Cannibals, Forests, and Beauty
November 23, 2015
Jack gazed down at where his two companions remained bound and paralyzed next to a growing pile of fire wood that he guessed the Angry Ones tribe was intending to use to cook them both alive.
“I can’t move my mouth, but I must scream,” Jack said under his breath.
Dylla’s musical voice said, “What’s that, my big handsome Stalwart? You are thinking again about the downfalls of this one man rescue attempt and have decided to allow these two darksiders their fate and wish to explore what the forest has to offer…starting with me.”
Her clinging green hair shimmered as she spoke and Jack wondered not for the first time, if he could count on any assistance from her in the upcoming battle. “If you have any final preparations, please make them and any help you can give me will be appreciated.”
She looked the other way, patted a small owl, and acted as those he hadn’t uttered a word.
With a sigh, Jack got the half dozen wooden spears he had readied and leaned them against a large tree next to his oversized battle axe. “These guys are about to learn why you shouldn’t mess with a follower of Yig in the middle of a forest.”
He allowed himself a moment to focus on his Earthen serpent lord, Yig. He felt a grounding mix with an energy that flowed up into his body. A power of ancient potency enveloped him. With a shout, he raised his hands up and jets of earth erupted in the center of the Angry Ones’ camp. The primitive pre-men possessed huge lumbering bodies, but even these were tossed and flung about as the ground rippled and exploded under them.
Before the tribesmen had a chance to recover, his fingers pointed to the trees and their branches descended upon the cannibals. Forming elongated fingers, the branches clawed and tore at their flesh. Some were lifted into the trees where their bodies fell prey to more assaults.
Others, however, were regrouping. Brutal shouts ripped from barrel chests. Rock crested clubs hammered and chopped at the branches fighting them back. One large orange haired mannish thing spied Jack and pointed his way, while a roar gathered the remaining Angry Ones’ attentions. As one, they grabbed up more weapons and headed Jack’s way. He figured they looked to be over twenty strong.
Without wasting a moment, Jack grabbed his first spear and sent it down into the center of their ranks. A satisfying thud was followed by a scream. His other spears quickly followed the first, but he only had a chance to throw two more before they were on him.
Jack had the advantage of being at the crest of the forested hill and split the head of the first opponent that reached him. He cut down a second and then a third, before one of the huge cannibals bowled him over.
Blows rained down on him and only his protection from Yig kept them from being life ending attacks. Rolling to the side, his axe took off the leg of one of them at the knee. Jack blocked another descending blow at the cost of having his arm go numb. He did manage to get one of his feet under him and with a yell lunched himself at a lower branch of the mighty tree his weapons had rested against.
Since the tree was still under his control, he willed the branch to lift him high into the top of the forest. Looking down, he saw the beast-men readying their spears, but when his eyes traveled back across the clearing what surprised him more was seeing no sign of the two men he’d come to rescue. Neither they nor Dylla was anywhere to be seen.
Spears came his way, but he used the remaining strength of his spell to have the tree’s branches move in chaotic circles, which blocked the onslaught. Next he sent the branches down into the tribesmen. They screamed and fought back, but when four more members of their group fell, the remainder fled throwing guttural curses over their shoulders as they did so. It didn’t please Jack to see that one of the survivors was the orange haired leader.
Just as the last ebbs of his Control Nature spell ebbed away, he had the tree lower him to the earth. He picked up his extra spears and headed into the Angry Ones camp. It didn’t appear to be their home as much as a cooking pit, which made Jack wonder if Orange Head could be returning with reinforcements.
He dispatched a few cannibals too injured to escape, but focused on where his two allies had been bound. Upon closer inspection, even the ropes that held them were gone. He touched the tree they had been bound to.
This makes no sense. How could they have been taken so quickly if they had been bound to a tree? He thought to himself.
“Looking for something?” Dylla mocked from behind him.
Whipping around, he saw her smug form angled in a pose that left her sparse cover of leaves requiring little imagination. “Did you do something?”
“Oh course I did, silly man. Rescuing them was an easy matter. I was prepared to rescue you too, but watching you work proved much more fun.” Moving closer, she ran her hand down his chest. “You have remarkable skills. I bet you are good at a lot of things.”
“Could you please let me know where my allies are?”
She smiled. “I’ll do better than that. I’ll take you to them. I figured you would ask for that, so I took them to my den. You’ll like it there, its verrrrrryyyyyy cozy.”
Then, before he could argue, Jack felt the world spiral into a blur of green as once against his body was magically transported through the forest.
To be continued next Monday