Incarnations

December 12, 2016

After twenty miles of jogging mixed with power walking, Jack began to wish he’s risked taking a cab. Still, with everyone tending to get ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers,’ on him, he felt it remained better to play it safe. He just hoped the delay in time wouldn’t be causing Tynilia complications.

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Stalwart

Stalwart

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Poor woman all alone in world which isn’t hers. He chuckled. Hell, the same can be said for me, because this sure as shit isn’t my world. I just need to get Ty and get us out of here.

 

He knew Tynilia would usually teleport away if she ran into complications, but in this world so new and strange to her, where would she go?

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Tyn

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Gritting his teeth, he started to jog again. For good, ill, or neutral, he needed to return to Phillip’s tavern.

 

*         *         *

 

An hour later, found his sweat soaked body reaching Phillip’s outer door. He’d left, through no fault of his own, Tynilia in the tavern with Phillip, and the mad eyed brunette, he thought he’d heard one of them address as Loni. His incarnation had disappeared when he had, but certainly had more resources and could have beat him back to the tavern.

 

Shit, this whole dispersal when we too close could be about to happen again if I’m not careful.

 

After hesitating for just a moment, he took a deep breath, and pushed into the tavern. His eyes dashed each way while half expecting to see the other Jack and have them each get blasted halfway across Boston again.

 

Instead he saw Phillip quietly sweeping up what appeared to be a few shattered glasses. When he saw Jack, he favored the Stalwart with a half-smile and leaned the broom against the bar. He pulled out a rolled joint and lit it, as Jack walked his way.

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Long way down

Phillip Borwnhurst

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The rest of the bar proved as empty as it remained dark. The deep stained wood did little to reflect the nine brown candles burning in scattered recesses. He hadn’t noticed how it happened, but two amber glasses had appeared on a well-worn table.

 

Phillip took a long puff on the joint until the end glowed a cherry red and then sat at the table in front of one of the ales. When Jack sat opposite, Phillip made a motion to hand the joint to him, “Care for some?”

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grendals

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“I’ll hold off for now.” He did take a long chug for the ale. Some might have called it a risky move, but he figured when he couldn’t trust Brownhurst’s ale, he wouldn’t have much of a reason to continue living.

 

His eyes noticed a fresh hack in the bar and a couple of broken chairs had already been stacked near the roaring fireplace. “Looks like there was a bit of a fist to cuffs here,” Jack said. “I hope it wasn’t worse than that.”

 

Phillip smiled. It was a sight he’d always enjoyed, but here, on this world, he wasn’t sure if anything could be trusted. “Well Loni, who I always thought of as your lady,” he laughed, “went after your other lady.” He cocked his head to the side, “And she’s quite the looker by the way, you old dog.”

 

“Tynilia is my only lady,” Jack corrected.

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Jack Stern

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Phillip laughed again. “Loni is, without a doubt, the toughest female Stalwart I’ve ever come across, but perhaps her skills made her a little cocky, for when ah… Tynilia kicked in her Rapidity, Loni got more than a bit schooled. Tynilia had kept things in blunt and batter mode, but when Loni slashed open her arm with a dagger, I believe she called her a bitch before teleporting somewhere.”

 

Jack rubbed his forehead. “So, you have no idea where she might be, but at least she’s breathing?”

 

“As far as I know, although Loni and now, um you are out looking for her along with other allies.” He looked Jack’s way and he face remained in the shadows of his leather hat. “I did tell Loni you didn’t attack her Jack and were in fact an incarnation of the man she loves. Hopefully it will help her be more considerate to your lady.”

 

“One could hope.” Jack leaned back and took another long pull off his ale.

 

Phillip tossed the stub of his joint into the roaring flames.

 

A short silence lingered, which Jack broke. “So, it seems like you’re well informed on this world, Phillip. For instance, you seem very aware of our incarnations and how they work. I assume you know you’re one.”

 

“The veil for me here has been lifted higher than in most.” He took a grim sip. “I am also well aware of the incarnations. Although I’ve tried to keep such things hidden from this world’s Jack and Loni.”

 

“Is this Loni one of us?”

 

“Oh yes,” he smiled. “You may yet meet her on your world.”

 

“Good to know. But now I think you need to tell me the true story of what’s taking place on this world, old friend.”

 

Phillip grew more serious. “I’m willing to do that, Jack, but let me grab us a pitcher first, for it’s a long tale.”

