Monday, October 1, 2012

Harduk The Slayer and the Forest of Doom

An hour later, Harduk crouched in the brush beside a massive tree. A stone's throw away, a wild boar drank at the edge of a narrow stream. Here was water, and proper food; not like the tribbil-fruit he had found earlier. Though considered a delicacy in the nighted city of Ordur, tribbil-fruit was neither large nor filling, and Harduk's belly cried out for something more solid. Could he but catch it, the boar would do nicely.

Drawing his great blade, Harduk considered the tree beside him. Then, with a single blow, he hewed through the trunk. No narrow sapling, this; it was one of the elders of this jungle, grown tall and strong with the passage of centuries. It was no match for the keen edge of Harduk’s blade, however, for Harduk carried Frostblight, the Sword of Chiefs, which was said to hold the battle-rage and bloodlust of all Distractia.

The great tree shivered with the blow, and the boar started. Then the tree creaked and began to fall, and the boar froze in panic at the growing roar of collapsing greenery. Harduk nodded in satisfaction as the ancient trunk dropped squarely onto his prey. The thunder of its impact shook the forest, silencing bird and beast alike for as far as the ear could hear.

The boar, he thought, was now as flat as the wrapping-breads in the marketplaces of the distant city of Schaterdore, where his people sometimes went to trade, when they weren't trying to attack, burn, and loot the place. He needed only to remove the tree and prepare a fire, and he would have his meal.

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