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Category Archives: Andorill

Andorill: The End?

Well, looks as though the Stories of Andorill will go on hiatus for the foreseeable future. Chris over at Hardluck Ink has moved on to other projects which are keeping him busy, and I wish him all the luck with those. And since he was kind of the instigating force behind the stories, Nathan from Speaking Out and I have decided to put these stories on hold. We’re kicking around something to maintain a co-authored work on our sites. Hopefully, we’ll have something up and running by next week (or the week afterward, perhaps). I know he has another site he’s working on building alongside the current one, so his time is stretching thin as well.

Of course, I think Nathan is the only one reading this blog, so I’m really only telling him what he already knows, but if anyone else has been following along, then you’re now clued in to the current state of co-authored affairs between these sites.

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Andorill: Enter, a Huntsman

A bit later than I’d like. Numerous things have kept me busy the last couple of days with little time to sit at the computer. Anyway, here is the latest in the Andorill tales. For the previous entry, scroll down a bit. The other two authors have missed their entries this past week due to illness.

Salim ib Khassanh arose from his midday prayer, laying hands open, palm upward, upon his lap while murmuring the last few words of the Savior’s Grace. He then scooted off the edge of the prayer mat and carefully rolled the somberly colored and interwoven reeds which had cost him at least a month’s rent to have fashioned.

The laws against depiction of The Savior Himself did not extend to items from his life, thus the image of the reed chest which had carried the Savior to safety from the demon host as a child adorning the mat which Salim so meticulously wound upon itself. He then slid the bundle into a soft leather case and fastened its strap across his shoulder and chest before rising to his feet.

As he did so, a hadim entered the sanctuary, bowing low as he did. “Apologies, avi, but a visitor has arrived.”

Salim nodded his thanks to the servant and slipped into his sandals before exiting the room himself. He had just closed the door to the sanctuary behind him when the visitor burst through the far door, another hadim trailing him yet trying to block his path.

“I do not care how long he said to wait,” the visitor growled. “I am a ranking member of the State University, and I will–” He halted, eyes widening at sight of Salim, yet moreso by the heads of past kills mounted upon the walls.

“Dustef you might be,” Salim whispered, his voice carrying effortlessly in the stillness of the trophy chamber, “Ellalh, perhaps, but you do not trample my servants without so much a by-your-leave in my home.”

The visitor nodded, once, eyes flicking from one glassy-eyed stare to another, his face growing pale by the moment. “Time is of the urgency, avi. In my haste, I–”

Salim waved away his excuses for poor manners and with another wave of his hand dismissed his servants. Once they departed, he turned the fire of his gaze full upon his visitor. “What is so urgent that you risk adding your head to my wall?”

The visitor swallowed audibly and wiped sweaty hands upon his robes. “Ossun-il-Amar, lead professor of Ancient Studies at the University, avi. I wish you to hunt a leus, one of the upper level student/lecturers. He has tampered with things he should not and stolen items which the University would like recovered.”

Salim nodded. “And you come to me, why? Surely the University has its own security force which would undertake hunting down one of its own?”

Ossun sighed, his soft shoulders rising then slumping, perhaps the most exercise his stodgy little body ever received. “The trouble there, avi, is this particular leus has outsmarted our resources. Half a dozen hunters were sent to the healers earlier today. Another half dozen still dog his trail, but the chances of their finding him are little to none. This Leus Talus is a devil and must be caught.”

Salim turned away from the quill-pusher and clasped his hands at the small of his back. Likely the leus in question was not as dangerous as led to believe. Likely he had stolen something, but whatever it was really did not concern Salim. The hunt was all he craved in life. And this held the tantalizing possibility of a satisfying one.

“Very well,” he said. “You have my services. But know now they do not come without a price.”

Andorill: Diversion

Here is the next segment of the tale. The link to the previous post at Speaking  Out is here.

At the sound of the creature’s scream, the older and wiser of the furless bipedals glanced up, thankfully, and waved the younger back. The younger seemed ready to unsheathe the blade at its side and then its eyes widened at sight of the dark creature thrashing about. Perhaps it recalled the too recent deaths of its kin beneath deadly claws just as those of the creature.

Tsk hoped the bipedals would flee, but she focused now on escaping the dark creature. She zigged left, she zagged right, all in attempt to keep the creature’s attention from the bipedals. She thought a moment in mid-leap and wondered if she could buoy their escape.

She studied the dead bipedals around her quickly then imaged a half dozen of them bursting from the trampled underbrush. Their illusory swords were mere bee stings to the hide of the dark creature, but perhaps their presence would confuse it just that much longer. Long enough, at least, that she could land safely inside the egg-shaped conveyance the two bipedals had been studying. Long enough to catch her wind and rest her weary wings.

