AnimeGalleries [dot] NetAnimeWallpapers [dot] ComAnimeLyrics [dot] ComAnimePedia [dot] ComAnimeGlobe [dot] Com

User Tag List

+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: The Pact

  1. #1
    teh evul p4in of doomy hell Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony's Avatar
    Gil
    54,983,047.16
    Gender
    Gifts Wolf Camel Zebra
    Mentioned
    147 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Latest Post
    12-26-2014 07:51 PM
    User Info Thanks / Tagging Info Gifts / Achievements / Awards vBActivity Stats
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    at the bottom of a dry well
    Age
    24
    Threads
    47
    Posts
    3,242
    Blog Entries
    24
    Rep Power
    766
    Gamer IDs

    PSN ID: gurutar

    Default The Pact

    [WARNING: story contains violence and gore]

    author's note: I've borrowed heavily from Greek mythology, Several of Stephen King's works (the smithy's prentice is based partly on Sheemy from Wizard and Glass, and partly on Blaze from the novel of the same title, and some sayings were downright plagiarized from The Dark Tower series [mother, may your days be long upon the earth] so, before you go thinking thinking that's an original concept, it ain't!) without further adiou:

    EDIT: this is only the prologue, there's more to come.

    EDIT: if you're inclined to comment on this work, please do so here: http://www.animeforum.com/entry.php?...r-One-finished

    The Pact
    Prologue

    The battle's rush of adrenaline had passed, along with the joys he'd always felt during intense warfare. Of all the city-state's infantry, he was perhaps the most battle-experienced, certainly the most feared, even amongst his own garrison. That was alright. He had Karlya. She was his only reason to immerse himself in the hellscape of war after negating it for so long, and she was the only one he needed. Since her birth and her mother's death, he'd softened, slowed down to walk at his daughter's pace. She was all that was left to him in this world, and he'd die protecting her.
    He didn't know it then, but it was a charge he'd soon fulfill.

    His horse trotted down the main roadway between Typhor, where the battle had taken place, and Ophem, where he resided with his daughter when the battles had ceased. He'd been forced to leave the battlefield after receiving a deep wound in his abdomen. His armor was in a thick leather casing lain across his horse's back, and his weapon - a wide greatsword - was in a sheath hanging on the left side of his saddle.
    He was on the outskirts Ophem now. To either side of him, stone houses lined the road in no particular pattern. Women were around some of the structures, stamping in fullos with their dresses pulled up or tending goats enclosed in flimsy wooden fences. An elderly woman - ancient would be a more apt word - rocked in a wooden chair to his right.
    As he passed, she called in a weak, fragmented voice "May the Gods bless you, soldier!".
    He smiled his wide smile to her. "May your days be long upon the earth, mother".
    She of course was not his mother - it was just a pleasantry in these parts.

    The Eastern barbarians were making a push to Ophem, the capitol. Their numbers were worrying - it seemed the mryiad clans had set aside their squabbles to persue bigger and better things. They had overtaken several small encampments, and only Tyfor stood between the hordes and Ophem. It was in Tyfor that today's skirmish had taken place.

    It seemed that no matter how many of the horrific effegies of fur and skulls were put down, there were 3 more to take their place. The barbarians were not accustomed to fighting the armored centurions of the coalition, however, and only their numbers had allowed them to hold the section of Tyfor they had attacked. Reinforcements from Drenden, another of the cities in the coalition, were en route, and evacuations were taking place, but it was only a matter of time before the hordes became restless again.

    This day, the hordes had marked him. It was known that they were crafty, dangerously so. His prowess and apparent invulnerability on the battlefied had been closely scrutinized by those higher up in the barbarian hierarchy. After a particularly heavy wave, a hunched man - another of the ancient variety - adorned in small skulls, perhaps children's skulls, appeared suddenly out of a heavy dust cloud. Out of his entirely black eyes shown malicious intent. One hand grasped a wooden stave topped with another of those small skulls, while the other slowly rose, crooked finger pointed, until it was aimed directly at the man. The shaman grinned toothlessly, then was gone in another gust of dust.

    Now he was entering Ophem proper. The smithy's 'prentice, a young, broad man man with a dented forhead, looked up at the man with a confused, dumb look. Then he showed a bright, winning smile - the smile of a delighted child.
    "Adre!", he called in a voice that could only belong to a natural fool. "Back from the fight? Did we win?"
    "Of course we won. Did you think we'd let some hairy barbarians take our fair city?"
    They had, of course, not won. The sheer numbers of the horde had forced them to fall back to a defended position - the aristocratic district that was separated from Tyfor general by a steep rock cliff.
    "That's great, Adre! Goin' ta see your daughter, are yeh?"
    "That's right, Adam, she's waiting for me. May your days be long upon the earth".
    "You too, Adre, my good friend!"
    Adre nodded to the 'prentice and resumed his horse's trot down the city's main road. Soon he'd arrive at the penultimate moment of his life.

    He'd left his daughter in the care of the neighbors' teen daughter, who was a tough and responsible girl. She was to check in on Karlya, a girl of 7, about 5 times a day to make sure she was getting along. Karlya was a tender thing, timid even, but enjoyed the company of her in-and-out babysitter.
    "Those two are like sisters", the mother of the teen had commented one day as the girls sat and talked in the courtyard of Adre's house. "They even look alike".
    "It is well that she has a sister, as she has only a father to keep her company", Adre replied.
    The mother looked sympathetically at Adre. "The father does well enough".
    Adre looked at her and smiled his wide smile. "The father tries".

    He trotted his horse onto the rough dirt path in front of his house and dismounted. He thought he'd see Karlya waiting for him on the stoop, as she always did upon his return, but the stoop was empty. Playing in the courtyard with the neighbor girl, then. Time always got away from those two.
    He mounted the stoop and opened the door. The fading light was trying to illuminate the entry room and failing. Through the windows shown only a dim vestige of the day.
    "Karlya! I'm home!" he called. Silence answered him. Could she be sleeping over at the neighbors tonight?
    He walked down the hall toward the living room. In the failing light he saw a trail of dark droplets on the floor of the living room. He stiffened.
    "Karlya?" he called again. He strode into the room and stopped dead.
    On the floor to his right were two dark shapes, one smaller than the other. Both lay in a pool of deep red liquid.
    He recognized the neighbor girl first. Her arms were crossed over her face as if she were trying to fend off a blow. He noticed then that her arms were severed halfway down the forearm, and her skull and been deeply cleaved.
    He miserably allowed his gaze to fall on the smaller figure. Her eyes were open. So was her throat.
    He dashed to her, falling onto his knees beside her as his mind swirled with terror and revulsion. He swept her into his arms, cradling her at the small of the back. The image of the shaman pointing his finger flashed into his mind, then was gone.
    He looked into her lifeless eyes, the last tears of his life falling into them. His face strained with the input of emotion - revelation, horror, anger. He let out a long, agonized cry, closing his eyes and laying his forehead against hers. He wept.

