Thursday, May 21, 2009

Berserker Part 2

“Awake boy”, a voice said in the dark. Jarn had felt something prod his ribs. Slowly he opened his eyes, banishing the darkness. He looked around to see the inside of his father’s hut. He had lived here since he could remember, and would continue to do so until he took a wife. His gaze swept over the dilapidated cot which served as his father’s bed, the table in the middle of the single room, a few hunting trophies on the wall, and all the other normal household items he was used to. Slowly his eyes came to rest upon the towering figure that was as much a thing of this place as the table, his father. “You’ve slept gone past noon”, came the harsh growl. “Would you want to be late for the festivities?”

“Festivities?”, Jarn groaned. He was becoming increasingly aware of the powers of the elder’s spirits that new initiates were required to take, as well as a growing respect for the elders, who could slug it back all night without any noticeable effects.

“The harvest celebration. Is there nothing you can remember?”, replied a voice like two stones grinding together. Kathur left the room to allow Jarn to get ready for the coming day.

Jarn slowly got out of his bedroll, aware of every ache in his body with painful clarity. Was it possible for your hair to hurt? He staggered over to the wash basin in the corner of the room and promptly threw up. Now he was fresh and ready for the new day. If someone speaks over a whisper I really will kill them.

Jarn walked shakily over to the animal skin flap that served as a door, swept it aside, and left the room. What sights he saw outside brought him to his knees in fear.

Maggot infested corpses all over the place, the huts he knew would be there to greet him were burned out ruins. The short grasses which were abundant around them were stained red with the blood of his peers. In the center of it all, a single figure stood. His features were obscured by long robes, fouled by all manner of bodily secretions. Around him goblins danced, flinging themselves about with a wild, unholy energy, carrying gory trophies of their kills and driving themselves into bloody frenzy.

ith the most puzzled look in its face, the lower half stayed standing, as if nothing had happened. This weapon has existed for several centuries and still retains its edge! Heavy, but sliced that bastard right in half.

As Jarn continued to hack and slash at the few members of the raiding party that were still standing, he dimly became aware of the wounds that the goblins were inflicting upon him, they were learning to wait until after he swung the heavy sword. They would then attack while Jarn tried to regain his balance. He forced the idea that such vile creatures could learn from his mind and concentrated on his swings, yet the goblins kept scoring hits. His frustration slowly gave way to anger, the sword suddenly seemed lighter in his hands. The annoying cuts were now being scored less often, those that did make it past his defenses fueled his rage until he became that unstoppable berserker he once was.

Time passed without Jarn’s permission, the light of day, which had once made the ruby red blood of his enemies sparkle, began to wane. Even though Jarn barely felt tired, his limbs began to slow, he started to control his thoughts, and the pain of his wounds returned. It wasn’t until this happened that Jarn realized that the goblins fled long ago. All that kept him at everything in Jarn was behind that scream, his mind, his feelings, his very soul.

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