Out of Mind
The six companions were now deep beneath the
earth. Darr took point, flanked by Ni’k and Airc. Janie, Thaler and
Elysia followed behind. The six had been following Darr’s brother,
Aybas, for nearly a year now, and they would bend heaven and earth
to end his scheming today. If they couldn’t stop him, he would likely
destroy the world.
The climb up the cliffs had taken a toll on the
troupe. Darr had left his leather tunic behind; it had been soaked
through by the waterfall hiding the entrance, and was too heavy to
fight in. Now he wore only his muslin shirt and blue pants, wide enough
for easy movement, tucked into his worn black leather bots. He carried
now only his bastard sword and a few throwing knives he had kept from
his run in with some brigands three night ago. Airc still wore his
red armor which had made him famous across the Grandmont countries.
His armor covered his left arm and his upper legs. His huge double
bitted axe, his only weapon, besides a wicked knife was in hand. Ni’k
had followed Darr’s example and stripped most of his layers of clothing
due to moisture. A bard’s doublet and slops over pants were no use
in fighting when weighed down by water. This was the first time in
well over a year that Ni’k had adventured without his lute, though
it would prove useless in a fight against a wizard and his chaotic
minion, Ni’k missed its weight on his shoulder already. He would not
be able to sing or persuade his way out of this ordeal; the marksman
of the group, he would rely on his pistol bows and his rapier if things
got too close.
The ladies fared worse than the men. Janie was probably
the best off, dressed in a similar way to Ni’k; tight pants, simple
shirt and her leather corset would all stay, though she was rather
wet. She cinched up her belt to keep her long sword at hand. Thaler
was only present because her darling Airc was there. The pirate woman
had suffered the most of anyone on the climb up. Despite her piratical
appearance, she was terrified of water and scaling a cliff under a
waterfall with a huge lake below was not something she would have
believed possible. Her love was stronger than her fear however, and
she persevered. Elysia came last, the best hope this group had of
undoing the magic in this place. Though she had not been using magic
long, her contact with the greystone had brought forth great power
in her. Months spent in training under Aybas had taught her many things,
and her reading when he wasn’t looking had taught her even more.
magic that holds Abbadon is not easy to lift. It is not something
you can do and then walk away from, like unlatching a gate,” Elysia
instructed to the group while they trudged, cold and shivering deeper
into the earth. “Aybas’s life force will sustain the severance in
magic until the destroyer is strong enough to stave it off on his
“Kill my brother, the world is saved.” Darr wiped more moisture
off his head; his short, brown hair did little to keep the water from
“I wish you’d reconsider,” Janie whispered to her friend,
“he is your brother.”
“My brother died in flames with the rest of
my family and our home. The beast responsible for those flames dies
today, weather or not it is necessary to save our world.” Darr’s eyes
issued a challenge for any to try and stop him. Always a passionate
man, the circumstances of this day were only making him more driven.
Aybas stood before a giant in a huge stone chair. The giant’s skin
was seemingly made of stone. Even more curious, he had no feet. His
legs ended at the ankle, his feet a part of the cavern floor. The
caster carried a large stone; though grey on the outside it seemed
to emanate a faint blue light. The prisoner of the caverns sat in
his chair, overlooking a deep crevice the faint light from the stone
illuminated no bottom.
The caster placed the large stone in the lap
of the sleeping giant and murmured a few mystic words. Soon the stone
melded into the giant and Abbadon, the Destroyer, stood once more.
The blue light now shone through his eyes, and from his skin, lighting
the cavern. A creature of suffering and chaos, Abbadon, simply watched
when a man ran from the shadows created by the destroyers light. His
eyes held a curious expression, wondering what would happen to his
liberator when the man reached him.
The battle cry on Darr’s lips
issued just enough warning for Aybas to turn and see his brother.
The next instant several feet of Hibernian steel pushed forward into
Aybas’s body. Removing his blade to make a second strike, Darr was
blown off his feet by a blast from the sorcerer.
“Fool!” Aybas exclaimed.
“If you think you have what it takes to destroy me you are sorely
mistaken.” The younger brother looked down on the older while Darr
regained his feet. “All my young life, you were stronger, you were
more powerful.” Aybas raged, gathering his strength for another blast.
“Now you learn what power truly is, today I will put you in the grave
you dodged when our house burned!”
A bolt fired from Ni’k’s pistol
bow ripped through the shoulder of the enraged caster. The momentary
distraction it gave was enough for Darr to devise a new plan. If his
steel could not kill his brother, and no mortal hand could slay the
Destroyer, perhaps he could buy the world a little time.
to his feet, rushing forward at the same time, Darr raced past his
brother, and towards the eight foot tall demi-god. He did not raise
his sword against the creature, but lowered his head and leveled his
Striking the giant form, the impact took his breath
from his lungs; but it was enough. Stunned from running headlong into
living stone, Darr could not move, could not react. Voices echoed
in his head, the shouts of his friends realizing what he had done.
By the time he regained his senses, he had followed Abbadon into the
abyss and was cast into darkness. He had no sense of up or down. He
saw a brilliant flash of light far away and hoped it was his friends
and companions defeating his brother. He felt more than saw one last
bright flash that encompassed his entire field of vision, he felt
an impact, and then all was black. He felt nothing more.