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face-bad

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creepy-death

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gloom-head

Jacks Or Worse

November 7, 2016

Jack and Tynilia kept to the alley and back streets, but every time they encountered someone, the individual or group would turn their way and give them a glassy eyed stare before walking in their direction.

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hero

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“Jack, I’m really reconsidering my choice to accompany you back to our planet,” she said, as they jogged past a group of cooks smoking behind a restaurant. Each of the men dropped their cigarettes and started to powerwalk after them.

 

“Yeah, it doesn’t seem like we’re trapped in a zombie movie, minus the gore.”

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crowds

 

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“What’s a movie?”

 

“Never mind, but I hear what you’re saying,” he said as he grasped his lover’s hand and took them down a narrow alley to their left. “I just need some answers. If this somehow is my world, then it would be my duty to save it.”

 

He stopped and looked back at the gathering crowd of eighty people on their trail. His hands rose while he chanted a few words under his breath.

 

“And if it isn’t your world?”

 

Summoning the strength of Yig, he felt thankful, his God’s presence remained, but it did feel weaker than usual. Whatever planet he might be on, the Stalwart Gods appeared to be losing.

 

“If it isn’t my world…” a wall of earth erupted through the pavement and blocked the end of the alley. Sand a gravel rained down, but for the moment they had stopped their pursuers. He turned to her, “I like the idea of helping every decent world in their battle against Vile and I’m happy I was able to help turn the tide against that bastard on your planet, but if this isn’t my world… I think I’m inclined to leave. My own planet needs me. After I help my world, if I can, then we’ll worry about being intergalactic Stalwarts,” he grabbed her hand and they took off at a half run, “but until then, I need to get home.”

 

“I hope this isn’t your world then.”

 

“Me too.”

 

*         *         *

 

Although it remained early, Phillip’s pub, the Baccanaght, was open. Jack grabbed the handle and rushed in. A few boozehounds drank at the bar and within shaded booths. A few working men looked like they’d dropped in for a liquid lunch.

 

Everything within Baccanaght gleamed in various tones of tans and browns. Jack could feel the mystic strength which flowed through the place and as he led Tynilia between the pool tables to the bar, he noted the costumers within the establishment didn’t look at them any stranger than normal people should when confronted with a sexy Mayan sorceress and a tall man wearing armor with a four-foot hammer strapped to his back.

 

“Jack! By the wine soaked beard, what in Hades happened to you?” Phillip called at them from behind the bar. His concern blossomed into a smile. “And who’s this lovely young flower of darkness?”

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T II

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“Darkness,” Tynilia said, placing her small hands on her hips.

 

“Well you do follow Tez,” Jack said under his breath.

 

“True,” she said, while looking around. “So far this is the best place you have taken me to.”

 

“Glad to hear it,” Phillip said with a warm smile and placed a glass of wine on the bar in front of her. Jack received a pitcher of Harpoon and a clean glass.

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Phillip Brownhurst

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He released a breath he hadn’t know he’d been holding and the couple sat at the bar.

 

Phillip let a few sips make it into their tired forms before he said, “So ah, Jack, you need to fill me on what happened to you. Who’s your beautiful new friend and why are you, uh, wearing armor, my brother.”

 

Seeing his friend and being within the mystical safety of Baccanaght helped Jack relax, but he still wasn’t too sure how far he should go with his explanation. Tynilia stared at him as he began.

 

“Well you remember when we went up against Vile Darken in the commons? What did you see that night?”

 

“Vile who? What battle?” He chuckled. “Did you start drinking before you came here.”

 

His stomach clenched. Phillip seemed the same, but something remained off.

 

Jack tried to cover his tracks and allowed himself a half-laugh. “You like my act so far. Ty and I will be performing in a LARP near Quincy Market. You know, it always helps to make a few extra bucks.”

 

“Um, okay. I thought you were about the last person I knew who is hurting for money though.” Phillip gazed at him for a long moment. “Jack, I like the new look, I really do.” His eyes quinted, “but how did you get your hair so much longer?”

 

“Yig allows me to…”

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devon

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“Oh yeah, the Yig thing.”

 

At least he knows who Yig is, Jack mused and took another sip of his ale.

 

Behind him the door to Baccanaght opened.

 

Tynilia looked back before he had a chance. “Oh no Jack, JACK! Look out, run!”

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4444444

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Whipping around, he had just enough time to see a couple had entered the pub. The woman was a gorgeous young brunette with a slim body and an easy stride. But with her was…him. Another Jack Primus, in his usual outfit of leather, jeans, and boots.