    --

    The Pact

    --

    He gently lay his daughter down. His cheeks were wet with tears, but his face was stony. He looked into his dead daughter's face. His mind was made up.
    "Hades", he said in a strong, resolute voice, still looking into his daughter's lifeless eyes. "I offer you this proud soldier's soul to be forever bound to you enthralldom, into time known only to the Gods. In return, grant me respite from this pain, and the strength to slaughter those who stole my ray of moonlight".
    He sat on his knees, gazing into his daughter's cold eyes. He waited.
    After a time, a voice rose from the bottom of his mind. It was a silky voice of false comfort.
    "Soldier, your offer is indeed worthy. You seek to avenge your daughter, noble, noble. I know of your prowess on the battlefield, soldier, and I know you shall serve me well once your enemies have been silenced. But a live servant is of no use to me, you see, they are brittle things. You know what must be done, soldier. Undeath awaits".
    Adre closed his eyes. Yes, he knew. It was of no concern. His life was at an end, one way or the other.
    He brought his hand to his chest, fingers pointed toward his heart. He pressed. His fingers dug into his flesh, deeper, deeper. The pain was like nothing he'd ever felt, worse than any open wound ever inflicted on him. When he reached bone, he grasped and tugged downward, snapping a rib like a dry twig. He pressed deeper, reaching his heart.
    His final thought before death was: For her.
    He encircled his fingers around his heart, grabbed and tore. There were ripping sounds and great surges of blood coming from his chest, and then he held his heart out in front of him.
    All pain had ceased, both physical and emotional. He looked coldly at his heart with a quizzical look on his face. What is this thing? he thought.
    He had never particularly cared for blood in life. Now the scent of it was intriguing to him. He raised his heart to his mouth and took a bite, ripping muscle that still beat. The taste of the blood was intoxicating. Metallic, almost copperish, and entirely pleasing. He chewed with a look of surprised delight on his face.
    At last he swallowed, and he could feel fresh energy coursing into him from the belly outward. It was like cold water running through his veins. He looked at his heart with pity, then squeezed it until it was a mash of blood and arteries.
    The voice returned. "Yes, yes, soldier, that's good, that's mighty fine. Now you are fit and proper to join my ranks, so you are. When your task is complete, you shall serve me as an agent of death on earth. But first. Go and do what needs doing, soldier... I'll be watching".
    With blood drying on it's jaw, the soldier grinned his wide grin.
    Last edited by Tony; 11-02-2013 at 06:46 AM.
    where's my chippy

  2. Likes Castiel liked this post
  3. #2
    teh evul p4in of doomy hell Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony's Avatar
    Gil
    54,983,047.16
    Gender
    Gifts Wolf Camel Zebra
    Mentioned
    147 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Latest Post
    12-26-2014 07:51 PM
    User Info Thanks / Tagging Info Gifts / Achievements / Awards vBActivity Stats
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    at the bottom of a dry well
    Age
    24
    Threads
    47
    Posts
    3,242
    Blog Entries
    24
    Rep Power
    766
    Gamer IDs

    PSN ID: gurutar

    Default Re: The Pact

    Here's the first half of chapter one. enjoy.

    Author's note: The soldier is based heavily on the main character from Berserk, as you may notice.

    Chapter 1

    1

    Hrem Harford was sitting in an Ophem tavern with the usual cadre of late night drinkers. He was at the bar. Sitting to his left was Jacob Letchworth, to his right, Antoni Delgato. All three were farmers in their late 40's. In front of each was a flaggon of graff - strong apple beer.
    Antoni caught sight of the barmaiden and, making sure she wasn't looking in his direction, licked his lips. In low tones he said to Hrem, "Twenty years younger".
    Hrem eyed him slyly. His voice was slurred with a hard day and alcohol. "Twenty years and your wife'd still be kickin'. Best put it outta yer mind, Ant".
    Antoni sighed heavily and drank from his mug, trying to follow his drinking buddy's advice.
    Jacob was quiet. He simply sat looking contemplatively at his flaggon. He hadn't taken a drink. Antoni looked past Hrem toward him. "Letch, you ain't said a word nor took a drink all night. You feelin' ill?"
    The truth was, Jacob Letchworth was feeling ill. He wasn't sick, but he felt ill all the same. He decided that if he didn't share what he'd seen with someone, anyone, it'd eat him alive.
    "Did yer fellers..." He paused. He wasn't sure they'd believe him. "Did you see the tall man in the traveling cloak headin' east down the main road yesterday?"
    Hrem looked confusedly at Antoni. Ant only shook his head. Hrem looked back at Jacob. "Didn't see him, Letch. Somethin' strange about this man?"
    Jacob gazed at his flaggon, seeming to be transfixed. He was recalling in vivid detail what he'd seen, to make sure he didn't leave anything out. It wasn't easy work - he wanted to forget.
    "Aye, you could say that. Somethin' right strange about him." The image of the man changing came into his mind, and he shuddered. Hrem again looked at Ant, this time with concern, then back to Jacob.
    "Letch, what's up? What'd you see?"
    Jacob had a look in his eyes. It was wide-eyed horror. "I... don't know what I saw. But I know somethin' died in me when I saw it."
    Hrem burst out in a bray of cracked laughter, slapping Jake on the back. "Ho, come on now, Letchworth, don't go tellin' us this man was Hades hisself!"
    Jacob looked quickly at Hrem. Hrem saw the terror in his eyes and stopped laughing. "Geez, Letch, what did yeh see? What was it?"
    Ant was leaning over and looking at Jacob. He figured this'd make a mighty piece of gossip for the market.
    Jacob looked back at his flaggon. He appeared to be on the threshold of crossing into the dark unknown. "I saw a dead man riding a horse."
    Hrem's eyebrows raised, then one lowered. He looked at Jacob quizically. "What do you mean, Letch?"
    "I mean what I said. I saw a dead man riding a horse. He didn't look so dead at first, just pale... but when he crossed into a patch of shade, he... changed.
    Jacob looked at Hrem with pleading eyes and blurted, "Hrem, he changed into a monster. A dead one. His eyes were gone, nothin' but empty sockets, but there was red light and somethin' smokey comin' from deep in em'. He saw me lookin' at 'im, Hrem, and when he smiled, his teeth was sharp-lookin', like they was filed to a point. There was dried blood on his face, like he been eatin' on somethin' raw. I tried to scream but nothin' came out".
    Jacob's face was under great strain now, an almalgamy of pain and horror. There were tears spilling down from the corners of his eyes. The whole tavern was silent, heads turned towards Jacob, faces bland and dumb. Hrem was gazing into Jacob's eyes. He'd never seen him cry, never thought he would.
    "Gods help me, Hrem", Jacob said. "What I saw wasn't meant for men's eyes".
    Hrem cautiously stroked Jacob's back. "There, now, ol' bud". He didn't know what else to say. He wasn't sure if Jacob had just daydreamed this horror or...
    Jacob slowly turned his attention back to his flaggon. He seemed to have calmed some.
    "Then, when he passed from the shade, he was back to lookin like a normal man again. He trotted his horse past me like he was just another traveler bound for Tyfor".
    Hrem ventured, "You sure you didn't just.. you know, imagine all this? Or maybe you'd been drinkin' some?"
    Jacob shook his head. "I was stone sober, Hrem, and I ain't never imagined nothin' like that. It was real, alright".
    The tavern was now buzzing with hushed commentary on Jacob's recollection. Some dismissed him as a senile drunkard, while others decided this was an omen - and that dark days were upon the land.

    2

    It was mid-day, and the barbarians were readying themselves to assault the artistocratic district of Tyfor in the town center. Their camp's headquarters had been established there, with the rest radiating outwards onto streets and alleys. It was the sentries that first saw the undead thing trotting his horse toward them. A sentry was now heading toward the center of the camp and the chieftain's tent.
    "Sir!" Abrand heard from outside his tent. He was eating on the floor toward the rear of the tent. His advisor stood and opened the flap at the entrance.
    "What's your business?" He asked.
    "Sir, a rider comes from the west. He is alone".
    The advisor looked back at Abrand, who was a prodigously large man, stout and muscular with a large gut that was harder than it looked.
    Abrand said, "Send a party. Five men. Find out what he's doing here, then kill him".
    The advisor relayed these orders to the sentry. Ten minutes later, five riders galloped toward the undead thing along the main road.

