I used to be a great warrior.

My hammer rings loud through the cavern. The cherry red steel sings its rebellious tune to me. The song is a strange one and discordant one, but I know how to bring its melody into tune.

My beard was braided thickly with the sign of my victories.

My mother taught me the blade and my father taught me the forge. Sweat beads and drips on my grit covered brow. I’ve no time to wipe it, the timing is crucial now, a single missed blow and it would all have been for naught.

The dark, and pale creatures of the deep caverns fled the field when they saw my axe’s shine.

At last the song is subdued now, the steel temporarily subordinate to my will. I bellow my orders at Roderick and the lad obediently lifts the construct, facing the portal to me. I pull the caged sprite from behind me. I loose its prison door, reaching in I gripping its molten form, the scorching heat as it struggles burns through my thick leather glove. Ignoring its spiteful curses and Roderick’s exhausted shaking, I shove the sprite and the stump of my arm behind it.

Until that monster took my arm. 

The pain is unbearable as the beast claws, bites and tears at my exposed stump. I grit my teeth and Roderick slams shut the contraption and I feel the gears by my stump slowly wind as the sprite struggles. Moments pass and relief from the immediacy of the fire fades as the beast is bound by its own power. Its power begins to flow through the contraption, infusing it with my own magic, a click sounds in reality as well as some other place, and I can feel it, my new hand.

My honour was stripped from me, the chance for a noble warriors death along with it. 

I wrench the metal from Roderick’s surprised grip. With a thunderous laugh I raise my new limb up above my head, clenching and flexing the hand. For the first time in a long time, I feel powerful. Forming a fist I slam it, with all my might into the stone wall of the forge and the very rock of the mountain crumbles beneath my blow.

As long as the monsters lives, I must wear the shame of my defeat. For as long as I have no axe-arm I cannot avenge my loss.

“Roderick, bring me my axe.”

The boy runs, eyes wide in shock, blasted brat never believed it would work. My laughter is uncontained and I raise my two hands before my face once more inspecting them from front to back, watching the glow of the sprite and the turning of the cogs with euphoria and pride. Momentarily, the lad returns with Frost Howl, my great axe.

I will never forget my loss, I shall never be sated. I shall remain hungry, and I will have my revenge.

It is a spiritual moment as my hands embrace her again. For ten long years I have been unable to hold her, to feel her weight. But now we are together again, and I can feel her hunger as deep and visceral as my own. She has lusted for revenge every passing hour as keenly as I have. So I whisper my vow to her, our fire ignited anew.

“Come Roderick, it’s time to find the others. Vengeance is long overdue.”

Author: Zairron

I'm writing to build a habit, practice, and be creative.

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