|he Silver Wolf: Ghosts Of The Past, Part Thirteen
|Posted on Tue, April 19, 2016 by LordCeb
|CruelSummerLord writes "
Blood streaked down one side of Kalrek’s face, but if he was at all upset by the blow he didn’t show it. His smile grew even wider, as he began to laugh once more. With a murderous light in his eyes, he blocked Airk’s next strike and thrust once more with his sword. Airk moved to block it with his shield, but Kalrek hooked his sword under Airk’s shield and heaved it upwards, throwing Airk off balance and leaving him completely defenseless.
Kalrek didn’t waste the opportunity, slashing Airk across the chest and down to his leg. Blood poured down Airk’s chest, a flow that was only worsened when Kalrek followed up with another blow that cut deep into his hip and thigh and caused another well of blood to rise up.
Weimar gritted his teeth as the massive hammer
pounded into his shield, sending a shock up his arm. He struck back with his
axe, but the armored man easily danced out of the way and swung again, forcing
Weimar to duck.
That led the other armored man to slam a flail
into Weimar’s knee, causing him to nearly lose his balance. Cursing at his
disadvantage, Weimar swung his shield back and forth to deflect their attacks,
and struck back at the warrior with the flail, tearing a deep gash in the man’s
hip. Deflecting yet another blow from the other man’s hammer, Weimar rushed at
him with his shield leading, ignoring the throbbing pain in his leg as he did.
As he drove his shield into the man, causing him to overbalance, Weimar struck
with his axe, cleaving deep into the man’s arm.
As the hammer-wielding man fell back, favoring
his unwounded arm, Weimar spun around to deflect a blow from the flail wielder,
and swung a vicious cut that would have taken the man’s head off if he hadn’t
ducked in time.
Taking a moment to catch his breath as he
repositioned himself, Weimar smiled wickedly at Kalrek’s hired soldiers.
They came at him again, and he eagerly responded.
Kalrek struck first with a long series of sword
thrusts, the jeweled blade seeming to come from every angle as it forced Airk
back. Unable to find an opening to strike back, all Airk could do was maneuver
his shield to deflect the blows, the clanging of their weapons outdone even by
Kalrek’s mad laughter.
Eager for the kill, Kalrek sprang forward,
bringing his sword down in a vicious overhanded slash, but Airk nimbly dodged
aside. As Kalrek stumbled, trying to regain his balance, Airk leapt in,
swinging his morning star at the other gnome’s exposed shoulder. He learned too
late that it was a ruse, as Kalrek immediately sprang back to his feet and cut
at Airk with a vicious backhand slash. Airk managed to get his shield in line
to block the blow, but Kalrek quickly reversed course and swung his sword the
other way, tearing a long gash in Airk’s weapon arm. He thrust at Airk’s neck,
but Airk managed to duck the thrust and countered with a chop of his morning
star, which struck Kalrek in the leg and sent him stumbling back.
The two gnomes quickly regained their footing,
staring at one another for a moment before they charged at one another again.
They exchanged a long flurry of blows, each one deflected with more difficulty
than the last, until they finally broke off, realizing that there was no
advantage in that exchange.
Breaking off the melee, Airk and Kalrek circled
each other warily, each looking for an opening.
Airk struck first, swinging his morning star
back and forth as Kalrek dodged each of the blows. Finally, Airk struck down
low at Kalrek’s legs again, causing the other gnome to bring his shield down to
block the blow. Faster than Kalrek expected, Airk brought his morning star up
in a wide arc, smashing it into Kalrek’s face.
Blood streaked down one side of Kalrek’s face,
but if he was at all upset by the blow he didn’t show it. His smile grew even
wider, as he began to laugh once more. With a murderous light in his eyes, he
blocked Airk’s next strike and thrust once more with his sword. Airk moved to
block it with his shield, but Kalrek hooked his sword under Airk’s shield and
heaved it upwards, throwing Airk off balance and leaving him completely
Kalrek didn’t waste the opportunity, slashing
Airk across the chest and down to his leg. Blood poured down Airk’s chest, a
flow that was only worsened when Kalrek followed up with another blow that cut
deep into his hip and thigh and caused another well of blood to rise up.
Amyalla was ducking and dodging desperately,
knowing that she’d be torn apart in a straight fight against either of the two
gnomes slashing at her. They were skilled foes, however, each of them reacting
to the other’s movements as they kept Amyalla off balance, and following up on
his partner’s attacks as they forced Amyalla back and around.
