Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Battle In The Darkness

(Sorry I missed last night; I was unavoidably detained all evening.)

Sword in one hand, torch in the other, the Grinning Prince leaned against a corner as he surveyed the two possible passages. One ended at a great door almost out of sight, while the other spanned into darkness.

If his bearings were right, it was the second choice that would take him closer to his goal.  He quietly moved down the hallway.

The flickering torch dissolved shadows as he passed a doorway on the right.  He considered opening it, but decided to move on.

The doorway jerked open behind him, and he barely spun to his left to parry a killing blow.

Ariya Thule, her backstab spoiled, flew at him with a flurry of cuts and stabs.  Unfortunately for her, the Prince dodged to the side and brought the flat of his blade down on her head.  While dropping his torch and drawing his other blade, he bellowed "Haven't I already killed you?!  I distinctly... remember... killing you... and dumping your bloodied carcass down a shaft!"

Ariya soaked up the blow and rolled forward and on her feet, blood dripping from the back of her head and her blades at the ready.

The Prince took a defensive posture. "Now, how do you want to do it?  Shall we repeat what happened before?  I'm going to kill you, your spooky-eyed lich master, and then rescue my friends from this pit.  I promise."

He stepped forward with two thrusts, one high and one low.  Ariya blocked both with ease, but didn't see his boot coming for her gut.  It connected with a hard thump that sent her flying backwards.

"I seem to recall kicking you in the delicates last time.  I'll bet that was pleasant," he cooed and stepped to her side with a downward swing.  She rolled over just enough to avoid the blow and leaped to her feet with one savage swing that was blocked.

But Ariya did not mean to press the attack; instead, she kicked the nearby torch... lifting it off the stone floor and into an arc which sent it sailing down the hall.  Taken by surprise, the Prince drew both blades up for protection, but couldn't stop her as she bowled him over and disappeared the other way into the darkness.

The Prince looked up just in time to see the torch sputtering out.

Panicked, he got into a crouching position with each blade pointed each direction, and waited for the attack.

Straining to listen in the pitch black, he could hear her breathing somewhere down the hall.  It was labored from heavy exertion... then a gurgling sound as if she were choking up fluids... slowly devolving into a hair raising growl felt more than heard.  He peered down the hallway at what he thought were red lights, and then the Prince knew...

Wolves eyes don't glow in the darkness without a source to reflect, he thought.  Where is that light?

The twin lights bounded toward him followed by a howl, and before he could bring the other blade around, she avoided a weak thrust and leaped on him with her full weight.  He felt crushed under what felt like twice her normal size.  He felt her breath as she snapped for his throat... grunted as he banged against her head with his left blade to no avail.  Ariya had him trapped, and it was just a matter of time before she tasted his blood.

He rolled slightly to his left and emptied that hand to bring it up against her head, then quickly twisted to the right to bash her against the nearby wall.  Ariya howled; he repeated, with more strength brought by encouragement.  Ariya backed off and bit into his thigh.

Now it was the Prince's turn to scream, and he jerked to bring his right blade slashing down on her head.  He felt it bite into her skull, her weight lift and disappear... leaving the Prince to pant for breath and grimace on the cold stone floor in the darkness.

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