The Hour Book2 Chapter 11

“Great one?” Glyph heard Grot say as he fought his way toward consciousness. Opening his eyes with a flutter, he stared blankly at Grot’s face. Suddenly a flood of memories came crashing down on him.

“Ishea?” Glyph said anxiously, and began to sit up and look around the room.

“She is gone.” Grot said.

“Where?”

“The wizard believes Cruix has taken her into the inner sanctum. For the sorceress’ sake, I hope he is wrong.” Grot explained, nodding toward the large obsidian door.

Glyph looked and could see Drayden feverishly attempting to break through the magical barrier surrounding the door. Flashes of multi-colored light flew across the walls and ceiling. Loud bangs and pops filled the air, as thick acrid smoke poured out from the door and surrounded him as he worked.

“Damn it all!” Drayden shouted in exhaustion. He then began to apply his magic to the door again. Sparks started to shoot out into the room.

“Help me up.” Glyph commanded Grot.

Grot complied and lifted Glyph onto his feet. His whole body trembled violently as he stood there panting. He shrugged the sling of the AK-47 off his shoulder and was barely able to catch it before it hit the floor. He placed it gingerly onto the enormous daybed beside him. Painfully taking his first step, he willed his body to stagger across the room to where Drayden stood.

“He has been like this for over an hour now.” Grot said as he reached over to steady Glyph’s balance.

“Drayden!” Glyph yelled over the din.

Drayden shook his head; somehow he seemed older, tears streamed from his milky white eyes as he worked, chanting and speaking words Glyph had never heard before.

“Drayden!” Glyph shouted again.

A flash of green light lit the room, followed by another puff of toxic smoke. “Damn her!” Drayden shouted again, and launched into a spasm of hacking coughs.

“Drayden!” Glyph screamed with all he had left.

Drayden slowly turned his head toward Glyph. He looked numb with grief.

“How can I help?” Glyph asked.

“You can not.” Drayden replied remorsefully. “The protection Cruix has placed on this door is too complex, possibly even for me. Alas, Glyph, you do not have the technical skill to be of any help.” He shook his head.

“Then what should I do?” Glyph questioned him.

Drayden motioned toward Grot. “Help them. Help the Hexzu defeat the demons in the city. I will let you know when I get through.”

“But I have to help her, I have to save her!” Glyph said. The anger within him swelled, fueling his inner strength.

“You can not help here. Go with Grot.” Drayden demanded.

“No. No! I have to be able to do something. Ishea is in there alone, damn it! I’ll blast that door to dust! Get out of the way!”

Drayden spun and quickly held up his hands. “Any attempt to open this door by force will only strengthen it. It is designed to react that way. I promise you Glyph, I will let you know as soon as I am about to break through, now leave me to my work!” Drayden demanded.

Glyph just stared open-mouthed. The frustration was seething beneath his skin now and he felt as if he were going to explode. He turned away slowly and glanced at Grot, who handed him the King’s Sword.

“This way, Great One.” Grot said, pointing up to the top of the amphitheatre. “We are in control of the high ground, for the moment. There is a place where we can see the battle.”

Glyph struggled to make it up the steps; near the top he had to stop and rest. Ishea had only showed him this once before, and he had never tried it, but he would have to heal himself if he were to be of any use. ‘Bones are the easiest’ he could remember her saying to him. ‘Just imagine the bone as whole, and place that image over the bone that is broken. As you release your energy slowly, the bone will mend itself to the form placed upon it.’

“Ribs.” Glyph sighed, and tried to remember what exactly they looked like. He closed his eyes and placed his hand on the side of his rib cage. Pulling his hand slowly across the front of his chest, he could feel the bones smooth out and knit together. Instantly he began to breathe better. “Son of a bitch, it worked.” Soon Glyph had healed the burns on his skin from the lightning and was starting to feel human again. There were still quite a few sore spots, but at least now he could function.

Standing, Glyph climbed the few remaining steps to the doorway and out into the hall with little effort. There were several Gargoyles there already, exchanging information and then filing out the side openings and flying off. Several of them approached Grot and began to update him on the tide of battle. The Hexzu had cut the demon forces by half, but there was fierce resistance on the south end of the city, and they were starting to fall back there.

