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I remember the first time I saw hell spawn. It was in the jungle with my father when I was a boy. The creature's red skin was ragged and blistered, with a small brutish head crowned with twisted horns that spiraled and climaxed in sharp points. Long arms dragged a rusted sword and battered shield that clattered noisily through the jungle clearing. My father told me, using the silent hand language of the jungle, that I must slay this beast and prove my value to the tribe. He unsheathed his Kris. Long and wickedly sharp, the smooth blade flowed seamlessly from an ornate handle with the visage of a human skull at it's base.
Looking into the dark lifeless eyes of the skull I felt fear. He took my hand and placed the Kris in it, the worn leather of the grip was smooth and dry. He then unclasped his belt buckle and wrapped the dark cloth around my waist. Without another word he gestured to the beast.
I took a steadying breath and began to creep slowly towards the brute. The closer I got, the faster my heart beat, I could feel the slow burn of adrenalin rushing through my blood vessels, it felt good.
My foot came down on a branch that broke with a sickening snap. The imp reared around to face me, bearing it's savage teeth in a twisted grin. Charging forward I tightened my grip on my blade and cleaved a wild slash that would have rent any man from waist to shoulder. But the imp was blindingly fast, darting to my right he jabbed at my exposed ribs with his rusty short sword. I rolled just in time to avoid being skewered, or so I thought. A line of white hot agony appeared under my armpit, chancing a quick peek I saw that the slash was shallow and non fatal. Gritting my teeth, I reached into my belt-pouch and swiftly grabbed the neatly wrapped bundle I had made for just such an occasion. I jumped backwards again, but as I did I threw my bundle to the ground.
"ARI YHWAS AMU GRIAHYE!" The bundle burst into flame as I finished the incantation.
The ground began to quake and smoke seethed from small cracks in the surface of the dry earth of the clearing. A clawed arm broke through the tumultuous dirt followed by another, each ending in cruel claws. With a tremendous upheaval, the muscles in the limbs snapped taught and a wild beast crawled from the hole. It's head was wolf like, with razor sharp teeth and a long snout. Strong shoulders held a thick neck attached to an agile torso with two more hind legs each terminating in gnarly talons.
I grinned and pointed at the imp. My Arihawye or forest guardian understood without looking. Savagely it leaped at the imp, biting into his shield arm while ravaging his torso with gleeful abandon. The imp released an anguished cry and began to beat at the new threat fiercely with his sword. Violently twisting it's head, my Arihawye ripped the arm from the socket. This elicited a primal cry of pain. With the imp attempting to stem the flow of it's burning blood, I walked behind it and lunged forward with the Kris. The cool steel blade slid through bone and flesh, splitting it's heart (if it had one) in two as the tip of the knife punched through the tough muscle of the imp's pectoral.
With one final twist I pulled the blade free and watched with pride as the beast fell to its knees, then down to the ground lifeless. War drums shattered the moment. Spinning quickly I saw hundreds more running madly, driven by the whips of even more fearsome beasts, all heading straight for my father. He looked at me once, pointed to the far side of the clearing where a rocky gully lead down to the river. He then turned and faced his enemy. I ran, my Arihawye in tow.
Edited by Shtick on 9/2/2011 4:22 PM PDT
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