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Joined: March 29th, 2014, 11:06 pm

The Hit

Postby RiktheRed21 » October 20th, 2014, 5:29 am

Quiet and the smell of decay greeted Kazarak as he stepped off the rickety wooden ramp leading downward from the goblin trade vessel. Looking back through his Zandali ritual mask, the shaman had to admit to himself that Ephraim had acquired a sizeable ship. Though the goblin was small of stature, his taste in machinery was akin to Kaz’s, the larger and more threatening, the better. Kaz tugged at his crimson direhorn’s reins. The beast followed faithfully, carrying his burdens upon its spiny back. Kazarak preferred his animals pre-trained, but when he had found this young primal beast on the Isle of Giants, he chose to raise it to his own specific desires. It obeyed only him, and was vicious when unleashed in combat, just as its master was.

Kazarak gave a gesture of farewell to the slight figure on board the vessel. Loraine returned the gesture with a wave of her bony hand. Kazarak bounded up onto the direhorn’s back and slapped the reins with a loud crack like a pair of whips. The beast took off at a quick pace. Normally it was his mount for long distance travel, but his raptor had been slain in a recent skirmish in Stranglethorn, so this was his only mount for the moment. He didn’t have to travel far. New Avalon was just up the hill.


Sleep had never been so restful for Jesse, but like all good things, it came to an abrupt and uninvited end. A boot to the ribs brought his senses back to his body, his survival instincts fully aware of his surroundings before he even had time to assess the situation. Before he pounced on his assailant, knife in hand, the figure who kicked him spoke, “Don’t be stupid, kid. You know I’d kill you before you could get that thing in my throat.” The man stood with a lantern in hand, dangled close to Jesse’s exposed face. Sweat poured from his brow at the fire’s kiss.

“A rude awakening, I was having a good dream for once,” Jesse gestured for the man to move the lantern from his face. As it neared the looming figure’s own head, the light revealed him as an undead. His eyes reflected the firelight with an eerie golden glow, and his pale green skin was covered in rot marks and maggot holes. His toothy grin was grime green and rot yellow.

“We have little time for pleasant dreams, son,” Darin said in is rasp of a voice. “Ripclaw smelled some fresh meat by the shore. We’re going hunting.”

“Food meat or people meat?” Jesse asked his rotting corpse of a father as his dressed in his faded leather combat fatigues.

“There’s a difference?” Darin asked sarcastically. At a sharp look from his son, Darin chuckled, a sound which reminded Jesse of a cat regurgitating. “Live people. Caught sight of him, but he bolted for the blighted area to the north. We’re cornering him, same as the others.” Jesse remembered the others his father referred to. A small ship full of elven fisherman had come too far south, the current overtaking their frail vessel. Like mice hiding in a hole, they scurried into the blight to the north, in the shadow of the Ebon Hold. Darin and Jesse had taken either side of the blight and forced the unfortunate Sin’dorei into a corner from which they could not escape. They would have gone down fighting, but Darin was too sadistic to let them die quickly. One look at Darin’s undead wolf and its bloody muzzle was all the reminder Jesse needed of that night.

“This one dies quickly, got it?” Jesse’s icy blue eyes tore into his father’s lanternesque yellow eyes with a glare that meant he was serious.

“What’s wrong, kiddo?” Darin said with a minor chuckle, “Lost your appetite for killing?” Jesse did not reply. His swords sheathed and gear prepped, he was ready to move out. He yanked his hood over his head and masked his face.


Kaz’s direhorn panted relief as its master saw fit to slacken his legs from its flank. The beast sniffed hungrily at the dry grass and a patch of mushrooms nearby. Kaz tugged at the reins to make the beast stop before it ate anything poisonous. He then dismounted in a swift motion and unpacked his weapons from the direhorn’s back. Two spears with raptor feathers tied to the end were attached to his back. Two axes with ridged blades made to slice through bone were imbued with wind and fire as the hilts slipped into his two-fingered grasp. The elements sharpened the scene around him. He focused the keen senses on the entrance to the blight far back the way he’d come. A lone figure approached on foot. He wasn’t making much effort to be sneaky, despite his roguelike outfit.

Kaz shifted his far sight to the other entrance in the direction of the Chapel the paladins called home. A pair of hunters approached form this side. One undead, one wolf, (although the creature also seemed to have a deathly aura about it). Kaz grinned behind his mask, his tusks spreading further apart at the gesture. “Time fo some killin’.”

