Obliterator

July 4, 2016

The bath felt hot to the point where Jack expected blisters to start forming, but it left him feeling refreshed. The potions supplied by the dragons renewed not only his physical, but mystical strength as well. His muscles flexed as he forced his big body into a suit of plate reinforced chainmail. Jack had never been a big armor user, but figured if it was there, he use it, besides his clothes had been all but torn to shreds during his last battle with Darken.

Jack A

His chief concerns, other than the loss of the whole planet to Darken, remained Tynilia. She hadn’t recovered from the loss of her true lover, her world’s incarnation of Jack. She went through the motions, but he wondered if she should be returning to the battle in such a state. Yet, when he saw the fires of rage burning there, he doubted he’d be able to convince her otherwise.

 

Something metal rattled on the stone floor behind him.

Jack Stern

He looked back and saw a fierce forest green glow. Turning, Jack took in the towering form of Trashing Storm before his eyes settled back on the massive war hammer pulsing at his feet.

 

The hammer’s head provided most of the radiance and was a giant rectangle of stone roughly the size of a cinder block on his world. The steel handle had leather corded around it length, which stretched a good four feet.

Hammer

The dragon looked down at him. “I hope this pleases you, Human. I searched for quite a while for you.”

 

Jack picked up the hammer. It felt heavy, but also lighter than it should. It could be able to allow him to move it far faster than its size would have normally allowed. “Hell, TS, this hammer would make Thor happy.”

 

“Indeed it might. It is of course enchanted and went by the name Obliterator at one time.”

 

“Works for me,” Jack said, while keeping his eyes on the weapon. “Thanks. If I can crack open Vile’s head with this, your whole world will owe you thanks as well.”

Thunder's Flame II

“That is the plan, isn’t it? Now see to it your mate is ready. We are going to have a brief meeting and then head on our way. The last of your kind will not be surviving much longer without our aid.”

 

Jack grew grim. “Let’s do this. It’s time to bring this war to a close and remove the dark cancer from your world.”

 

Thrashing Storm gaze met his and then the massive form of the dragon headed back into the main cavern. Setting his teeth in determination, Jack went to find Tynilia. One way or another the fate of her planet would be decided before sundown.

 

jack Fire

 

Come back next Monday to see if Jack and Tynilia can somehow survive the final battle.

 Exacutioner

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Dragon Fire II

 

Two Men, One Face

June 27, 2016

Tynilia wept silent tears as Jack spoke with the colossal dragon leader. Thunder’s Flame. Jack looked back at her while the titanic roars of the massive dragons shook the caverns. He had said his piece and it became the dragons’ turn to make their choice. Would they help them crush Vile into the ground as they had promised? If they failed to do so, this world would have little hope.

jack Armor

Still, even with the fate of the planet he found himself on, tottering toward doom, all he could think about remained Tynilia. She was never his woman, not really. From the start the idea of Jack’s own ‘other him.’ this world’s incarnation of Jack Primus, allowing his mate to accompany him on his mission had felt odd, but he’d grown so attached to Tynilia before he’d know the truth, he had gone along with it.

 

Seeing her real love, his incarnation die, had proved it was this world’s Jack who owned her heart, no matter how intimate he and her had become over the past weeks.

 

His gut felt like he’d eaten a handful of lava and it wasn’t due to the beating he’d received from Vile Darken. Shaking his head, he approached her anyway.

jack Fire

“What can I do to help?”

 

“You do everything you can, but right now just looking at your face, his face, is like a jab through the heart.”

darkness within

“Not much I can do about that.”

 

She looked up at him anyway. Tears welled from her eyes. Neither of them had cleaned up after the battle and they each remained a broken horrid mess. Strangely he had never seen her look more desirable. He just wanted to hold her, care for her.

 

Tynilia crashed into him with an unexpected force. She wept against his chest as he gently held her while kissing the top of her head. “If nothing else we are about to burn that bastard to the ground,” his words stayed soft, despite their meaning. “Or at least I hope we are.”

Thinder's Flame

“Oh we are, human.” Thrashing Storm stood over them. His sleek blue scales reflected light from the flowing lava passing along the north of the giant cavern. “Are you mating?”

 

“What? No.”

 

“I prefer that answer.”

 

“I’m glad to see you back here safe and healthy.”

 

“Ah, you have hit on what I am here to discuss. We have various salves and healing liquids, which I’ve been asked to make available to you. We have also melted some ice, for I do believe mammals such as yourself require bathing.”

 

“That would be nice. I’ll also need a new weapon.”

 

“Oh, I’m sure we can find you an enchanted blade of some sort.”

 

A smile spread over Jack’s face as he rubbed his chin stubble. “I like that idea. Maybe I’d be able to parry Vile’s weapon without losing mine.”

