- Category: Travellers
- Published: Tuesday, 06 February 2018 20:58
- Written by Super User
- Hits: 155
The KaAnian sun blazed in a cloudless sky as Nailmoe reined in his charger at the top of the hill. Below he could see smoke rising from the village. “Pass the word,” he commanded, “we are going down to take a look.”
He pushed the hood of his cloak back as did the others in the troop. Even through his protective dayskin he could feel the sun’s heat. Mearisdeana believed the KaAn sun had once been weaker and KaAn had been more like the world she had been rescued from by Adamtay and Nailmoe. He found it an enticing thought but one he gave little credence to. The thought of walking outdoors in his nightskin instead of his dayskin caused the muscles across his back to tighten although the memory of swimming in his nightskin with Tyrese, the barmaid from that other world, was one he cherished.
After travelling through the rift to rescue Mearisdeana, they had been home for a month before rumours of massacres from beyond the mountains had reached the palace. The king had sent a squad to investigate. Only one man returned, wounded, and almost incoherent. He babbled on about monsters.
Adamtay was touring the kingdom with his bride, and no doubt demonstrating the magical capability of the Sword of Sacrifice, so command of the next patrol fell to Nailmoe. Behind him ranged the men of the Prince’s Own Lancers, men he knew and trusted. They had tracked the devastating attacks through four remote villages, always too late to catch whomever or whatever was performing the atrocities. His men were veterans, but all had balked at the tortures inflicted on the bodies they had found, some were torn apart or crushed by blows from something with enormous strength. Fear entered the men’s hearts, but they were also angered, ready to inflict damage of their own.
They were less than a bowshot from the village when a screaming woman ran out from between two houses. She was being chased by something from legend. “Ogre,” Nailmoe heard someone say, or perhaps it had been a prayer to an old god. Whatever the thing was, it died from three arrows before it realized the men were there. The next creature raised an alarm before it died. The squad rode into the village and killed several beasts with arrows before the creatures got organized, and a larger monster made its appearance. It sprang from between two building as the bowmen were ranging forward, landed on a man and his charger, taking both to the ground before ripping their bodies apart. The thing started towards them.
“Lances!” Nailmoe commanded.
The first line of lancers dropped their points and charged. Bowmen scattered while keeping up a barrage of arrows. The thing sprang over the line of charging lancers, beheading one soldier and taking down two more before the second line hit it. The monster tried to escape but ended up pinned to a building wall by six lances. A ferocious battle saw the rest of the creatures dispatched.
When Nailmoe approached the large monster, it was still alive. He was surprised to realize he could understand the words it spoke.
“Come closer creature, I will rip your head off and suck it dry. A fitting treat before I die.”
“Bring me a lance,” Nailmoe told the closest trooper.
“You can use your long sticks to kill me, but it will not save you. My master is coming. He wants his crystals, and he will kill everything until he has them. You know what I mean. I can smell the crystals on you. Prepare to suffer, little creature. Your weapons will not save you from Transgarin.”
The monster laughed as the sergeant presented a lance to Nailmoe who leveled it and jumped his charger forward. The lance entered the creature’s open mouth and silenced its mad laughter.