“Show me.” Glyph said to Grot, who quickly motioned him to an opening on the left side. They stepped out onto a large patio and walked to the far left corner. There they could see signs of open warfare in the street, streams of Gargoyles sailing single file over the roads dropping large stones into masses of Grull. A demon and several lesser demons had banded together, and were making their way north, leaving dead Hexzu in their wake.

Glyph’s hatred burned deep within him now; someone would pay for this. God help them if Ishea was hurt in any way. “Take me there.”

Grot sheathed his weapon and slung it across his chest, then took Glyph under the arms and leapt off the side of the temple. Spreading his great wings, they glided in a steady arc downward toward the street. He remembered too late that he had not brought his assault rifle, but was too angry to care.

“Head for the big one.” Glyph shouted. “Don’t slow down. When I say ‘now’, let me go!”

Picking up speed, they dove at the large demon. Grot leveled out about thirty feet off the ground as they quickly approached the center of the battle.

“Now!” Glyph said, and reached for his sword as Grot released him. Glyph sailed through the air toward the demon as he drew his sword and willed it to life. As the blade turned molten blue, he pulled his knees upward. The demon glanced up at the last second, as Glyph landed feet-first onto the creature’s chest and thrust the sword forward at the moment of impact, driving it home. Glyph’s knees slammed into the demon as it lurched backward under his weight. The demon roared its last breath, and fell onto its back. Glyph rode on top the creature as it skidded across the stony street, crashing head-first into the wall of a nearby building. Glyph flipped over the hilt at the sudden stop, but maintained his grip.

Standing up on the dead demon’s chest, Glyph plucked the sword out between its crushed bones, and waved it over his head screaming at the top of his voice. Some of the Grull scattered, and even the lesser demons stood there gaping in astonishment at what had just happened.

A loud shout came up out of the ranks of Gargoyles as they renewed their effort with fresh zeal.

Glyph jumped off the demon carcass and thrust his sword through the face of the nearest Grull, dropping him instantly. He was behind the enemy line, and held the attention of everyone around him.

Suddenly a fireball whizzed past. Two lesser demons were working their way towards him, and the Grull were trying to close ranks. Glyph summoned his shield in time to deflect another barrage of fireballs.

Side-stepping toward them, Glyph stomped his foot, raising a twenty foot wall of stone out of the street. It spanned the full width, from one building to the other, cutting the two lesser demons off from him and the Grull.

Thoughts of Ishea came to him in the moment, and he took pause as all the Grull looked to where the wall was now standing. ‘How could I have failed her?‘ He thought, as his eyes scanned the Grull around him. “This is meaningless without Ishea. I did all of this for her, damn it!”  He said. The emptiness inside him ached, and the hatred festered within. “All those people on Earth. I killed them, and it was for nothing! I still lost Ishea!” Glyph found himself yelling.

Five of the Grull decided to rush Glyph at the same time. Glyph watched in slow motion, and an image of a beating heart crossed his grief-laden mind. As quickly as the Grull had rushed in, they all simultaneously jerked up short. The Grull’s eyes bulged, then their hearts exploded, ripping open a basketball-sized hole in each of their chests. Blood sprayed Glyph from every direction as they fell like cut grass a few feet in front of him.

The remainder of the Grull began to scatter. Grot, Oathtet, and a dozen other gargoyles landed beside Glyph, and flung their Vorkas like boomerangs into the lines of the minotaur-like Grull. Arms, legs, and skulls began to fly in all directions, and then the Vorkas came sailing back in wide arcs to the gargoyles, some catching the weapon with their claw-like feet. Glyph could see how their stony flesh protected them from losing their hands, and noted that several would run their cupped hand the length of the blade like a sharpening stone before making another throw.

Just as the Grull began to run away, the wall Glyph had made shattered into a pile of rubble and the two butt-ugly sub-demons came crawling through the dust. The Grull quickly turned and tried to regroup. Apparently it was better to die in battle than to get caught running away. Fear, it’s an amazing thing.

