July 18, 2011
“Stupid Harry Potter broom flying wannabes,” was the tamest thing that flew from my lips as I sprinted as fast as I dared through the forest. The branches did what they could to remove themselves from my way as I chased the last surviving Gloom. See, I told you Yig loved me.
The little fog bugger had gotten a good head start, but with the forest aiding me and hindering him, I had almost caught up to him before he reached his corrupted section of woods. As soon as he entered the ruined area, the trees thinned into twisted lifeless trunks and clouds of grey dust floated into the air with each of his footfalls.
He sensed me coming and turned. A Bestow was hurled at me and hit me in the center of the chest. Again parts of my leather and then my flesh were torn from my body, their substance broken down into their base atoms and dispersed into the winds. I clenched my teeth and hoped that my protection from Yig would see me through.
“Okay, my turn,” I yelled, as I took my new hand axe from my belt and hurled it at him. It took the backwoods freak in the leg and he took a serious digger into a tree. The nappy hick was struggling to get his sickle ready as he scrambled to regain his footing, but was able to do neither.
My monster sized hammer broke his right arm with a wicked sounding snap and the sickle went flying. He fell back to the ground and tried to raise his left arm to cast a Bestow. The hammer to his chest distracted him a bit.
I moved in closer while taking the guy in. He wore ratty old flannels and jeans that had faded to a dull ashy grey. His hair was a mess, but on the upside, did match his patchy beard well. His grey eyes leaked mist as he clutched his broken arm and looked up at me.
“Now listen you little bitch. Can we just skip the, ‘I’m not going to tell you a thing,’ game. I frankly have better things to do that torture you.”
“Your sad excuse for pain, would not even be worthy of mention compared to what the Bitters would do to me.”
I groaned. “And I was trying to avoid the obvious clichés. But since you insist, tell me where my friends are being taken or I’ll make you wish the Bitters or whatever these Hogwarts mofos are called had you…” Looking around, the sparse dead trees were giving me a clear view of a snow capped peak to my west. “Oh hell, they’re just up on top of that mountain aren’t they?”
He blanched. “That’s all I needed to know. You Xemmoni think you’re so clever, but you are all predictable as Hell. Living in the big mountain… ooooo, I never would have guessed that.”
“What about me, smart guy? You’re a Stalwart, you can’t just kill a wounded man in cold blood.”
“Firstly, you’re not a man.” After tucking my hand axe through my belt, I yanked him to his feet. “Secondly, your sorry ass is coming with me.”
“What, why? Won’t I just give you away?”
“Huh, an honest Gloom, how quant. No, I got other plans for you buddy. So what do you call yourself anyway?”
“I’m known as Dick.”
“Seems fitting. Now come on, Dick-for-brains, let’s go pay a visit on these Bitters. I should kill them for ruining one of the nick-names for beer if nothing else.”
July 11, 2011
Once I had my wounded allies dangling a hundred feet over my head, I prepared for the onslaught of Glooms.
Their cackling had fallen off and was replaced by walls of mist pouring into the forest and obfuscating the land. For a moment, I stood there watching the grey fogs grow thicker. Nodding, I pulled my hammer off my back and leaned it against the tree. A throwing dagger filled each hand, but I wasn’t going to be using them yet.
I knew the Glooms could sense anything inside their fog, but they were in my element now. I could feel their locations within the forest. I’m growing stronger. Yig loves me.
They were drawing in closer. I prepared for the pain. I could feel their Bestows gathering and I was surrounded. These Xemmoni didn’t want to fight me they wanted to blast me with their evil spells before they drew near. Perhaps they weren’t so stupid, after all.
I stuck first. With a growl I sent my allies, the trees, at them—grabbing and rending. They screamed as the boughs lifted them off their feet and tore at them. It was as if the trees felt a rage for what the Xemmoni had done to their brothers to the west. Branches pierced flesh and dislocated arms.
Soon their Bestows were being flung at the trees instead of me, although there was an exception to this rule and a Flesh to Mist Bestow crashed into my left side. I gasped out as first the left sleeve of my leather, then my shirt, and then finally my flesh started to dissipate. My flesh tore away breaking into its very molecules, which flowed off my and joined the surrounding mists.
I hate Glooms.
Still, it was just one and my protection from Yig spared me the brunt of the damage.
Only two of the Glooms were able to escape from the trees before the pines took their revenge. The closer one took two throwing daggers to the ribs before he even had a chance to get his feet under him. Grabbing up my hammer, I followed this attack with a roundhouse blow that actually removed his head off his shoulders and sprayed me with blood as his decapitated head spiraled through the air.
The last surviving Gloom had seen enough and ran for all he was worth. I was about to give chase when I heard a foul cackling overhead. Looking up in dismay, I saw several grey figures. It was hard to make them out through the mists, but they could have been riding brooms.
More twisted laughter echoed down toward me and it didn’t take me long to realize that these floating fiends were stealing Hannah and Ethan. I sensed more than saw that the mighty tree that held them was being killed by their evils Magicks and I cursed my luck.
With a final series of horrible laughing, the grey witches flew off with my allies heading west.
I cursed my luck and felt a wave of helplessness try to claim me. Then my eyes grew large. I had to find out where this coven made their home and that meant I had to grab the guy that had escaped.
The chase was on!