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A Shadow, a Monster

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

A Shadow, a Monster

Writing prompt: Your character need’s the King’s signet ring.

The sun shines brightly. The wind blows gently. The white walls of Peringath stain red and gray with smoke and blood.

On the lower levels of the citadel walls kalinbind orcs light fire to carts, hay bales, and if they can, people. Usually, the citadel would have no problem fending off a pack of seven orcs. However, these are kalinbind orcs. Their size is massive. Their skin changes to the shades of their surroundings. And this band of monsters is accompanied by another kind of monster, the necromancer of Asgafal. His sorcery wraps eyes in darkness, welts life from the living, and calls back the dead.

Grifkar feels the fortune the pack brings with them as he ascends the corridors of the monolith. Halfway down his pinky finger, a ring, garnished with slate soaked in ancient human ichor, gifts him the power of shadow travel. He travels up the rows, sniffing for the boy, Keatoph.

The scent of burning rises to him from below. It fuels him. The look of terror that finds those who step into his darkness delights him. The screams that ring in his ears excite him. It is a marvelous occasion for the beast, or at least, it would be, if he could see how this torture is harming his enemy. He searches for the young warrior as he climbs into the heart of Peringath.

The head orc grows near the hold of the city Jarl. It takes him an hour, even in travelling by shadow, and without calculating the times he stops to harm someone or destroy a home. Still, eventually, he arrives at the stead of the Jarl.

He takes his form to ascend its steps, as the darkness on them is not strong enough for shadow travel. He traverses forty steps in total. The front of the building is well garnished. Grifkar makes sure to rub some of the blood on his hands across its marble pillars before going inside.

In the space of a few feet, he charges the doors. The blades sewn into his body hook its frame, peeling it from its metal hinges. His flesh pulls and tears some. He does not seem to mind. Based on the severe number of scars across his arms and legs, this is simply business as usual.

The majestic frames topple off his shoulders, one unto the ground, the other onto a city guard. The room shifts quickly from a refuge to a battleground. Men draped in deep blue capes and silver garments rush the creature. He throws his arms, smashing through them and throwing them into the rafters above.

Though valiant men, they do not match with the monster and his enchantment. Their forces dwindle swiftly. A moment later, the head troops of the city guard lay sprawled across the hall of the capitol building.

Grifkar walks down the red carpet that covers the hall toward the Jarl. The dominion keeper rises from his chair and draws his blade.

“Do you know the requirements to become Jarl of Peringath?” He asks, taking a stance with his sword that is unorthodox, but clearly intentional. Grifkar does not answer.

The ballade begins,

with the swing of his sword.

He remembers his kin,

And he fights as Lord.

Massive arms he wards,

As he attempts to slay the beast.

Still, Grifkar wants more.

This fight is a delectable feast.

They dance through the great hall,

pouncing on each other.

Until the Jarl takes a sudden fall,

And Grifkar moves to take another.

But the Jarl has a brother.

A guard of them in fact.

They provide him cover,

And keep his head intact.

The host of the guard,

Fight with their leader

The battle is hard

And does not grow sweeter.

Except for Grifkar, the man eater.

breath fades from warrior

Except for Grifkar, the valiant defeater.

Heroes fade to lore.

Oh Keatoph and Ophni,

Will you reach the Jarl soon,

to defeat this great foe

and forsake this great doom?

Read chapter one here.

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