Glyph was quivering with rage as he started toward them. His sword absorbed several fireballs as he steadily advanced on the two lesser demons. Glyph blasted the first one with a wave of force, tossing it end over end into a wall some thirty feet away. The remaining lesser demon erected an energy shield as Glyph closed in on it. A smug expression of invulnerability hung on the creature’s face as Glyph brought his sword to bear. Swinging the weapon effortlessly, the cobalt blade penetrated the devil’s shield and sliced through it’s abdomen like butter, spilling black entrails out onto the ground. The demon stared in disbelief as it attempted futilely to catch its guts and push them back inside. A few seconds later it passed out in a pile of its own slimy innards.

Turning back toward Grot, Glyph sliced through several Grull as they scampered in all directions. Then he saw it, a cloud of dust barreling down the street in the distance. As it grew closer, Glyph could tell what it was.

“Grot!” Glyph said. Grot spun around to look at him from about thirty feet away. “Hogdogs!” Glyph yelled pointing over the gargoyle’s head.

A stampede of hogdogs came crashing thunderously toward them, trampling everything in their path.

Grot shouted something Glyph couldn’t hear and pointed at him. A moment later the gargoyles took to the air like a flock of birds. Glyph stood rooted to the ground staring down the oncoming beasts. Several Grull were trampled about forty feet in front of him. Glyph was just about to create his shield, when above the stampeding two-ton hogdogs, he saw Oathtet swooping towards him a few feet above their heads.

“Shit. This is gonna hurt.” Glyph said as Oathtet dipped to a few inches off the ground mere feet in front of the raging beasts, and pulled up a few feet in front of him. Both Oathtet’s arms and legs latched onto him, and yanked Glyph up into the air. Pulling his legs to his chest, Glyph watched in awe as the stampede passed underneath him. The view of the street began to recede as they ascended higher toward the top of the temple. Glyph tried to relax, realizing he had had the wind knocked out of him. Within a minute, Oathtet landed outside the long open hallway Grot was now using as a makeshift headquarters.

“Thank you.” Glyph wheezed, and sunk to the ground as his breath began to return. He knew he could have survived under the shield, or created a wall, but the energy expenditure would have been enormous. He knew he might still need it for Cruix.

Oathtet nodded and gave a curt bow, and walked into the hall. Glyph could hear the sounds of screaming Grull being trampled in the streets below as the hogdogs continued on their way.

Standing, Glyph dusted himself off. “I wonder how Drayden’s doing?” He asked himself. His hands were shaking as he sheathed his sword. He felt like screaming, but knew it wouldn’t help. “I swear I’ll see that demon bitch dead.” Glyph stared at his shaking hand, and with a thought a cigarette appeared between his fingers. It lit as he brought it to his mouth and took a long drag.

Glyph stomped the butt just as Grot came out onto the terrace. A messenger was following, informing Grot that the Hexzu had taken more than half the city. Srokus and several surviving demons led the major resistance, near the south wall. A large group of Hexzu moved to engage them now.

“Did he say Srokus?” Glyph asked as the messenger flew off. He remembered Srokus; Ishea had told Glyph about the demon’s hand melting to the bone when the curse was reactivated.

“Indeed, Great One. Srokus is Cruix’s second in command. It would seem he has some loyalty after all, or maybe he hopes to take control in her absence.”

“Either way we need to take him out.” Glyph said.

“I agree. All other Demons of influence have already been dealt with; their forces will not rally behind another.” Grot said. “But be forewarned Great One, I have heard that Srokus has spoken the Morgus Oath against you for taking his hand.”

“Morgus Oath?”

“It is no light matter for a demon. It means he will actively seek your death, or die in the attempt. By taking the Oath, he is bound to this course. As soon as he knows you are here, Srokus will try to kill you, and he will stop for nothing.” Grot explained, and motioned to a nearby guard.

“Give me an exact location on Srokus.” Grot spoke to the Hexzu, who nodded and took off immediately.

