Corridors of Underdark
April 6, 2015
Jack wanted to get his back to a wall, but even such a simple task proved to be difficult when he stood within a smoky cave surrounded by Xemmoni with his only ally lying unconscious at his feet. He’d had loose alliances with the Splinter Darcarre before, but who could guess what they might be like here on a planet that wasn’t his own.
He still had his oversized battle axe in hand and tapped the pointed head of the double bladed weapon against the toe of his battered boot. “Well kids, if you got something to say, I’d spit it out quick and you have better hope I like it, because it’s been a long day, but my axe here hasn’t had its chance to taste blood yet and after it seeing me kill a few hundred of your kind, it’s getting a bit jealous.”
“They aren’t our kind,” one of them hissed as he took a step closer.
Jack could just see his tall dark outline interposed between him and the smoky fire. He tapped his axe against his boot a few more times letting the silence linger before saying, “I’ve met Splinter Darcarre before. I find their friendship spotty at best.”
Moving like the whisper of an ebony ghost, the Darcarre drew close enough for Jack to see the anger painted over his pale face. “But we control your fate right now, don’t we?” The gaunt figure waved a hand in disgust. “You are in no position to make threats. You can barely stay on your feet.”
The axe arced around the Darcarre’s face. The edge of the crescent blade only missed his nose by inches. A second later it tapped against Jack’s boot. Rap… Rap…Rap. “You’re right, I am a little tired. So I suggest you be a little extra nice to be and let’s just cut through the bullshit. Are you and yours ready to step up and become part of the force that will be taking down The Darken’s army?”
The Darcarre folded his arms. “We may allow you to assist us. This is our planet and our war. Still we could use some shock troops to soften up Vile’s army before we cover it in darkness.”
Jack chuckled. “What do you have here, maybe ten followers. Your participation would be a side note at best.” He shrugged, “we could use the help, but if things were bad enough for your group to make a difference, we’d be doomed already.”
“I should remove your tongue from your mouth.”
“You’re welcome to try.”
The Darcarre drew back to his full height. His right hand stroked his chin and soon his body appeared like little more than a thin, black angled shadow. “I have more men… and women than this. My hatred for the followers of The Darken exceeds yours.”
Jack slung his axe over his shoulder. “I very seriously doubt that. So if you want to be allies, we can start-”
The tall Darcarre’s hand stuck out at him and grabbed him by the shoulder. The grip felt rough, like the talon of a hungry bird, but then the man’s healing powers flowed into the Stalwart. Of all the races of Xemmoni, the Darcarre were the only being with a strong ability to heal. Sometimes Jack wondered if this might make them more human, but looking up into the blazing dark figure, he supposed not.
“I am the Sinlotto for this region and I am known as Pit-tal-indalli. Eb will find a place for you to rest and collect yourself.” A beautiful woman, but painfully thin, stepped forward and favored him with a malign smile. “Met-a-lock, heal the woman and have a… talk with her. Turned back to Jack he said, “Welcome to the Corridors of Underdark.”
“Yeah, thanks,” Jack grumbled, as he kicked a loose rock through the dust, “and I love what you’ve done with the place.”
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