 

Then it hit him. Reality twisted. He knew two incarnations couldn’t occupy the same space, but had never experienced what happened when they did and he heard Tynilia cry out as his existence tore apart and was he flung out into the Multiverse.

 

 

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The Baron

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Amy Face

 

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Darcarre Villain

Home World?

October 24, 2016

The half-jog through the busy streets of Boston while covered with medieval weapons and garb, proved to be anything but easy. They avoided the police, various gangs, and drunken jocks when they could, but had a few close calls.

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boston-c

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While moving through the streets, something felt off to Jack. He couldn’t put his fangs on it, but he noticed small things. He hadn’t remembered as many video screens in the streets. The small screens played the news while he waited for a red light to change. Could we have somehow landed back on Earth, but in the future? Maybe there’s a difference in how time moves on the various worlds. But-

 

Tynilia drew him back to the present. “What sort of magick causes these squares full of people to talk? Are they real people shrunk in there or do people use necromancy to trap ghosts within?”

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Tynilia

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She was getting a few strange looks, but then again they’d gotten such throughout the whole walk. He shifted his war hammer, which might have made Thor jealous, and grasped Tynilia’s hand when it became time to cross the street.

 

“I’m starting to understand things. The white glyph means continue and the orange hand indicates to continue would mean being crushed under the square death eaters.”

 

“Dead eaters?”

 

“You were the one that told me that your people fuel the metal boxes on the remains of dead animals.”

 

“Yeah, I guess that’s right.” He maintained his hold on her small hand. “Around here though, you’d be better off calling them cars.”

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bosten

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They had to move off Commonwealth Avenue and head south to get to Phillip’s Tavern. He had just turned in the right direction when they rounded a corner and almost bumped into two thick set police officers.

 

“Hold on here, boyo. It isn’t Halloween yet.” He had a few inches taller than his partner and sported a thick mustache.

 

“Yeah,” the second said. “I’m going to need to scan you.”

 

For once Jack felt as confused as Tynilia for he had no idea what was being asked of him.

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jack Armor

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“Come, laddie,” the second cop said. “Pull out your personal.”

 

Jack remained confused, “My personal?”

 

“What, you hawked it so you could dress up like some renaissance fair reject?” This caused them both to chuckle, but then their mood turned serious as the taller one ordered, “Alright, we tried to play nice, hands on the walls and spread em.”

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cop-evil

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“Did he just suggest we have sex with them?” Tynilia demanded. “How foul. You are a horrid man.”

 

“And you are about to meet some horrid women after I lock you up. That’s it Bernie, cuff them.”

 

“By the scaly,” Jack started as the beefy cop grabbed him. He fought back against the man for a moment and then said, “Screw it,” and dropped him to the pavement with a single punch to the jaw.

 

“Don’t kill him, Ty.”

 

She nodded, drew her spirit dagger and smashed the man on the top of the head with the pummel. The second cop joined the first unconscious on the pavement.

 

Then something odd happened.

 

Every person within sight, stopped what they were doing and stared their way. A moment later they all began to power walk toward them.

 

“I don’t like this.”

 

“This is your world?” She asked. “Why were you in such a hurry to return? So far I can’t say I’m enjoying my stay.”

 

“I’m starting to wonder…” He drew closer to her. “How about you teleport us as far as you can that way.”

 

“I thought you said such displays would damage these people’s minds.”

 

Jack looked at the glazed over eyes of the dozens of people heading their way. “Somehow, I don’t think it’s going to matter.”

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staring

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Tynilia moved in and embraced Jack. A puff of inky smoke surrounded them for a moment and then they reappeared a few blocks to the south.

 

“We’re close to my friend’s place. Let’s just get some answers from him.”

 

Tynilia looked at a new group of pedestrians who stared their way briefly before power walking toward them. “Yes, we’ll either get some answers or have to kill him.”

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horror-fog

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Jack Stern

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The Baron

The Baron

My World, Strange World

October 3, 2016

Tynilia’s hand found his as she looked on in awe at the buildings which towered over the pair. Even though Jack had seen many of the larger cities in the US and had lived in Boston more than a while, after his stay of such a different, low-tech world, the sight of such a bustling throng of modern people left him with a strong case of cultural shock.

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boston-crowds

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He could only imagine how Tynilia, who grew up in a small, stone-age village must be feeling.

 

Her words restated his thoughts. “Are we safe here? I’ve never seen so many people in one place. If they turn against us, we won’t stand a chance.”