One of them slammed a mace into her arm.
The other one tore a gash in her stomach with
his sword, and it was only by sheer willpower that the halfling hadn’t collapsed
Blood mixed with sweat as the weary halfling
tried to catch her breath, throwing a dagger at one of the gnomes to force him
The gnome simply knocked it away with his shield.
Kalrek’s laughter was reaching a fever pitch,
echoing even above the screams of metal as he easily struck aside Airk’s
desperate counters and struck yet again at his former friend. Torn and bleeding
from his newest wound, this one deep into his shoulder, it was all Airk could
do to block the next strike and dodge aside.
A mad light shone in Kalrek’s eyes, the eyes of
a demon or a devil, as he lunged in for the kill. His laughter continued to
echo in Airk’s ears, the laughter that had resonated in the ears of a hundred
victims before him, the laughter that would resonate in the ears of a hundred
His friends, his kinfolk from Flinthold, the
people of Oakdale, Laessar Bradon’s family.
Airk’s morning star slammed into Kalrek’s
shield, knocking him back several steps and shattering his forward momentum. As
the other gnome staggered back, Airk charged forward, his morning star a blur
as he struck over and over at Kalrek. Shrieks of metal clashing on metal filled
the air as Airk brought his morning star down on Kalrek’s hand, drove it deep
into his gut, and slammed it into his hip.
Kalrek was no longer laughing.
For your glory…Kalrek thought.
For the slaughter I
conduct in your name…Kalrek
Grant me your aid,
Kalrek seemed to fade away before Airk’s eyes,
his form becoming indistinct and wavering, as if Airk looked at him through the
haze of an intense heat. He thrust at Airk yet again, his laughter resuming as
Airk’s morning star passed harmlessly by him. Again and again Airk struck, but
always he struck short, unable to get a bead on Kalrek to strike him down.
Kalrek had no such difficulty, thrusting
forward with a strike that would have run Airk through if the other gnome had
not been able to dodge aside in time. As it was, Kalrek’s sword tore a long
gash along his ribs, and Airk felt the blood rising before his eyes, realizing
that another thrust would finish him.
Images of his murdered kinfolk, particularly
Laessar, flashed through his mind, as did the sight of their deaths at the
hands of the Steelhearts. He could almost see the first of the dwarves striking
at him, the bearded wretch bringing his hammer down at Airk.
Airk easily blocked the blow with his shield
and struck back, slamming his morning star into the dwarf’s chest and causing
the sadistic creature to stagger back. The dwarf came on again at another
angle, but Airk brought his morning star down on the dwarf’s weapon hand. The
weapon struck home with a sickening crunch, causing the dwarf to howl in agony
as he dropped his weapon.
The desperate dwarf tried to regroup, dropping
his shield and attempting to pick up his sword with his off hand, but Airk
struck him in the face with his morning star yet again. The dwarf seemed vague,
indistinct and all around him at once, but Airk struck home, the images of his
dying kin all around him, as the dwarf screamed in pain and horror.
Finally, the bloodied and exhausted dwarf sank
to his knees.
Airk’s morning star struck him right between
The dwarf collapsed as Airk dropped his morning
star and shield. He fell to his hands and knees, barely able to avoid
collapsing, as the screams and sights of his kin faded away.
The corpse of Kalrek Burunne lay several feet
away, its face beaten and torn almost beyond recognition.
Kalrek felt himself falling into a seemingly
endless abyss, darkness all around him as he struggled to find his bearings.
His entire body was on fire, his shrieks of
rage mingling with the cries he heard all around him, which seemed to grow in
intensity as he continued to fall.
When he finally landed, he realized where he
The tunnels extended all around him-but how
could he have fallen when there was a ceiling above him?-and he knew whose
tunnels they were, suffused with bones and skulls all around him the way an
oerthly tunnel might otherwise be suffused with rocks and roots.
An angry hissing sound behind Kalrek made the
blood freeze in his veins, as slowly turned around.
The nightmare towered over him, a huge,
mole-like creature covered with the blood and excrement of its countless
victims. Its claws extended over twice Kalrek’s height in length, and his fangs
were half of Kalrek’s length, able to tear a gnome in two with a single stroke.
The creature was angry, and it was time to
Kalrek’s soul was a long time being devoured.
He only stopped screaming towards the end.