a reply to: intrepid
Kayhla rode to a halt at the edge of the lake. She dismounted, hefting her scythe upon her armored shoulder. Her black steel platemail glittered in
the thundering rain. It had been a long journey, but she was not tired. Her Goddess lent her strength. It would be necessary, for this battle would
be the most difficult challenge that she had ever faced. Taking a deep breath, she looked to the sky and willed the clouds to obey.
What had been a mere storm soon evolved into a torrent of skyfall. The thunder shook the trees; the lightening set them ablaze. And the rain
continued to fall, creating a steaming smoke that was nearly impenetrable. As Kayhla focused, the lake began to seethe and boil, its waters becoming
more turbulent by the second. She could feel it, deep in the depths, awakening to her presence. She smiled, a mirthless grin that held no warmth.
Death comes to all of creation.
It rose from the smoke and mist and like a hellish behemoth, dripping with tepid water and the decay of a thousand years. Its mandibles yawned wide,
its scissor-like appendages spread out in a terrifying stretch, as it awaked itself for the new millennium. The Cygnalian had a vague recollection of
the last champion that had hunted it; a vague taste in the back of its memory. It opened its massive insectoid eye and focused upon the tiny creature
that it was towering over. A chittering sound came forth from its carapace. It was amused and hungry.
Kayhla stood her ground. She dropped her blue eyes from the swirling heavens; her bright hair stung her face as it came loose in the torrent. Her
black heart rejoiced. With a word and a gesture, she flung a handful of her most powerful majik into the creature’s monstrous eye. The Cygnalian
reeled, remembering pain once more. It then remembered rage, and struck out blindly, wielding its wicked appendages with abandon.
Dodging with casual grace, Kayhla spun, her rune-inscribed scythe crackling with power as it sliced through one, then another, of the hideous
insectoid segments that assailed her. Ichor dripped onto her armor, scoring it with pockmarks. She winced as the acid burned though to her arms, but
she kept up her assault. With the enemy shorn of sight, she sensed her chance. Her Goddess was with her, and she had trained for this since she had
been born. She knew what was expected of her.
As the Cygnalian writhed in agony, Kayhla gathered her resolve, took a step back from the edge of the abyss, then ran forward, vaulting onto the razor
edge of one of the remaining limbs. With reckless abandon, she said a prayer to Eris, then cast herself into the gaping maw of the beast. She did
not hear her horse scream as it was bisected by the flailing arms of the Elder God.
* * * * *
Majik is a powerful thing. Kayhla’s training as a Dark Knight in Fort Fnord, along with the favor of Our Lady of Discord, had given her
unimaginable powers. As she fell into the infinity of chaos at the center of the Cygnalian, time began to slow. She knew that the explosion had to
come at the proper moment but finding that moment was hard when time became increasingly meaningless. She called out to Eris, knowing that she would
still be heard across the eons. “When must I do it?” she begged. “Help me, My Lady!”
As she swirled in the nothingness, she felt a vibration in her being. It seemed to speak to her. “Daughter of Chaos,” it thrummed, “You
already know the answer. If you have to ask, the time is now.”
Kayhla sighed in relief. Channeling every reserve of strength that she had, she willed the power to flow through her. The resulting supernova shook
the fabric of the universe. The Elder Gods are not immortal, though they would have you believe it. As for majik, it comes in many forms. Kayhla
was resurrected by the Paladins to fight another day. But that is another tale.