Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Albinor Chronicles Chapter 1
"The Tarrasque"

By Marcus Pan

The air was crisp and the sky was clear. A figure in the distance comes atop a hill and pauses. He surveys his surroundings and checks the map he carries with him. Marking a spot on the map, he places himself approximately 10-15 miles past the western border of the Kingdom of Vestland. He continues east for Vestland's great port city of Norvik. For nearly two weeks he has walked nearly 100 miles across rough, wilderness terrain. Less than half of his journey is complete. Stepping lightly, he pads down the eastern slope of the hill. Night fell swiftly from the sky, shrouding the hills in shadow. Gathering the food he can find from the surrounding area, he kneels to begin a campfire. Johannesonne Lobanna then lays down to rest, secure in his faith of Ishtar, who will warn him of trouble.

Johannesonne stirs awake. The wind blows through the reeds in soft moans. He listens intently. Some shuffling footsteps that seem to come from afar. The ground slightly trembles, denoting something large heading in his direction. By the light of the embers from the still smoking fire, he dons his plate mail armor. He steps and kneels in the surrounding brush and listens intently. Silence. Then the steps begin again. It is closer now. The ground begins to shake and the loose soil billows up into the still air. He can see it now whatever 'it' is.

A large head comes into view containing a row of great, white fangs glistening with drool and mucous, each fang being nearly the size of a man's finger. Two large, six-foot horns protrude from its head. Its eyes are a glowing red, containing an evilness Johannesonne has never seen. The creature is gigantic, being over fifty feet long with a ten foot long, lashing tail. The moonlight reflects off it's strong, armor like carapace. A strange aura of darkness surrounds the creature as it sniffs the air, eyeing the still burning embers that give off a faint light in the still, windless night. A strange growl rises from it's throat. Sniffing the air once more, it turns and looks at Johannesonne with a burning hatred in it's eyes. The growl grows to a deafening roar. Knowing he is seen, he tugs his steel blade from his right side and as he raises it to the eyes of the beast, it begins to glow with a soft light.

Knowing full well that the slaying of this evil beast would be a great triumph in the name of his goddess, Ishtar, and the dishonor it may cause him to run away, he steps forward from the bushes. The light of the embers glances off his great, plate armor. He looks deeply into the creature's eyes. He sees nothing but hatred; hatred for all that's good. It lashes out with its great horns. The Paladin of Ishtar swings his sword. The steel glances off the armor-like carapace of the creature. He spins, swings downward and manages to cut into its side. Wrenching his sword free, he sees a dark, red fluid run down its side, darker and more viscous than any blood he's ever seen. The creature turns to him and snarls. Its great tail heaves up. Johannesonne is caught off guard and hit on the left side. The great strike sends him back a few feet where he stumbles onto his back. The beast rears up and swings its horned head. One of the horns pierces his right thigh, going through the armor to his leg. Its tail flies up over its head delivering another lash on the paladin's chest. Slamming its jaws down on his left shoulder, a scream breaks out in the dark as a tearing pain rips through his arm. Its two, great front claws tear at his chest plate. With his right arm the knight stabs upwards, piercing the beast's strong carapace and tearing deep into its flesh. Its blood spills, dousing the fallen knight's legs. The creature backs off. Johannesonne tugs his sword from its chest and gives a mighty swing to the right side of the creature's head. More of its dark, red blood sprays onto the knight. Stunned, the beast backs off more. Kneeling, the knight utters a cry to Ishtar. "Ishtarra, help me in thy name." The great wound on his leg painfully begins to miraculously heal. His left shoulder closes a bit, but is not completely healed. "Flame sword!" he yells through clenched teeth. His sword spits orange flames. They curl around his blade, licking and caressing the steel. The beast rushes forth. Before the man can act, a great horn pierces his armor tearing deep into his side. He is lifted into the air, speared on the end of the horn. He thrusts down. His blade glances off the beast. He swings again and once more the steel bounces off without leaving a scratch. The beast swings its head and Johannesonne flies through the air and lands forcefully on his back. Blood runs through the hole in his armor. Again, he rises and the creature comes forth. The man swings and his sword glances off the side of the beast's head. A second time he swings, but this time the steel cuts, tearing a gash in its left arm. Raising his sword above his head he yells aloud, "Prismatica!" His great helm begins to glow brightly and one of the jewels embedded in it pops and shatters in a bright flash. Seven rays of bright colors fires from the tip of his sword to the ground and surrounds him. A globe forms around him, flashing all seven colors of the spectrum; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. The beast lurches up and charges toward the lights. As one of it's horns touch the shimmering globe, there is a bright flash. The beast lets out a loud roar of pain and anger and rises on its hind legs. There is a sound like thunder and the body of the beast explodes, sending its dark blood and body parts hurling through the air in every direction. The shivering globe disappears and the man falls to his knees.

"Praise Ishtar..."

The above item may have been edited by the author since its first appearance in Legends No. 4.