    3

    The soldier saw the riders exit the camp and come galloping toward him. He continued his casual trot. He was hungry. He was thirsty. This was all well, for his next meal was on its way.
    When they were one hundred yards from him, he dismounted and waited with a small grin on his face. He dismounted on the same side that his scabbard hung from his saddle.
    The riders were upon him now. They brought their horses to a halt thirty feet ahead of him.
    "State your business!" the leader called.
    The others flanked him, two on each side.
    "It is well that you came to me", the soldier responded. "I was worried I wouldn't get a meal in before killing everyone in your camp".
    The leader looked to his left at his subordinate, confirming that he'd heard the intruder's words correctly. The subordinate simply shrugged and looked back at the soldier.
    "You've a deathwish, then?", the leader called.
    The soldier looked confusedly at the rider. "Don't you know? All of my wishes are dead".
    The soldier became a blur of motion. The sword hanging from the left side of the soldier's horse disappeared. A moment later, so did the soldier. A dark shape was striding toward the riders at inhuman speed. The leader's horse whinneyed and reared upright on its hind legs. The dark shape skidded to a stop below it. There was a flash of glinting steel, and suddenly the horse was two things instead of one. The rider's guts poured from his open belly as he fell backward from the severed horse. The soldier caught the front half of the horse by the neck, seeming to bear the enormous weight easily. The sentries watched wide-eyed as the soldier brought the horse's face to his own, placed his cheek upon the horse's and whispered, "Oh, Karlya, my sweet... I'm going to kill them all for you".
    The sentries shakily drew their weapons. The soldier's face instantaneously grew stony and disinterested. He opened his grasp allowed the horse's upper body to fall to the ground with a wet thump. He slowly craned his neck toward the closest sentry.
    "Come down here so that I may eat. I don't like horse meat".
    The sentry's face grew tight, and he let out a warcry before charging at the soldier. As he approached, the soldier grinned.
    The rider galloped toward him, axe to one side, meaning to chop at the soldier's neck. As the rider passed, the soldier simultaneously ducked and swung, severing all four of the horse's legs. The rider was tossed off to one side, and the soldier brought his greatsword down in an arc, smashing through the rider's skull at eye level.
    The injured horse brayed endlessly. The remaining three riders looked nervously at one another, then fled the way they came. The soldier breathed a tired sigh. He could have killed them all, but sneak attacks were for the weak. He'd allow these pawns to warn the king. He looked at the corpse of one of the barbarians. He stabbed downward at the arm, severing it. He picked the arm up and ate of it as it nonchalantly strode toward the city.

    4

    The three sentries charged into the town center. They dismounted and and stumbled to the chieftain's tent.
    "Chieftain!" one cried. "The rider from the west! He's... he's a demon!"
    There was silence, then Abrand appeared in the doorway of the tent. He looked suspiciously at the sentry.
    "Why say you this?" he asked.
    "The rider, he killed two of our men. They were on horseback, and he was afoot, and it didn't matter! He -"
    Abrand thrusted his fist forward and connected with the sentry's nose. He was out cold before he hit the ground.
    Abrand looked at the other two sentries. "Anything to add?"
    The sentries only shook their heads.
    "We'll put our offensive on hold 'til we've dealt with -"
    "Intruder! Intruder! Man your po -" Abrand heard called from the western side of camp.
    He looked at the sentries and tilted his head toward the call. Fear was upon their faces, but they went.

    5

    The soldier had inhuman vision. He was three hundred yards out of camp when he'd killed two of the scouting party, and it was then that he marked its next target. There was a barbarian standing watch on the palisade at the city gate. He had finished the severed arm a minute before and had dropped it to the road. As he strode toward the city, he whistled a tune he had no recollection of ever hearing. At one hundred yards, the sentry sounded a call to warn the rest of the barbarians.
    "Intruder! Intruder! Man your po -"
    The soldier flicked his arm in the direction of the sentry and a bolt ejected from the sleeve of his traveling cloak. It flew through the air and penetrated the side of the sentry's skull, spilling brain matter on either side. The soldier grinned. Now they would come.

    6

    And they did. The gate swung open and more than a dozen barbarians galloped toward him. It was a short distance, no more than fifty yards. The soldier raised his left arm and five more bolts cascaded from his sleeve, each with a whump sound. The five leading barbarians fell bonelessly from their horses as the bolts struck them, each in the center of their forheads. The horses continued to gallop without their riders.
    The remainder of the party let out a fearsome cry and raised their weapons. The riderless horses passed the undead thing first, then the barbarians were upon him.
    The soldier thrust its sword forward, impaling a horse completely through the body. He rotated the pommel so that the blade was parallel with the ground. There were crunching and tearing sounds coming from within the horse, as well as great spouts of blood that drenched the soldier's face and the front of his cloak. It ripped the sword out the side of the horse and into another, severing a rider's leg. The barbarian cried out and fell off to the opposite side of his horse, landing ungracefully and wimpering, holding his stump. There was a fountain of blood issuing forth from the impaled horse, which was now almost unrecognizable as any sort of animal. Intestines washed out onto the road.
    The soldier was now surrounded on all sides by horseback barbarians. They slowly closed in, weapons at the ready. The soldier rested his sword upon his shoulder.
    The sun passed behind a cloud and shade carpeted the land. The thought of landing a killing blow on the intruder passed from the barbarians' minds as they witnessed the solder's eyes disappear and his teeth become sharp, shark-like fangs. The barbarians slowly backed away from this terrific effigy. One let loose a horrific scream.
    The soldier grinned. His sword fell limply from his shoulder, then became a blur as it curved upward and through a horse's head, cleaving it in two. The soldier followed suit with the rest of the horses, moving too quickly to be followed by men's eyes. Soon all the horses lay dead, and the riders were on their backs, attempting to watch the monstrosity as they crawled away. The soldier appeared to become disinterested again and put a bolt into each of their guts, and into the spines of those who attempted to flee. If this was the best this chieftain had to offer, it wasn't going to be any fun at all. Well, at least he'd get to eat hearty. He guessed there were at least 300 more walking meals in that camp. But this wasn't what interested him most - he wanted the chieftain. He wanted him alive - at least half-alive - so he could get information from him.
    He continued trotting toward the open gate.
    Last edited by Tony; 09-19-2013 at 10:05 AM.
    where's my chippy

  4. Likes Zainox liked this post
  5. #3
    teh evul p4in of doomy hell Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony's Avatar
    Gil
    54,983,047.16
    Gender
    Gifts Wolf Camel Zebra
    Mentioned
    147 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Latest Post
    12-26-2014 07:51 PM
    User Info Thanks / Tagging Info Gifts / Achievements / Awards vBActivity Stats
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    at the bottom of a dry well
    Age
    24
    Threads
    47
    Posts
    3,242
    Blog Entries
    24
    Rep Power
    766
    Gamer IDs

    PSN ID: gurutar

    Default Re: The Pact

    This is the second half of chapter one. Another warning: this is very gory and violent.

    7

    The voice of Hades had returned to the soldier while en route to Tyfor. It had informed the soldier of some very interesting things about his new undead status. Hades told him that every time the soldier consumed human flesh, his powers would grow. Not only his strength and speed would increase, but he would be bestowed the abilities of a demi-god. Also, when covered in darkness, his true nature would be revealed to those unfortunate enough to be near. His human face was now just a mask - underneath was a soldier of Hades.

    8

    When the party did not return, Abrand realized what he was dealing with. There was a soldier of the coalition on these very grounds at the battle yesterday who's strength and speed were unmatched. But to kill fifteen horseback men himself... it didn't seem humanly possible. Abrand knew that in order to end this intruder for good, he'd have to lead the attack himself.
    He exited his tent to find the camp in chaos. The men who witnessed the intruder systematically slaughtering the attack party from camp were attempting to flee and warning others to do the same. Abrand strutted to one of these panicking men, pulled him from his horse and snapped his neck with a brisk jerk. He mounted the steed and shouted in the voice of command, "Hold!"
    Every barbarian in the camp recognized that voice and fell still and silent.
    "Do ye cowards really believe in demons? There's naught but a man out there, a man who's bloodthirst is evident. But we are bloodthirsty too, are we not?"
    A murmur ran through the throng of men.
    "I say are we not!"
    This time a cheer arose, and the sounds of axes and swords clanking against each other filled the camp.
    "One man cannot stand against the horde alone! Let us teach this interloper the meaning of despair! To the gate!"
    Nearly three hundred men weilding various weapons - pole-axes, swords, axes and bows, mostly - surged toward the western gate of Tyfor. Surged toward their fates, though they knew it not at the time.

