Posted Oct 23 2011 - 04:06 PM
Nektann and his army continued to go deeper into the forest. They had not yet encountered whatever was lurking inside. This made them all nervous, although they would never show it. The branches of the trees rustled in the slight breeze. Aside from that, not a sound was made. Nektann's head was thinking of all the possible battle strategies that could bring down the creature that had invaded his kingdom. Judging from what they had found at the village, it was large, powerful, and seemed to go out of its way to violently slaughter Skakdi. As long as he had been alive, he had never known a Rahi on the island that could best a Skakdi. Just the very idea of it seemed backwards. It was always the Skakdi that had been the masters of Zakaz. Even when besieged by the Brotherhood, they had eventually beaten them back. The Skakdi were known for their strength of will and inability to surrender. But not even that had stopped the creature. At that moment, Nektann's Tahtorak shuddered and stopped in its tracks. The warlord grunted and dug his spurs into its hide. But it refused to budge. Nektann roared in anger and beat the creature's head. Still the Tahtorak remained still. He looked around to see the other Tahtorak had stopped moving as well. The beasts suddenly let out a low moan that spread throughout the herd. They turned around and started back, oblivious to their angered riders. Eventually the soldiers were forced to dismount. They swore at the Tahtorak as the creatures fled out of the woods. Nektann watched them with a hard glare. "Leave them," he called out to his warriors, "From here we go on foot." Some of the Skakdi looked surprised that he would even make such a suggestion, but did not protest in any way. They gathered close together, and started following their leader. It was about this time that they noticed the smell. It hung heavy in the air, a sickening stench of death and decay. The Skakdi now realized why the Tahtorak had ran. "We're close," Nektann muttered to his second in command, "Ready your weapons." He didn't need to order them, for they had drawn them the moment they had detected the hideous odor. It grew stronger as they continued. They prepared themselves for facing whatever monster lay ahead. But they could never be prepared for what they saw in the small clearing. It was horrifying. It was the living space of some sort of sick, demented giant. The gutted-out carcass of a Tahtorak lay next to the smoldering remains of a fire, although there was no indication that it had been cooked. Bones were scattered about, bloody and raw, both Rahi and Skakdi. The intestines of the Tahtorak had been festooned about the trees like a macabre garland. The decaying corpses of the monster's victims were suspended from it. But whatever lived in the clearing of death was absent. Nektann and his army stared in silent horror. "What...thing could have done this?" someone breathed. Nektann turned back to the Skakdi. "We're going to stake this place out," he ordered in a dark, monotone voice, "And ambush it when it returns. It probably comes in through that way" he paused to point to a large opening in the trees, "So we'll hide in a ring around the clearing. Once it enters, we'll fire at it from within the bushes. If worst comes to pass, we'll set the forest on fire." His soldiers looked at him with fearful eyes. They knew the penalty for disobeying Nektann was death. But they were not eager to obey his orders either. Facing the monster that lived in this filth seemed like suicide. Every instinct told them that this was a place of unfathomable horror, not to be desecrated by anyone. The beast started walking into the forest, toward its ancient domain. Blood oozed from the dozen or so corpses he carried over his shoulder, leaving a trail of gore behind him. As he continued, his keen eyes spotted some branches that appeared to be out of place. His sniffed the air. His eyes narrowed in rage. He picked up the scent of Skakdi and Tahtorak. Judging from the amount of damage to the forest, it had to be a small army. The beast roared. He couldn't believe the gall of these small creatures. He dropped his quarry. His mind had reverted into an animal-like state. The invaders needed to be destroyed. The beast charged through the forest, knocking down trees as he ran. He uttered bellows that could be heard for miles around. All who heard them felt their blood run cold. They heard the beast before they saw it. A monstrous roar filled the air, accompanied by the cracking of tree-trunks. They could feel the vibrations of its heavy feet as it trudged on the ground. Their hearts beat faster than anyone of them could remember. They felt cold, hollow fear inside of them. And then the beast tore into its gory home. The army was unable to hold back their screams. What they saw before them was not supposed to exist. It snarled, showing its blood-stained teeth for all to see. It looked at the bushes, and was knew where they were. Some began firing at it. The beast did not even flinch. The blasts of energy did nothing. It moved toward the hidden army, and raked its claws through their hiding places. Skakdi cried out as they were dismembered. Nektann was only able to watch. The moment he had seen the beast with his own eyes, he was helpless. It was what all Skakdi feared. It was more horrifying than anyone could imagine. He saw it slaughter his army; biting, tearing, ripping, and slashing. It was ruthless and brutal, a vicious, invincible animal. This was without a doubt the creature that had haunted his nightmares for years, a monster that was death incarnate...Irnakk. Nektann suddenly saw the beast's eyes locked onto his own. It saw the warrior, and the warrior saw it. The ogre tossed the corpse it was holding aside, and moved toward the warlord. it reached out with blood-caked claws. The animal inside of Nektann overrode the warrior's desire to kill Irnakk. The Skakdi turned and fled from the terror of his dreams, shouting for the rest of his army to retreat. He heard nothing in reply except the victorious bellow of Irnakk. The echoing roar died out in the beast's throat. He had killed all of the invaders except for one. He looked around at the ground before him. It was saturated in blood, and littered with the broken bodies of his prey. He was consumed with an animalistic rage. The Skakdi had invaded his home. Clearly they still did not fear him as they used to. The beast roared once more, and tore out of the forest. Nektann ran for what seemed to be forever. He soared across the rocky landscape, looking over his shoulder every few minutes. Every time he blinked he saw the snarling face of Irnakk. Suddenly, a shape emerged in front of him. Intoxicated with fear, he screamed. A different scream filled the air, one that was feminine. The noise snapped Nektann out of his flight of terror. He could now see the thing in front of him was a Skakdi. She looked as terrified as he was. "Who are you?" he asked, trying to sound calmer than he really was. The female straightened herself out, and likewise tried to act civil. "Karva," she answered. Nektann noticed that she held her weapon in shaking hands. "Did you see it?" he whispered. The female nodded. "It killed my Tahtorak," she replied hoarsely. Nektann glanced nervously at the woods behind him. "I'm heading back to the fortress," he said quietly, "I would advise you to come with me." "I was just heading there myself," responded Karva. "What are you doing out here?" Nektann gave her a grim look. "I was leading an army." For a moment Karva looked confused. Then her puzzlement turned to horror. "You mean..." her voice trailed off. The warlord nodded. Both of them started for the fortress. Rakar looked gleefully from his spot atop the fortress walls. All throughout the countryside, villages were burning. Huge columns of smoke pointed upwards to the heavens, looking like massive tree-trunks. In the distance he could see Skakdi heading for the fortress. He grinned. It was exactly what he had seen. His master would be pleased. Rakar turned away from the sight. There was still much work to be done. http://www.bzpower.c...c=804#entry9324
Edited by spyder ryder, Oct 25 2011 - 10:41 PM.