 

He chuckled. “Most of the people from my world aren’t like that.” However, looking down at his tattered clothes, which barely covered his half shredded chainmail, and certainly not his oversized battle-axe, he realized there was some cause for concern.

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Jack Stern

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Tynilia didn’t fit in to well either. Her obsidian tipped spear hovered over her tight doeskin dress and most of her was adored with black feathers, charms, and various small animal bones.

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Tynilia

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“Now that I think of it, sometimes our law and order types aren’t too keen on weapons like ours being out in public.”

 

“We can’t discard them?” she questioned as worry mixed with fear over her petite face.

 

“I think not,” he said, as he moved her through the crowds by the hand. They received quite a mix of glances passing along the busy city streets. Some folks ignored their outlandish garb completely, while others stopped and open mouth stared. Children laughed and pointed, which caused him to make a face or growl their way. Their eyes grew large, while they shrieked, and hid behind their parents.

 

Tynilia proved far less jovial and asked, “Where are you taking us, somewhere safe I hope.”

Vel

“I hope so too. There’s the T, but with these weapons. Shit, I’m pretty sure my wallet was torn off in that battle with the Faceless God.”

 

“What’s a wallet?”

 

“Nevermind, let’s see we’re near Commonwealth Ave. You probably aren’t ready for a car ride yet.”

 

“What is a car?”

 

“See those big squares of metal almost smashing into each other, those are cars. Think of them like ah…advanced wagons where we use dead animals to power them instead of live ones.”

 

“How foul.”

 

“Says the woman who worships Tezcatlipoca the lord of the darkness, night, death and-”

 

“You may stop. Focus on keeping us from being killed.”

 

“I’m more worried about getting arrested. Are you up for a walk?”

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jack Fire

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“How far and where too?”

 

“My friend Phillip has a bar. If anyone can help us, he can. Although when I last left here, we were in the middle of a battle with Vile Darken.” He looked around, “Although, from the looks of things, Vile must not have caused too much trouble.”

 

“So this is normal.”

 

“Yeah,” he said, “Come on let’s get going before some cops stop us and if they do we’re both heading to a Comic Con, okay?”

 

“Comic Con?”

 

“Yeah, and for once, you had better let me do all the talking.”

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Hungry for you

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Phillip

Phillip

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

 

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Darcarre Villain

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

 

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Forest Jack

Forest Jack

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Tyllina

Jack froze at Tynilia’s words. The Darken was attacking the forces aliened against him and would be hitting the warriors of Yig at any moment.

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He looked behind him at the eighty warriors gathered near the side of the cliff and then smiled. “I know what we need to do. We might not have much time so we need to hurry.” Moving toward, he grabbed Huth-allan-nith by the forearm. “I might need one more man to help with this.”

Despite the language barrier, the Stalwart understood what was being asked of him and nodded.

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Jack held up four more fingers and pointed at the man they’d been working with and Huth-allan-nith nodded again.

“I’m assuming Met can fly like you can Tynilia.”

It was her turn to nod.

Tynilia

“Good, now this is what we’re going to do and we need to hurry because we don’t have much time.”

*         *         *

An hour later found Jack, Tynilia, Huth-allan-nith, and Met-A-Lock sitting around a campfire, which burned only a few yards away from the side of the imposing cliff. Four of Huth-allan-nith’s handpicked warriors stayed close and moved between the quickly crafted huts making a few improvements and looking busy. He could also sense Shadowknife lurking in a patch of darkness just out of sight.

“They say this man has the intelligence of a God,” Met-A-Lock sneered as he spoke. “What makes you think he won’t see through such a simple ruse?”

He gave the Darcarre a glare of his own. Whether the evil man had bedded Tynilia or not remained open to debate, but either way Jack had chosen to dislike him. “Have you met Vile Darken before? No, well I have, several times now. Yes, he’s beyond powerful, a deadly plotter, and madder than a goldfish tossed into a bag of spiders, but he’s also arrogant. He would be hard pressed to believe his plans are anything sort of genius and the idea that we could plot against his moves or outsmart him would be hard for him to comprehend.”

“Also, despite his might, he has a soft spot for luxury. I’m sure that a big part of him feels why bother taking over the Multi-verse if you can’t enjoy it. So this desire for luxury might lead him to believe that the warriors could have constructed these little huts while they waited because that would be what he’d make his slaves do for him.”

Met-A-Lock had not answer and just grunted while looking away.