    9

    The soldier heard it all. He was bored. Bored of waiting for these greasy half-wits to gather their guts and meet him. He was standing in the western gate of Tyfor, his sword protruding from the ground at his right. He was soaked in human and horse blood from head to foot. His boots squeaked and squelched as he walked. The armor he wore below the traveling cloak would only have recieved a small wetting - in life, this was cause for concern, as the metal would oxidize and rust after too long. But that was all before. He wouldn't need this armor for very much longer.
    The sounds of charging men and horses grew closer to him. He could see their dust trail rising above the stone buildings ahead of him. He waited.

    10

    Abrand led his men into a tremendous circular courtyard which was lined with stone buildings near the entrance gate. It was now in sight, and in it stood a man with an enormous sword beside him. He appeared to be wearing a dark red cloak.
    As he and his men neared, he saw that the cloak was not red at all. The man was completely covered in blood. He knew that this sight would instill fear in many of his men, but personally, the sight of blood and long since ceased to frighten him. Even in amounts such as this.
    He brought the stampede of men to a halt about fifty feet from the intruder. The man was wearing an amused smirk. Hot anger rose up in Abrand. This man felt that he was toying with him. He, chieftain of over 300 men.
    He dismounted and took a dozen steps toward the intruder. He had only one question on his mind before he intended to dispatch the crimson apparition.
    "This course of action has only one outcome for you, soldier. Why do you seek your death?"
    The soldier barked laughter. "Seek my death, oh great Chieftain? Why, I've already found it. I seek your death. But not before finding out some things. Are you sure you brought enough fodder?"
    Abrand grimaced. "You'll not die easy, soldier. I'll see to it".
    The soldier grasped the hilt of its sword and raised it, pointing it at Abrand. "If death is all you threaten, I've nothing to fear. Where is the grand-cheiftain of your tribe?"
    This time Abrand barked laughter. "And why would I tell you that, dead man?"
    The soldier smiled a malicious smile. His eyes were lunatic spheres. "You'll tell me a thousand times before I'm through with you".
    The soldier swung its blade at the ground before him, cutting a deep groove in the dirt. It continued smiling. "Now I shall show you despair, barbarian. The same despair Karlya felt when your agents butchered her".
    Abrand started at that, and suddenly everything came into focus. The shamans of the tribe sometimes used dirty tactics to topple a great foe. Tactics like summoning spirits to slaughter the loved ones of formidable adversaries. This was supposed to cripple their will to fight - only this time it seemed to have backfired. This man was out for vengeance, and vengeance was powerful fuel.
    The ground around where the soldier had sliced began to ripple. The setting sun disappeared behind the treeline, and Abrand's posse finally saw their enemy for what it was. Its grinning teeth seemed to grow outward and become like razors. Its eyes sank back into its head, leaving only empty sockets. A deep red glow was within those sockets, a glow that seemed to have maniacal intelligence. Thin, sinewy smoke drifted out of those sockets.
    The soldier ripped his blood-drenched cloak away, revealing his armor. The standard issue battle armor of the coalition was bronze, but this set had cracks and fissures that appeared to have dark, glimmering stone growing them. The substance appeared similar to obsidian - but there was deep red light pulsing in it. Upon the soldier's shoulders sat enormous pauldrons. His torso was covered by a sharply angled breast plate. His arms were bare, save for forearm bracers. On the left bracer was attached a small crossbow of bronze and cedar. From his waist hung a leather skirt that seemed to scorched to blackness. His legs were also bare except for shinguards. On all pieces of armor were those strange hairlines of black stone.
    From beneath the rippling ground came awful sounds. Crawling, buzzing sounds. The slice in the dirt seemed to grow wider, and suddenly a swarm of small, black things began pouring out. Some crawled toward the barbarian posse - others flew.
    Abrand's men began shouting, screaming, attempting to flee. Many were trampled by the mass exodus. Abrand was of stouter stuff, the product of a life embroiled in war and trial. He welcomed the chance to fight a true demon.

    11

    The soldier kept his gaze upon Abrand. The beetles - that was what Abrand now saw they were - began landing upon men, crawling up their bodies, and eating. Shrieks of terror and pain radiated from all sides. Some men fell and began rolling to crush the things. It worked, but there were far too many. They targeted the eyes, the mouth, the anus, any soft spot that flesh could be torn from. Shrieks of pain became shrieks of pure agony. The posse was fleeing away from Abrand - whom was untouched by the plague - and the soldier. The soldier waited patiently for the noise to die down some, so he could at long last have his palavor with the chieftain. His grin never left his face. Abrand also waited - he realized what the soldier wanted, and was in no hurry to give it to him.

