07 November 2011

Assassin's Gambit ~ Fiction

The Nyss Hunter crept slowly through the dry underbrush, the harsh heat of the summer sun and the biting flies were still difficult for him to deal with when compared to his cold winter home.  The environment didn’t even register to him at this moment; nothing did the moment before his kills.  Unwilling to attempt to get any closer to his prey the Nyss Hunter quietly placed two arrows in front him and knocked the third taking aim on his target.  He knew very little about this particular target and had no idea why someone wanted the Trollkin killed.  Small for a Trollkin he was still quite large by human standards, compared to most Nyss, Trollkin always seemed slow and clumsy and this one was no exception.  As the Nyss pulled back the first of his three shots he took note of the large maul strapped to the Trollkin’s back, he wondered how effective such a slow cumbersome weapon would fare wielded by a slow cumbersome humanoid when compared to the Nyss claymore he had carried most of his life.  He aimed center mass at the Trollkin and let fly all three arrows one after the other in rapid succession, his practiced hands moving faster than the eye could see.
At that instant the Trollkin dove sideways and rolled directly toward the Hunter’s position in the bushes.  Only one of his three arrows had hit the mark driving deep into the Trollkin’s left shoulder.  Coming up to his feet near the Hunter’s position the Trollkin let out an earsplitting cry sending shockwaves of energy at the now scrambling Nyss.  Branches shattered all around the hunter from the sonic wave of energy, leaving his ears ringing and his skin stinging from a handful of small cuts and slivers left by the exploding foliage.   The Hunter could not remember how long it had been since one of his targets had evaded him so completely, frustrated he began his hasty retreat down the narrow ravine running on light feet not hampered by the broken ground or foliage.  Missing would not be a mistake he would make again, though a new opportunity would be more difficult if his Trollkin target knew he was coming.
The Nyss ran comfortably down the ravine as the walls rose on each side.  He followed a narrow path up the right wall that he had found a few days earlier knowing it would lead up and out of the ravine.  Slowing a bit to check for pursuit the Hunter saw the Trollkin hot on his trail, ignoring the path and moving straight down the middle of the ravine.  Smiling he knew the Trollkin’s folly since he would soon be up and out safely away from pursuit.  The hunter crested a small rise as his path moved to the right in a switchback that would take him out of range and steeper up the wall when he skidded to a halt.  The switch back and the whole upper half of the ravine path had been blocked by a rockslide.  Knowing he had underestimated the Trollkin yet again he quickly scanned the ravine floor for the sign of his prey, just in time to see the Troll bellow another ear shattering cry at his position.  Again the very air seemed to ripple as small rocks shattered all around where the Nyss was standing.  This time though the hunter was one step ahead of the shockwave, ears still ringing the Hunter took two small steps at the rising cliff wall on his right and vaulted himself gracefully in backward flip directly over the Trollkin’s head, landing softly a few feet behind him.  Thinking to finish off the Trollkin, the Hunter pulled his bow and arrow in one fluid motion.  As he pulled back on the string the Trollkin only paused a moment before he rushed the Nyss, both of them knowing he wouldn’t get to the Hunter in time.  Right as the Nyss loosed the arrow the top limb of his bow snapped having been weakened from the sonic blasts stealing the power from his arrow that caught the Trollkin right in the chest.  The Surprise from the Trollkin as the arrow bounced harmlessly off his leather tunic was all the Nyss need to summersault backwards and renew his flight down the ravine.
Running softly the Nyss knew he would not tire before the pursuing Trollkin and so continued quickly down the rocky ravine floor.  Only the laughing song from the following Trollkin gave him pause, the words of a rowdy Trollkin drinking song echoing throughout the canyon.   The Hunter’s flight took him into a small opening leading directly into a smooth cliff face making clear to him the enjoyment he heard from the Trollkin.  The prey had proved a bigger challenge than he was getting paid to face and his benefactor would soon pay for the misinformation about this contracts unwritten abilities.  Turning to face the Trollkin as it emerged from the scraggly trees the Nyss reached back to draw its claymore.  Though he preferred his bow he was quite capable with the long curved blade that all Nyss learned to use from a young age.  Adopting a sideways stance with his sword in both hands pointing away the Nyss stared hard at the singing Trollkin re-evaluating the stocky humanoid as it prepared for the upcoming melee.  The calm surface of Nyss fighting forms the Hunter had practiced daily came floating to the surface of his psyche, though the Trollkin’s song seemed to buzz at his calm attempting to break it.