Jack had just turned over his ground fowl on the coals when a sphere of purple tinged black light exploded into existence between his small group and the huts. Already laughing, like he’d finished the battle, Vile stepped out of the cloud followed by four powerful Ripperkah. Two of which Jack recognized from his attack on their pyramid filled capital.

Xemmoni

Xemmoni

Vile Darken’s voice boomed at them, like usual his words were the first thing to attack. “Ah, another Primus. You think your maneuvering will accomplish more than elevating you to the annoyance level of a gnat where you were once a fly? But either way, I will crush you like the primitive bug you are. My only regret will be that I ever bothered to march my army toward your pathetic forces when I should have just come out here and killed you all to the man myself.”

Vile Darken

Vile Darken

While he spoke, everyone else moved. Jack had gathered and prepared the sand and used his Mold Earth spell to dash buckets worth of earth into his opponent’s faces. Between their disorientation after teleporting and getting eyes full of sand, this appeared to have slowed them down giving the warriors of Yig a chance to follow through with the more mundane lunching of spears. Both Met-A-Lock and Tynilia also attacked with spells, but only Tynilia’s appeared to have worked. Jack saw another Bestow, most likely driven by Shadowknife, crash into the back of one of the Ripperkah skulls and the man stumbled forward a step.

“Fools!” Vile raged. “You seek to stop me with dirt. If it is dirt you enjoy so much than into the dirt you shall go. Say hello to the worms for me. I will—what?”

The shamans of Yig had hidden just out of sight and they moved in concert to bring down the whole cliff under all of their feet.

Tynilia took to the air and grabbed Jack by his jerkin as he flung head sized boulders into their enemy’s faces.

Then everything began to happen almost too quickly to follow. Huth-allan-nith was falling and Met-A-Lock went to grab him, but unlike his allies, Vile had the ability to hover and aimed an attack at Jack while his eyes leaked an inky smoke.

Tynilia cried out and in his precarious position a thousand feet above the Earth, Jack couldn’t be sure he’d make it through a serious assault.

Tynilia chose to dive and as Vile cast a blast of black lightning their way Met-A-Lock swooped down in an attempt to grab Huth-allan-nith and found himself the recipient of Vile’s massive bolt of energy.

The Darcarre wailed in a short lived scream, but his pummeled body went silent as it tumbled without control through the rock choked avalanche.

Jack looked down and saw Huth-allan-nith’s panicked face for a moment before his falling body became lost within the choking swarm of rocks, dirt, and dust.

jj4

A dark figure flashed by them and he guessed it was Shadowknife, but who he was trying to rescue remained unknown, as was his ability to do so.

But Jack had his own problems. Vile dove after him and Tynilia. His clothes were a ragged mass of tattered reds, purples, and blacks as he prepared another spell. “Here he comes,” she yelled over the thundering boulders.

“Primus you will not escape me this time!”

“You want to bet?” Tynilia said. Then, before Jack could stop her, the sorceress of Tezcatlipoca had teleported them away.

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T with sword

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To be continued next Monday

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Jack Dagger

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Find out how Jack’s Adventures Started Here!

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The Darken

The Darken

Trapped in a Pit of Darkness

February 23, 2015

Jack figured night had fallen over the land, for everything around him was black save for the smattering of stars he could make out through the bars that spread twenty feet over his head. The pit he’d found himself in was damp, clammy, and cold. Jack was pissed off before he had even gotten to his feet.

Tezcatlipoca Jaguar

In his younger days, he might have started shouting at the Stalwarts of Tezcatlipoca, but with experience comes wisdom. Taking a deep breath, he let it out slowly.

Putting the follower of an Earth God into a pit, hmmmm. I guess my only issue will be how I choose to escape. But then he sensed something. Some type of enchantment had been placed on the surrounding earth. He might be able to overcome it, but it wouldn’t be easy and his efforts could very well be detected.

That leaves becoming a serpent, he thought to himself. However, the walls looked rough and didn’t appear to be the type of surface that a snake could climb. Jack listened for a moment, hoping to get some clue as to what might be happening out there.

He could hear voices from time to time and talking in the distance, but no clamor or the sounds of some huge event reached his ears. At least what’s happening to Tynilia seemed to be taking place behind closed doors, but that could be a bad thing too.

Tez Shaman

Deciding not to malinger any longer, Jack transformed himself into the biggest snake he could. Jack had mostly favored smaller snakes when he made his change, and becoming a giant serpent taxed his skills in ways he hadn’t anticipated. Decreasing one’s mass appeared to be much easier than increasing it. Still he fought to grow as long as possible. After what seemed like eight minutes of discomforting effort, he’d become an anaconda of considerable size.

