Me Versus the City
December 15, 2014
The arrow that pierced the eagle, carrying Jack, had struck a deadly blow and the swamp eagle spun in mind numbing circles as they plummeted into the enemy’s city. He hoped it would spread its wings and glide in for the bird’s sake as much as his, but that was becoming unlikely.
As the ground raced up toward them, Jack remembered that Yig blesses his followers with the ability to use most of their spells while in serpent form and he feed his healing spell into the eagle.
With a loud caw, it pulled up just before hitting the interlocking stones that formed a grey road between two large pyramids. The large, fish-hooked beak opened in a loud challenge as it landed and the people, who appeared to be mostly women and children, scattered.
A lone man, covered with a tiger strip of red tattoos, ran forward as he drew back a spear. Instead of taking flight and escaping, the eagle flew at the man and raked his face with its massive claws. The man screamed again when its beak took off his ear.
Not one to let his allies fight alone, Jack assumed his human form just as the archer and three more Ripperhah arrived. He could sense their corruption burning like a putrid fire of red rage. Even before his hands had fully reformed, Jack tossed his female serpent at the archer.
She became entangled in the man’s bow. He had been shouting orders, but those turned into a pained cry, when her fangs embedded themselves into his eye. He drew back screaming and dropped his bow.
Before they could recover from the shock of what unfolded before them, Jack grabbed the first man’s fallen spear and flung it through the chest of the closest Ripperkah.
The last two snarled and enacted their Body Weaponry, Bestow. It only took seconds for fierce stone spikes and blades to protrude from their arms.
Jack drew his war dagger and hand axe from the tatters of his leather jacket. “Take on a whole fucking city, by myself, that’s a Jack Primus thing to do!” he shouted. Despite his cockiness, Jack knew that the only reason he had even survived this long was because the majority of the city had emptied out to destroy his allies in the forest. He might have liked to be a little more subtle than just taking on the city in the open, but subtlety wasn’t one of his strong points.
More men had already arrived when the two warriors leapt at him. A second before he engaged them, he saw his serpent lover, finish off the bowman with multiple strikes to the face, while the eagle swooped in on those that raced up behind him.
A battle with a Ripperkah is never an easy fight. Their increased speed mixed with their thrusting and cutting weapons making them deadly opponents. But Jack didn’t have the time to waste whittling down these two men while staying safe. So he turned his back toward one of them, while blocking the man before him. His hand axe pushed the man’s Body Weaponry aside and he drove his dagger straight through his skull.
He cried out when the second man’s blades slashed open his back, but Yig provides and Jack sucked up the pain while driving a back kick into the Ripperkah’s chest. This threw the man off balance enough for Jack to turn and make a meaty chop down on the Ripperkah’s forearm with his axe. He blocked the Xemmoni’s next attack with his war dagger and then cut through half his neck with his hand axe.
“Alright who’s next—ah crap!”
Over twenty people poured in at them from the north, while maybe half as many came at him from the south.
“You want to mess with warriors of Yig? Then I guess you’ll enjoy this!” Jack yelled as he brought forth his most powerful spell and controlled the earth under their feet. The rocks making up the road shot into the air as they molded into spikes. As this happened, the space left by the moving earth had become a pit that many of the Ripperkah tumbled into. Through the chaos the eagle continued its attacks, striking at the damaged and disorganized Xemmoni.
Jack looked south, but saw he was too late. His serpent lover had tried to hold the pass between the two pyramids, but even as he watched, a large red feathered Ripperkah cut her in half.
Jack let his anger flow from him and the earth exploded to the south. Boulders and debris knocked warriors in every direction and many would clearly never stand again. Jack saw the tall feathered warrior, who had killed his snake, try to stand and give more orders. This continued until Jack buried him under eight feet of earth.
Suddenly his body became wracked with pain as thorns and blades erupted through his skin. He bent over in agony, while foul laughter echoed from behind him. He was just able to see a thin man dressed from head to ankle in feathers and dark tattoos. The shaman laughed and danced on the top of a pyramid as Jack’s agony grew and blood flowed from fifty wounds.
More men came in running from every direction, but there remained little he could do to fight through the red waves of pain.
Then a roar sounded and Jack caught a flash of darkness, right before a jaguar crashed into the back of the shaman and pushed him over the platform at the top of the pyramid.
The man tumbled a long long way.
But Jack didn’t have time to watch. He was already sprinting to the south while using more of his dwindling Ki to create a wall of earth, even as he healed himself.
He lost sight of the eagle and couldn’t be certain of its fate.
By the time he had made his way clear of the forces amassed against him to the south, he had both good and bad news. The good news was he had made it past them, the bad news was a full fifty warriors remained on his tail. And, as always, the Ripperkah moved fast.
He just had time to notice that Jaguar sprinting next to him, when the Ripperkah roared in anger as they closed in.
“Screw this, if you want to live, Jag, stick with me.” Then, using the last of his mystic strength, Jack created a tunnel into the earth. Whether the jaguar tumbled in, or leapt in on its own accord, proved difficult to tell.
They both landed on the dusty floor of the underground sphere he had created and before the Ripperkah could press their attack, be closed the circle above them, which instantly plunged them into darkness.
The jaguar roared as it circled him in the blackness.
“Oh boy, this isn’t exactly how I had seen this day going.”
To be continued next Monday