Dust rose in a small cloud as he rode his pony along the road and away. Sir James stared after him. Had he been playing along or had the last exchange actually hurt him. Briefly he considered calling Wain back.
“Stick to the plan, James, stick to the plan.” He muttered fiercely. He would just have to trust Wain to come back. The barbarian had never let him down before. Surely he would not this time.
With a slight sense of foreboding Sir James set up camp and waited. It did not take long. Just as dusk was edging into full blown night, his danger sense erupted, like church bells sounding an alarm. He sprang to his feet, one hand on the hilt of his sword and the other at his temple, trying to push away the instant headache.
“So.” A deep throaty voice gloated from the gloom, “Left all alone are you. What a fool you were to come back. You won’t escape me this time. I shall enjoy sucking your soul through your eyes.”
“Fell spirit!” Sir James spoke as confidently as he could, fighting the fear rising in his chest, “Avaunt from this place and never return! Turn back, before I send you to roast in the Thousand Hells with your brothers!”
“Oh, a smattering of courage have we? We’ll see.”
“Avaunt!” Sir James drew his sword, the blade bursting with bright flames. The light from the blade revealed the dark shape almost directly before the paladin and he swung the sword with all his might, screaming a battle cry.
The dark spirit recoiled before the bright blade, but then oozed to the side and flung a lance of darkness at his foe. The lance struck Sir Flickerflame in the left arm and he felt a cold numbness spread from his shoulder down.
Sir Flickerflame launched a blistering assortment of attacks, the flaming blade carving patterns in the night, driving the dark spirit back. As he felt his arm tiring from the viscous assault, he chanted a prayer for light. The brilliant white light of holiness exploded from his brow and the spirit screamed, turning its back to the paladin. But only for a moment.
The spirit turned back, a deep booming light echoing from its cloud of dark matter.
“Think you that your light will protect you? Watch, O Foolish One, watch and learn the power, the true power of Darkness.”
As the spirit spoke, the dark of the night closed in upon them, tearing the light from Sir James’ brow. Sir James fell to one knee, feeling the strength drain from his body. The spirit laughed the whole time and seemed to grow bigger with every second.
“You are doomed, you stupid paladins are always doomed!” The spirit crowed.
- Serial Fantasy Story – The bandits of Dunn – Part X (marieabmare.wordpress.com)