The task of getting out still loomed before him. Snakes were not meant to balance on their tails and Jack learned this quickly. After several failed attempts to stretch his body toward the bars, he stopped to reassess his position and that was when a group of warriors appeared at the top of the pit.

Lithoca

Lithoca

One of them was the man Tynilia had been promised to, Lithoca. The shaman that had knocked Jack unconscious stood there, as well as a tall man tattooed with dark jaguar spots. As usual, the men of Tezcatlipoca favored darker feathers and patterns on their narrow kilts. Wicked looking weapons filled their fists and if the expressions on their faces were any indication, a few of them appeared anxious to use them.

The shaman and Lithoca flung words down at him, but he couldn’t hear them as a snake so he returned to his human form while those above waited impatiently.

When he had returned to his natural body, the taller warrior spoke down to him in a tongue he understood. “Man of Yig, you have disrespected Lithoca, our village, and now violated more of our laws by seeking to escape.”

Tez Chieftain

Jack brushed his clothes off for a moment and forced them to wait. After clearing his throat he said, “The way I see it, I came here with the best of intentions. You assaulted me, hurt my friend, and then stole my possessions. Then, by withholding my freedom, you have all but declared war on me and mine. I am not from your world, so perhaps I should just return to mine due to this ill treatment and then laugh from afar while the Darken tears your villages apart one by one.”

The Darken

The others hurled more insults at him, but he might as well have stayed in snake form, for their words remained past his comprehension.

“We obviously perceive our situations differently, man if Yig. Lithoca, here, sees you as a man that has tainted his bride and seeks your death.”

“I think his issues with Tynilia began long before a met her three days ago. What you should be focusing on is why I have risked my safety and freedom to contact all of you.”

The leader spoke again. “Tynilia has communicated your intent and your plan to help use us to protect your village of Yigglings has received poor response, like ants trapped in amber you seek to draw others into a mess that will only kill them as well.”

“Actually, you got it wrong. I was going to ask the village of Yig followers to help protect your walls, for I believe Darken intends on attacking you first.” It might have been a lie, but the leader quickly communicated what Jack said to the others.

The group above him fell into chaos, but this didn’t distract Lithoca’s hatred for him and the man pointed down at Jack while screaming words of anger.

“Perhaps you speak the truth, perhaps not. In cases like this, we let Tezcatlipoca decide. If the dark one favors you, you will live. If not, your situation will no longer be a concern to…anyone.”

Jack looked up at the man. “And how will Tezcatlipoca be decided this outcome?”

“You will be fighting Lithoca to the death and the outcome will prove the strength of your words.”

“I figured it would be something like that. Might as well toss me a rope, it’s going to be another long night. Oh yeah, and tell Lithoca’s family that they should start digging a grave for him.”

Flaming Tezcatlipoca

To be continued next Monday

Find out how Jack’s Adventures Started Here!

Fight, Fight, Fight

August 25, 2014

Jack struggled up the steep boulder covered mountain, as the war cries of the Ripperkah grew closer. Looking back, he saw that over a dozen of the corrupted natives followed in his wake. As before, they adorned themselves with red feathers and scarlet tattoos.

In another situation, Jack could have felt remorse for what he would be forced to do. This was their lands, hell this wasn’t even his world, but the Xemmoni were a foul curse and Darkened the souls, as well as the minds, of the minions they infected with their evil. Jack had no doubt that friendlier tribes would be beyond pleased by every kill he could make against these demon lovers. That is, if these Ripperkah hadn’t already killed all the other tribes off.

 6

Gazing ahead, he saw what he’d been searching for. With a grunt he tried to increase his pace. They still gained on him.

Thirty feet of cliff still separated him from the thick cluster of trees that grew around the stream he followed. On the other side of that clearing the canyon rose into a steep cliff. “If I can just make that clearing…”

Upon reaching the base of the thirty foot cliff, Jack turned and readied his looted javelin. To a man, the Ripperkah used their Rapidity bestow, which increased their speeds two or three fold. A young Ripperkah wearing some type of lizard skull over his head can into view not fifty feet before him. His reward for being the leader of the pack was becoming the first to die. The Javelin hit him in the center of the chest. The man lost balance and went toppling over backwards to land on the sharp stones forty feet below.

Jack hated to part with the spear he worked so hard to make, but knew holding it would slow his climb, so he lunched it at another one of them. He cursed when the man’s increased speed allowed him to duck under it.

