Started work on a new project about four of five months ago.
Here’s a snippet from a recent chapter.
Scar sat on his rear. Less than a thousand yards to the south stood a great, flaming beacon. The Kulshedran outpost remained in flames.
“Zmaj be damned…and Dumar with him,” the mercenary said while coming to his feet.
The previous ordeal left his boots and most of his leggings in tatters. He prodded at the newly formed scars. Considering what he had gone through, they were not severe. With a deep inhale through the nose, he turned his eyes to the dark skies.
“What shall I do? Venture to the south and kill Dumar? Perhaps…though that would only bring immediate comfort. It is evident Zoltek has no desire to assist me.”
Scar took a few paces; still mired in thought he did not notice the figure striding through the chaparral. With his fists on his hips, he continued to think out loud.
“I need to wait for those fires to settle. Hopefully my blade is intact…damn! I can’t just wait…fighting off the oncoming hordes of Kulshedra, Drac, or whoever won’t-,”
Extreme pain rattled his head. There was a second of confusion, like the ground had come away from his feet. Then he was rattled again upon hitting the ground. Groaning and gripping his bleeding head, he turned onto to his back. A tall figure clad in full plate mail as dark as the night itself loomed over him.
The assailant was armored unlike anyone Scar had met so far. The two-handed in the man’s hands was also unrecognizable. Scar sat up to scramble back, but the man smashed a heavy boot onto the mercenary’s shin before following up with a right-to-left bash of his mace. The blow knocked Scar back into the soil.
“Unholy creature, I will cleanse you from Tiamhaal,” the black knight breathed.
When the knight went for the deathblow, Scar kicked the attacker’s feet out and he crashed so hard that a cloud of dust obscured him from sight. That time, it was the knight who sat up in time to see Scar’s massive fist smash into his helmet.
“Ouch!” Scar griped, but the blow was sufficient to buy some time.
The mercenary caught his bearings. In quick observation, he noted the thick, black steel that seamlessly covered the attacker.
“Who are you? Did Dumar send you? Gilgamesh?” Scar yelled.
The black knight swung the mace over his head and at Scar’s feet, and though the blow was avoided by a jump, the knight had time to come to his feet. Leaning forward a bit and clutching the mace in both hands, he gave his reply.
“Lovenhaad, Paladin of Mekosh the Severe, and I will kill you, ghost.”
The odd, breathy voice of Lovenhaad was unnerving, but there was no time to contemplate; the Paladin charged with mace raised on high. Scar stopped the blow short by gripping Lovenhaad’s gauntleted hands. For a second, they were evenly matched in strength, though the Paladin was yet shorter and narrower even in his armor.
“Severity,” Lovenhaad started, “is the only guiding principle. You must be killed. Mekosh demands it.”
Scar remained unconcerned and threw his knee into the attacker’s midsection. It did little damage, but allowed the mercenary to step in, twist the mace down and towards Lovenhaad to force him off balance, and the Scar finally slung the up with all his might. The mace’s shaft struck Lovenhaad in the bottom portion of the helmet.
“Dammit!” Scar grumbled.
He followed the attack by striking both palms into the Paladin’s hips. The force knocked Lovenhaad to the ground. Scar took a knee to rain fists into the enemy, but his armor was simply too thick.
Lovenhaad bucked his hips away from Scar and aimed the pommel of his mace at the mercenary’s chin; it was a near miss and again they scuffled. Grunts, curses, and groans ensued coupled with dust kicking up around them. When Scar tossed the Paladin he was unable to wrest the weapon from his hands, and when Lovenhaad swung at Scar, he was unable to connect with any kind of deleterious force. Then, while the two wrenched about both gripping the mace, Lovenhaad cried out and slumped to his knees.
Scar was uncertain about what happened, but felt the Paladin’s strength wane. He ripped the mace away, swung out an arc to gain momentum then struck Paladin perfectly across the side of his helmet. Lovenhaad smashed against the ground with a metallic clamor. He hissed while slowly trying to come away from the ground. Scar’s head tilted in amazement; an arrow was protruding from his opponent’s back. Wasting no more time, he bashed the Paladin’s head with three quick strikes. The helmet made an awful, wet smacking sound upon rupturing with brains.
Scar placed the head of the mace against the soil and peered over the hills and dunes. The eastern sky was starting to glow. He did not see anyone. Confused and angry, he growled.
“Where are you? Show yourself!”
“Easy,” a voice to his right replied.
Scar looked in that direction to see a man rise up from the chaparral. His attire was comprised of thick cloths the same color as the surroundings. It was difficult to tell, but he looked Kulshedran. A strange bow was slung over his shoulder; there were several metal strings comprised of fine filaments, which ran over pulleys. Scar raised the mace onto his shoulder.
“Now, now,” the archer said. “You won’t need that.”
The archer walked over to Lovenhaad’s corpse.
“Do I really need to?” the archer asked.
Scar remained silent.
“Fine,” the archer assented with a slight bow of the head and shoulders. “My name is Labolas. Gilgamesh sent me to find you.”
Scar was skeptical and kept his eyes on the man, who came a few steps closer. He was short, and though the bulk of his clothes hid his stock, he looked wiry. Thick, long curls were braided and held back a leather strap. As the morning light revealed him, it was evident by the bronze tone of Labolas’s face that he was Kulshedran.
“Why?” Scar asked.
“He knows who you are.”
“Preposterous,” Scar said with a smirk. “You’ve got about two seconds before I crush you.”
Labolas chuckled and shook his head. Looking up to the sky, he spoke.
“You think me daft…or a liar, but I assure you, as certain as I stand here peacefully, Gilgamesh knows who you are, Brandt.”