One of the wounded dust-covered Glooms was before me. It was stunned by the avalanche and didn’t even see me coming before my monster sized hammer was brought down into the center of its skull. Little could survive such a blow and his head explodes like a rotten melon.

The second wounded Gloom did see me coming, for all the good it did him. My hammer took him in the chest and I heard about eight ribs shatter, before the fiend went flying backwards into the roaring blaze. Its old robe caught on fire at once and it screamed and screamed, as it ran wildly through the night. For a moment, his flaming body lit the area like a dozen torches, but then his scream slowly grew fainter, for in its panic the Gloom had toppled off the edge of the cliff.

There were still two left and they were ready for me. Twin Flesh To Mist Bestows crashed into me. First my clothes and then my flesh were transformed. Like water evaporating into steam, parts of my arm just weren’t there. I thought I saw my bones in a few places and it was my turn to scream.

That was when Ethan bathed the pair in a sheet of Loki’s flame. They cursed him and two Flesh To Mist Bestows went at my ally. There was a piercing cry and Ethan toppled over backwards. I could only hope that the pain had only rendered him unconscious and somehow my friend still lived.

A quick glance told me Hannah was still out, so it looked like I was on my own. The fires were no longer burning the Glooms and their smoking forms turned back toward me. A good thirty feet separated us, which certainly gave them the advantage.

“Crap.”

There was no way I could reach them in time, but my hammer could and went flying in slow lazy arcs toward the one on the right. It hit the Gloom with a resounding crack and then both it and my hammer went over the side of the cliff.

“Damn, I really liked that hammer.”

“I bet you liked your life too,” the remaining Gloom hissed, “and you’re about to lose that as well.”

It raised its hands for another Flesh To Mists. I had been hit with so many that night, I could barely keep count, but I was out of Ki and doubted I could take another one and remain conscious and if I lost consciousness we would all be doomed.

That was when a blessed holy light dispelled the dark. The Gloom cried in agony and this time looked like he voluntarily leapt of the side of the cliff in order to avoid the stinging rays of Apollo’s righteousness. I rushed over to Hannah who was still both chained to the stone alter and also very naked.

A hug later, I said, “you saved me.”

“There’s only so much screaming that a girl can sleep through. Now, I know you’ve said you like looking at my body, but I’m sooooooo cold. Hey, where’s Ethan?” 

“Oh shot, Ethan!” Some luck was still with us for when I checked him he was still breathing. “Looks like he’ll pull through, but we could both use some healing if you go any Ki left.”

“Maybe, but I’d really prefer to be less chained and less naked before he wakes up,” she said, trying to smile.

“I see your point,” I said, and began to search the Glooms for a set of keys.

 

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Warrior of the Earth

September 12, 2011

I had already circled around to the hillside littered with loose rocks. The rugged cliff face held both good and bad news. Yes, the boulders would be big enough to cause grave damage to any Gloom unlucky enough to be caught in their path. The downside was that they might be too large for me to move, even with the use of my Earth-Magicks.

There was an additional pair of bipolar issues to consider. It was helpful that I was closer to the cage that held Ethan, but another possible negative was that a wild avalanche could hit Hannah too.

Crouching down near the rocky cliff, I took in the rusted cage that held my Loki ally, while the Glooms continued with their foul incantations. I had no way to open the cage other than smash it with my hammer half a dozen times. I had better think of something though, for it sounded like the Xemmoni’s Bestow was winding down and that could mean a chest full of sickles for my lady.

Then I thought of something. Seconds later, I was pumping the last of my mystic strength into the earth that held the boulders around me. “This had better be enough,” I said through grit teeth as I put my back to one of the larger stones. “Because if I use the last of my Ki, there will be nothing left for any healing later.”

The Earth bucked and pulsed under me. I felt the power of Yig battling against the evil of the Gloom tainted ground. Yig ruled the Earth and all things held within the bosom of Inanna. I felt his power building, fighting.

I heaved against the large boulders as the chanting died down. Sand and pebbles rolled free, but the stone remained held fast. I grunted and tried to do the impossible and push harder.

With a titanic rumble, the stone came free. The Earth erupted with an avalanche of doghouse sized stones. Before the Magick of my last spell ebbed, I motioned with everything I had for the rocks to tumble south, closer toward Ethan’s cage.

Turning, Ethan let out a yelp and braced himself. Soon, the cage was dislodged and began to be torn apart as it road over the landslide. I could only hope Ethan would somehow survive the assault. Looking down, I saw that two of the Glooms had not faired well and their hammered bodies became buried under tons of earth and rock. Two other Glooms were forced to retreat and took a pelting of stone. The unconscious form of Hannah, although now covered with dust and dirt, had remained unharmed.

Drawing the hammer of my back, I charged down the mountainside. The real battle was about to begin!

 

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