Friday, August 23, 2013

The Treasure of the Iron Range-08

When the sun rose, and Ken awoke, he saw the “gift” still lay cradled in his arms: a sword, firm in its scabbard, just like out of the stained-glass windows of Old World temples. He got to his feet, and after he stretched himself out of his lingering slumber he took up that scabbard and drew that sword. In a tongue dead millennia before the Old World’s destruction, a tongue that Ken knew from studies done in his life before now, he read the inscription put into the sword’s cross-guard: “Cast in the Name of God, Ye Not Guilty.”

“An executioner’s sword.” Ken said, and it became clear now what Gabriel thought of him: a slayer, sanctioned by powers beyond mortal comprehension, of those deemed beyond redemption. As he examined the sword, he noticed another inscription—in an even more obscure tongue—on the blade itself. Ken eyed that inscription with great care, and then held the blade as far away from himself as he could before speaking that word. The blade erupted in flames, blue-white flames just like those that he saw destroy the Old World, and now Ken comprehended the matter fully: to destroy Wendigo utterly, he be consumed by the uttermost fire of Creation itself.

Ken extinguished the flames by a repeated utterance, and then put away the sword. Ken broke camp, such as it was, and then made his way back to the open pit mine. Unlike last time, Ken ambushed the patrols instead of evading them. He destroyed them faster than the leaders could react, and then he moved inward and cleaved his way through the corpse-laborers mindlessly hacking away with rusted pics. Then, when the leaders finally reacted he cleaved his way through the ad-hoc militia of dead men and made his way to those leaders- or, rather, leader. The other two he previously saw were not there.

Without effort he hacked apart that leader—first arms, then legs—and then beheaded the now-limbless corpse-man. He picked up the severed dead head and stared into its lifeless eyes.

“I’m in your digs, gankin’ your mans, and I’m gonna get your treasure. You think you can stop me? Come at me, bro.”

Then he tossed the head aloft and carved it in half before it hit the ground. If that didn’t get The Necromancer’s attention, then Ken had no idea what would. To be certain, Ken scoured that open site and destroyed every last undead thing that he found. He burned what he destroyed, incinerating them and reducing them to ash. Once satisfied that he utterly destroyed The Necromancer’s presence at this old open-pit mine, he walked away from the scourged site and let his senses guide him to the next site- and the one that he knows will be more dangerous to handle: the old underground mine that formerly was a historical preservation site during the waning days of the Old World.

Ken felt a malevolent presence. This was the place; now’s the time.

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