“I can handle —–.” Glyph was interrupted as a bright flash streaked across the sky. A bolt of lightning struck into the heart of the city; the thunder was deafening. Dark ominous clouds were rolling overhead. A bolt hit outside the west wall followed by another loud crack. The storm was moving at an amazing rate over the landscape, and Glyph stood there captivated. He stared open-mouthed as the heavens opened and drops of fiery rain started to fall.

“Great One!” Grot shouted.

Glyph turned to see Grot motioning to him from inside the long hallway. Hopping the last few feet to cover, Glyph narrowly escaped getting burned.

He stared out into the distance of the city streets and could see the mass of beings fighting each other to get inside of buildings and any sort of shelter they could find. There obviously wasn’t enough room for all of them. Then Glyph saw several of the Gargoyles throw their wings up over their heads, and crouch to the ground at the last moment, turning into stone. The downpour of liquid flame washed over them untouched!

“You can turn to stone?” Glyph asked Grot excitedly.

“Yes. It is said that in the beginning times we could not do this, but that over time some of our ancestors were born with this talent, and that it helped them to survive, where those without the talent perished.”

“Evolution.” Glyph commented. “Then that’s how you handle the Vorka too? I mean without getting cut.”

“Yes.”

The temperature had risen twenty degrees in the last few minutes as a blanket of fire fell outside the large openings to the hall. Gargoyles cranked huge handles on each pillar on the west side of the hall, turning large stones inward from the outside to keep the fire rain from blowing in.

Glyph took a large gulp of water from his animal skin bladder.

“You should go ahead and rest. Most of the fighting will cease until the storm has ended. By the look of the sky, it could be many hours.”

Glyph looked down again at the part of the street that he could see, and understood now why they were covered in sand. The fire extinguished as it hit the sandy ground, and smoke rose in tiny puffs, slowly filling the entire city. Tiny streams of fire rolled into ditches that funneled it into the sewers and out of the city. Glyph had been surprised at how clean the sewer had been, now he knew why; it was burned clean every time it rained.

Wiping the sweat off his brow, Glyph walked over to a makeshift table now holding provisions. He picked up a piece of dried meat and started to eat.  It tasted like chalk dust; he recalled that Drayden had said that many of the local creatures fed off silicate.

“Gaaak. Where’d this meat come from?” Glyph asked Grot.

Grot examined the platter.  “That is Turmur.”

Glyph remembered the black encrusted tube worms that were served to him in the Gargoyles cave, ‘this must be the jerky version’ he thought, and ripped off another bite. He hadn’t realized how hungry he was. Sitting down with his back against a pillar, Glyph stared at the ceiling for several minutes trying to clear his mind.

After awhile his thoughts turned back to Ishea, and he found himself slowly walking the hall to the entrance of Cruix’s outer chamber. He carefully stepped around the rubble and debris that was strewn across the descending steps. Glyph approached Drayden slowly; he could see he was still hard at work casting spells, and concocting potions. A small laboratory now surrounded Drayden, and Glyph noticed the obsidian door was now a smoky gray color.

Glyph reached down and put his hand on Drayden’s shoulder. Drayden cocked his head slightly, as Glyph handed him a piece of the dried meat.

“I am afraid we have failed, Glyph.” Drayden spoke solemnly. “All these years, all the sacrifices, and still I could not keep this from happening.” He said choking up a bit on the last word.

“The prophecy said they would do battle; it has come to pass. All we could do was try.” Glyph said

“And what of you Glyph? If Ishea does not return, what will you decide to do?”

“I will see Cruix dead. I will kill her or die trying. After that, I plan on helping the Hexzu win their freedom. I am a man of my word.” Glyph replied.

A slight smile crossed Drayden’s lips, and he let out a sigh. “That is good to know.” He paused. “I would like to think you are a man of honor.”

Drayden sat there shaking his head. “Who knows what unspeakable horrors she may face by Cruix’s hand. It sickens me to think that even if she returns now, she may never be the same person.” A shudder ran through his body as if he were shaking off a thick blanket.

Glyph felt a bit choked up as he tried to think of something to say. “If Ishea is lost to us, Cruix will pay for what she has done. They will all pay; I will see to that.”

