Basking in the Darkness Part IV

July 27, 2010

I should have known that we wouldn’t even make it to the manor without running into a problem. The four of us had made it about half way up the mountain when the trouble struck.

The going had been rough and between the rugged boulders and thick trees we couldn’t help but become a bit spread out. When it came, it went straight for me… figures.

It was all fangs and claws with a good measure of roar thrown in. I guess it used to be some kind of bear, but bears usually don’t leak diseased puss and I doubt there has ever been one that lashed out at anyone with a set of undulating, barbed tentacles.

Fucking Caradon!

I would say they were my least favorite Xemmoni, if I didn’t hate them all.

Luckily, if nothing else, the Darcarre had geared me up, and as the monstrosity raged toward me, I prepared my battle axe. Now this was no measly wood cutter, like I was usually stuck using, this was a medieval weapon of war with a twin edged blade big enough for eight guys to play poker on.

The tentacles lashed out and the one to my right lost half its length when I cut it in two by pinning it against a tree. The problem was that I had swung my weapon so hard that I wasn’t able to tear my axe free before the second tentacle wrapped itself around my throat.

Ethan called out, as the appendage lifted me into the air, propelling me toward the whirlwind of teeth and talons this poor beast had become. Ethan moved like a jet of red and was there hacking at it length, but it didn’t severe easily. I held onto its tearing appendage with one hand and drew my machete with the other, but even then, the last tentacle refused to stop.

Seconds later, it was all I could do to keep those massive jaws from closing down on my legs. I was pushing back against its face with my boots trying to keep myself clear, when the Darcarre began to slash at the horrid beast’s flanks.

It roared in anger and I was suddenly being flung away. I didn’t make it too far before a tree quickly ceased my flight in a most painful manner. As I slumped to the ground, trying to clear my head, the Xemmoni bear raised itself onto two legs and slashed at Ethan, but that kid was quick and danced back. The Darcarre appeared more than happy to let us Stalwart take the danger end, while they attempted to circle it giving it stab after stab in the back.

Hey, everyone is good at something.

Spying my axe, where it jutted out of the tree, I jerked to my feet and tore it free.

Ethan was now being cornered against a pile of rocks and even his dexterity wouldn’t be enough to save him. With a roar of my own, I closed the gap and brought the axe down on the side of the thing’s neck. Its whimper was almost enough to make me feel sorry for it, until its claw raked over my arm, drawing blood. Ethan took this opportunity to split its throat with his short sword and it stumbled back, nearing crushing  Void when it fell.

After gathering up our weapons, we pressed on. “Come on,” I said over my shoulder. Let’s see if we can at least make it to the manor without fighting half the forest.”

Ink’s voice was like the hiss of a cat being held over a fire. “A hidden tunnel lies not too far before us. If it is clear, we should be able to use it to enter the manor unopposed.”

“Well, led on then,” I sighed, as I let the Darcarre pass me.

This was going to be a long night.

Would you like to find out more about what happened to Jack and his journey to become a Stalwart? Then check out the book of his first adventures!!!!!!!!

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