 

Thrashing Storm turned to leave, but his serpentine neck sent his face looking back at them over his large shoulder. “Follow this passage and you will find a heated pool to your right. The healing supplies are located within. I will search for a weapon for you, Primus. Oh, and one more thing, please do a good job with your cleaning. I don’t want to have to smell you the whole way to the battle, because I’ve already been assigned to be your guardian through the flight.”

 

Thunder's Flame II

Come back next Monday to see if Jack and Tynilia can somehow survive.

 jack

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Yeti T II

Jack hugged Tynilia’s unconscious body as they both plunged to the ground. The trees rushed up to meet them and Jack attempted something he had never done before. Becoming a snake might save him, but he would never do anything to allow Tynilia to be harmed, so instead of becoming a snake, he transformed his right arm into a long serpent tail. He hadn’t done this before, but Yig loves heroes and fools and his arm grew into a twenty foot tail and as they started to crash through the branches, he used his prehensile limb to entwine a tree.

jack

The trick worked and he stopped their decent, but at the cost of almost dislocating his shoulder. He bit back a cry while lowering them both to the jungle floor. But their problems were all but over for a ball of fire four yards wide connected with the forest. Some luck found them for it passed eight feet over his head before exploding into a mass of liquid flame.

 

The jungle above his head was ablaze as well and dark embers fell around him like snowflakes of death.

 

“Primus I come for you! I know a slippery Yigling like you won’t be dead yet. But soon you will wish you were. Perhaps I’ll start by making you watch me rape your mate to death.”

Exacutioner

Jack growled through clenched teeth as he saw the black and purple form of Vile float into the burning jungle. He shot up his hands and the trees came alive grasping and clawing at the Overlord.

 

“Please don’t waste your child’s tricks on me,” he laughed and with the move of his arms the trees blasted into splinters like they had been caught between twin hurricanes.

 

A moment later the point of Jack’s throwing knife took him in the forehead, but bounced away. It hadn’t hurt Vile, but it sure seemed to throw him into a greater rage. “You devolved bastard! You think you are so mighty.” Vile drew his smoking cutlass and lowered himself through the flaming canopy until his feet rested on the ground twenty feet before Jack.

Vile Darken

Vile Darken marched toward him. The air dissolved at the touch of his saber and foul burning black drops spilled from the curved blade. “I will dispatch you myself. I will need no Bestows for the likes of you.”

 

Jack set his jaw while swinging his giant axe up into a two handed grip. “I’ve waited for a chance to do this for a long time.”

 

With an insulting casualness, Vile back handed toward Primus with his cutlass.

 

Jack blocked the blow, but at the price of the tips of one of his axe’s crescents of sharpened steel being cut away.  “I’ve had this axe a long time,” he said, but he had a hard time not imagining what the blade would do to simple flesh.

Vile II

When the blow moved past him, Jack held the axe vertical and smashed Vile in the back. Vile tried to laugh, but Jack hit him again and pushed him head first into a tree. He came around with the lower handle of the axe and sent it into his cheekbone. Vile tried to take a step back but was pinned against a tree.

 

The axe blade came up and hit Vile in the center of his chest. For any normal man it would have been a killing blow, but Vile Darken has not been a normal man for a long time.

 

With his dark bearded face only inches from Jack’s, Vile roared as his eyes burned red. “Idiot! Why do you bother?” Disregarding his earlier boast, he used some type of telekinetic Bestow to fling Jack back against a tree of his own.

 

Jack grasped through broken ribs and then fell forward onto his hands and knees.

Jack Stern

Vile kicked the axe away.

 

How could he have moved so fast? Jack wondered as he drew forth his blade of Yig.

 

“I tire of this. Snakes don’t need limbs do they, so let’s lose a few of yours.”

 

Jack had started to roll away, but the cutlass swung down and removed Jack’s left arm just below the elbow.

 

Jack screamed in both pain and terror as he gazed down at his severed limb.

 

Vile leaned over and said, “Now for the other one.” Jack threw his knife, but Vile just batted it away.

 

Without warning, Jack felt himself being flung away from Vile. At first he thought it was an attack, but then he heard Vile curse. Jack tumbled to a stop near Tynilia’s unconscious form.

 

Despite his grievous wounds, he detected a strange buzzing. He looked down at his remaining hand and it appeared to be vibrating. Moving, but then fading only to return and start wavering again.

 

Then he heard his own voice crying out to him. “Heal Ty, my brother. Escape, it will be up to you to finish this!”

 

He looked back and saw himself, this world’s incarnation of his soul, his body, his essence, his power. The other Jack dressed like a Mayan warrior. Green feathers clung to his buckskin pants and jerkin. He smiled his way as he fought Darken with a mace headed spear.

 

“Heal her awake and flee. You’re this world’s only chance.”

 

“I am this world’s only chance, only chance to do anything other than just die!” As he spoke Vile’s cutlass broke the Mayan Jack’s weapon in half.