    12

    Bodies of dead barbarians lay strewn about the west entrance to the city. Death beetles chewed contentedly upon the flesh. The smell of blood and entrails was thick in the air. Screams muted by distance could still be heard.
    "Where is your grand-chieftain?" The soldier asked again. He tilted his head inquisitively as he spoke. He did not stop grinning.
    "Hark, demon. I'll lay dead before betraying my kin".
    The soldier smiled fully, displaying his grotesque fang-teeth. Smoke and red radiance drifted continuously from his bottomless eye sockets. "Even in death you shall aid my quest, barbarian. I simply wished to be saved the effort of opening your skull".
    Abrand snarled. "I'll not be such easy prey as you think, demon!" he shouted. He reached into his fur vestment and produced a small glass vial. He used his teeth to pop the cork and drained the vial at a draught. His long, greasy hair began to fade in color, becoming white as parchment. His pupils seemed to fade as well, until only the whites of his eyes remained. The soldier looked on amusedly.
    Abrand grunted and his body convulsed as if in seizure. He clenched his fists. His muscles seemed to bulge, veins popping out in stark contrast to his skin. He seemed to grow in height and width, until he towered over the soldier. When he spoke, his voice was several octaves lower than previous.
    "Now you'll learn your place, demon!"
    Abrand had a battle-axe on his back and two one-handed war-axes on either side of his waist. He drew the battle-axe with both hands and charged the soldier with unexpected agility, releasing a deep war cry that shook the earth and resounded for miles. The smile disappeared from the soldier's face, replaced by a look of contempt.
    Abrand raised his battle-axe and swung downwards at the soldier, who easily side-stepped it, bringing his blade to his side to ready his counter attack. Abrand expected this evasion however, and stopped short of smashing the ground. He turned his axe sideways and pushed his full strength into a swing at the soldier. The soldier had just time to reposition his greatsword so that it blocked the axe. He was pushed several yards back by the blow and skidded to a stop. Abrand did not let up - he closed the distance in a flash and swung horizontally. The soldier stepped back just as the axe reached him - the tip of the blade scraped the front of his breastplate. Abrand used the momentum of the missed swing to spin around and bring the axe downward again. This time the soldier did not have time to side-step - just barely time to raise his greatsword and block the attack. The axe slammed in to the sword, generating a hail of sparks. The soldier's boots were driven an inch into the ground.
    Now it was Abrand's turn to smile. The soldier sneered back. He barked a yell of effort and the sword exploded with upward momentum, driving the axe into the air and Abrand backward. Before Abrand could get his footing, the soldier yanked his sword downward. Abrand had only a split-second to dodge - it was only enough time to get partly out of the way. The sword sliced through his left arm at the shoulder, severing it before striking the ground. Abrand yelled and staggered backward, releasing his weapon and grasping at the new oriface as great torrents of blood sprayed from it. "Bastard!", he growled at the soldier. The soldier smirked back.
    Abrand released his stump and grasped the hilt of one of his war axes, bringing it to his side. The soldier rested his sword on his shoulder.
    "Enough, barbarian. Tell me what I want to know and you may yet die gloriously."
    A look of fury passed over the chieftain's face. "I'll piss on your ashes, demon!" he shouted in a rough voice, and again charged. He swung sideward at the soldier. The soldier let his sword fall from his shoulder to block the attack. Abrand booted his foot frontward. The soldier slid his sword in front of him fluidly and severed Abrand's left foreleg. Abrand fell backward and shouted in pain and surprise, landing hard on his back. He hurled his war axe at the soldier's head. The soldier cocked his head to the side and allowed the war axe to cut through the air where his head had been. He walked toward Abrand.
    Abrand brandished his second war axe out at the soldier. "I'll die gloriously yet!" he cried.
    "No", the soldier replied, and brought the sword above him with both hands, then brought it down. Abrand braced for the impact, though it was of no use. The sword sliced cleanly through the blade, then through Abrand's remaining arm. It continued until it reached the ground under Abrand's tremendous skull. The skull violently separated in two directions, a spray of brain matter and misty blood exploding from it.
    The soldier gazed down at the chieftain's corpse. He didn't know conciously that what he was going to do would work. It was an instinct, a not finely-honed one that was just budding. He stabbed his sword into the ground and came to the dead chieftain's skull. It was split vertically two, rejoining at the neck. His eyes had fallen to the ground between the severed sides of the skull, as had his brain. Blood ejected from either side of the cranium and poured into the crevices of the cobbled road, running like rivers and tributaries. The soldier reached down, grasped a hunk of pale, bloody brain meat and yanked backward, liberating it from the rest. He brought this hunk close to his face and examined it closely. He sniffed. The odor was powerfully appetizing. He closed his razor sharp teeth around the brain matter and chewed thoughtfully. He swallowed. His face went blank. New knowledge was suddenly made known to him, simply there in his mind. He knew where the grand-chieftain was, he knew that there reinforcements gathering to move to Tyfor, he knew that Abrand had raped a young peasant girl 3 nights previous and that he was deathly afraid of snakes, as he thought they were an evil omen. He knew everything Abrand had known before his death.
    The soldier stood and looked eastward in the direction of his final adversary. There would be many others along the way, but the simple need to exterminate any trace of the barbarian horde that ended his daughter's short life forever would always be at the forefront. The soldier turned, returned his sword to his shoulder, and began the trek back to his steed.

    EDIT: i realized 300 men couldn't fit into a "small" circular courtyard. fixed that, will be revising things sporadically.

    EDIT: i just realized i haven't replaced "it" with "him" in some places. i have a revised document on ky pc, will fix when i can.
    Last edited by Tony; 09-27-2013 at 12:52 PM.
    where's my chippy

  6. #4
    teh evul p4in of doomy hell Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony's Avatar
    Gil
    54,983,047.16
    Gender
    Gifts Wolf Camel Zebra
    Mentioned
    147 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Latest Post
    12-26-2014 07:51 PM
    User Info Thanks / Tagging Info Gifts / Achievements / Awards vBActivity Stats
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    at the bottom of a dry well
    Age
    24
    Threads
    47
    Posts
    3,242
    Blog Entries
    24
    Rep Power
    766
    Gamer IDs

    PSN ID: gurutar

    Default Re: The Pact

    Author's note: No, Karlya isn't in hell. According to Greek mythology, all dead souls go to Hades, just different planes. With that cleared up... this is the first half of Chapter 2. I would really appreciate comments!

    Chapter 2

    1

    There were barbarians who escaped the massacre. Half-crazed and babbling, they raced on horseback to a large outpost in the badlands between Tyfor and the barbarian countryside. It was here that forces were gathering to move to Tyfor to aid Abrand in assaulting the aristocratic district. There was another chieftain here, one who commanded many more men than Abrand had.
    The outpost was surrounded by wastelands, dead ground on which nothing grew save for witchgrass and the occassional limp-looking cactus. The outpost itself was a fort - long, thick wooden stakes were driven into the hard pan to create a barrier, and inside there were seven wooden buildings - an infantry garrison, a smithy, a dining hall, medical quarters, an arsenal, a stable and the chieftain's hut. These radiated outward from a central courtyard where men trained and drilled.
    There were men with crossbows stationed along the wall on palisades that overlooked the dead expanse. There was a trail of dust rising in the west.
    "Riders!" a sentry called. Several more gathered around him and looked out.
    "Tell Kintz", one said. Another bolted down a ramp and ran to the chieftain's hut.

    2

    "Has the soldier been taken care of?" Kintz asked the shaman. The shaman looked the part of a senile old man, perhaps crazed by dementia, but spoke in a sane and even, if not weak voice. "Yes, my lord, he's been - " he cleared his throat " - taken care of". He grinned and eyed Kintz slyly. "His child is no more, and so neither is he. We'll see him not anymore".
    Kintz sat back in his seat, seeming to relax. He was a tall, slender man with long black hair and a feminine face. His eyes were small and beady, but very intelligent. A faint smile seemed to be etched permanently into his face. "Very well", he spoke. "And what of this serum you've concocted? I've seen the test specimens - horrors. Is it safe?"
    A look of faux surprise crossed the shaman's face. "I'd not risk an unsafe serum on a chieftain, of course! In fact, I gave a sample to that hideous Abrand, although his was far less pure than your own."
    Kintz nodded. "Remain here until I've moved the men to Tyfor, then report back to the grand-chieftain." His voice was silky and slow, but threads of iron lay deep in it. "I assume there will be more work for your kind soon".
    The shaman cackled wildly and nodded.
    There was a knock at the door. "Sir! Riders from the west!" Kintz heard called.
    He waved his hand dismissively at the shaman, who stepped back into the shadows and was gone.
    Kintz stood and walked to the door. He opened it and looked down at the sentry.
    "What colors do they wear?" Kintz asked.
    "They appear to be our kin, but they're riding hard. Looks like they're trying to escape something".
    A thoughtful look passed over Kintz's face, then was gone. "Allow them to speak the password and let them enter. I'll debrief them immediately".
    "Sir". The sentry turned and ran back to the gate.
    Kintz wasn't sure what to make of this. Fleeing? There were 300 men in that camp and reinforcements from the outer coalition cities couldn't have arrived that quickly.
    He sighed heavily and returned to his seat. On his desk sat a small vial of pale red liquid. He toyed with it in his hand, looking contemplatively at it. A serum that would give one man the power of a hundred. He knew the shaman's magicks were powerful, and he was thankful to have them, unlike Abrand. That fool shunned the powers of the shamans, thought that they used dirty tactics. Kintz liked their tactics just fine.
    He heard the disjointed calling of a man coming closer to his hut. He put the vial in a drawer and closed it. He looked out into the courtyard through his doorway and saw two men being led to him - one was trying to look in every direction at once and mumbling. His eyes were large and full of fear. Kintz stood and walked out onto the stoop of his hut.
    "There was a third rider, sir, but it seems he's been dead a while. This one ain't right - just keeps mumblin' to 'imself about a demon. Must have gotten into the devilgrass."
    Kintz saw no signs of this - he looked for green teeth and lips, and smelled for the sick rot odor that followed chewers of that stuff, and didn't find either one. The rider was, however, mumbling incoherently about... what was it that he was hearing? Bugs, perhaps, and eyes. He dismissed this.
    Kintz looked at the other rider, who was staring dumbly at the ground between his feet.
    "This one hasn't spoken at all, sir" the sentry said.
    "Report", Kintz said.
    The rider remained silent. Kintz strode over to him, took the rider's chin in his hand and pulled his face up. "Repo -".
    Kintz stopped. Looking into this man's face was like looking into the face of a terrified child. Tears streamed from the corners of his wide, horrified eyes and his teeth were bared in an agonized way.
    "What in hell..." Kintz said. "Report".
    "The bloody man killed them all", the rider whispered. A look of disgust passed over Kintz's face and he slapped the rider. "Report!" he exclaimed.
    The rider slowly looked back at him. "The bloody man made the ground open. He didn't have any eyes. He made the ground open and they got us. The bugs got us."
    A hopeless, exasperated look came over Kintz. "Take these men to the medical quarters. Inform me if they come out of this delirium." He turned and strode back into his hut, closing the door.

