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The Blue Hunter - It Begins (part 1)

Who is the mysterious intruder on the backstreets of Bliss? Please let me introduce you.

The full moon was not high enough to illuminate the narrow back street lane of the town of Bliss. The unkempt condition of the boarded sidewalk was an indication of the populace. There are few good reasons for people to tread into rough portions of the town.

A door opened, allowing a small slice of dim light to cut through the dark. The light was momentarily blocked by the body of a huge individual whose broad shoulders barely fit as they had to duck their head to miss the top of the seven-foot doorway. As the huge person moved away from the door, two other robed figures followed.

They were traveling north towards the center of the town and its small keep. They traversed half the block when another figured moved out of a small alleyway twenty feet ahead of them.

The intruder raised a hand and called out, “Illuminare.”

Instantly an orb of shining bluish light appeared near the three figures illuminating them.

The huge individual in front had taken a defensive stance holding a large battleaxe that must have weighed eighty pounds. He was a Kyodasen, a brutal race of massive warriors that lived on a southern continent. This behemoth wore a light leather jerkin over his abdomen and torso hanging as a protective skirt to his knees. His head was covered with a metal open-faced helmet.

The next man wore an expensive full robe on his tall frame with the hood pulled forward to keep his face hidden.

Behind him was a man of average build in a cloak. In a fluid motion, he produced a crossbow and was raising it to fire when a small crossbow bolt pierced through his lower neck. He stopped as blood poured out of his damaged throat, but then he tried to raise the weapon again. Another bolt hit him in the middle of his chest. He grabbed the bolt in his throat and tried to say something, but all that came out was a gurgling sound and blood spewed from his mouth. He stumbled forward and fell to the ground.

The intruder was holding two hand-sized crossbows. He dropped them, reached with both hands to his sides and pulled loose two light maces. Slightly taller than average, he had a lean physique and long silver hair knotted behind his head. He wore an ornate breastplate with a representation of two open hands, the symbol for the One Way priesthood. A light chain shirt and scaled bracers completed his armor.

He said, “Benedicat arma.”

The two hands sigil upon his chest glowed cyan. Tendrils of the cyan moved up surrounding his arms and enveloping his weapons in a blue aura.

The Kyodasen strode towards the intruder. Grabbing his massive battleaxe in both hands, he called out, “I will kill you!”

The interloper stood his ground as the behemoth moved forward. The huge Kyodasen had a superior reach with his weapon of almost six feet more than his opponent, who appeared puny and overmatched in comparison. This looked like it wouldn’t take long. The intruder probably wished he could have kept one of those small crossbows for this monstrous target.

The colossal warrior brought his battleaxe around in a vicious arc that would slice his opponent in twain. At the last moment, the smaller man jumped back, and the axehead barely missed scoring him across the chest. Before the Kyodasen could recover he darted at the warrior with unbelievable speed.

He kicked out low to sweep the Kyodasen’s legs. Attacking with his two maces, he simultaneously struck the ankle and the calf on the fighter’s leg; sending him face first to the ground.

He could have taken this opportunity to possibly finish off his opponent from behind, but fortunately, instead he took that moment to look at the hooded third man.

The hooded man was mumbling and had his hands above his head, palms facing each other. Between his lifted hands, a powerful mystic force swirled in a compact ball of red and black.

The intruder pulled his maces together, forming an X. The blue aura intensified. As the powerful magic of the hooded man reached its peak, the intruder shouted, “Reflexionem!”

The hooded man threw the sphere of power at the intruder. It flew rapidly across the distance. It would have struck the intruder, but as it did, a blinding cyan flash exploded. The concussive force knocked the intruder to one knee and the blazing sphere reflected back to its point of origin.

The hooded man was enveloped in a swirling red and black maelstrom of power. It detonated, throwing him backwards six feet into a building’s wall. He fell to the ground and slumped over awkwardly face-first.

The intruder suddenly dove to the side just before a huge axehead crashed down were he had been; burying itself a foot into the hard packed surface of the road.

The mysterious attacker leaped to his feet and began a furious assault upon the behemoth that had attacked from behind. He battered him, repeatedly scoring hit after hit. The monstrous warrior could not counter the furious flurry of blows and was stunned as a vicious strike smashed the side of his helm. He fell to his knees only semi-conscious. He instinctively raised his weapon to protect himself only to have it kick directly into his face, propelling him backwards onto the ground. Two blows from the cyan incandescent maces broke both of his exposed knees disabling him.

The intruder knew that the code by which the Kyodasen warriors lived would not allow him to surrender. Their war god was also their god of death, making death in combat an honorable and much desired demise. The mysterious stranger’s own beliefs were different. He had to give his opponent a chance to survive.