 

“No wait. Don’t do this.”

Jack Jack

“My world, my sacrifice, now save my girl!”

 

Fighting against unconsciousness and knowing he needed some healing himself, Jack placed his hand on Tynilia and focused his remaining Ki into healing her. When her eyes fluttered open he used the last ebb of his mystic strength to heal his arm enough that the bleeding caused.

Ty II

“Tynilia, we have to go.” His voice sounded worse than he felt.

 

“What’s happening.” Her eyes took in the battle. “Oh no, my Jack.”

 

He words hurt him even through the fog of pain. Was she really his? How had he allowed himself to get so close to another man’s woman, even if the other man was him?

 

She flung her spirit knife and if struck Vile in the back of the head and then reappeared in her hand. The other Jack fought Vile with everything he had. Weapons flew all around the pair. He’d drawn blood from several wounds he given to the Overlord. Tynilia flung her dagger again. Jack wanted to aid his incarnation, but it was already too late.

Tynilia 5

Mayan Jack smashed his mace into the side of Vile’s head, but Vile growled and swung his weapon cutting that Jack in half at the waist.

 

Tynilia Screamed as Jack struggled to his feet.

 

She threw her spirit weapon again.

Angry Jack

“It is too late. We have to go. Take us back to the dragons.” She hesitated. “Come on Ty, let’s burn this fucker to the ground!”

 

A second later only a mist of inky smoke remained was witness to Vile’s cursing.

Dragn Molten

 

Come back next Monday to see if Jack and Tynilia can somehow survive.

 55

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Darcarre Villain

Failing and Falling

June 6, 2016

As the mighty dragon, Thrashing Storm, hurled toward the trees, the two humans clinging to his back looked on in horror as they neared impact.

Dragon Fall

“Let go, Jack!” Tynilia shouted.

 

He’d grown to trust her and despite how insane it sounded, released his handhold on the chain. She gripped him tightly and flew off the dragon’s back seconds before his huge body splintered through the trees.

Jack Stern

Jack looked down in dismay wondering if even a mighty dragon could survive such a brutal collision, but soon had other matters on his mind as the voice of none other than Ville Darken boomed from the battle that raged behind them.

 

“Primus! Worm of useless filth! You have saved me the trouble of hunting you down and digging you out of where you were cringing in fear in order to avoid your well-deserved fate.”

 

Vile at Night

The Darken

Without meaning to, Jack felt his chest where the scroll designed to kill off all the Stalwarts on every world still rode. Vile’s incarnation from his world created it and although Jack should have destroyed it weeks ago, the thought that he might still be able to use it as a weapon had held his hand. But if he was captured and Vile was able to get his hands upon it, his choice would doom all that ever was and all that would be.

 

Tynilia took them in a flying arc away from both Vile in the battle, which he knew must not have been an easy choice because it remained her home that The Darken army besieged.

 

“This would be about the time, I’d love to see the rest of those dragons show up,” he said through the rushing wind. But they both knew that the rest of the dragons waited for Thrashing Storm’s report and for all Jack knew the dragon had passed and if he hadn’t the war dinosaurs and hundreds of warriors rushing its way could quickly change that.

Angry Jack

Tynilia looked back and saw the part of the army that had broken off and headed toward the dragon. “Is there a way we can help him?”

 

“I was going to ask you that,” Jack said, and then he continued. “Get me closer.”

 

She complied and once they hovered near enough, Jack let the powers of Yig flow through him and the jungle beneath them came alive. Trees entangled the giant lizards and vines wrapped themselves around the wild men’s throats. He tried to control the dinosaurs, but they had long since been corrupted beyond his ability to influence. The trees wouldn’t stop such huge creatures for long, but he had bought Thrashing Storm some time. He could only try to maintain the hope that there remained a reason to do so.

 

“Oh no, Jack, Look!” Tynilia screamed in the loudest voice he’d ever heard her use. He had just a moment to look to the east before he saw the dark form of Vile Darken riding off his floating obsidian throne and rushing their way.

 

“Go, just go. As fast as you can.”

 

Jack looked behind them as Tynilia sped west. He saw Vile raise his hands together over his head and a giant blackness gathered there. “Brace yourself,” he called out.

 

The primal force of evil jetted out toward them appearing as an ebony lightning bolt. It hit Jack like an ocean of knives. He screamed as though the devil ate him a bite at a time. His body thrashed, but somehow the continued roar of agony let him know he still lived.

 

He expected them to be falling into the jungle at any moment, but the blast hadn’t affected Tynilia.

 

Shaking her head, she managed a grim smile. “Fool forgot that the followers of Tezcatlipoca are immune to the assaults of pure darkness.”

T II

Not believing his luck, he clung to her tighter as she continued to rush away from the battle.