    3

    The soldier's horse trotted slowly down the path into the badlands. The greens of Tyfor and the surrounding encampments were giving way to hard pan, and the vegetation was slowly disappearing. The sun beat down relentlessly. He'd gorged on the fresh meat of the dead barbarians and drank deeply of their lifeblood, and sat contentedly upon his saddle, looking serenely eastward. There was a large, entirely dead apple tree coming up on his right.
    The soldier's thoughts were few. His subconscious was slowly taking over the work of thought. He understood that soon all rationality would leave him, and he would turn into a mindless slave. He'd have to hurry his mission along before that happened.
    "Pitiful", the soldier heard from his right. He turned his serene gaze to the apple tree and halted his horse. He did not respond, simply waited.
    A cloaked man walked out from behind the tree. The cloak covered his body and head completely, and on his face was a mask. The mask was long and white, with narrow eye slits and five open slits over the mouth. He stood facing the soldier.
    "Is this what you want? To disgrace your daughter's existence with this blood lust?" His deep voice was muffled by the mask.
    The soldier smiled warmly and said "Disappear, fool. Speak not of my daughter and you may live".
    "Empty threats", the stranger replied. "Your daughter looks on from Hades in disgust at what you've become".
    The soldier flicked his left arm in the stranger's direction and a bolt ejected from his crossbow. The bolt flew at the stranger's head. The stranger reached out in a flash and caught the bolt. On his hand was a massive, dark gauntlet. He snapped the bolt in his hand.
    The soldier's face brightened with amusement and he clapped. "Bravo, stranger! Say one more word and I'll butcher you!" he said in a friendly voice.
    The stranger removed his cloak. He was wearing armor the soldier had never seen before - an ornately crafted set of plate mail that was made from some dark stone. Red light pulsed within the armor itself, seeming to be called from another dimension. The soldier noticed that there was smoke drifting from the eyelets of the stranger's mask.
    "Down your path lies nothing. No retribution, no redemption. The only thing you'll find is enslavement".
    The soldier dismounted his horse. He removed his sword from its scabbard. "I warned you", he said childishly.
    With a burst of speed he rocketed at the stranger, seeming to glide over the ground, his sword drawn out behind him in both hands. The stranger didn't flinch. The soldier swung - the stranger's hand rose and blocked the blade easily. The soldier swung twice more - both blocked. Only the stranger's arm moved.
    The soldier lept back and sneered at the stranger. "Another servent of Hades?"
    "Not anymore", the masked stranger replied.
    "I don't care what you are, stranger, and you're going to die".
    He swung and cleaved the ground. It began to ripple. The stranger raised his hand over the ground and the rippling stopped.
    The soldier smiled madly. He didn't want to use his new power yet, as it would drain him considerably, but this freak was asking for it. His eyes squinted and the red glow rose in them. It would be more powerful when it was dark and this human mask was off, but this would have to do.
    Small streamlets of crimson light poured into the soldier's eyes, and small balls of pulsing energy formed before his irises. The stranger looked on patiently, arms crossed over his chest.
    Soon the orbs of red light were as large as the soldier's eyesockets. Suddenly they shrank and two beams of dark red energy shot out of the soldier's eyes and toward the stranger. The stranger raised his arms and met the beams with his hands. The beams collided with the dark gauntlets and radiated off in several directions, cutting deep gouges in the hard pan and cleaving overhead clouds. The stranger slowly closed his hands as the beams lessened and then dissipated. He brought his hands to his chest, then thrust his arms forward, palms out, and two elongated ovals of red energy rocketed at the soldier. He was too weak to dodge - they exploded a foot in front of him. Thick warping sounds emanated from the explosions, along with loud cracks that shook the still air. He was shot backwards and onto his back. His ears rang and he was half-blinded - a thin sheen of white was burned onto his retinae. He saw the stranger disappear then reappear before him in a split-second. Teleportation? No, he'd sensed movement. This bastard was fast.
    The stranger grabbed the soldier by the neck and lifted him off the ground so that his feet were a foot off of the hard pan. He gazed up into the soldier's eyes. "You've forgotten your name, soldier. Remember... Adre!"
    The soldier tightened up. A look of panic swept over him. He began to struggle in the stranger's grasp, tearing at his hands and kicking his legs. The stranger stood like a statue, immovable. "That's right, Adre, remember. Remember that Karlya is dead. Nothing can bring her back, Adre".
    Now the soldier was moaning futilly. "No! No, bastard!" he cried in what seemed to be two voices.
    "Let me show you what lies down this path Adre", the stranger said, with his free hand he grasped the mask and tore it away. Adre looked down and horror grasped him. The head was charred black with what appeared to be red cracks in the skin. The stranger was entirely bald, his head a caldera of fissures. The mouth was horrendous - it gaped open like that of a shark's. Serrated fangs grew from the bleeding gums. There was no nose, only the skeletal remains of one. The eyes were round and grotesquely large - and entirely blood red. Red tears of blood dripped endlessly from the lower eyelids, running down the stranger's scorched cheeks like small waterfalls. Black smoke drifted endlessly from those terrible eyes.
    "This is your future if you continue down this path, Adre! Look upon your own face!"
    It was too much. Adre went limp in the stranger's grasp and suddenly he was nowhere.

    4

    Kintz paced his hut slowly. He considered what the delusional riders had said. What the sentries had said upon first spotting them. Seems there are running away from something, they'd said. The bloody man. They were running from the bloody man who had no eyes.
    Kintz grunted and spat. It was bullshit. They must have been delirious from the heat and lack of water.
    The bloody man.
    "Shaman", Kintz said to no one. A moment later a small, half-crippled man adorned in the skulls of children stepped out of the shadows. "My lord?"
    "You'll come with the force to Tyfor. There may be a powerful adversary there."
    "I understand, my lord."
    "What does 'the bloody man' mean to you, shaman?"
    "It means a bloody man, I suppose."
    "'The bloody man with no eyes, who made the earth open up'".
    The shaman was overcome with a stern look and took a step back. "Demon. "'Tis a demon you speak of, my lord".
    The chieftain searched the shaman's face for incredulity and found none. He looked away. "We shall indeed need your powers, then, shaman. Prepare yourself, we leave immediately". He stormed through the door and into the fading day. The shaman looked after him, then stepped back into the shadows.

    5

    Adre awoke. He opened his eyes. He was deathly cold. Where was he? He sat on his elbows and looked around. Immediate pain jolted through his head and he winced, holding a hand to one side of it. The sun was fading. So cold... like his body wasn't generating any heat at all. He sat up. And then he remembered.
    Karlya was murdered. He'd made a pact with Hades. He remembered awakening in the grasp of an armored man... no, it wasn't a man. His head was a monster's. He'd said that this was Adre's future. No... this wasn't what he wanted. What terrible a price for vengeance.
    It's a price you willingly paid, soldier. a voice said from deep within his mind. Adre moaned and grasped his head with both hands. Go away.
    You made a pact, soldier, and you will pay up.
    I never wanted this.
    What a pity.
    Darkness was creeping into Adre's consciousness. He fought it.
    No, damn you, no!
    You made a pact.
    Adre closed his eyes and cried out. It echoed far and away in the endless expanse.