Drayden nodded his head in agreement, and took a large bite off the meat Glyph had given to him. With his free hand he reached forward and turned his palm upward and a glass container with black powder in it appeared. Stuffing the meat in his mouth, Drayden grabbed a pair of tongs and spun around toward his makeshift equipment. Lifting a beaker off of a flame that hovered in mid air, he replaced it with the one he just created.

“How goes the battle?” Drayden asked.

“For right now there is no battle; It’s raining as we speak.” Glyph replied. “The Gargoyles have control over the temple and the eastern half of the city with the exception of a few isolated pockets of Grull. Most of the main resistance is being led by Srokus.”

“Srokus.” Drayden said. “He is far less cunning than Cruix, but almost as powerful.” Drayden added some brown liquid and a few lime-colored crystals to his concoction. “Kill him, and the rest will flee.”

“Grot is trying to have him located right now.”

“Then you should rest, Glyph. the scorch will likely last awhile.”

“Scorch?” Glyph said.

“That is what they call it here. We might say rain, but that would allude to falling water, they call it scorch. A fitting name I think.” Drayden replied wafting the fumes of another vial with a long copper coil attached to it, toward his nose. “Now go and lie down, I will wake you if anything changes.”

Glyph was going to argue, but he really was exhausted. Feeling numb, he nodded and shuffled towards the back of the room, found a daybed that hadn’t been destroyed in their battle with Cruix, and heaved himself up onto it. He found the AK-47 he had placed there earlier along with a few cushions and a pillow. Glyph laid down, and eventually fell into a fitful sleep.

 

Glyph found himself walking through a forest of enormous pine. It reminded him of somewhere, but he couldn’t quite remember where. It seemed the woods went on forever as he walked. Soon he came to a log cabin; it too looked familiar. Stepping up on the front porch, Glyph opened the door and walked inside. There were all kinds of instruments lining the walls, artifacts Glyph couldn’t identify lay here and there, and books were stacked in random piles throughout a large great room. He briefly glanced around, then entered the back hallway and opened the first door on the left. He knew this place, he was sure he had been here before. There was a bed and a dresser, and then he saw it; there on the wall hung the living tapestry! He moved closer to look at it, but he could already see the image it held. There was Ishea on her knees clutching the Divinare crystal; her clothes were torn and blood stained. Tears fell from her eyes, and she appeared to be pleading, or begging. A chill passed over Glyph as he realized he had seen this scene on the Tapestry before, all those years ago the evening before he fought and killed Drathus in the Pass. He stared at Ishea’s image and the hairs on the top of his head tingled. This wasn’t the past, and it wasn’t the future, it was happening now. It was like a window into Cruix’s inner chambers, and he could see Ishea begging for her life through Cruix’s eyes. He looked away as vomit rose in the back of his throat.

“No!” he yelled and quickly fled the room and the cabin. He ran through the forest until he came across a river. Ice had formed over most of it, and Glyph realized it was now winter. He followed the water until it cascaded over a large cliff, and fell hundreds of feet. At the bottom was a walled city; as he gazed upon it, it dawned on him that it was Kivas. Dropping to his knees, he began to sob uncontrollably until everything faded into nothingness.

 

He awoke sometime later; much later, he realized when he saw the torches lit along the wall and ceiling. Then he noticed there were gargoyles all around him, some in small clusters, some sleeping, and others tending to wounded. Glyph stood up and made his way over to Drayden. As he got closer he could see the door was a dark red color, and Drayden’s lab had doubled in size.

Drayden moved so fast his actions were like a blur of motion. He slowed to a normal pace as he saw Glyph standing beside him. Drayden mopped the sweat off his face and took a large gulp of water.

“What’s going on?” Glyph asked him.

Drayden heaved a sigh. “There was a minor assault on the temple, but the threat has been eliminated. The scorch is just now starting to subside.”

“How long was I out?” Glyph said

“About ten hours.”

“Shit!”

“Relax Glyph, I believe Grot has located Srokus. He has been moving gargoyles into position for an offensive on his location as soon as the weather breaks.” Drayden said; stuffing a piece of Turmur into his mouth.

