Soon I have come to it.
Some sort of staircase must have been here once, now crumbled
and overgrown to the point where it is nearly indistinguishable
from the surrounding rock and serves none of the normal purpose
of stairs. I look for a way up, and find a hand-hold on some lush
green-yellow vines. Pulling up, I come to a ledge; from here I leap
and climb and shimmy my way to the top.
It was there
that I first saw it.
A true behemoth,
it towered over the tallest nearby trees and shook the earth as
it walked. It walked because it saw me, and was stirring up a cloud
of dust and debris at its feet. Its eyes peered out of an almost
bearlike face, two gleaming yellow orbs. In one hand it bore a club
that looked cast iron and was large enough to build a good size
windmill out of, complete with living quarters.
It was almost human-shaped, but had legs with gargantuan
pedestal-like feet, and
arms that nearly dragged on the ground like a gorilla. From its
back sprotted what seemed to be a stone block structure similar
to the architecure I had seen elsewhere in this place. Its form
seemed composed of equal parts tree-like iron and fern-like fur.
I wasn’t sure it was my enemy till the fearsome club came down,
shattering the earth, sending me tumbling in a cloud of stinging
rocks and dirt.
When I got to
my feet, shaken, I ran as fast as I could for the nearest cover.
Crouched there, trembling, I realized that the thing didn’t know where
I was, so I took a moment to consider my options. It was then I
realized: I could dimly hear a voice that seemed to come from nowhere
but my own head. It said ‘The victorious one must climb the beast,
and pierce the light’.
Not at all what I wanted
to do. Climb it? Climb? You don’t climb creatures, you climb ladders
or rocks and such…climb? I looked at it again. It did have tufts
of fur around its ankles, just low enough that if I ran and jumped
I might grab hold. Then what? Well, I would have to cross that bridge
when I got there. For now, I decided to try and shoot some arrows
at it, just in case they did the trick.
off, splintered and useless. Others found a home, but with no noticeable
affect on the creature’s wellbeing. With nothing else to try, I
ran straight at it, into the wafting cloud around its feet, and
The strange fur
crunched under my outspread fingers, I felt my weight swing out,
the thing picked its leg up at just that same second but amazed
at my luck my grip held. Climbing up onto the back of its calf,
I looked up at its bulk. If anything, it was much bigger up close.
Its shifting mass under my quaking body was terrifying. It made deep
noises, low rolling sounds like the first tremors of an earthquake.
Seeing no ‘lights’,
I tried to climb up higher, and while trying to navigate the forest
of fur on its back I felt my grip weakening. There was no foothold.
My fingers burned, ached, I looked frantically for a place to rest
Then I was just
weightless, slipping away, the ground rushing up far too quick.
I reached out
as the beast turned.
It lifted its
leg to move.
I might have
been screaming, I might not. Either way I managed to grab just enough
hair to break the speed of my fall and send me swinging, flying,
then rolling in the dust away from the creature. I retreated again,
curious as to how far it would follow me. I scrabbled to a place near
the ruined stairs, nearly slipping off the edge in my rush to evade
the beast. When I turned, it was just standing there, a shadow in
the gloom, those two eyes peering out at me. I shot two arrows at
it, it smashed a full-grown tree to the ground with as little thought
as I might crush a paper doll. I looked down, considered fleeing.
But where would I go? Somehow, I knew, my destiny was to slay this
creature, though I knew not why.
I ran again,
a speck amidst its bulk. It swung, missed, I rolled away. It swung
again and this time I was too disoriented, and it hit the ground
so close I was thrown into the air several yards away by the impact.
I was truly starting to feel very sore at this point, and would
likely have quite a collection of bruises next time I had someone
civilized to share them with. I could taste blood warm and metallic
in my mouth.
Again I leapt
for the ankle-fur. Again I succeeded, and swung up. This time I
was a small bit more comfortable with the odd situation and found
my way up much quicker. Despite the blind thrashing of the creature,
soon I was on its shoulder, walking, nearly shaken off I slipped
and grabbed at the fur again, my body swinging wide out into space
and back with a thump onto the burly back. Then I saw it.
Right on the
top of its skull, light shone forth from a series of runic patterns
inscribed there. I crept up, holding on tight, and raised my blade,
which had bounced off all the flesh I could find before, and plunged
as hard as I could.
The steel sank
deep, and something black and oily spurted out in a blinding fountain.
The thing roared a terrible scream, and started whipping around.
I could barely hold on to both the fur and my sword. The world spun
around in blurry lines of motion, but I collected myself enough
to stab it again, and again, and again, till finally it came to
a crashing rest on the valley floor.
The silence that followed
was a solid force that mourned for the thing, and I wondered at
its purpose, and my righteouness in slaying it.