“Beginnings” Part II

Published 1 week ago - 1


Madelyn Johnson, Staff Writer

As she fought, she glimpsed the others that ran in fighting as well, though she was clearly the strongest. A gnome jumped and dashed and sliced at the beasts; a half-elf cast spells left and right; a human woman was surprisingly strong enough for a great axe akin to Lash’s; and the same elf from before tried his hand at close combat, though he was not too successful from what she saw. Another elf was more successful in his fighting, using magic that shone like the sun. There was one person with a staff that seemed to know how to handle fighting decently well. She saw him hit a demon over the head with the staff, toss it into the air, and land a good punch to finish the thing off before catching the staff again. Decent power for someone his size, but a bit too flashy.

Lash was a force unmatched by the enemy. One demon had its head cleaved off. Another was thrown to the ground—where it died from impact—and brutally cleaved through the torso. One by one the foul beasts of the hells fell until there was but one left that tried to flee. Not wanting to go without taking on the strongest fighter, Lash drew a javelin, aimed and sent it flying with a mighty roar. The damned creature was speared through the neck and collapsed, still. One final yell of triumph left her throat before she took a deep breath and felt her nerves even out. She returned the greataxe to her back and walked over to the demon, ripping the bloodied javelin from its throat and reclaiming it. Turning around, she saw the fighters gathered with the dwarf that she now saw was garbed in armor. She scoffed and stomped over, crossing her arms over her chest.

“…ou still able to assist? You’ve now seen what I have to deal with. My men and I cannot leave the town unguarded,” he was saying. Lash rose an eyebrow. “We’ll still take care of the bodies if you keep your word regarding payment.” The human woman with the greataxe kept a sharp gaze on the dwarf, who, at the mention of payment, paled and looked to the ground. Lash grunted and smirked down at the unfortunate soul. She would get some answers, get to fight, and get paid? Sounded like a damn good deal to her. “If there’s more fighting where this came from, then count me in, Shortie.” The dwarf tensed and swung his shield, bashing at Lash’s knee. She grunted and stepped back from the force of it, growling at him in annoyance. “I can only hope your strength is as potent as your attitude.” He glared up at her before turning back to the human.

Lash sneered and was about to kick the man to the ground before she noticed the decent fighter from earlier pushing bodies into a pile with his staff and starting to burn them. To prove a point, she lumbered over to three of the mangled demons, piled them all on her shoulder, and slammed them down into the pile, making the ground shake ever so slightly from the force of it. The others turned and noticed this action, either somewhat impressed or decently terrified of it. Once the bodies were taken care of to some extent, the dwarf paid for the ragtag group’s stay at one of the tavern-inns as well as their dinners. Lash dug into her meal like a savage animal, tearing at the meat with her teeth and gulping down ale.

The rest of the group chose to be a bit more civil and polite in their eating. The gnome made everyone tea, and while the others enjoyed it, Lash did not know what to make of it. She poked the cup and quickly pulled her finger away, sneering at the searing drink. After finishing off her rather large steak and equally large ale, her cheeks were flushed and she occasionally jumped from a hiccup or two. Lash was wasted, and it did not take the others long to find that

she was even more temperamental while drunk than she was in the short time they knew her, which was to say in experiencing her might on the battlefield.

The strong fighter, his trusty quarterstaff resting against the wall behind him, was sipping somewhat loudly from his cup of tea. No one else noticed or brought it up, but Lash slammed a fist down on the table to get his attention and stop him. “Oi! You! Quit yer damn loud drinkin’!” She slurred. Surprisingly, given the circumstances, the man in question calmly put the cup down on the table, not flinching at her voice, actions, or glare. “It is rare to see a half-orc in these parts. Where are you from?” She scowled and sat up, grabbing the front of his shirt and lifting him to her face. “What’sthat supposed to mean, eh…!?” She glared at him and waited for a response, but when she got none, she let go of him and stood, swaggering to her room. “…Ffffffurgit you!… Yer not worttthhhh it…!” With such a declaration, she put her weapons and boots next to her bed after slamming the door to her room closed behind her. She undid the covers sloppily and flopped into bed, attempting to cover herself before realizing that her feet went beyond the bed itself.

The elf that had watched her earlier that day immediately leaned in to whisper to the others. “That’s a half orc…!? What is she doing here?!” Lash’s former antagonizer brushed himself off and cleared his throat. “I don’t know, but she has a wretched set of manners. It’s as if she was raised in a barn.” The gnome cleared her throat and tried to speak loud enough to be heard. “Is that why she has those bright blue eyes and pointy ears?” She hadn’t seen such a creature before, and now that she knew of one that was several feet above her in height, she was somewhat frightened and worried about angering her. “Yes. She must have elven parentage.”

“What makes you say that?”

The man smirked knowingly and sipped his tea to finish it before standing and grabbing his staff. “Where else would she have gotten that Elven-make bow she carried on her back?”

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