“My hour is just a few hours away now, that’s going to be cutting it awfully close. How is this going?” Glyph said indicating the door.

“Glyph, I have to tell you, I may be able to break the door down, but it will take every last bit of power I have. If I succeed, you will have to face Cruix on your own.”

“You just let me know when you’re ready.” Glyph said, clenching his fists unconsciously.

“Right now, it looks as if it will be a few hours after you return from Earth.” Drayden said. “If all goes well.”

“I’m going to find Grot.” Glyph said. “Good luck.”

“Good hunting.” Drayden replied and resumed his super-human pace.

Glyph walked quickly to the steps, noting they had been cleared of debris. He jumped up the stairs to the hallway, which now looked like a crude throne room. An enormous demon sized chair had been positioned in the far corner, and Grot was perched upon it like a throne. His Ruktan gathered around the base pouring over final details as they moved rocks over a large map of the city.

“Ah, Great One.” Grot called to Glyph waving him to come forward. “The scorch is ending. We are in place to attack Srokus; are you ready?”

Glyph grabbed another hunk of the dried meat off a nearby tray. “Ready as I’ll ever be.”

Grot smiled, and outlined their plan of attack as the hall began to cool off rapidly. A chill passed over Glyph as he realized the heat of the scorch was receding. Grot issued his final commands and several Hexzu soldiers leapt to the columns lining each side of the enormous hall. They turned large handles which cranked open the vertical rock shutters. Hundreds of Hexzu streamed up the steps from the depths of the temple, surged outside onto the terrace, spread their wings, and took flight.

A Hexzu Glyph didn’t recognize approached him with wings spread. Glyph turned his back to the gargoyle and held his arms out. With a few powerful strokes, the Hexzu lifted Glyph from the parapet, and joined a group flying toward the front line. Glyph could see individual torches popping on all over the dark city, as soldiers on both sides poured out into the streets to resume the battle.

As they flew down toward the South gate, the wind whipped them back and forth. Glyph saw several large explosions rip the front off of a nearby building. The gargoyles veered to the left and touched down a few blocks away, behind what looked to be a military barrack.

Glyph immediately drew his sword and followed Grot, Oathtet and at least a dozen other warriors toward the stables. As they rounded the last corner onto the main street, they were met by a wave of Grull. Glyph activated the sword with a thought, and watched with satisfaction as it lit up like a blue-blazing beacon in the night.

Carving through two Grull at the same time, Glyph could see they were now in front of the building that had exploded. Several charred remains of Gargoyles were strewn amongst the debris that littered the ground, being trampled by the ensuing battle. Glyph and the Hexzu held the line of swarming Grull. Small boulders began to drop from the darkened sky, crushing Grull flat, bursting skulls and breaking bones. Many squealed in agony as Glyph and the Gargoyles mowed them down, leaving brown blood stains on the hot sand where they fell.

Lightning started to streak across the battlefield from inside the stables; ‘Srokus.’ Glyph thought. The demon’s lightning halted their advancement across the street. Glyph swung and cleaved the skull of a nearby Grull, dropping it to its knees, the blood sizzling out around the blazing sword.

Glyph caught sight of the demon inside the stable. It was not Srokus, but he knew it was up to him to take it down. With a wave of his hand, Glyph toppled the walls of the stable outward, dropping the stone slab roof down atop everyone who was inside. Rubble and dust rolled out into the street as the Gargoyles cheered and rallied their efforts in cutting down the scrambling Grull.

Just as the debris settled, a large blast blew chunks of rock from the collapsed stable. Glyph turned to Oathtet. “Watch my back!” He yelled and dodged several pieces of flying stone as he ran at the demon now emerging from the destruction.

As soon as the demon stood, Glyph slammed it back to the ground with a wave of force energy, and held it there. Before he could traverse the pile of rubble to get at the demon, Grot and five Hexzu warriors descended upon the creature and hacked it to death with their Vorkas, while Glyph held it in place. It was over in a matter of seconds. Grot spit on the mangled remains, and flashed a wicked grin at Glyph. The remaining Grull were flayed open by spiraling Vorkas as they fled in all directions.

