The Paradox Hammer

The Hunt

A first for everything

The giant’s spear crumpled Yudah and sent him tumbling to the shrine below. The gods will embrace his spirit before he ever hits the floor, we warriors should be so lucky to die in such a place. This one’s strength is far beyond any human I’ve seen…I must not allow him to notice me.

Only a few more steps…lightning is leaping from his fingertips now. The Khal has fallen. I am upon him, my new weapon whirs to life in preparation for the strike.

Pain!

An otherworldly light blinds me, I can feel nothing but agony. It feels as if life itself is trying to rip it’s way out of my chest. Something has me by the arm. My barb is being forcefully extended, jabbed into something over…and over.

My vision returns, and the world is an angry red. I can feel my thoughts slip further and further away. Instinct takes control.

Scents…many. Blood of the Kroot, burned flesh of the human, and the musky stench of the fresh kill. The hunger is undeniable.

First bite, feline beast…strength…keen senses…superior agility. Fit for consumption.

Vitality returns. Annoying outsiders make noises, motion for me to follow them. Only the feast matters.

Outsiders gone…all is quiet, save for the sounds of the young Kroot warrior that has remained to feed alongside me. We will don the ancient markings, scrawled out on our skin in the blood of this beast. We will track this giant and feast upon his entrails.

The hunt begins.

The trail is too easy. The tracks are plain to see, the scent of it’s sweat is thick in the musty air. The annoying buzzes return in my head, until I dig the offending polyp from my ear canal. Vengeance is all that matters now.

The light of the day stings my eyes momentarily, the giant has fled outside the structure. I send the young warrior back. This kill will be mine and mine alone.

From a superior vantage point in the trees above, I close in upon it. The man-beast is lapping water greedily from a small stream. I pull a length of steel wire from my pouch…I want to watch the life of this one drain slowly from it’s eyes.

I freeze.

The giant seemingly turned it’s gaze directly upon me. I had been silent, I am invisible. How?

Then it begins to rant and rave…having a conversation with those that are not present. It cries out for the mercy of some sort of god…his Emperor. The wretched thing curls into a ball and weeps. The beast flesh in my stomach turns at the sight…

My body relaxes. I return to the ruins empty handed. For the first time in my life, pity has stayed my hand…

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