Posts tagged ‘Legends Undying’

June 1, 2013

Adrift – Part 4

by Gaston Prereth

They made their way through the dark catacombs of the ship’s corridors in silence. Every computer console, every light fitting, and every electric door they went past was dead. At first Jason had tried each switch and button they passed to see if he could elicit some response, but soon he realised it was futile. Something had eaten away at all of the ship’s controls. Maybe the main computer core had become infected or damaged. He wasn’t sure. He wasn’t really sure how the ship worked or had been designed, but he knew it must be something big that had caused the shipwide melt down.

They only came across one other person enroute to the hull-rail’s boarding gate. He was an elderly man, portly around the midriff with deep brown eyes that carried the troubles of life within them. His fingertips were purple, like he had jammed his hands in a doorway, and his lips were also a similar unnatural colour. He was dead.

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May 23, 2013

Ties That Bind (Chapter 8)

by Len

Qari

Ties That Bind

Chapter 8

The Cave Tree

Calidorn’s broad fingers tinkered with Qari’s bird skull helmet while the two talked about their past. Qari explained how his tribe had been slaughtered by the blood monkeys while he was away. He explained that all of the surrounding tribes had suffered the same fate. Rolo was out searching for food; it had been a while since the anteater had been allowed to freely hunt. However, now that his master was safe Rolo enjoyed romping through the forest without a saddle.

“What about you?” Qari asked. “Did the monkeys take out the others in your party?” Calidorn had explained that he was part of a mining expedition that had found this cave particular cave.

Calidorn shook his head. He fidgeted with the helmet and attached some adornments. “No, not the monkeys.” The elephant man handed the bird skull back to Qari. “It was the jaguar.”

“Yeah, the jaguars are bad,” Qari put the helmet on, and it fit perfectly.

“Not the jaguars,” Calidorn picked up his hammer as the memory came back to him. “THE JAGUAR.” Qari didn’t understand what he meant, but when Calidorn did not elaborate he knew better than to pry.

Instead the small human decided to change the subject. The past was filled with too much bloodshed. “So how far back does this cave go?”

“It goes pretty deep. I shrunk down as much as I could, but still couldn’t slip through a few places.” Calidorn’s eyes seemed to lose the sadness in his eyes.

“Wait, did you say ‘shrunk down’?”

“Oh, yeah!” Calidorn grew to stand about eight feet tall. Then he shrunk back down to around four or so feet high. Qari was amazed. Calidorn just laughed. “Want to go exploring? I bet you can fit through some of the cracks that I couldn’t. You are skinny.”

So the two new friends set off to travel deeper into the cave. Qari trusted that Rolo would be safe. Anteaters survived in the wild on their own all the time. Further and further they went, and it got cold to the shirtless human. Calidorn offered the man a cloak to help with the chill. “Gets cold down here.”

They passed over a small underground stream. “I have been able to get fish out of here sometimes. They are small, but at least it gives me something to eat other than fruits and roots.”

“How long have you been surviving down here?”

“Somewhere around a moon cycle,” Calidorn answered. At first, Qari was amazed at how the elephant creature had made it so long. Then he realized that he and Rolo had been running for almost two weeks. It was intriguing the lengths living creatures would go to ensure survival.

Calidorn led them to a small crack in the wall. Qari would not have even noticed it if it was not pointed out to him. “I have heard strange sounds through this crack. I know it leads somewhere.”

“Go it alone, eh?”

“As I said, I can’t fit,” Calidorn laughed. “You don’t have to go, if you don’t feel comfortable.”

Qari chuckled nervously. “I will go. If I don’t come back, take care of Rolo.” He was only half kidding. With a deep breath, the small man slipped into the small crack. He had been in a cave the whole time, but being unable to move in any direction except sideways was overwhelming. Qari considered going back, but he heard a sound that he was all too familiar with; monkeys.

Anger drove him along. Hate pushed him through even though it took the skin off of his ears and cheeks. Qari climbed and climbed as he made his way toward the sounds of his most hated enemies. Finally, he saw a small light up ahead. He cautiously poked his head out into a large open chamber which spilled light into his crevice.

What he saw nearly took his breath away. He was midway up the wall overlooking an open cavern. In the middle of the cavern was a large tree. A small opening in the top of the cave gave enough sunlight to keep the tree alive. Strewn throughout the tree were abyssal plant vines. Their smell washed over the small man, and nearly made him swoon. He covered his face with the cloak Calidorn had given him earlier.

Monkeys leaped from the opening into the tree and climbed up and down. At the base of the tree, Qari saw something that he did not expect. There were about thirty humans and elves sitting under the tree. What are they doing? Why are they just sitting there? Qari wanted answers. Some of the men at the bottom of the tree were tribesmen. Could some of my people have survived? Qari hoped, but he needed to get down to them.

Suddenly Qari heard a powerful call from the opening. He looked up to see a spider monkey with blood red eyes. The beast hooted and barked and all the monkeys rushed up the tree and followed him. In a matter of seconds, the cavern was completely quiet. Qari courageously jumped from his perch and grabbed hold of a branch. He quickly climbed down, making sure that the cloak stayed wrapped around his mouth and nose.