“Where is Srokus?” Glyph yelled.

“He was here, but we lost him just as the scorch stopped.” Oathtet replied.

“Take me up, maybe we can spot him from the air.”

With that, Oathtet glided over behind Glyph and lifted him skyward. They circled the southern part of the city for several minutes, eventually landing on top of one of the taller structures. There was no evidence of a Demon anywhere close, though the Grull were still fighting fiercely in some sections, which suggested to Glyph that he must still be here.

Glyph glanced around at the streets below. “Damn it! We have to find him, and soon.”

Oathtet eyed Glyph up. “I will spread the word, and return shortly. Grot has placed you in my keeping. Do not die in my absence.”

Glyph smiled, unsure if Oathtet was making a joke. Glyph created a cigarette, took a drag, and paced back and forth while waiting for Oathtet to return. Suddenly he heard a Gargoyle scream from the alley below. Glyph rushed to the edge and looked down to see two Ghouls ripping the wings off a live Hexzu. Without a second thought, Glyph pulled the King’s sword and brought it to life as he leapt over the edge.

Controlling the wind to guide his freefall, Glyph split one of the Ghouls down the middle, and stepped onto the ground effortlessly. The other Ghoul jumped back in surprise, and tossed the wingless Gargoyle to the dirt.

Glyph pointed the sword at the Ghoul and slowly advanced upon it.

“Where is Srokus?” He demanded.

The Ghoul seemed confused, and made some grunt-like noise. Glyph dove forward and lopped off the creature’s left arm.

“Where is Srokus?”

The Ghoul screamed and tried to run, but couldn’t move its bulky form quick enough to avoid Glyph severing its leg at the kneecap. Now the Ghoul squealed continuously.

Finally Glyph gave up, reached down and retrieved the wounded Hexzu’s Vorka from the ground. He glanced over at the wingless Gargoyle, and held out the weapon for him. The gargoyle, obviously struggling with the pain of it’s recently inflicted wounds, reached out and took it from Glyph.

“It’s not your wings,” Glyph said “But it is justice.” and indicated the Ghoul squirming in the sand in front of him. Glyph stepped aside as the Gargoyle fell onto the Ghoul driving the point of the Vorka into its neck, twisting it violently back and forth as a yellowish bile streamed out around the blade.

Glyph turned and made his way down the alley until the gurgling squeals of the Ghoul finally ceased. His time here was growing shorter by the minute, so he began to make his way back to the temple. After several blocks and the deaths of a dozen or so Grull, Glyph found a courtyard where the roads had been blocked with large boulders, and everything seemed strangely silent.

“Great One!”

Glyph spun around to see Oathtet landing a few feet away. “You show up at the best times.” Glyph said to him.

“And you are not easy to follow, except for the dead you leave in your wake.” Oathtet replied. “Grot has requested…”

“Requested what?” Glyph said. He tilted his head to the side staring at the strange expression on the Hexzu’s face. “Oathtet?”

A large pointed sword suddenly protruded from the gargoyle’s chest, and as Glyph stepped back in shock, the sword flung Oathtet’s body some twenty feet into the wall of the courtyard.

Glyph looked up at the attacker. “Srokus!”

The seventeen-foot tall demon stood with fire in his gaze as he looked Glyph over. Its fleshless hand was now an eight-foot sword attached directly to his forearm, and encased in iron.

“You Fucker!” Glyph yelled as he dove to one side to avoid the demon’s swing. Glyph rolled to his feet and blasted Srokus with a stream of ice. Steam rose from the demon’s flesh as it howled. A second later, Glyph found himself hurtling backwards from the shockwave that Srokus let loose. Righting himself, Glyph used the wind to stop his momentum and set himself back to the ground.

Srokus was charging at him in a berserker rage. Glyph thought to run, but it was too late, he could feel the air being sucked out from around him.

“Sorry, not this time.” Glyph said, and smiled at the irony of it. Everything stopped as the darkness descended over him, and the last thing he heard was Srokus screaming in anger over losing its prey.

 

 

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