The hunter and his canine companion came into range first. The wolf bolted at the troll in a blur of fur as its companion took aim with a sinister barbed crossbow and fired at their query. The bolt moved quickly, but Kazarak had been expecting it. He ducked under the bolt as the wolf lunged at him. Its jaws clamped down hard on metal. An axe was jammed in its filthy maw. Kaz grunted as the undead creature struggled to break his axe. Kaz poured the power of the storms into the blade, and moved it horizontally out of the beast’s mouth, taking its lower jaw with it. The wolf didn’t as much as whimper as its face was torn in half. Kaz’s focus shifted ever so slightly to where the hunter stood. Another bolt hurtled at his forehead. With a tug of the wind, Kaz deflected the bolt and sent it into the ground.

The wolf sprang up at his throat, trying to dig into his flesh with its upper teeth. It managed to get blood all over Kaz’s face, but the rest of it was halted by a spike of earth which impaled it through the torso. Even then, the beast struggled to catch its prey. A persistent dead thing, but dead nonetheless. Kaz could safely focus on the two humanoids. The rogue was trying to flank Kaz, so he shifted his position to keep both foes within his line of sight. The elements told him where they were, but would they know as much? Kaz looked away from the crossbowman just as the undead had another shot lined up. The bolt was flying straight at the shaman’s back, but the wind told him what he needed to know. He sidestepped and let the bolt fly at the rogue, who expertly sliced it out of the air with a curved blade.

Kazarak tugged again at the element of storms, and sent a bolt at the rogue, who threw his blade before him to catch the bolt and send it into the ground harmlessly. He had certainly fought shaman before. But none like Kazarak, that much was certain. Kaz whirled as another bolt flew past, and the rogue followed suit. Their blades clashed in a song of steel on steel. The axes found no flesh, but only sword and dagger as the rogue parried every expert strike and cleave. Kaz forced the human to back up, but could not foil his skillful defense. Kaz kicked at the man, forcing him to back off. Then he brought his axes above his head, and brought them down with the fury of the storm. The rogue did not have time to step aside, and took the shock through his blades. His body collapsed as the lightning coursed through his body, shocking every organ and every vein.

Kaz recoiled and sidestepped as another bolt flew at him. This one did bite into flesh, but only that of the rogue. It sunk deep into his chest, nearly hitting the man’s heart. He collapsed to the ground, his weapons scattered and muscles numbed. Kaz faced the undead as the hunter’s crossbow was reloaded. Kaz summoned another bolt of lightning. As the crossbow bolt left the barbed weapon, the lighting chased it back the weapon it launched from, and from there spread through the undead’s frail frame. The metal bolt flew aimlessly off course as the undead spasmed uncontrollably. Kaz closed the distance and drove an axehead into the undead’s skull.


Jesse gasped for air. The bolt must have struck a lung, given how hard it had become to breathe. His fingers bent around the hilt of his knife. Although the pain and lightning had weakened him, he would drive this knife into the troll’s neck. Jesse pretended to be dead as the troll turned back towards him. Suddenly, a sharp pain shot through his arm. He shouted in surprise and watched a spirit raptor rip his right arm off. He didn’t bother looking at his left arm as he felt a similar tug on that side. His icy eyes, once so full of conviction, gazed in horror at the troll who had killed his undead father.

The troll strode casually to his fallen body, clearly in no hurry. Jesse though he heard some words spoken, but his ears were ringing and his vision began to fade blurrily. A hand shook him roughly, and he felt his mind sharpen in clarity. Water filled his wounds and caused new flesh to grow over the stumps of his arms. He was still too weak to move, but at least he was alive, for now. “An undead is gonna pay me good gold ta see ya dead, human,” the troll spoke roughly from behind his Zandali mask. Jesse pondered where the man had learned the common tongue, but was too wary to ask and too afraid to care. “You gonna tell me where ya friends are camped out, and ya keep ya head. You like?”

Jesse nodded shakily. “They-they’re in the old houses in New Avalon. We killed some bandits who were living in them and scavenged for food. They’ll be expecting us back, you could probably sneak in wearing that man’s armor.” He tried to point at his father’s corpse, but realized his hands were gone. It was odd, he could have sworn he felt his finger pointing, but it wasn’t there. The troll loosened his grip, and Jesse fell to the ground. He lay still as the sound of scuffling and metal creaking came from the direction of Darin’s body. The wolf still struggled on its earthen spike. Jesse wondered if the troll would just kill the beast or leave it to tear itself apart before it finally lost control of itself.

As the troll mounted up on a direhorn, Jesse managed to lift his head and say, “The man who hired you. He’s not paying you anything but misery, pal! He’ll wring you for all you’ve got before he lets you die!” The troll made no reply, but whipped his beast with his reins and tore through the blight at a quick pace. Jesse rested his head on the soft dirt. At least now he could get some sleep. Maybe he would have that dream again. Better times always waited for him in his dreams.
"I am the Night!" -Brinnea, Rikthered, Cynthya, Orgog, Kazarak.....


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