Unmoving the Nyss watched the Trollkin reach back to his heavy clumsy looking maul and bring the square headed weapon to bear with ease.  He noticed small glowing blue runes etched into one of the maul’s faces and marveled that someone would take so much time crafting such an unwieldy weapon.   The Nyss watched as the Trollkin grabbed the Maul mid shaft and slowly approached to what the Hunter expected to be a short fight.  Exploding into action the Hunter stabbed straight and high directly at the face of the Trollkin with speed and accuracy quickly attempting to end the melee.  The Trollkin easily battered away the attack with his Maul moving it much more quickly than the Nyss thought possible.  The Trollkin continued upward with the deflection angling his attack in a spin that arced up and then downward quickly at the Hunter forcing it to roll sideways past the Trollkin to avoid the attack. 
Coming to his feet quickly and to the side of the Trollkin the Nyss slashed sideways cutting a large gash up his opponent’s side from the Trolls waist all the way up to his shoulder.  Grunting with pain the Trollkin staggered forward and away as the Nyss reset his fighting position.  The Trollkin charged the small Nyss coming in at the same high angle he had before, as the Nyss gracefully began the forward roll into a dodge the Trollkin released his grip on the maul with one hand and aimed a backhand at the head of the Hunter clipping him in the ear sending him tumbling to the side.  Rolling to his feet the Nyss again scrambled backward as the Trollkin shifted his grip again grabbing his maul with both hands at the end of its shaft spinning the maul in a wide arc in the direction of the Nyss, missing again but sending him back and away from the Troll.  The Hunter feinted another step back luring the Trollkin to step forward toward him then stepped inside the reach of the Troll stabbing straight the Trolls abdomen.  Reacting quickly the Trollkin slapped at the incoming blade knocking it downward and straight into his leg pushing though it to the hilt.  Reversing his grip the Nyss began to pull it out hoping to sever the Trollkin’s leg completely.  Dropping his maul the Trollkin grabbed the Nyss by both hands and proceeded to smash the Nyss’s face with his forehead sending the Hunter stumbling back.
The Hunter’s eyes blurred and the blood from his now broken nose that spewed all over his chest.  Staggering backward and away from the Troll expecting the Maul to crush his face at any moment the Nyss waited.  Spitting out blood his eyes cleared enough to see the Trollkin on one knee blood gushing from the wound in his leg unable to stand.  Having extracted the claymore the Troll grabbed his maul with one hand and smashed it into the claymore on the ground shattering the blade.  The Nyss drawing a long knife from his belt enraged at the loss of his claymore charged at the nearly immobile Trollkin.  With one hand the Trollkin swung the maul out low forcing the Nyss to jump straight up to avoid the weapon.  Arcing sideways and over the Troll the Nyss slashed downward with his short knife cutting a long line on the Trollkin’s face from the side of its cheek all the way up its scalp cutting into his face and head but unable to penetrate the humanoid’s thick skull.  Landing softly and rolling away again the Nyss nearly lost his balance from the disorientation that lingered from the head-butt.  All calm gone from the Nyss he charged the Trollkin again thinking to end the flight with a quick slash to the beast’s throat.  Again the Trollkin swung his maul out with one hand this time high forcing the Nyss to duck and roll forward.  Shifting his grip the Trollkin moved his right hand up the maul’s shaft to its head and stepped painfully toward the rolling Nyss.  As the hunter came to its feet the Trollkin punched the maul into the Hunters shoulder shattering the bones in the Nyss’s upper arm and collarbone. 

Dizzy and nearly unable to stand the Nyss hurried back up the ravine blood running down his face, arm unusable, bow and sword gone.  He could no longer hear the Trollkin but dared not stop; thinking any moment the fierce Troll would be on him...

On both knees in the clearing the Trollkin watched as the Hunter sped away, unable to pursue, or even stand he hoped the assassin would not visit him again anytime soon.  Falling forward onto his hands staring hard at the ground trying to stay conscious he realized he wasn’t fighting a small human but an elf, he had never seen one of them before.  Eyes blurring his face hit the dirt and he lay still, nearly dead the gaping wound in his leg and up his side began to heal slowly... ever so slowly.


  1. Very good. The description of the action was detailed but stilled flowed naturally.

  2. Wait, this isn't signed. Who did this?

  3. I thought it was well done. And who did write this?

  4. Dallas wrote it.

    Good job; 5 tough rolls is pushing though, even for Dallas ;)

  5. I don't see any tough rolls at all from either of the two combatants.