    6

    The soldier opened his bottomless eyes. He was cold. This was well. He was still fairly weakened by his tiff with the stranger. The soldier grimaced, revealing his fang-teeth. That bastard was in for a slow death when he next saw him.
    The soldier stood. Looked eastward. Looked toward his steed. It lay dead with flies fighting over flesh. The soldier turned away and began trekking eastward, picking up his sword and resting it on his shoulder.

    7

    Kintz rallied his men. He didn't see the shaman, but knew he could be summoned when needed. Roughly one thousand men marched and rode out of the encampment, heading westward, with Kintz in the lead. A fateful meeting would soon take place in the wastelands between the encampment and Tyfor.

  7. #5
    teh evul p4in of doomy hell Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony has a reputation beyond repute Tony's Avatar
    Gil
    54,983,047.16
    Gender
    Gifts Wolf Camel Zebra
    Mentioned
    147 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Latest Post
    12-26-2014 07:51 PM
    User Info Thanks / Tagging Info Gifts / Achievements / Awards vBActivity Stats
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    at the bottom of a dry well
    Age
    24
    Threads
    47
    Posts
    3,242
    Blog Entries
    24
    Rep Power
    766
    Gamer IDs

    PSN ID: gurutar

    Default Re: The Pact

    The Pact: Chapter 2, Part 2

    [warning: contains graphic violence and language]

    8

    The soldier did not tire. He trekked for hours in fading light across the vast expanse of grit. His earlier exertion had weakened him, but he was regaining his strength. He heard hoofbeats far off in the distance - could smell the odors of sweat and ale coming toward him from the east. The reinforcements, then. He'd like to meet them head-on, but he'd need to feed before exerting any more power. He decided, albeit reluctantly, to stray off the path and head north a ways to wait for this new posse to pass. Then he'd pick off a straggler, feed, then destroy them all. He didn't like to operate this way, but it was necessary. He turned fourty-five degrees to his right and plodded on.

    9

    Kintz was getting a bad feeling deep in his gut. A feeling of dread, of impending doom for all his kin. He somehow sensed that this feeling was being projected by something off to the north... no, that was sh*t. There's nothing out there but coyotes and cacti. This feeling of insecurity and dread was just the product of thinking too hard on what the riders that came into camp had said. He tried to push it out of his mind, but it lingered there, refusing to be squelched. He rode on.

    10

    The soldier watched the posse pass. He estimated around one thousand men. They thought they were going to reinforce that other chieftain, the one who was now a mess of brain matter and shattered teeth. They weren't even going to make it to Tyfor to find out that their brethren were all but wiped out. They were going to die out here, in the desert.
    All of them.

    11

    Tharn Enklo was a blowhard. He loved nothing more than to talk up his exploits around campfires and engratiate the truth of his abilities. He wasn't built for war - a squat man that was more blubber than muscle. He brought up the rear of Kintz's posse, straying far behind them to have a chance to turn tail and run at the soonest sign of trouble. He held a canteen filled with ale in one hand, drinking from it frequently.
    "Psst".
    Enklo's sagging, drunken face became half-alert. He looked around, squinting to see in the dark. Had something just made a noise out there? He wondered if it was a rattlesnake. Give it the boot, he would.
    "Psst. Over here".
    No question about it that time. Someone was out there trying to play games on him. Filled with liquid courage, he drew his axe and stumbled in the direction of the voice.
    "Who's there? Better come out now before I start swingin'!"
    "No need for that. Come closer".
    "Who is that?" Enklo asked as he stumbled ever further off the path. His voice was slurred and he frequently hiccuped.
    Two red eyes appeared in the darkness. No, not eyes... hollow sockets with red inside them. The red glow illuminated a face so ghastly that Enklo thought he must have passed out and was having a nightmare. The face was grinning evilly, and the teeth...
    Enklo tried to scream but something clamped around his throat before he'd barely begun. He felt as though a thousand sharp needlepoints were sinking into the flesh of his throat. His scream was cut off - only a bloody gargle remained. Tharn Enklo's last thought before death was: wait 'til I tell the boys about this one.

    12

    "Haven't seen Enklo in a while. You?" Prath asked.
    "Nah, he's probably passed out in the road back there. Leave 'im". Kirin responded.
    "Come on, his stories aren't that bad".
    "Just that bullshit".
    "I'm gunna go check on him".
    Prath turned around and walked to his demise.

    13

    The soldier feasted hungrily. All thought was driven from his mind temporarily - his senses dulled as he was enveloped in a blood frenzy. He tore greedily into Enklo's robust gut, ripping intestines out and slurping them up like cooked spaghetti noodles. He dug into Enklo's ribcage with his fang-teeth and tore away a large section of it and the surrounding muscle, revealing Enklo's heart. The soldier smiled delightedly and closed his mouth around the heart. He savagely pressed his teeth into the arteries, severing them. The soldier slurped happily at the influx of blood, moaning orgasmically as he did.
    A scream pierced his focus and he snapped back to reality. He looked up to see a barbarian looking back at him. The barbarian, having caught the attention of this nightmarish creature, turned and ran back toward the posse, calling "Demon! Demon!".
    The soldier's face became a study in hatred and he put a bolt into the barbarian's spine. F*ck. His feeding was cut short, and all that racket was bound to stir up some excitement up ahead. He grunted in exasperation. His power was not yet fully returned, but he would make due. He licked fresh blood from his jaw, picked up his sword, returned it to his shoulder, and trodded off toward the ensuing carnage.

    14

    Kintz heard a commotion erupting among his ranks. When he halted and turned his horse around he saw that the posse was looking back eastward. He could hear a faint call... it sounded like 'demon'. Kintz stiffened. "Make way!" he called and charged down the middle of the posse, heading back eastward.

    15

    The hundred men who had heard the call were gathering around the soldier. More were coming around, attempting to surround him on all sides. They were in a fervor - demon hunting was a trade long ago abandoned, and only legends remained. These barbarians were eager to try their luck against a demon. The soldier was happy to oblige.
    "Come one, come all!" he cried at the growing crowd with his sword stuck in the ground beside him and his arms upraised. The barbarians brandished their weapons out at the soldier but came no closer.
    "No takers?" the soldier called mockingly.
    "You f*cker!" one barbarian called, and charged the soldier, weapon upraised. The soldier greeted him with open arms. The barbarian swung downward at the soldier. The soldier side stepped it, caught the barbarian' weapon by the hilt and jammed it back into his face, breaking his nose. Blood sprayed from the barbarian's nostrils and he dropped his weapon, bringing both hands to his shattered nose. The soldier formed his hand into a spade and drove it through the barbarian's chest, his hand protruding out the barbarian's back. The barbarian face was overcome with a look of shock, then he fell limply to the ground and off of the soldier's arm.
    The soldier looked around at the crowd seriously. "I'll show you a wonder", he said in an awed voice.
    He snatched up his sword and sliced into the hardpan. The barbarians looked on with dumb fear and anticipation. The ground rippled. Chittering noises and the patter of tiny legs arose from it. The slice swelled, and suddenly a volcano of death beetles erupted from it. They took flight and sought out flesh. The barbarians howled in terror and the crowd rapidly dispersed. The beetles began landing on men and ripping at clothing and flesh. Howling gave way to screaming as hundreds of men fleed in every direction, attempting to escape the nightmare. The soldier barked laughter and waited for the chieftain to find him with his sword on his shoulder.

    16

    Kintz heard a cacophony up ahead. Screaming. Yelling. The demon was there. He kicked at the horse's sides and increased his speed. Flocks of men stood on either side and attempted following him and he passed.

