Archive for June 20th, 2012
Land for a Leg
By Nojh Livic
Witharl the Conqueror concentrated. With a small expenditure of energy the gauntlet appeared in his hand. He was forced to dodge the force bolts that flew at him before he could slap it onto his arm. The artifact required more energy before it would grow around his hand and arm but he had more than enough. As the gauntlet snapped closed, the small jewels on it began to glow and he felt a rush of energy Witharl grinned.
“You’re going to get it now!” he screamed at his opponent. As if in response, a row trees sprouted from the ground between him and his target, the archmagus Flyr, growing thick and to full maturity within a second. With a swipe of Witharl’s gauntlet covered hand, the trees uprooted themselves and flew through the air. They crushed a small group of ugly humanoids that Flyr had been previously using as a defense against him. Now there was nothing.
He met Flyr’s gaze across the battle field. The archmagus’ grim expression was in direct contrast to his own maniacal grin. “GO!” Witharl screamed and from the ground erupted three humongous land-sharks, biting and burrowing their way through the dirt towards the unprotected old man. Flyr, true to his title, let loose a torrent of spells, striking one shark down with lightning and diverting a second with a localized earthquake that sent it burrowing straight into a large rock. The third land-shark, however, was unimpeded and its large molten teeth closed around the man’s right leg before he could dodge and severed it easily.
Witharl laughed as Flyr crumpled with a scream. The land-shark dived into the earth at his mental command. He wanted to finish off the old man himself. Summoning a small gust of wind, Witharl used it to throw himself at his opponent, bringing up his gauntlet covered fist in order to land he final blow, laughing the entire time. His three-pronged tail and skinless wings whipped in the air behind him as he leapt down upon his prey.
The old human recovered faster than the Conqueror expected, rolling out of the way of the attack. He hadn’t been wallowing in pain but preparing as a bright light shone from the man’s hands. He touched the stump where his leg previously was and out from the already cauterized wound grew a new leg, not flesh and bone, but light and energy. It seemed to reinvigorate the man as he stood quickly, belying his centuries of age.
“You will not take this land or its people, demon!” Flyr snarled, lifting his staff and pointing it at Witharl, who was slowly coming to his feet after the landing heavily. His red stained teeth never disappeared as he spoke.
“I have already taken it, human,” Witharl hissed, spreading his arms wide. “This little spar of ours is just a show, to teach the locals who the real boss is. I appreciate your assistance!” Flyr dared to glance around at the carnage they had wrought. Bodies of bystanders littered the impromptu battlefield, both creatures from their own grimories and natives of the lands Flyr thought he was defending. It obviously pained the human. Witharl had no such weaknesses. “But I can not spend excessive amounts of time on frivolities. Leave this plane now and I’ll be satisfied with your leg.” To punctuate his point, the demon reached down and lifted the old man’s bloody appendage from the jaws of his land-shark that had burrowed to his side. He thought for a moment that the human might accept his offer. Many had, although this particular archmagus seemed far more suicidal than his brethren.
“In the name of the covenant, I shall banish you!” Flyr screamed, charging at him with staff leveled like a spear. Witharl sensed, more than saw, the energy forming around the weapon. He had little time to react. He threw the human’s own leg at the charging archmagus’ head. Taken completely off guard, the meaty appendage hit directly in the face, causing him to stumble and halted his charge. Before his opponent could recover, Witharl charged himself, driving his horns directly at the archmagus’ chest.
They sunk deeply, puncturing the man’s vital organs, before he pulled back, flipping the old man to the ground. Humans were so frail, even the most powerful of them. Witharl wasn’t lying when he said he did not have time to waste, however. Rather than banter more above the dying man, he simply granted him a swift death, using one clawed he other tore out the man’s throat. With a twitch he flicked the blood from his horns and claws, then left his land-shark to clean up the rest.
Witharl had a land to reshape into his own image.
For every tale of the hero, there must be a few forgotten tales of the would e protectors who tried and failed.