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The Flight of Keatoph

The Flight of Keatoph

Writing prompt: Your character attempts to save an entire city.

It’d taken Keatoph nearly an hour to make it this deep into Peringath. An entire world lies in between its walls, and even the main road is long, and at this moment, extremely dangerous. Still, he presses forward. After a moment, he meets another foe. A kalinbind orc swings his arms at a couple, aiming to grab them.

There are just over a handful of kalinbinds in the city. All the more reason why the destruction of its frame and the terror on its people amazes Keatoph. He has never seen such a small group achieve such desolation, and against such a fortified city. He is determined to end the chaos.

The young warrior hacks his sword through the air. It tears into the back of his foe. The creature screeches as the metal buries into him. It turns to face the young warrior. The couple the creature had been hunting flee, heading into the outer parts of the citadel.

“Come on,” Keatoph demands, raising his blade as if it were a baseball bat. He feels anger and a great wave of annoyance sweeping over him. The last few months of hunting these creatures have been hard and arduous. They have left many unsettling images in his mind. He feels more ready to end this escapade than ever.

The orc charges him. Keatoph jumps back and left, keeping himself safe from the blow, but not keeping the monster safe from his sword. He slashes again. This time, he marks the orc’s arm.

He lands well and pivots. His foe is already facing him.

“I have been appointed to give you justice. If you would like a moment to ask God for His pardon, I will grant it to you,” he tightens his grip around his sword’s handle. “Beyond that, I offer you no more.”

“I would rather die,” the creature slithers.

“That has been arranged,” Keatoph answers starkly. “Let’s have it then.”

The orc smiles at him with eyes as fierce as Keatoph’s. He is nearly eight feet tall and his shadow darkens his face. He rips the bludgeoning club from off of his belt and sprints at the young warrior.

In a scene lost to swiftness and light, the kalinbind’s head goes shlick, shlak, slosh down the main road. His body tumbles down at Keatoph. Our protagonist steps sideways to escape its embrace.

He is joined quickly after by an elf woman fragile in appearance and beautiful in form coming up the road. She rides an elk and holds a stave. She and her transport are marred in blood and soot.

“Ophni,” Keatoph greets. He crouches to the ground to grant his back some reprieve.

“It's getting harder to find people. I think most of the survivors are outside the far wall.”

“Good,” he answers. “Thank you.”

“It’s my duty,” Ophni tells him. “Where did your elk go?”

“I can’t speak to them,” Keatoph explains. “I could not get it to take me where I needed to go. In fact, it almost got me killed. So, I sent it away.”

“That explains why you’re sitting.”

It is a long way up to get to the heart of Peringath citadel,” Keatoph agrees.

“How close are we now?”

“Twenty minutes,” he answers. “Less, if you wouldn’t mind giving me a ride.”

“Hop on."

They ride off together, approaching the stead of the Jarl.There, Grifkar, the worst of this kalinbind pack, waits for him.

Read chapter one here.

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