Strings of curses continued to erupt from his lips as he set himself to climbing. He had only made it halfway up when weapons began to clatter around him. Everything from flint napped spear heads, to obsidian hand axes collided with the stone face he climbed. A few weapons connected with him, but failed to penetrate his protection afforded by Yig. A large stone encrusted club smacked him on the back of the head and when a javelin pierced his thigh, it became all he could do to just hold on.

Somehow he made it up to the clearing between the cliffs. Pausing only long enough to draw the javelin from his leg, he sprinted as fast as his wounds would allow to the other side of the clearing.

Once there, he readied his javelin, but held off. The evil warriors came over the lip of rock like a manic red wave. He counted thirteen of them. A well tossed javelin made it a dozen.

They screamed in anger and charged him, but he was ready.

With a silent command, Jack used the powers of Yig to make the forest come alive. Animated trees clawed and clutched at the Xemmoni. Some received long lacerations, while others were grabbed and then tossed back over the cliff.

But Jack wasn’t done. Even though he felt his Ki quickly draining from him, he burned through his mystic strength to have the earth itself aid him. The ground spread creating pits where there were none. Rocks toppled off the sides of the cliffs that lined the clearing.

Once the process had started, Jack grabbed his throwing knives and added to the chaos with well placed shots. He quickly went through his five steel daggers, but then threw the three obsidian daggers he had collected earlier.

Only five had survived the mystic assault of the Earth and Jack had dropped two of these with his daggers. Of the remainders, one still charged him, while the last two lingered on the other side of the churning ground, appearing more uncertain.

With a loud scream, the nearest one charged him. The man fought with a large obsidian encrusted club in each hand.

Jack had drawn his steel hand axe and long war dagger and engaged the man. He blocked the first swing with his axe. He drove in and took a hard blow to the back, but again survived it with the help of Yig’s protection. The Ripperkah had no such defenses and his dagger took him in the guts.

The Xemmoni screamed in anger, but this quickly changed to pain, when Jack drew the dagger through him sideways. The Ripperkah stumbled and fell and in an act of mercy more than anything else, Jack’s axe split the back of his skull.

The other two Ripperkah looked his way and then took of running. They leapt from the cliff in wild abandon.

By the time he reached the cliff, it proved too late to stop them. “Looks like I may end up with even more company soon,” he grumbled.

He tried to heal himself, but found his mystic well all but dry. He was able to take the edge off his wounds, but little more. Still feeling stiff, he set himself to recovering his daggers and collecting weapons.

Against his better judgment, he wasted fifteen minutes retrieving his spear. He gathered up eight javelins and tossed them in a pile. Two of his throwing knives were gone, but he gathered up five good flint napped daggers. As the sun began to set he also found about twenty of their war clubs, which also went into a pile.

After drinking some more water he sat and allowed himself a moment to think. His eyes looked over the stacks of weapons and then lingered on the grove.

“Who knows how many more warriors these pukes have? If they’re like the Mayans that they appear to be, there could be hundreds lingering around in their jungle pyramids.” He looked up at the cliff face behind him. “I’d like to see if there are any friendly tribes around here, but the Rips going to expect me to run.”

Standing up, he continued, “Yep, they’re going to expect me to run, so screw them. I’m drawing the line in the sand and claiming this grove for Yig and may the All-Father Serpent have pity on the souls of anyone that tries to get me in here.”

 

To be continued next Monday

 

Find out how Jack’s Adventures Started Here!

 

 

 

 

The Whole World Versus Me

August 11, 2014

The sun cut through the haze he had grown so accustomed to and pressed down on Jack’s back like a living thing. How could it be that the higher I rise in elevation the hotter it seems to be getting, he mused, but then set himself to more vital tasks.

The prisoner before he had begun to moan and show sighs of regaining consciousness. Jack used some of the cords and belts from the man’s fallen comrades to bind his ankles and wrists. Then he set himself to go through the weapons.

 

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His own had grown thin, but he put his hand axe back into his shredded leather and counted his five throwing knives before the heat forced him to hang his jacket on a oak twisted into the shape of a crawling hand. He had retrieved his spear and found a thin javelin. These he placed these against the oak as well. Three obsidian daggers joined his throwing knives and he leaned three of the Ripperkah’s war clubs against the base of the tree. When he had finished, he turned and found the Ripperkah glaring at him.

“Don’t suppose you speak my language, huh?”

