Coming to Grips - By Magister

Fan fiction from the Darkness Falls universe.
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Daleth
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Coming to Grips - By Magister

Post by Daleth » Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:18 pm

Coming to Grips
By Magister

The malachite scimitar slashed deadly through the afternoon heat, the sun glinting off of its black edge as it passed within an inch of the monk’s head. Vile, skeleton lord in the army of Arnak, grinned a toothy grin as Grips did a back-flip to narrowly avoid being beheaded. The second malachite scimitar passed under the monk’s legs as he completed his flip, and then slammed down into the earth mere inches from where his left hand had come to rest.

Quickly assessing the skeleton’s skill with his weapons, the monk knew that he had precious little chance of besting the bone lord in a match of fists versus swords. A thought flashed through his mind, and then Grips twisted his right leg around, sweeping it under his opponent’s legs, knocking them out from beneath him and sending Vile crashing to the ground.

The skeleton bellowed in rage, and loosed his weapons to the ground. Turning his skull to find the dragon-monk, he saw Grips standing over him with his right arm balled into a fist and drawn back. “Sleep,” the monk said, and then the fist slammed into Vile’s skull with a loud ‘crack,’ rendering the skeleton suddenly and fully unconscious.

I smiled, and began to clap. Grips grinned at me, and then bowed demurely, emulating the courtly bows of the ladies-in-waiting who prowled demurely throughout the salons of Carendel.

“Well done, Lord Avatar.” Grips smiled at the appellation. Even though neither he nor I were Avatar of Carendel any longer, the honorific is still used as a sign of respect.

“What are you going to do with him?” I asked, pointing to the unconscious heap of bones.

“The city guard should be able to handle him from here out.”

“Might I?” I asked. Grips raised an eyebrow and then grinned, and finally nodded his assent.

I smiled mischievously (something I have been oft wont to do in these, my latter years) and began to whistle. It was a high trilling sound at first, and then it dipped slightly in the middle, to finally rise sharply in pitch towards the end. In response, a loud shriek broke through the warm afternoon air, and a small, Diamond Dragon descended from the sky and landed gently beside the two of us.

I nodded to the young drake, and then pointed towards Vile. The dragon flapped its wings once, twice, and then took to the air once more. It swooped down and, with a grace that belied its size, scooped up the unconscious skeleton into one massive, bright-scaled claw. The young Diamond flapped its wings once more, and then dove into the sky, disappearing into the sun.

I turned towards Grips, his eyes wide in amazement. He blinked at me, and then asked “what did you do with him?’

I smiled and then chuckled. “The young dragon is going to deposit Vile just inside the western gate of Darikor.” Grips laughed a hearty laugh even as my smile widened. “I felt it a fitting punishment.”

Grips smiled. “You never cease to amaze me, old friend. It seems your magicks get stronger with each passing day.”

“Amaze you?” I said with no small amount of surprise. “I hardly think that I could have single-handedly rendered a skeleton unconscious, and yet you seem to have done it without even breathing heavy.”

Grips stopped laughing, and his chin dropped towards his chest. He sighed a little, and then folded his arms behind his back.

“I do not think,” he said, “that I am respected for my battle skills.”

I looked at him matter-of-factly, and nodded. “Of course you aren’t.”

His look of surprise should have come as no shock to me, but it did, if only slightly. “You do not think that I am skilled at battle?” The startled look on his face bordered upon anger, and I quickly surmised that perhaps we were not discussing the same thing . . . or that, perhaps, we were.

“No.” I said. “I think that you are quite skilled at battle. In fact, were I asked, I am of the opinion that you are one of our finest warriors.”

Grips face softened, but only slightly, into a puzzled look. “Then what do you mean? Am I skilled in battle, or am I not?”

“Of course you are skilled in battle. You could not have disposed of the skeleton were you not.”

“Then what did you mean?”

“I meant that you are not respected for you skill at battle.” Grips face hardened once again, and my mind raced as I tried to think of a better explanation.

I smiled as the problem unfolded within my mind. “All Dragon-monks are skilled at battle,” I began, “and you are no exception. From the first day that a young monk leaves the Sanctuary, he is skilled in the art of unarmed single combat.”

Grips nodded his agreement. “But then,” he began, but I cut him off.

“Please, let me finish.” He nodded, and I continued. “If all monks are so well trained, if all monks are such fine warriors, then why should any one monk be more respected than any other, for something that all can do?”

Grips opened his mouth as if to say something, and then stopped.

“You, my Lord Avatar, are respected for your wisdom, your kindness and your laughter. You are respected for those things that make you different from every other Dragon-monk.”

Grips looked down at the sandy earth beneath our feet, and then laughed heartily. “Come,” he said, “let me buy you a drink at the Dagger.”

I smiled and nodded as we began the slow walk back towards Carendel.

Banshee
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Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:27 pm

Re: Coming to Grips - By Magister

Post by Banshee » Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:32 pm

Excellent story. Well enjoyed.

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