Friday, June 28, 2013

God's Eye View of Hekinoe Part 5

A howl splits the perpetual twilight of the dark forest like thunder. The pack moves as one, seeking their alpha, each of them distressed. The white ones with the breath of winter lope alongside their cousins, the black ones with the breath of fire, their feuding forgotten in their distress. The huge black beasts, the largest of the large and most strongly linked to the alpha, whine in their throats while their younger cousins speak among themselves of their concerns in the language only they can speak aloud. The pack comes upon the alpha as he sits in his den of bones and rotting meat, howling as if to herald the end of the world. His massive might cows even the largest of the pack, but there is something within him no pack member has sensed before, weakness.

The elderly man looks up from his table, books of arcane diagrams and formula scattered around him. He cocks his head to the side and raises a grey eyebrow of unruly hair. He grasps his staff, etched with arcane runes, and strides from the room, moving to a window on the side of the building. Looking down into the city, he sees the long line of wizards dispersing and he laughs. Great, heaving, side splitting guffaws hunch him over as he grasps his sides. Tears of joy spill down his cheeks to run through his grey beard. The smile that splits the beard is one of complete elation.

The Asosan pauses in his field, hoe stuck in the rough earth, and looks to his father and mother as they polish his great red suit of plate. He raises a hand to his forehead as he gazes at the sky, shielding his eyes. Confusion swims in his eyes as he leaves the hoe where it is and dons the armor. He stretches and shifts his body around for a few moments, as if unaccustomed to the weight of the armor, then kisses his mother's cheek and begins his walk towards the capital, his great shield emblazoned with a tower strapped to his back  and his huge blade resting in its scabbard over one shoulder.

Hidden away in the swamps of Mawknell a bearded old man rocks in his chair on the porch of a run down cabin, giggling quietly to himself as he carves apart an apple with a knife. Two ancient and decrepit cats harass each other at his feet while their tails draw ever closer to the legs of the rocking chair. Something huge shifts in the swamp muck nearby and the old man scowls at the noise and brings his shotgun closer before returning to eating his apple and chuckling to himself.

Deep beneath the earth, the god-king and his son pause in their battle, peering around in the lightless abyss of the Underhel. The magical runes upon their axes are dimmer, and their movements slower, their blows suddenly less earth shattering. Father and son meet each other's gaze and the son shrugs and turns away from the battle to return to his kingdom of the dead. The god-king scratches at his bald pate and shoulders his mighty axe and begins his ascent to the surface to return to his kingdom. 

The Goebleen bolts upright upon his throne, his ears straight as arrows. He looks around the chamber, catching his brother's eyes and gesturing with his own at the shadows in the corners or the room. The brother picks up on it immediately and begins muttering beneath his breath while he clutches his black staff. The enthroned Goebleen watches carefully, but finally is rewarded. The darkness of the room pulses, as something slithers across the ground towards the throne and takes its place nearby. The Goebleen smiles with delight as bands of twisting shadowstuff wind their way around his fingers. His shadow has returned to him, and he is once more complete. More importantly, it means he is no longer bound to remove himself from the battlefield when his longtime foe appears. 

The creature shifts its bulk in the darkness of the cavern. Morlocks kneel before it, praying and bowing and screeching cries of its glory. Its glory is dubious. It looks like a pale, morbidly obese scorpion devoid of an exoskeleton. It's pincers smack wetly against one another, full of molars instead of sharp edged chitin. It's tail swishes in the air, clacking its teeth together around the eye within the venemous mouth. It stamps its eight legs against the ground, each leg ends in a pale foot full of wiggling toes.  The creature stirs to full wakefulness and shrieks like a dying horse and kills a dozen of its worshipers before settling its pale, moist body to the ground once more. 

Ten Greycoats camp in a stretch of forest in the middle of an endless expanse of rocky hills. They stumbled upon it just as they needed to make camp for the night after an exhausting march. The grass is soft and green, the pond clear and refreshing. It invigorated them and not one of them had slept so soundly in years. Their sentry carves pieces of soap into little figurines as he keeps watch, humming quietly to himself. The branches above his head rustle, but he pays it no mind, unaware of the vine easing down out of the tree above his head that suddenly winds itself around his throat and crushes the cartilage there to paste. The vine eases the body to the ground and moves from one Greycoat to another, crushing the life out of them in nearly complete silence. 

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