aside their humanoid shapes to assume their true forms: monstrous things combining the worst attributes of eel and serpent whose rubbery black flesh was glistening and dripping with slime. More than forty feet in length, each of the Harbingers had an enormous grinning maw whose razor-sharp teeth resembled knives made of black obsidian while surrounding their drooling mouths like the whiskers of a catfish were a score of writhing octopoid tentacles. Neither of them had eyes or other visible sense organs, but Sam somehow knew they did not need them.
"We shall devour your minds and souls, leaving nothing behind but an empty husk filled with memories. Prepare to be consumed!"
Remembering that the Harbingers had recoiled from the light of the crystal, Sam turned to his companions and shouted, "Buttercup! I need your help!"
Holding forth the Light of a Thousand Summer Days, Sam concentrated until the crystal was blazing as bright as the noonday sun. At the same time, Buttercup the Pixie wrapped her arms tightly around the enchanted quartz crystal and exclaimed, "You want our minds and souls? I'll give you something else: the light of a thousand summer days... all at once!"
"Cover your eyes!" Sam shouted. There was a silent explosion of golden-white light so bright that Sam could actually see the bones of his hands through the flesh--a light so blinding bright that even with his eyes completely covered, Sam was dazzled for almost a minute. At the same time, the hissing voices of the Harbingers became an ear-piercing shriek of terror and agony that all but deafened them, echoing through the endless caves, tunnels, and caverns within the interior of the Dead God.
When everyone could see again, the Harbingers were gone. All that remained of them were twin piles of powdery gray ash that blew away on the slightest breeze.