The creature laid about with those massive claws, slashing bipedals all around, but as they dropped, Tsk imaged a few more from the far side of the egg shape.

Just as she dove through the opening into the egg-shape, she noticed the two bipedals stop near the edge of the clearing. The older turned back and placed his hand firmly on the handle of his weapon.

Andorill: Stick

Here is the next segment of this tale. For the previous entries, check Hardluck Ink here and Speaking Out here

Tsk was halfway to her next jump point, the remains of a long-fallen tree, a wonderful place to find a nourishing repast of beetles and wood worms, when she realized two things: One, the furless bipedals stood beside a broken, egg-like conveyance, and Two, they still had absolutely no realization of the dark creature barreling across the field toward them.

Of all the–Tsk shook her head in exasperation.  She had no clue why she risked life and limb for the obviously brainless bipedals, but she felt drawn to them in the same fashion the spider was drawn to her hypnotic dance of death.

She reached the tree, quickly snatched a beetle before it could scurry away and chopped a few bites from its head while she thought. The moons were out. Both of them.  The light they provided was almost as that of the–

Of course! That was it. Tsk mentally slapped herself. She had forgotten that bipedals couldn’t see at night very well. The dark coloring of the creature and its normal low-to-the-ground movement would keep them from noticing it until too late.

She tossed the half-eaten beetle aside and shot into the air again, aiming for the egg-like structure where the bipedals stood. But she knew she wouldn’t make it. The dark creature had closed the distance by half and, as was typical of its kind when it smelled death nearby, it had increased its speed. It would arrive and, in a flash of its four, razor-sharp clawed arms, would cut its way through the two bipedals. The older might stand a small chance of survival. The younger would die benath the first slash of those claws.

She had to do something. A distraction of some sort. Give the bipedals time to turn and fight or flee. Neither option seemed promising but better than nothing.

She cast about for something to yank the attention of the monster as she now saw it.

The tree. It had fallen long ago, but trees fell all the time, especially if something big and nasty brushed by it with claws the size of the steel weapons the bipedals used. Trees dotted the clearing, several close to the path the creature now took. Tsk didn’t have the strength, physical or mental, to push down a tree, but to use it like stick to whip the creature long enough to distract it?

She diverted enough of her attention to flying to concentrate on a tree closest to the creature’s path and imaged it falling atop the creature. Then she took that image, the snap of the trunk breaking, the sight of the limbs cascading down upon the creature, the smell of the fresh earth being churned by the movement of the trunk, and she slammed it hard into the creature’s walnut-sized brain.

The creature came to a dead stop, plowing into the mud, and let out an ear-bursting howl of pain as it thrashed around, trying to dislodge a tree trunk that wasn’t there. Two short moments later and that tiny brain realized it had been tricked.

And it was angered.

Andorill: Observer

Here’s my first entry into the ongoing tale of Andorill. For the previous post (and others), read here

Tsk shifted slightly in the treetops as she gazed down at the scene below, her color changing with her movement.

Two furless bipedals faced each other across the clearing, one holding naked steel, the other walking as if on air with a slight bounce to its step. Around them lay others of their kind, ripped apart and tossed aside, husks empty of life-giving nutrients. Mingled amongst those bodies lay larger creatures, dark as the empty night sky and armored as the mountains to the south. Those creatures knew to be dangerous. Bred for destruction, not born of egg as Tsk and her brethren nor even live as the two bipedals below, but created from many creatures, many elements.

The wind shifted the branches in the tree. Tsk scrambled again for purchase in the slick bark, happy that she had anchors in her strong back legs but also glad for the pincer strength of her abdomen appendages. She wondered what the two bipedals would do now their kin were dead or dying. A few, yes, very few, still breathed but not for long, Tsk could tell with a single glance.  The dark creatures had done their duty, slaughtered all in their path. It had taken several bipedals to drop even one of the creatures.

A spider inched its way toward her, mandibles clacking. Her front legs shot out, hooking the eight-legged beast and drawing it to her stronger middle legs, and she took a bite, crunching through the spiky fur and tasting the sweet juices inside her prey. She cocked her head to one side as she turned back to the bipedals facing each other.

The one with the naked steel appeared to be the younger of the two, its life force less twisted. The other had a far stronger life force, twisted and straightened and repeated until–

A noise on the far side of the clearing yanked Tsk’s attention. Yet another of the dark creatures burst from its hiding place and charged the two bipedals. They were unaware of its approach. How could Tsk have missed the life signs of the creature, she did not know. She did know the two bipedals would likely die beneath the creature’s claws. The older, stronger of the two might fair longer, but the younger . . . . Something about the younger made Tsk think he needed saving.

Dropping her snack,she launched herself from her perch high in the tree and fluttered her multi-part wings for all she was worth. With hope, she would arrive before the creature slaughtered the two. But the distance was large, and she was small.

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