A string of spitting syllables thundered his way. The warrior’s eyes passed over his fallen allies weapons and the Xemmoni began to struggle against his bonds.

“I know these might be your lands and not mine, but I’m also willing to bet there could be decent folks around here that your kind preys upon.” Jack’s gaze took in the trees that rose up into the massive mountains. “Or at least I hope there are.”

“Yep, buddy, it may be your world, but finding Xemmoni here, Ripperkah no less can’t be-”
The sun cut through the haze he had grown so accustomed to and pressed down on Jack’s back like a living thing. How could it be that the higher I rise in elevation the hotter it seems to be getting, he mused, but then set himself to more vital tasks.

The prisoner before he had begun to moan and show sighs of regaining consciousness. Jack used some of the cords and belts from the man’s fallen comrades to bind his ankles and wrists. Then he set himself to go through the weapons.

His own had grown thin, but he put his hand axe back into his shredded leather and counted his five throwing knives before the heat forced him to hang his jacket on a oak twisted into the shape of a crawling hand. He had retrieved his spear and found a thin javelin. These he placed these against the oak as well. Three obsidian daggers joined his throwing knives and he leaned three of the Ripperkah’s war clubs against the base of the tree. When he had finished, he turned and found the Ripperkah glaring at him.

“Don’t suppose you speak my language, huh?”

A string of spitting syllables thundered his way. The warrior’s eyes passed over his fallen allies weapons and the Xemmoni began to struggle against his bonds.

“I know these might be your lands and not mine, but I’m also willing to bet there could be decent folks around here that your kind preys upon.” Jack’s gaze took in the trees that rose up into the massive mountains. “Or at least I hope there are.”

“Yep, buddy, it may be your world, but finding Xemmoni here, Ripperkah no less can’t be-”

 

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Jack’s dialog was cut off when the Xemmoni flung himself at the Stalwart. While Jack talked, it had grown sharp edged ridges of bone along the lower wrist of each hand. It had not only used these to free itself from his bonds, but intended to slice Jack’s throat open with them.

Jack backpedaled, while grabbed up one of the rock encrusted clubs. “I should have remembered you freaks can do that sort of thing.” He made a wild swing just to keep the Xemmoni at bay. “Pretty much impossible to tie up a Ripperkah.”

The Ripperkah’s bonish blades continued to grow until he had machete lengths of jagged grey protruding nearly a yard past his hands. These flashed and stabbed at him and one managed to score a deep wound on Jack’s left shoulder.

It was his turn to curse. “Hell, I don’t have time for this crap.” He kicked out and knocked one arm away. The other elongated bone trust at his face, but he turned his body to the sideways and then stepped in toward the Xemmoni. With a yell, the club came down with a two handed smash. The impact was so strong it did three things at once. The blow cracked the skull so loudly it echoed through the canyon, the club snapped in half, and the man’s head burst like a watermelon tossed from a roof.

Jack looked down at his gore splattered form while he just tried to catch his breath. “Man, those guys are pretty tough. If these woods are crawling with them, this might end up being all she wrote.”

With a sigh, he used a bit of his mystic strength to heal himself and began to collect his weapons. He hid the clubs under some leaves. He doubted he would even be back to retrieve them, but no sense in letting his enemy find extra weapons to use against him. The heat made him tie his jacket around his waist and he held his spear in his right hand, while the Javelin filled his left.

Using the spear and javelin to help him climb allowed him make better progress. He covered some ground, but the lack of water took its toil. He wondered again why none of the men he fought had so much as a canteen on them, but figured things couldn’t be that easy.

Every chance he got, he tried to survey the rising mountainside before him. He almost didn’t trust his eyes when he saw a thin sliver of silver cascading down the side of a moss covered cliff. Smiling to himself he hurried that way.

 

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Those last few hundred yards felt like the longest of his journey, but he reached a three foot wide stream and pledged his face into it. A chuckle escaped him as he poured handfuls over his burning brow and let it soak his hair.

After he had drunk his fill, he sat next to the stream. “Finally, well I see no reason not to just camp here tonight, I…”

Cries of anger erupted from the direction he had just traveled. Hoots and war cries quickly followed.
“Son of a bitch, talk about jinxing myself.” Looking up and the mountain that loomed above him, he continued, “Well, they want a fight, I say bring it on. If they never experienced fighting a servant of Yig in the middle of the forest, they are about to learn.”
To be continued next Monday

 

Find out how Jack’s Adventures Started Here!

 

Grey Woods