“Yield or die, brave warrior,” he said.

The huge crippled man tried to reach for his weapon, but the man above him stepped on his wrist, trapping it to underneath his weight.

The Kyodasen said, “You have bested me this time little man, but I will heal. I will hunt you down. I will kill everyone you love and then I will kill you. It will be slow, a death worthy of the Black One, my God.”

The man stepped off the wrist of the huge prone warrior. The Kyodasen growled in frustration as the smaller man began to turn away. Suddenly the man spun around and brought a mace down onto the unprotected face of the warrior. With a sickening sound, the skull of his opponent was crushed.

He wiped the blood off his glowing weapon onto the clothing of the dead behemoth and said a quick prayer for the fallen warrior. He hoped his soul would find the peace he never had in life.

He picked up his hand crossbows and walked over to the robe crossbowman to retrieve his small bolts.

He heard a sound and saw the robed figure of his hunt trying to crawl to a doorway; it appeared they had broken their leg in the explosion that threw them against the wall. He jogged over to the person and pushed them over onto their back with his foot. He reattached his maces to his sides and drew a long dagger. The glow on the maces dispersed.

The dagger was slightly curved and almost as long as a short sword. The hilt looked like ivory, but he knew it was actually bone, supposedly dragon bone. The blade was jet black and ornately scribed with ancient mystical runes that few could read. It was slightly cool to the touch. It was a powerful and greatly feared weapon, but he hated it for the price needed the feed the power. It drank souls. It was called Soul’s Bane.

He knelt down, placing a knee in the person’s stomach, and pulled their hood back. It was Lasiter, his sponsored prey. This mysterious intruder was a hunter.

He said, “You are Lasiter, son of Mason rogue practitioner of the dark arts from Limestone?”

The hunter felt a rising power in Lasiter and quelled it with a flood of his own power.

He said, “Don’t try that again. I too have power. Now answer me!”

“Yes, I am master Lasiter. My leg is broken. Help me.” Lasiter whimpered.

The hunter said, “I am Reyes Onanca. I have been sanctioned to find and punish you for The Guild by the command of Sir Roland, the King’s commander of the free city of Limestone.”

Lasiter’s eyes widened, and the blood rushed from his face. Lasiter asked, “You are the Blue Hunter?”

“Yes.”

He knew who the Blue Hunter was and had heard of the terrifying fate that was to be his. Lasiter was panicky as he said, “By all the gods, take me back to them. I will happily go as your prisoner. I will heed to their demands and pay any retribution they ask. I beg of you, please don’t do this to me!”

Onanca said, “It is my duty. All your false gods can’t protect you. There is only one God, the God of the One Way. Before I do what must be done, denounce the false gods, and I will send you to eternal peace, the path of the One Way.”

There was silence.

After a few moments, the Blue Hunter said, “Very well, so be it. By the power of the King I, Sir Reyes Onanca, consecrated priest of the One Way and hunter of the royal council, hereby sentence you to death for the unsanctioned use of the powers of the dark arts. The darkness devouring your soul shall be no more.”

The Blue Hunter shoved the black blade between Lasiter’s ribs and into his heart before he knew what was happening.

The Blue Hunter canted, “Psychí pótis, katanalónoun to skotádi.”

Power surged though the dagger as it drank his soul. Lasiter took a final gasp of air and then the life went from him. His eyes glazed over, and his body went slack.

The worst part for the Blue Hunter was that he felt part of the surging power from the dagger enter him. It revitalized him. The most disturbing thing of all, the darker the soul, the more power he personally drew from it. He wondered at how this affected him, his soul.

Strangely, the dagger didn’t need to be cleaned, so he sheathed it and went to the end of the alley where he had a horse-drawn cart waiting. He loaded the bodies and their belonging on the cart. Along with the standard items, the warrior and crossbowman each had a small hand-full of silver coins. Lasiter had silver coins and a few coins of gold. He also had a bag with three gems, a book of the dark arts and a sealed scroll case.

The Blue Hunter got on the cart and started the horse towards the town’s stronghold. He believed Sir Erick of Bliss was the town’s lord. He would turn over the Kyodasen and crossbowman. Unfortunately, he had to return Lasiter’s body to The Guild and must take it to Limestone himself. He hated The Guild. He still wished the King had not allied himself with them in the Great War sixty years ago, and then he would not have legalized them after the war. The Blue Hunter wanted the rid the world of their darkness and evil.

He was looking forward to a decent meal and a soft, warm bed at Sir Erick’s Keep before the three day journey ahead of him to Limestone, his home.

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