When he reached the humans and elves, he puked into the cloak. The abyssal plants had caused them to be lulled into a near catatonic state. They were sedated and did not even notice the small human that had climbed down among them. Worse than that was the fact that they were covered in blood sac oozes and leeches. The blood sac oozes where heavy with the life essence of their host. Qari realized that the monkeys were using them to harvest blood. He could see scars and some fresh wounds where the monkeys had pulled the oozes and leeches away.

Qari sank to one knee and contemplated just staying there; giving up hope. He realized quickly that he had to get away from the effects of the abyssal plants, or he too would become a feeder for the monkeys. If he had more time, he would have killed every one of the damned souls under the tree. However, he had no weapons and no time. Qari climbed the tree and made a leap back to the crack. He had to catch the ledge and maneuver his way back in, but he managed it with some difficulty.

Qari stopped about halfway back to Calidorn and cried. He let out all of the anger, hurt, guilt, shame, regret; all of it. His eyes were red and puffy when he stepped out of the hole, but he had a plan. He was going to kill every blood monkey he saw. There was no more running. It was time to hunt.

 

May 16, 2013

Ties That Bind (Chapter Seven)

by Len

Vaidon

Ties That Bind

Chapter 7

Blood in the Water

Bynn made his way once again to the tethering pole, where the elves placed a boat full of goods for the trolls to take back with them. For years Bynn had wanted to fight the trolls, but knew better than to go against the highborn council. Batoonsta had informed him, with a lot of time and effort, that there were seven total trolls. One of them was always hidden in the water. The elves had to take him out first.

Bynn was responsible for that troll. He had sneaked to the troll boat, unseen and unnoticed. Vaidon and Batoonsta waited in the forest for the signal. If they could successfully destroy the entire troll force, then may just keep Silkwood from a war.

Bynn slowly drew back his bow. He was silent and steady; his skills honed over the years with Kaa in the dangerous forest. He waited until he saw an unnatural ripple in the water, and let his arrow fly. Bynn’s shot was perfect. The trolls on the small boat did not even stir. Still, the elf had to make sure that the troll did not survive. He started to make his way to the body, but the water started churning violently. Bynn knew that the blood had drawn the piranha, so he got back out of the water as quickly as possible.

The piranha disturbance alerted the trolls. Vaidon and Batoonsta charged out of the forest. The elf was much quicker than the minotaur and her footfalls much lighter. The ground seemed to shake as the minotaur thundered toward his former allies. One of the creatures looked over the side of the boat and called to his comrade. An arrow went straight through his neck in response. Bynn dropped his bow and quickly climbed on the boat with five angry trolls.

“What the…”

“HOW DARE YOU?”

Bynn did not back down at all as he drew his swords; one long and one short. He put the blades into a fine display, hoping to keep their attention as his two companions approached. However, drawing the attention of five trained troll warriors was very dangerous. They had Bynn quickly on the defensive with spears, swords and even a trident. Finally, Vaidon cut one of the trolls down with her two handed sword. She had named the sword Riven, and Bynn realized how fitting that name was as he watched the creature crumple to the deck in two separate pieces.

The odds were almost even, and the trolls realized it. More elves could be pouring out of the forest at any moment. One of the creatures dropped his weapon and jumped for the safety of the water. Batoonsta caught him by the ankle just as he entered the water. He swung the troll into the side of the boat, crunching several bones. The minotaur was not done; he pounded the troll three more times before tossing him into the water for the fish.

Bynn still had his hands full with two trolls poking and prodding at him. The trident seemed to be magical. Every time Bynn parried an attack, his sword would want to stick to the three-pronged spear. The elf had to concentrate and yank his blade away or risk being disarmed. This gave the other attacking troll a distinct advantage, and Bynn had to dodge the sword instead of parrying. Vaidon was in combat with a troll carrying a spear. She was having a hard time getting close enough to do any damage. Batoonsta was trying to make his way onto the boat, but was not as agile as the elves.

The troll’s confidence was bolstered when they realized that no more elves were joining the fight. Their joy was short-lived as the minotaur climbed onto the boat. Batoonsta nudged Vaidon out of the way as the troll jabbed his spear in their direction. The great bull-headed beast stopped the momentum of the spear with one hand, and then it with his other forearm. The troll did not even have time to digest what had transpired for Vaidon’s blade sliced him from his right hip up to his left nipple.

Bynn was relieved as the last two trolls were killed by his lover and the minotaur. He was exhausted. The fight had taken all of his energy, and without help he would not have lasted much longer. “Thank. You.” He managed between heavy breaths. Bynn sheathed his swords and leaned on the rail.

“Are you alright?” Vaidon asked. She didn’t realize how draining it had been on Bynn to fight against the magic trident. Bynn just waved her concerns off and pointed at the weapon.

“Magic.”

Batoonsta nodded and pointed at a case that was tucked away in a corner of the deck. Vaidon sheathed her sword on her back, knelt down and opened the case. She looked to her lover and smiled. Bynn took the non-verbal cue and made his way over.

“Is that…”

Batoonsta nodded and smiled. A smiling minotaur was a sight that most Delphians never got to see.

Bynn picked a beautiful bow from the case and held it up. The elf could feel the magic course through his arms and into his chest. It seemed as if the bow were made for Bynn. Batoonsta was so proud of himself for leading the elves against the trolls. Now, with magic weapons in hand, it was time to search for truth of the blood monkey attacks. The minotaur looted the trolls and threw them into the water.