Grim Determination

Jim Stitzel

I dabble a little in a lot of things — writing, webcomics, gaming, photography, web design, music, and more. I write code full-time and words in the gaps in between.


Moments later, Malika stepped from the forest and stopped at the top of the hill looking down over her village. She could see fires burned throughout the town, set not by the deathless' attack but rather remnants of household hearths and ovens left unattended after the slaughter. Tendrils of smoke rose up thick enough to obscure portions of the night sky.

Night it may still have been, but she knew that dawn was close at hand. Would the deathless linger in the daylight? Were they capable of such things? She could still see movement down in the village, twisted forms with even more distorted shadows. So much of the lore about these creatures had been lost, and even her local clergyman had seemed to focus his sermons less on the deathless and more on the All-Consuming Flame. Perhaps he himself hadn't known. Theirs was an outlying parish, after all. Theology had never been a frequent topic for conversation here.

A twisted form moved nearby, and Malika moved to intercept it, blue flame at her side.


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Inspired by (sequel to):

They approached the other side of the clearing and it was Orthael's turn to rein in a jolt of shock.…

Slaughter and Sacrifice

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