 

Still looking back behind them, Jack saw Thrashing Storm rise from the forest and fly to the north. He looked injured and had to struggle to stay aloft, but at least some level of success had reached them and his spell had made a difference and given the dragon time to escape.

Thrashing Storm

If only he could think of a way to save them.

 

“We end this today, Primus. You shall not escape me again!” As the destroyer of worlds pursued them, his tattered black and purple cloak billowed behind him for yards. “If your whore is immune to those assaults, I’ll merely seek another.”

Wife fuck

Another lightning bolt blasted toward them, this one glowed a fiery red and connected with Tynilia’s back. She didn’t even have time to scream, before her body went limp, and for the second time that day, he felt himself plummeting toward the ground.

 

 

Jack Fallen

 

Come back next Monday to see if Jack and Tynilia can somehow survive.

 Vile Darken Wiz

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Berserk

Tynilia’s arms clung to his waist with a tight desperation as they raced through the skies thousands of feet over the earth. Nothing but a chain wrapped around Thrashing Storm’s thick neck held them in place on the mighty dragon’s back and Jack’s two hands stayed white knuckled around its length.

Thrashing Storm

He fought through the roaring winds to call back to her. “Between the two of us, you’re the one who flies, why does this bother you so much?”

 

“One, I’m not in control. And two, I would never go up this high.”

 

“Still, I’m the one that will be in more trouble if we were to fall off.”

Jack Face

He felt her relax some. “Don’t worry big man, I’ll keep you safe.”

 

Talking over the wind remained difficult so they dug in for the long trip south. Still, despite the distance, they moved quickly. Jack saw the snow covered mountains disappear into the murky forests. Areas which had taken them days to traverse passed in mere minutes.

 

If nothing else, Jack felt relief that he wouldn’t have to relive the journey that had claimed six out of the eight original travelers. As they quickly neared the areas with which he and Tynilia were more familiar, he shouted directions to Thrashing Storm and the dragon curved to the west.

 

Doubt plagued him for he couldn’t be certain how far the armies of The Darken had advanced. It had been nearly a month since the adventures had set off and the overwhelming army could have all but destroyed his allies in that time.

 

As they dropped in elevation Tynilia’s words echoed his thoughts. “We should assume they have long lost the pass they were attempting to hold. I guess the question is, should we head to village of my allies or yours?”

 

“I think Darken would attack the Village of Yig first, since Stalker had made that deal with him.” After giving Trashing Storm directions, they headed toward the village of Yig where Jack had spent several nights in what seemed like an eternity ago.

p3

Long before they reached it, Jack knew he wouldn’t like what he found. A huge black line of destruction cut through the lush jungle from the south. The wide path of death ripped through the green like a giant highway of darkness killing all it touched.

 

The village had failed no better. In its place a crater of lifelessness stretched into the trees like a corpse’s hand. He could only tell where the village had once stood by the huge circle of obliteration fanning out into the jungle.

 

The party grew silent and Thrashing Storm descended into the center of the circle of death. No trees or obstacles stood to block his landing and Jack jumped down as soon as the dragon’s feet hit the ground. He shouted a few times, but got no answers from the quiet forest. Not even birds sang as if even they too mourned the destruction of the Yig followers.

 

Thinder's Flame

 

The dragon spoke. “My condolences child of Yig. I fear we are too late to rescue your fellows.”

 

Jack didn’t reply, instead he marched around looking for clues or survivors and found nothing.

 

Tynilia and Thrashing Storm gave him some time, but then she approached him and her gentle fingers brushed his arm. In a soft voice, she said, “There is nothing here, Jack. Perhaps they retreated to my village. Either way, we have to go. My village could still be fighting.”

Tyn

He nodded and knew she was right. Together they mounted the dragon and sped to the east.

 

The path below them remained easy to follow and they flew over the long black ribbon that cut through the jungle. Tynilia’s arms gripped him tighter as her stress level rose. He knew she must be wondering what they would find at her home.

 

Jack called back to her. “Maybe he hasn’t attacked the village of Tezcatlipoca because of the deal he thought he was making with Stalker.” She didn’t bother to answer and they flew on.

 

As they drew close, the sounds of battle reached their ears. Tynilia clutched him hard. He laid his hand over her wrist. “Please don’t fly off until we know what’s happening.”

 

They figured out the situation quickly. Hundreds of battle dinosaurs towered over the ranks of easily a hundred thousand warriors. Within their cluttered mass, other darker forms lurked. The center of the dark army held a massive throne carved from black obsidian, but since its huge back faced them, Jack couldn’t see the occupant, but knew it must have housed his ultimate adversary, Vile Darken.

Dino eating Ri[ps

Jack gripped Tynilia tighter and shouted back, “Perhaps Vile held off until he sensed Stalker die and then attacked. It could the only reason they are still-”

 

He was interrupted by the massive roar of Thrashing Storm’s fiery breath blasting into the Army of Darken. A thousand men and several dinosaurs cried out in agony as the fires consumed them.

Dragon Fire III

Before they could recover or react, the dragon hit them again.

 

Thrashing Storm circled around the army and drew in for a third attack, but then suddenly roared in pain. Jack held onto the chain when the dragon lost altitude. The dragon’s body rocked and he appeared to be having trouble flying. The jungle rushed up at them and the two humans cried out as Thrashing Storm crashed into the towering trees.

 

jack Fire

 

Come back next Monday to see if Jack and his allies can somehow survive.

 Thunder's Flame II

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jack

Words Versus Wonder

May 16, 2016

The king of the dragons had a name impossible for humans to pronounce, but translated to Thunder’s Flame. The number of other dragons surprised Jack and amounted to far more than he could have imagined. The Lava Dragons proved to be no myth, quite the opposite, they thrived in their hidden mountain refuge.

 

The dragons loomed like endless towers of red and gold, but even these colossal figures stayed dwarfed by the titanic might of their King. The size of a city, Thunder’s Flame remained difficult to perceive. Jack had a hard time wrapping his head around being in the presence of such a godly figure.

Thinder's Flame

Wings the size of soccer fields flapped around them. Growls and serpentine whispers filled the caves with loud noise. Claws and long tails scrapped over piles of coins and giant mounds of treasure as the pair waited for things to settle down.

 

Tynilia gripped his hand like she was suspended over a cliff and he had never seen her look so terrified. Her self-confident bravado had felt her and she clung to him as a woman already doomed.

Ty

When things quieted down to about as much as Jack could expect, he stepped forward and spoke in the loudest voice he could muster. “King Thunder’s Flame and all the rest of you noble dragons please heed my words. I, Jack Primus, hail from a world far different from your own, but despite this, I wish to save the planet you call home from the otherworldly evil that has ventured here and now grows like a cancer threatening to destroy all that you hold dear.”

 

Booming voices interrupted him. “Destroy you maybe, but never us.”

 

“Nothing of your kind could ever be a threat.”

Dragon II

“Let the ants eat away at each other. Whole empires could fall and we would not feel a difference.”

 

“Your words ring true,” Jack shouted, “but The Darken will not stop with us. He stops at nothing short of complete power and domination. I have no doubt that you and your kind are the mightiest creatures on your world, but will even you be able to withstand the might of an entire planet pitted against you? And even if you could, would you want to? Would you enjoy seeing your mates and younger ones fall to his hand in a war without end? And I know this from experience, if your own planet’s resources fail to bring you down, he will bring the might of other planets to bear upon you until you are forced to flee your homes and have nothing left but your lives.”

 

Voices murmured, but he didn’t give them a chance to build.  “Or you can work with me to defend your world before it is too late, strike now and with might such as yours, you can end the war before it begins. Leave him stinging so harshly, he will have no desire to return and face your strength again. Do this now or wait to the end and fight him at a hundred times his strength while no chance for allies remain. What say you?”

 

Thunder’s Flame paused and for once all the dragons grew quiet. Silence ruled the caverns while they waited. Minutes stretched as a warm sweat collected on his back and armpits. Tynilia’s grip tightened.

Thunder's Flame II

At last the king of the Dragon’s glowing eyes regarded him and he spoke. “You words sing of brave intentions and wisdom, but we have seen nothing for ourselves. I will send my son, Thrashing Storm back to your mate’s homeland to see if your words ring with truth as well.”

 

Jack smiled toward Tynilia before bowing deeply. “We could ask no more your majesty and thank you for the kind offer.”

 

122

Jack

“Rest up, we will celebrate with you tonight for you will leave at first light!”

 

Jack turned to Tynilia, “Hey, if nothing else we don’t have to walk back.”

Yig Mayan

 

Come back next Monday to see if Jack and his allies can somehow survive.

 Lave Dragon

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Tynilia 5

As the colossal dragon drew enough air into its lungs to fill a stadium, Jack knew he only had seconds to act before he and Tynilia would be burned into ash. His mystic strength remained at a low ebb after healing himself and Tynilia, so he would only have one chance to save them.

dragon golden

Without thinking the possibilities through, he once again assumed the form of a serpent. This time he became the largest snake he could manage. As he transformed, he felt the last of his Ki drain away. This had better work, he thought to himself, because I don’t think my axe will do the trick against a five hundred foot long dragon.

 

While he changed, he drew himself up as high as his new body would allow, it was still like a worm looking up at an eagle, but it proved to be the best he could accomplish.

Snake giant

The dragon hesitated. Glowing golden eyes glared down at him.  It tilted its head like a confused puppy for a moment and jets of steam poured from its nostrils as it closed its massive jaws.

 

Jack realized, as he swayed there, that one of the drawbacks of his plan would be his inability to converse, but who even knew if these dragons spoke?

 

He detected movement behind him and saw Tynilia dropping to her knees and then bowing until her head pressed against the floor. She stayed there long enough for Jack to wonder what she might be doing. The moment stretched and then grew longer.

 

He couldn’t be sure if he should remain in serpent form or try some other plan, but felt that given the situation he should place his trust in his lover.

 

After another long pause, she raised her head from the floor. “You can become a human again, Jack.”

ty

After he returned to his human body, he regarded the titanic dragon for a few seconds and then turned to her. “What did you do?”

 

“I conversed with the dragon telepathically.”

 

“You can do that? Why didn’t you ever tell me?”

 

She flashed a slight smile his way. “A woman has to keep a few secrets. Besides it might have made you nervous if you knew I could read your thoughts.”

Tynilia

His face grew stern. “Have you done that?”

 

“Oh course. Don’t worry, you passed. Why do you think I trust you so much?”

 

He coughed and jerked his thumb at the dragon towering over them like a scaled mountain. “What about this guy?”

 

Stalwart

Stalwart

“First off, she is a she, and she thought your little trick was adorable by the way, but I’m thinking it saved us. That and they fact that we are a mated pair, also gave her pause. Especially when I told her I was pregnant.”

 

His jaw hung open while he fumbled for words. “What? Huh, wait what?”

 

She smiled at him. “Sorry handsome, what did you think would happen? You are quite a potent specimen.”

 

“By Yig’s scaly beard. I ah… maybe we should talk about that later when an army destroying dragon isn’t waiting on us.”

 

She couldn’t keep the smile off her face. “I agree. She is calling for a…friend to watch over her eggs while she takes us to meet their king. She says we should prepare ourselves for he’s the truly powerful one.”

 

“If he’s much bigger than her, I hope he aren’t too small for him to notice us.”

 

She laughed and seemed happier than he’d seen her in weeks. She slipped her hand into his and they followed the dragon as she led them deeper into the towering cavern.

 

Dragn Molten

 

Come back next Monday to see if Jack and his allies can somehow survive.

 

Forest Jack

Forest Jack

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Tyllina

After Stalker killed Shadowknife and then flew off to attempt to enlist the Lava Dragons for The Darken instead of fighting against him, Jack slumped against the wall and just struggled to breath and take in how screwed over they were. Tynilia’s still form still breathed from under his cloak. The wound on the top of her head had closed, but the severe swelling remained visible in the muted light created by the river of lava rushing below the ledge.

 

Jack paced the narrow ledge for a moment just trying to think. He strained his mind searching for an answer. Focusing on himself, he attempted to ascertain how much of his mystic strength remained. He’d become a snake twice and had healed Tynilia as well. Healing her further would leave him dangerously low in Ki, but also every moment they wasted gave Stalker a greater chance of completing the mission they had all came to accomplish.

 

Who knew if the Lava Dragons could be convinced to do anything or if they were even real, but with their help, the forces of humanity might have at least stood a chance against the Armies of Darken. If they joined with Darken, there would be no remaining hope. This world Jack found himself on would fall and become another planet held within the grips of Vile Darken.

Dragon Fire

Making up his mind, he crouched next to Tynilia. Despite the possible risks of depleting his Ki, only Tynilia had the ability to fly and he would also need her help. She was the only ally he had left.

 

Deep green lights flowed from his fingers and seeped into his lover. She woke with a gasp and regarded him with wide brown eyes.

Angry Jack

“Jack, by the Mirror, what happened?” She looked around. “Thanks for saving me. You did save me didn’t you?” After his nod, she sat up with his help. “Where are the others?”

 

After he filled her in on Stalker’s murder and then ultimate betrayal, she got to her feet as a stream of curses burned his ears. “That worthless fungus slime. My village wouldn’t agree to his betrayal, Jack I swear it.”

 

“They won’t have to make that choice when my axe splits his skull. But we need to get moving. We have no idea about these Lava Dragons, but if he gains their alliance before we reach them…”

 

Tynilia set her jaw and he’d never seen her look more determined. They spent a minute gathering their gear, but then, without a word, she wrapped her arms around him and they flew up to the tunnel Stalker had so recently entered.

Tyn

The tunnel became a mix of ice and stone, but once might have been created by some life form. In places the ice had grown to almost cut off the corridor, but in others, huge jets of lava had pushed through creating giant open areas. The journey proved to be a strange mix of light and darkness. They would travel in darkness for hundreds of yards through the warm and humid passages, but then have their way illuminated by jets or rivers of lava passing under the tunnel.

Tunnel, Creepy

After traveling for half an hour, they heard a roaring sound as the tunnel shook under their feet. Jack grabbed Tynilia’s slight form as icy skull sized rocks tumbled into the corridor. Jack winced as one smashed him in the left shoulder. He felt the warmth of his own blood trickling down his chest as he clung to Tynilia until the shaking ceased.

 

“I’m not sure if that might be a good or bad sign,” he said.

 

She remained silent as her frozen face looked up at him.

 

He held her hand and led her forward. “Might as well get this over with.” She nodded and followed him into another stretch of darkness.

 

Twenty more minutes passed before a dull glow began to be seen before them. It increased in brightness quickly and before long they determined that the tunnel opened into a large cavern ahead.

 

“This could be it,” he whispered.

 

They hadn’t made it much further when they saw a shape centered in the middle of the passage. It appeared to be smoking.

 

“Stay here,” Jack said, as he crept toward the shape. She ignored him and stayed on his heels.

 

Wisps of smoke still lifted away from it and a growing heat reached Jack. The cavern itself had raised the ambient temperature of the tunnel to easily over a hundred degrees.

 

The shape had been revenged by an incredible heat or fire, but Jack recognized some of the obsidian jewelry. There remained little doubt the shape was Stalker and he was quite dead.

 

Tynilia gave a little gasp, but before she had finished she drew back in a scream as a shadow fell across the tunnel.

Dragon Large

Jack looked up to see a titanic creature larger than a skyscraper looming over them. The Lava dragon radiated heat like a furnace and glared down at them with eyes the size of the house Jack grew up in.

 

He stumbled a step back into Tynilia as it opened its mouth and they both looked on in horror as a colossal fire grew there as it sucked in a huge lungful of air.

 

Dragon Fire II

 

Come back next Monday to see if Jack and his allies can somehow survive.

 Yeti Fight

 

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Dragon II

Murder in the Dark

April 25, 2016

As he and Tynilia plummeted toward the river of churning lava flowing below them, Jack quickly realized that he couldn’t count on her flying ability to save them this time for one of the boulders of ice must have knocked her unconscious.

 

As the raging flow drew near, Jack saw a ledge to the northern side of the cliff. Not pausing to consider his chances, he became a giant serpent. As they fell, he quickly wrapped his tail around Tynilia. Live or die, at least they would share the same fate.

yig-sanke-dance

Looking to the north, his serpentine eyes spied an elongated pillar of ice centered in the middle of the ledge. The flowing magma bubbled less than a hundred feet away, but he had the time to make one attempt at reaching the icy pillar. His body struck forward with his neck creating an arcing C. He managed to get part of his body around the narrow pillar, but it had a slick surface and when Tynilia body fell past him, her weight began to pull her with him. He panicked as he slipped away from the pillar. His upper body slid over the icy ledge and in seconds he would be plummeting to his doom.

 

At the last moment he thought of something and opened his mouth wide. He had become a reticulated python and he slammed his rows of dagger sharp teeth into the ice below him. He continued to slide. Eight feet, Four feet. Two feet. At the last moment, he hit an elevated lip of ice and his teeth held.

 

He almost couldn’t believe he still lived, but wasted no time in drawing Tynilia’s unconscious body onto the ledge and then crawling onto it himself. He remained there panting long after he had returned to his human form.

 

Once Jack had caught his breath, he looked around, but saw no obvious signs of danger other than being trapped on a narrow icy ledge situated over a raging lave flow. He got to his feet and then moved Tynilia as far away from the edge of the ledge as possible, which he guessed was only about a dozen feet.

 

Once he felt she would be about as safe as she could get, he returned to the edge and looked around again. Through the large hole created in the layer of ice that had once covered the river, he could see the tunnel through which they had entered the area Due to the angle he couldn’t spy the passage the group had headed toward, which he guessed remained roughly over his head.

Angry Jack

He still had his backpack, which had some rope. He might be able to rig a way up there, but he figured that the risk might be too great to bother when Tynilia could just fly them up there as soon as she regained consciousness.

 

Still what had happened to the others? If they had survived it wouldn’t be such a leap of faith to assume Shadowknife and Stalker had survived too. He’d seen neither of them falling with them.

 

Jack took off his pack and set it under Tynilia’s head and then placed his cloak over her. She moved while mumbling something, but showed no sign of waking. He used some of his precious Ki to heal her a small amount, but needed to keep some in reserve. Who knew what else they might be forced to face before he had a chance to rest. Her breath became more even, but she remained asleep.

darkness within

He was thinking that perhaps he should just join her in resting, when he saw a figure appear within the tunnel that led back the way they had come. He recognized Shadowknife at once. The Darcarre waved down at him and Jack thought it might have been the first time he’d ever seen the Xemmoni smile.

Bruin II

Then Jack tensed. A black shape moved behind Shadowknife. Before Jack could warn him, the figure grabbed Shadowknife by the hair, jerked his head back, and slit his throat.

 

Shadowknife hovered for a moment and Jack wondered if there was a way the Darcarre could cure himself before it became too late. But then the tip of a spearhead appeared through his chest and a second later the form behind him kicked Shadowknife not only off the spear but into the pit. Jack could only look on helplessly as his ally fell through the air and hit the lava below with a splash of burning steam. A brief fire blazed, but within seconds nothing remained to prove Shadowknife had ever existed.

 

Looking back up at the ledge, it shocked him to see Stalker standing there with a murderous grin that spread over his blood drenched spear.

Stalker

“Hah, worm of Yig,” he called down to him. “I see you and Ty survived. I might find a use for her, but you I will leave to rot. Do not attempt to follow me, for I will soon be the one commanding the Lava Dragons. I’ll leave you alive just long enough to witness the doom of all who dared oppose The Darken.”

 

“But how could you betray your own people?” Jack managed to get out, despite his shock.

 

“That’s just it, my people will be spared, while the rest of the races are wiped out or allowed to become our slaves, the followers of Tezcatlipoca will bask in the glory alongside the forces of Darken.”

 

“You’re mad if you think he will honor any bargain he made with you.”

 

“I tire of this. Look to the skies and see your doom, Yigling,” and then without another word, Jack’s former ally flew off toward the lair of the Lava Dragons.

 

Dragn Molten

 

Come back next Monday to see if Jack and his allies can somehow survive.

 Underdark II

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Yeti Girl

Fire, Ice, and Stone

April 18, 2016

The sun had just begun to dip behind the snowcapped mountains to the west. Its last rays stained the snow a fiery orange, which matched the belching steam of magma exploding from the peak of the active volcano they had reached. Even at the base of the mighty towering mountain the waves of heat could be felt washing over them and gave them some relief from the bitter biting cold they had endured throughout the day’s long march.

Mountains

No one spoke as they neared the base of the impossibly huge mountain. Whether exhaustion or awe caused this, Jack couldn’t be certain, but he led the way with long strides, one way or another their quest had had almost reached its end.

 

“I suppose we need to find a way inside,” He said breaking the party’s long standing silence.

 

“I doubt these ancient legendary dragons have laid out a human sized welcome mat,” Stalker grumbled from the back.

 

Jack ignored him and continued to let his eyes sweep the cliff faces for an opening into the mountain.

 

Shadowknife spied it first. “Up there, I see an opening. It looks rather large.”

 

Jack shaded his eyes from the glare of the last of the sun’s rays and could just make out a darker blackness set out against the whites and greys of the range.

 

“Just the right size for a dragon to move through.” Stalker spoke again.

 

“That could be a good thing,” Tynilia said. “It might mean that we have found the right place.”

Yeti T II

“Perhaps,” Shadowknife agreed. “I have no desire to climb such a height. Since all of us have the ability of flight, save Jack, I think the cost to our mana is justified in this case.”

 

“I agree,” Stalker said. “Let’s just get this over with. And I’ll tell you one thing, cost to my Ki or no, if there are no dragons up there, I’m flying all the way back home. The rest of you can do what you want. This trek has been cursed from the first footfall.”

 

Again Jack didn’t address the man of Tezcatlipoca’s statement, but instead turned to his lover and said, “Ty, if you would be so kind…” then without finishing his sentence he started his transformation into a serpent.

Yeti Jack

She whisked him up and sped off flying after the two men that had already taken to the air. Stalker indeed appeared anxious to complete the quest for he rushed ahead of the others and forced Shadowknife and Tynilia to struggle just to keep up with him.

 

The sheer mountain face loomed before them blocking out everything else. Massive cliffs of black stone cut into the sky like the rotten knives of titans. Snow and ice clung to the angry cliffs, but is some places appeared to have been cleared by random jets of lava. Before them the cave opened like a dark mouth and Jack couldn’t shake the feeling of being devoured as Tynilia followed the two flying men into the stygian gloom.

cave

Jack knew that the two followers of Tezcatlipoca and certainly the Splinter Darcarre could all see in the darkness, but he had no such skills, he felt his anxiety rising as they continued to rush forward until a complete darkness claimed the group and yet they traveled further. Soon he couldn’t make out the opening behind them and still the headed deeper into the mountains.

 

After what seemed like half an eternity, a rosy glow built before them disrupting the absolute black. As they drew nearer to the source of the light, Jack saw that it came from beneath the ice that covered the floor of the cave. From what he could determine, a river of flowing lava run under a sheet of ice and over the years it had melted enough of it away for a soft scarlet glow to illuminate up from the raging torrent of magma below.

 

It made him again very thankful they flew for he wouldn’t have enjoyed testing the ice’s integrity on foot. Just as that thought crossed his mind, some kind of explosion crashed into the cavern. He saw Shadowknife tumbling by them for a moment as the icy floor broke into thousands of crystal shards. Tynilia tried to stay in flight, but when the roof above the ice caved in and rained down toward the lava below, both he and Tynilia started to plummet with it.

Fire and ice

Come back next Monday to see if Jack and his allies can somehow survive.

 Stalker

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ice cave