Primal Part I
June 27, 2011
Both Ethan and I tried to block the sprung trap. Ethan was faster, for all the good it did him. An old oil drum had been covered with sharp lava rocks. In swung down in an arc, but instead of catching Hannah from behind, it smashed into both Ethan and Hannah. Ethan had probably saved her life, but at the cost of being knocked unconscious along with her.
I reached down and healed them both. Their breathing became regular, but it looked like I would be on my own for a while.
Looking toward the odd angled mess these freaks tried to call a cabin, I saw a foul fog pouring into the forest. This was quickly followed by shapes filling the woods with an evil echoing cackle as they leapt out of two different doors and headed my way.
“These things always travel in packs of six, the bastards.” Looking down, I said, “I guess I have two choices, buddies. I can take the battle to them; I can just try to defend you where you lay.” My eyes told me that the trees around me were dead, decayed, corrupt. “Or a third option,” I said as I threw both of their bodies on either shoulder, “we can retreat.”
It was their playground and I was carrying two people, so yeah, they gained on me. But I had a good head start and only needed to do one thing—make it past their line of corruption.
I came to the last incline we had ascended and took it down as quickly as I dared. The Glooms were right behind me and I heard them hooting when they reached the top of the ridge. These guttural shouts became twisted laughs as they hurled weapons down at me. What started with daggers and rusty tools, switched to head sized rocks.
Some pointed thing pierced my jeans drawing blood and I let out a stream of curses that would have made an inmate blush. A rock the size of a six-pack bounced off the side of Ethan’s cheek. “That will leave a mark.”
It was a harsh reality, but my wounded compatriots protected me from most of the damage and I managed to make it past the tree line, at the base of the rocky incline, before my legs gave out.
Once I reached a dozen yards into the natural forest, I dropped my allies on a huge patch of emerald moss and looked back. The Glooms were hopping from boulder to boulder while their grey mists swarmed around them. They were difficult to see, but appeared to be garbed in animal skins and favored short clubs with jagged chucks of metal curved into a crescent that mimicked the Grim Reaper.
Still gasping, I laid my hand upon a colossal pine. With a titanic creak, it followed the instructions I gave it, bending down and then lifting my associates into its highest branches.
With my friends a hundred feet safely over my head, I readied my weapons. “Ok Gloomies. You may have me outnumbered, but my handicap is gone. I say bring this on. I might even enjoy this.”
Would you like to find out more about what happened to Jack and his journey to become a Stalwart? Then check out his first series of adventures!!!!!!!!