    17

    Kintz began coming upon bodies. Hundreds of dead barbarians, and something was on them, eating them. He steeled himself. There was someone standing in the path at the epicenter of the circle of corpses. The demon, then. Simply standing there, waiting. Presumably for him. He slowed his steed to a trot and came upon the demon.

    18

    Kintz reigned his horse to a stop and looked at the demon. Barbarians were filtering in around Kintz, all with looks of dismay on their faces at their slaughtered comrades. The demon was standing in the middle of the path, surrounded by the freshly dead. His sword rested upon his shoulder as he gazed serenely at Kintz.
    "What's your purpose, demon?" Kintz called in his voice of command.
    "You know, the last chieftain I came across asked me the same thing. He and all his men are dead now. And, funny thing... you're beginning to remind me a lot of him."
    The red glow in the soldier's eyes brightened. Crimson light was forming in front of his head and shooting into his bottomless eyesockets.
    "Shaman!" Kintz called. A moment later the shaman appeared from behind Kintz's horse and hobbled in front of it.
    A look of pure ecstacy came over the soldier's face. His smile was lunatic and full of fangs. "You! Glorious day." The red light pouring into the soldier's eyes seemed to speed up. Red balls of energy were forming in front of his eyesockets.
    The shaman raised his hands in front of him.
    Kintz understood that his men were going to become fodder in a moment. He dismounted his horse, being careful to remain behind the shaman. He reached into his leather vestment and produced the vial. With this and the shaman's aid, he could take down this demon.
    The red orbs of energy were vibrating now, reaching their limit. Barbarians on either side of Kintz were stepping backward, getting ready to flee. It would do them no good.
    The orbs shrank down to the size of peas. A warping sound was emenating from the soldier, as well as the crackle associated with lightning. He faced the left side of Kintz, meaning to sweep the barbarians.
    The beams rocketed out of his sockets. Red lightning danced in and around them. The barbarians that were hit first were eviscerated. The parts of their bodies hit directly by the beams became ash, anything around the beams was torn away and flung backward in a spray of bone, blood and flesh. The barbarians around Kintz began to flee. They died with their backs turned.
    As the beams swept from left to right, the barbarians were ripped apart in a wave. A mist of blood was forming above the throng. As the beams came over the shaman and Kintz, they stopped short of the shaman's upraised hands and were deflected in every direction. That strange warping sound followed the beams' paths. They tore up the ground, sliced through sparse trees and parted the clouds. The shaman struggled to hold back this tremendous power. Kintz drank the vial.
    The beams passed over them and continued cutting through the barbarians. Screams were cut short as the beams obliterated barbarians' bodies. Finally the beams began to shrink. The soldier closed his eyelids and the beams cut off.
    Moans of pain were rising from the decimated throng. Only Kintz and the shaman remained. The soldier opened his eyelids and faced them.
    A moment of surprise passed over his face, which was quickly replaced by smug contempt. Kintz had changed, the same way Abrand had. No, not quite. He was the same size as before. His long black hair had turned completely white, as had his eyes and skin. And he appeared to be completely in control of himself, also unlike Abrand. Kintz stepped out calmly beside the shaman.
    "You've shown me your power, foul demon. Now I'll have your head. Shaman!"
    The shaman closed his eyes and began muttering something. The soldier snarled and dashed toward him, holding his blade out behind him. He swung downward at the shaman's frail body. Kintz stepped between them, drawing two elegantly crafted shortswords from his waist and crossing them over his head, blocking the blade. He thrust his foot forward and connected with the soldier's gut, launching him several yards backward.
    The soldier skidded to a stop. His bottomless eyes narrowed at Kintz. Kintz grinned and launched himself at the soldier. He initiated a flurry of flowing, agile attacks with his swords. The soldier struggled to keep up. He narrowly blocked each attack as they came - Kintz took no time to recover after each swing, attacking with both weapons.
    The soldier realized he'd have to knock his opponent off guard before he'd be able to attack. He narrowed his eyelids and streamlets of red energy began pouring into them. Kintz saw this and swept his leg out low to trip the soldier. The soldier lept back, landing five feet from Kintz. Warping sounds emenated from him.
    "Shaman!" Kintz called. The shaman opened his eyes and raised his staff. A dark mist swirled around it. The mist moved toward the top of the staff and coalesced, creating a dark, hovering orb. Suddenly from this orb, thin, black tentacles of energy shot toward the soldier. The soldier released his beams at the shaman. They were thin, as the soldier had already used this power recently. The beams collided with the tentacles halfway between the soldier and the shaman. Black and red tendrils of raw energy lept from the collision, searing the ground. The shaman's black energy multiplied and swarmed around the growing mass of coalescing energy forming between the soldier and the shaman. They rocketed at the soldier. The soldier raised his left arm and aimed his crossbow at the shaman as the last of his energy reserves were depleted and the beams disapated. The black tentacles overcame him, wrapping themselves around his arms, legs and neck. The soldier fired a bolt just as the tentacles pulled his limbs taught. The bolt sailed toward the shaman. Kintz saw this was his opportunity and dashed at the soldier. The bolt drilled into the left side of the shaman's gut. His focus was shattered and he cried out, grasping the bolt with both hands. The black tentacles shook violently, then slowly turned into smoke. The shaman collapsed with a dull thud onto the hardpan.
    Kintz came upon the soldier just as the tentacles released. Kintz swung down with both swords. The soldier's greatsword exploded with speed and struck Kintz's weapons, deflected them and sending Kintz backward. The soldier released his greatsword in mid swing. It was flung off into the darkness. Kintz saw as he tried to regain control of his body the soldier disappear, then powerful, cold hands were wrapped around his wrists and the soldier collided with him at blinding speed. They sailed through the air several yards, then crashed into the ground and skidded to a stop.
    The soldier straddled the chieftain's waist and pinned his arms to either side. He smiled deviously down at Kintz. "Now you're fodder just like all the rest. Your kind is at an end."
    "Don't bore me with your prattle, demon. We've been hunting your kind generations. It's only a matter of time 'til your head his just another trophy on the grand-chieftain's walls."
    "There's never been one like me." His mind was cast briefly back to the stranger. Then the thought was gone. "Your lifeforce is strong, chieftain. Eating you will be a great boon."
    Kintz spat into the soldier's eye. It entered the bottomless eyesocket and then a faint sizzling could be heard from within. "End this."
    The soldier's jaw appeared to unhinge, then grow outward. Soon it gaped open like a window into hell. The soldier's teeth were long and thick, and evil-looking black drool dripped from between them. Red light pulsed deep within the soldier's throat, and a cacophony of voices could be heard from within. Most were screaming. Kintz closed his eyes and welcomed his end. The soldier closed his horrendous jaw over the front of Kintz's skull and bit down. Kintz knew heart-stopping pain, then nothing more.

    19

    The soldier swallowed the front of Kintz's skull. The head had no face, just a bloody crater where it had been. When the soldier gazed upon Kintz's brain, his hunger overcame him. He jammed his hand downward and grasped the pink mass, ripping it from its casing and holding it in front of his face. What new wonders would it reveal? The soldier smiled contentedly and placed the brain into his gaping maw, swallowing it whole. A kalaidoscope of memory blossomed in his mind. The soldier's face went perfectly blank as he reconstructed this new information into something usable. And then a terrible revalation dawned in the soldier's mind. Fresh, writhing anger exploded within him, the first real emotion he'd felt as an undead, and he ripped his gaze around at the shaman. Karlya...

    --

    Author's note: sorry to leave with a cliffhanger but I thought this would be a good place to end chapter 2.

    EDIT: just noticed I hadn't censored the work "F*ck", so characters were saying "Frell". Unacceptable.
    Last edited by Tony; 10-09-2013 at 08:09 PM.
    where's my chippy

+ Reply to Thread

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts