Darker Than Darkness

October 6, 2014

This weekly Serial began 7/14/14

After crossing the desert and being without water for so long, the unexpected deluge came as a shock to Jack. The trio had continued to walk through the darkening forest as the rain soaked through every fiber of clothes Jack possessed. Soon his torn clothing hung in wet strips and he ripped a few parts of his shirt away and jammed them into his pockets.

His leather became heavy and he tore the sleeves off each side. The Ripperkah he had fought had rended most of his sleeves apart, so this wasn’t much of a sacrifice. He saved the leather strips and kept the remaining leather vest on—not just for protection, but to house his eight throwing knives, both steel and obsidian.

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Jack might have thought that the pounding rain would have caused Huth-allan-nith to call their travels to a halt earlier, but the young warrior never broke stride and led them ever forward without pause or exchanging words with anyone. Again, despite his age, Mythcul showed no signs of slowing and kept pace through inclines that left Jack gasping for another breath.

The sun went from being obscured by the driving clouds to being blocked by the mountain range to the west. Darkness descended across the forest, but Huth-allan-nith kept them marching. Shadows grew thick between the trees and the branches reached for them like the claws of forgotten beasts.

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He’d been using his spear to help maneuver over a large fallen tree when a voice echoed. It took him a moment to realize it came from within his own head. At first, like his allies, it spoke in a language he wasn’t close to understanding. Then, about the time he realized he received a telepathic communication, the voice spoke in a language he could understand.

“What are you?” The voice whispered like a feathered shadow moving through his mind.

“Same as the men I walk with and know this, oppose us at your own peril.” As he ‘spoke’ Jack checked his allies. If his fellow warriors of Yig heard the voice, they gave no sign.

“I know what path you walk, Stalwart, that much is evident. It is from where you hail that confounds me.”

“I tend to hesitant to reveal too much of myself to shades that lurk within blackened woods…Darcarre.”

Huth-allan-nith stopped up short, and drew his spear arm back.

Darcarre in Forest

Standing like a thin pillar of ebony darkness, a man garbed in jet blocked the center of their path. “You are correct, Stalwart, I am a member of the eternal ones, but what you might not know is my kind stands in opposition to the chaos that forms in the barren plains below. We spit on the new Ripperkah Overlord that claims he can unite the races of Xemmoni and overrun worlds.”

His words froze Jack’s blood, as Mythcul walked up to stand at his side. “I’ve heard such things before, coming from your kind” Jack thought back at the Darcarre, “but by what name does this Overlord call himself?”

“Rarken, I believe. I also believe that you have a language barrier between yourselves and your fellows, do you not? Perhaps I could be of some assistance as an interpreter.”

“Judging from their reaction to you, I don’t think you’d be welcome into their camp.”

The Darcarre hissed and it was a foul sound to have echoing within one’s mind. “Then know you this. Their Overlord Rarken had already been preparing for a large assault against the Stalwarts of both light and dark. I fear that your removal of his war party will only speed up the fury of his attack. Soon this tribe and the other will be overwhelmed and returned to the Earth.”

“And you fit in how?”

“My nest holds great power and we refuse to bow before a member of another race no matter what he claims. Rarken’s conflict with the two tribes will weaken him, but I still fear that it won’t be enough.”

“So you want to help us out so we’ll do as much damage as possible before we go down fighting. What a warm offer.”

“No, Stalwart of Yig, you fail to grasp my proposal. I am offering my assistance during the upcoming battle. Not only will me and mine hamper their march through the forests, but while engaged with your forces, we pledge to strike at them from behind.”

“And I should trust you because?”

“For you know our pride would never allow us to ally with such rabble.”

“That could almost make sense.”

Dark Forest

Before him, the figure began to fade. “I am known as Shadow Knife among my people and we will speak again.” Just before he disappeared completely, he added, “And one more thing, Stalwart. You must ally yourselves with the dark tribe for without their aid all of us will be assured to perish and my tribe will withdraw their assistance.”

Then he was gone.

“Great,” Jack said aloud for he had grown sick of talking within his own head. “So if things weren’t bad enough with three races of Xemmoni aliened against us, it also sounds like Darken is here, and I’m forced to not only deal with one dark tribe, but two. This just keeps getting easier and easier and this isn’t even my own damn planet.”
To be continued next Monday

Find out how Jack’s Adventures Started Here!

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Webs of Mangled Darkness

October 7, 2013

This serial began last Monday

Figuring that he probably wouldn’t be getting into another fight before noon, Jack used his most recently acquired spell and healed himself. Looking down, he took off his new leather in disgust. He had bought it for himself with the money he had taken from the Ripperkah in Pennsylvania. He still had plenty, but when one is unemployed you needed to make you cash flow last.

“Guess I won’t be picking up any chicks wearing this.” He said while tossing the slashed jacket onto the chestnut colored bar. A minute later, he was using the land line to call Phillip. He saw the silhouettes of police officer poking around in the alley behind the bar. He watched them move as he filled his friend in on the Xemmoni attack.

 Dark_Alley

Nine minutes later Phillip walked through the front door of the pub he owned. “You look like hell,” the man said while motioning toward the huge blood stain surrounding the rent in Jack’s shirt.

“Look who’s talking,” Jack said, while pointing at Phillip’s wrinkled ensemble of loose fitting brownness. “It looks like you didn’t even take off your trench coat before you went to bed.”

 

Phillip

Phillip

Phillip laughed. “Well, how do you think I was able to get over here so quickly?”

Then they grew serious as Jack filled him in on the attack he received from the armored Xemmoni. Once he was done, Phillip said, “Yeah, sounds like a Hyades alright. But I never heard of the silent stalkers using armor. They are hard enough to kill normally.”

They both leaned back in the bar chairs and Jack winced when Phillip opened an ale. “Starting a little early I see…”

But Phillip held up his hand in a silencing motion. Someone stood outside of the bar’s front door. A second later a hard rapping sounded, like the door had been struck with a solid object.

Jack slipping back into his bloody leather while reaching behind the bar for the big wood cutters axe he hid there.

Phillip was strapping his Sword of Mecca back to his waist when both Stalwarts froze.

A darkness seemed to be eating the sun itself. It poured under the front door like a spreading puddle of filthy ink. Black webbing covered the windows thrusting the insides of the bar into darkness. Thorns of grasping ebony grew over the interior walls. Like grasping hands, they covered the ceiling.

 Darcarre Darkness

Phillip drew his cutlass and motioned for Jack to open the front door, but as the neared the street side of the bar the front door flew open with a loud bang.

A man defined by pure darkness stood in the doorway and despite themselves, each of the Stalwarts retreated a pace when he stepped into the room. Stark black eyes burned at them and waves of malign evil poured off the man like steam. A stygian overcoat matched a large angled hat and both appeared to arc away from the figure in odd jagged angles. A mahogany cane stayed clutched in one pale hand.

 Darcarre with Hat

“Darcarre,” Jack whispered.

“Certainly,” the figured whispered. “And I am aware of what you attempted to do not long ago. One of you fools tried to hurt my pet.” He waved a gloved finger at them while his red lined lips cracked into a grin under his pallid face. “Not that you could, but we don’t need to attain publicity just this yet. We have more important things to attend to. This is why I, The Baron, am offering you a single chance to leave Boston before nightfall. If you flee this city at once, you will be allowed to continue your misguided existence,” his smile grew wider, “for at least a bit longer.”

Jack had never faced such a creature, let alone had a conversation with one. Cold fingers of dread scratched at his scalp. He could feel the power flowing from this Xemmoni and it caused him to have to focus to keep from shaking from the onslaught.

Phillip found his voice first. “Why spare us at all?”

Waving a dismissive hand, The Baron continued. “Stalwarts are like rats, or perhaps roaches. You kill one and their father’s sister’s boyfriend’s dog will be chewing on you leg the next time you are entertaining. I have serious issues to attend you and for the price of your lives, I expect you to call every ‘would be’ hero you know and tell them to flee from this city as well. I have no time to deal with such minor issues.”

“Some of the Xemmoni we met in the past didn’t consider us minor issues,” Jack Spit out.

“Oh please,” The Baron said, and then with a motion from both hands he sent two of the hugest Black Veins Bestows he had ever seen straight into the chest of each man. With a gasp they were both thrown backwards over chairs as growing black curse that spread over them like veins of evil. Agony owned them as their flesh turned black and burst. Jack tried not to scream, but realized he already had.

The Baron turned and his overcoat whipped around him like a vampire’s cape. “Remember this will be your only warning. You and any other Stalwart seen in Boston will be exterminated after sundown.” He gaze the one final icy look of hatred, “in the most unpleasant of ways.” As he exited the bar, the door slammed shut on its own accord and the returning sunlight did nothing to lesson the torment as the Stalwarts were left curled in moaning balls of pain.

 

To be continued next Monday

 

Find out how Jack’s Adventures Started Here!

Darkandscary

The Templar with the Goatee called himself Slick, which made Jack want to puke. Probably considers himself a ladies man while he’s slicing them open, he thought to himself as he punched the man across the jaw again.

“Do your worst, Stalwart,” the Xemmoni spit his words past bleeding lips. “I’m a Templar, we feast on pain.”

“Even your own?” he asked, through grit teeth, while he laid another blow into the man’s stomach. Jack had dragged the man into the back of an ‘out of business’ gas station. He had stayed safe so far, but he knew he shouldn’t push his luck.

“Yes,” the blood soaking his goatee left the man looking like a talking zombie. “Pain is our spiral dance and we cling to it with—ooooffffggghhhh”

“Shut the hell up. The last thing I need to hear is Xemmoni poetry. Just listen to what I have to say and if you can help me I might consider letting you skip this particular dance.”

Slick’s eyes were a light red, almost pink as they met his. “Fire away. This should be good for a laugh.”

“I heard there might be some trouble brewing on the north side of town. Any idea what it might be?” Even as Jack said the words, part of him wondered if he was being crazy. My mom had only said there was something wrong. There could be a hundred other explanations that have nothing to do with the supernatural. Am I just wasting my time, dealing with this crap when all she might need is some extra money to repair her car?

But when he saw the Xemmoni shiver when he mentioned ‘north side’ he knew he was onto something. “What is it?”

“I don’t have a problem telling you what I know. If you think you can take care of this, more power to you.” The Templar drew a deep breath. “About two months ago, a darkness slipped into town. Something no one had ever seen. At first we thought that the other clans were invading our turf, but they weren’t,” the man’s light red eyes bore into his, “They were fleeing.”

 

Red Pain

Red Pain

 

“The north had mostly been controlled by the Caradon and Darcarre. We caught a Darcarre,” a wicked blood soaked smile interrupted his speech, “And made him spill his guts, you might say. Even he didn’t really know what was going on up there. He blathered on about some new race of Xemmoni that no one had seen. Powerful. Unstoppable.”

“Beyond this I don’t know much more. I’ve heard that the darkness is growing. And we don’t go to the northside any more. We were actually thinking about relocating if this keeps up.”

“A coward as always.”

Jack’s thoughts were interrupted by a pair of flashlights illuminating the garage. These were quickly followed by a loud voice. “Stay where you are. This is the police. Drop any weapons you have, put your hands on your head, and come out one at a time.”

Normally Jack became a snake in situations like this, but his Ki was spent and his battle with the Temple of Pain had weakened him. With a curse, he looked toward other exits only to see them being covered by more police officers.

“Crap!”

 

To be continued next Monday…

 

 

Find out how Jack’s Adventures Started… Here!

 

 

Yig Awakes

Yig Awakes

 

 

Dick was trying to maintain a stumbling half jog, while he clutched his broken arm to his chest. This didn’t keep him from complaining. “Why are you taking me? Every step jars my blasted arm and how can you expect me to keep running when you stabbed my leg with your axe?”

“You’re right. I should probably just kill you.”

“No, I’m cool,” he said, looking back over his shoulder. “I can make it.”

Although he had never mentioned it, I saw Dick was avoiding certain trails, which I figured were trapped. One time he took me down a wide path and stepped over a trip wire. But I had spotted it and followed suit. From the looks he flashed me, he was clearly disappointed.

Night had completely claimed the land, by this point, and I slowed the Gloom down. I had also noted that we were about to climb above the tree line. The area was moving from sparse trees to boulders fields, but would be quickly becoming a difficult near vertical climb.

“I guess I can see why they use brooms,” I said, while looking up the side of what had to be at least a fourteen thousander. “I don’t suppose there’s a trail?”

“They don’t want us up there. The Bitters come to our cabin when they need something from us.”

“So what, you’re their piss-ants. Do you hope one day to be given your own broom or something.”

I must have struck a nerve, because he leaned against the side of a boulder and sulked. I again looked up the mountain. There were ways easier than others and I could probably make the climb as long as freaks riding broomsticks didn’t attempt to knock me off.

As I gazed at the mountain, I thought I saw colors. Sharp reds and jagged black bolts began to curl into the air near the peak. “Oh, that can’t be good. I guess I’d better quit screwing around. I suppose I can only hope that they’ll be distracted enough to not see me heading toward them.”

“What about me?”

“I’m sure I can trust you not to give me away right?” I said and then broke out laughing.

“But you can’t just kill me. I was helping you.” 

“And I might need some additional help, sooo…” I pushed him back into a tree as we talked. These were healthy uncorrupted pines and the tree encased the Xemmoni in a dozen strong limbs. After stuffing a rag cut from Dick’s own cloak and securing it into his mouth, I set off.

This was going to suck.

 

Want to get in on how Jack began his adventures? Check it out here!

The Chase

July 18, 2011

“Stupid Harry Potter broom flying wannabes,” was the tamest thing that flew from my lips as I sprinted as fast as I dared through the forest. The branches did what they could to remove themselves from my way as I chased the last surviving Gloom. See, I told you Yig loved me.

The little fog bugger had gotten a good head start, but with the forest aiding me and hindering him, I had almost caught up to him before he reached his corrupted section of woods. As soon as he entered the ruined area, the trees thinned into twisted lifeless trunks and clouds of grey dust floated into the air with each of his footfalls.

He sensed me coming and turned. A Bestow was hurled at me and hit me in the center of the chest. Again parts of my leather and then my flesh were torn from my body, their substance broken down into their base atoms and dispersed into the winds. I clenched my teeth and hoped that my protection from Yig would see me through.

“Okay, my turn,” I yelled, as I took my new hand axe from my belt and hurled it at him. It took the backwoods freak in the leg and he took a serious digger into a tree. The nappy hick was struggling to get his sickle ready as he scrambled to regain his footing, but was able to do neither.

My monster sized hammer broke his right arm with a wicked sounding snap and the sickle went flying. He fell back to the ground and tried to raise his left arm to cast a Bestow. The hammer to his chest distracted him a bit.

I moved in closer while taking the guy in. He wore ratty old flannels and jeans that had faded to a dull ashy grey. His hair was a mess, but on the upside, did match his patchy beard well. His grey eyes leaked mist as he clutched his broken arm and looked up at me.

“Now listen you little bitch. Can we just skip the, ‘I’m not going to tell you a thing,’ game. I frankly have better things to do that torture you.”

“Your sad excuse for pain, would not even be worthy of mention compared to what the Bitters would do to me.”

I groaned. “And I was trying to avoid the obvious clichés. But since you insist, tell me where my friends are being taken or I’ll make you wish the Bitters or whatever these Hogwarts mofos are called had you…” Looking around, the sparse dead trees were giving me a clear view of a snow capped peak to my west. “Oh hell, they’re just up on top of that mountain aren’t they?”

He blanched. “That’s all I needed to know. You Xemmoni think you’re so clever, but you are all predictable as Hell. Living in the big mountain… ooooo, I never would have guessed that.”

“What about me, smart guy? You’re a Stalwart, you can’t just kill a wounded man in cold blood.”

“Firstly, you’re not a man.” After tucking my hand axe through my belt, I yanked him to his feet. “Secondly, your sorry ass is coming with me.”

“What, why? Won’t I just give you away?”

“Huh, an honest Gloom, how quant. No, I got other plans for you buddy. So what do you call yourself anyway?” 

“I’m known as Dick.”

“Seems fitting. Now come on, Dick-for-brains, let’s go pay a visit on these Bitters. I should kill them for ruining one of the nick-names for beer if nothing else.”

 

Want to get in on how Jack began his adventures? Check it out here!

 

Primal Part I

June 27, 2011

Both Ethan and I tried to block the sprung trap. Ethan was faster, for all the good it did him. An old oil drum had been covered with sharp lava rocks. In swung down in an arc, but instead of catching Hannah from behind, it smashed into both Ethan and Hannah. Ethan had probably saved her life, but at the cost of being knocked unconscious along with her.

I reached down and healed them both. Their breathing became regular, but it looked like I would be on my own for a while.

Looking toward the odd angled mess these freaks tried to call a cabin, I saw a foul fog pouring into the forest.  This was quickly followed by shapes filling the woods with an evil echoing cackle as they leapt out of two different doors and headed my way.

“These things always travel in packs of six, the bastards.” Looking down, I said, “I guess I have two choices, buddies. I can take the battle to them; I can just try to defend you where you lay.” My eyes told me that the trees around me were dead, decayed, corrupt. “Or a third option,” I said as I threw both of their bodies on either shoulder, “we can retreat.”

It was their playground and I was carrying two people, so yeah, they gained on me. But I had a good head start and only needed to do one thing—make it past their line of corruption.

I came to the last incline we had ascended and took it down as quickly as I dared. The Glooms were right behind me and I heard them hooting when they reached the top of the ridge.  These guttural shouts became twisted laughs as they hurled weapons down at me. What started with daggers and rusty tools, switched to head sized rocks.

Some pointed thing pierced my jeans drawing blood and I let out a stream of curses that would have made an inmate blush. A rock the size of a six-pack bounced off the side of Ethan’s cheek. “That will leave a mark.”

It was a harsh reality, but my wounded compatriots protected me from most of the damage and I managed to make it past the tree line, at the base of the rocky incline, before my legs gave out.

Once I reached a dozen yards into the natural forest, I dropped my allies on a huge patch of emerald moss and looked back. The Glooms were hopping from boulder to boulder while their grey mists swarmed around them. They were difficult to see, but appeared to be garbed in animal skins and favored short clubs with jagged chucks of metal curved into a crescent that mimicked the Grim Reaper.

Still gasping, I laid my hand upon a colossal pine. With a titanic creak, it followed the instructions I gave it, bending down and then lifting my associates into its highest branches. 

With my friends a hundred feet safely over my head, I readied my weapons. “Ok Gloomies. You may have me outnumbered, but my handicap is gone. I say bring this on. I might even enjoy this.”

 

 Would you like to find out more about what happened to Jack and his journey to become a Stalwart? Then check out his first series of adventures!!!!!!!!

 

Rocky Mountain Rump

June 20, 2011

It didn’t take long for some of the people that we had rescued to contact the various authorities and they came swarming into town on foot, by vehicle, and chopper. It also didn’t take long for us to realize that everyone we worked so hard to save was being put into quarantine.
 
Maybe it was for the best, but we sure weren’t interested in sharing their fate so, using our various means of trickery, we fled northwest into the San Juan mountain range. In some respects, this was good because as a servant of Yig I certainly love all things nature, but it also meant I was leaving another motorcycle behind and it didn’t take long from the griping to begin.
 
As we climbed up a steep shale covered hill, Ethan tried to complain between gasps for air. “That’s the thing about hanging out with you Yig types; you just think nothing about hiking upteen miles through the forest. Oh, there is a 14,000 mountain in the way—I bet there will be a great view from up there. You know I didn’t work my ass off saving all those people just to sleep in the dirt and have a pine cone for dinner.” When I didn’t grace his tirade with a response, he went on to say. “Oh, what does he care? He’ll probably just become a snake, curl up under some leaves tonight and eat a chipmunk or something.”
 
Sweat was glistening off Hannah’s brow as she spoke. “For once I kind of agree with big mouth over here. What’s the plan anyway? Are we going to hike without any real supplies all the way to Cortez.”
 
“I’m not sure about you, but personally I’d rather be free over being locked up for a few weeks while soldiers ask us a lot of questions we can’t answer and people keep bringing up things like me becoming a snake or you firing rays of burning light out of your hands.”
 
“Good point,” was all she said and then kept her breath for hiking.
 
It was getting dark by the time we crested the mountain ridge and made our way into a densely treed valley. The going was easier on the lungs, but the trees were so thick that I took to carving a path through the dead limbs with a good sized club that I have found for myself.
 
“This place is sorta creepy,” Hannah offered as night worked its dark fingers into the land.
I was just about to suggest that we find a place to bed down when I smelled smoke. I pointed it out to the others and Ethan said, “Well crap, since I’m hanging out with you it will probably be some degenerate tribe of cannibals or something.”
 
Ignoring Ethan, I sent out my Detect Darkening spell. We were still a ways off, but even at this distance something was registering. A sickly swirling gray, like the color of dead skin. “It’s the Glooms,” I managed to get out before Hannah’s boot hit the tripwire.
 
 
 
 

 

Edgar steeped closer to Hannah. His jagged knife was bared and with enough Migo tentacles to suffocate a school bus full of kids holding me, I was powerless to help her.

“In your short time as a Stalwart you have become quite a curse, Primus. For what have done to the Overlord alone, I will enjoy watching you helplessly squirm as I slowly destroy your mate’s beautiful face!”

And that was when Ethan burst into the room bathing all those in front of him with flame, including Hannah. At first, I feared that she would be burnt with the rest of them, but she seemed as immune to fire as Ethan was.

Me, I decided to mix it up and instead of changing into a small snake, so I could escape, I became the largest snake I could imagine. My fanged filled mouth clamped down over the head of a Darcarre, while my coils dislodged the tentacle’s grip and slammed the Migo against the theater walls.

I caught a brace of Migo within my coils and let them feel the real squeeze until they erupted like foul rotting mushrooms. Between my sudden attack and half the place falling into flames, the theater was flung into chaos. The screen caught on fire filling the room with bellowing clouds of chemical laced smoke.

I saw Edgar try to scream a few commands but then scream for a very different reason when Ethan lit him up with his flame pistol. As if remembering hers for the first time, Hannah joined the man in red and the room became an inferno. That was when we heard the frying prisoners scream. Hannah was panic stricken. She gasped when she realized innocents were being hurt.

The Xemmoni were in full retreat, falling back into hallways and rooms that were already ablaze behind them.  As I transformed back into a man, I saw a candle headed Edgar lead a knot of Darcarre through the hole I had busted into the wall. I wanted to pursue, but the victims of both the Migo and now these flames needed help.

The only positive about being bathed in flames were that it melted the Migo mucus that was binding the prisoners. It was a horrid task, but with my two allies both being immune to flame, we were able to rescue another twenty six people. Although some of them were pretty crunchy by the time they made it out.

Looking back, I saw that the entire building was a tower of fire. Nothing would survive that blaze. I figured Edgar and a few of his nestlings had made good their escape, but frankly I was too exhausted to care. I just wanted to sit down and wash the grime from my face, but instead I went through the victims offering healing both mundane and Magickal.

When we were spent, Ethan looked over at me and said. “I think we have done more than enough for these people, what do you say we hit that Ska pub before the army heads in. I for one think we deserve as much free beer as we can drink!”

“I agree,” I said and after helping Hannah to her feet, we limped to her ride. “I just hope I can scrounge up a cheese steak,” I grumbled, as we raced through the empty streets.

 

Would you like to find out more about what happened to Jack and his journey to become a Stalwart? Then check out his first adventures!!!!!!!!

Edgar steeped closer to Hannah. His jagged knife was bared and with enough Migo tentacles to suffocate a school bus full of kids holding me, I was powerless to help her.

“In your short time as a Stalwart you have become quite a curse, Primus. For what have done to the Overlord alone, I will enjoy watching you helplessly squirm as I slowly destroy your mate’s beautiful face!”

And that was when Ethan burst into the room bathing all those in front of him with flame, including Hannah. At first, I feared that she would be burnt with the rest of them, but she seemed as immune to fire as Ethan was.

Me, I decided to mix it up and instead of changing into a small snake, so I could escape, I became the largest snake I could imagine. My fanged filled mouth clamped down over the head of a Darcarre, while my coils dislodged the tentacle’s grip and slammed the Migo against the theater walls.

I caught a brace of Migo within my coils and let them feel the real squeeze until they erupted like foul rotting mushrooms. Between my sudden attack and half the place falling into flames, the theater was flung into chaos. The screen caught on fire filling the room with bellowing clouds of chemical laced smoke.

I saw Edgar try to scream a few commands but then scream for a very different reason when Ethan lit him up with his flame pistol. As if remembering hers for the first time, Hannah joined the man in red and the room became an inferno. That was when we heard the frying prisoners scream. Hannah was panic stricken. She gasped when she realized innocents were being hurt.

The Xemmoni were in full retreat, falling back into hallways and rooms that were already ablaze behind them.  As I transformed back into a man, I saw a candle headed Edgar lead a knot of Darcarre through the hole I had busted into the wall. I wanted to pursue, but the victims of both the Migo and now these flames needed help.

The only positive about being bathed in flames were that it melted the Migo mucus that was binding the prisoners. It was a horrid task, but with my two allies both being immune to flame, we were able to rescue another twenty six people. Although some of them were pretty crunchy by the time they made it out.

Looking back, I saw that the entire building was a tower of fire. Nothing would survive that blaze. I figured Edgar and a few of his nestlings had made good their escape, but frankly I was too exhausted to care. I just wanted to sit down and wash the grime from my face, but instead I went through the victims offering healing both mundane and Magickal.

When we were spent, Ethan looked over at me and said. “I think we have done more than enough for these people, what do you say we hit that Ska pub before the army heads in. I for one think we deserve as much free beer as we can drink!”

 “I agree,” I said and after helping Hannah to her feet, we limped to her ride. “I just hope I can scrounge up a cheese steak,” I grumbled, as we raced through the empty streets.

 

Would you like to find out more about what happened to Jack and his journey to become a Stalwart? Then check out his first adventures!!!!!!!!

The fiery explosions shook the theater and almost knocked us off our feet. Human screams mixed with the frantic trilling of the foul Fungi of Yuggoth. Luckily, Ethan had set his fire traps on the far side of the building, but already smoke was pouring into the room and the crackle of flames could be heard.

The Migo had been thrown into Chaos and the Darcarre weren’t too far behind. I used these precious seconds to attempt a head count of the slime incased prisoners and counted roughly twenty cocoons.

I grabbed Hannah’s arm. “Come on, grab a body while they are distracted!” She was a half inch from panic, but did as she was told and tossed a body over her shoulder. I grabbed two and we raced toward the emergency exit.

After bursting into the welcome sunlight, I was hard pressed to want to re-enter that flame ridded dark tomb.

I did anyway.

This time Hannah and I grabbed the victims closest to the door and were able to save three more of them. Once outside, I was surprised to see the purifying rays of the sun were already dissolving the Migo’s foul mucus.

“Praise Apollo,” Hannah said, and tried to summon a smile. Then we were rushing in again.

This time, they were ready for us. I was hit with at least two Darcarre Bestows and cried out in pain when my veins began to blacken.  Tentacles lashed out at us. Grabbing and holding.

I could hear Edgar shouting. I should have known. “They are the cause of all this. Make them pay. Yes, yes! Kill them and we will be safe once more!”

I struggled and fought. A Migo shrieked when I tore a foul appendages from its body. But it was replaced with ten more. And then another Darcarre Bestow crashed into me. More tentacles grabbed me and soon my fighting was over.

“Yes, that’s it. Make them pay,” Edgar said while stepping closer. “You have impressed me more than once, Stalwart. You have caused me enough trouble for me to want to kill two hundred of your kind.” He smiled, “but I’ll be doing that anyway, starting with this pretty thing.”

“But my lord, the fire draws near,” One of this minions said.

“We’ll have enough time. Organize the rest. Have them seek cover in the nearest structure. I have things to finish here.”

 With another foul grin, he drew a long serrated dagger and advanced on Hannah.

 

Would you like to find out more about what happened to Jack and his journey to become a Stalwart? Then check out his first adventures!!!!!!!!