The High Queen Sorceress (complete)
Author: jessicaw

Chapter 5
chapter 5

It was a disaster. The men attacked them, falling from the sky in thick waves, spears rained down on them. They were trapped, backed into the tiny canyon clearing like a rabbit flushed from its hole. The men kept their heads down low, their metal helmets protecting them against the shots. They were defenseless. The tips of the spears ricocheted off their heads; the ringing sounds of metal against metal left them with a terrible buzzing in their ears. They couldn’t hear their commander. They were sitting ducks.

The men in the air landed all around them. They had been waiting, sitting in ambush on the tops of the hills. They must have been there for several days. They smelled rancid. They were short, stocky men.  Their faces were covered in thick mud and leaves. They all had chest length dark brown or black frizzy hair that was pulled into a loose knot in the back. They wore almost no armor save for thin metal cuffs around their wrists and breast plates made of the same thin metal strapped across their fronts and camouflaged with thick mud.. Their backs, arms, legs and neck had no protection. Their screams were more terrifying than the volley of spears.             

As the savages hit the ground, they ran towards the men huddled under what little shelter they could find. They pulled their spears from the ground or the dead as they charged. Their footsteps sounded like thunder as they gained speed.            

 “Now!” the lieutenant bellowed. The men in the helmets snapped to attention, jumping into the oncoming attack, throwing white powder as they did. The substance hit the savages in the face. It burned their eyes and choked down their throats. Their nostrils burned with the sensation. They screamed in agony and fell into their comrades behind them, landing on their spears or crushing each other as they fell. Those who did not die had their necks severed as the men in helmets wasted no time.     

  They took their knives and charged into the tangle of savages, ripping through their flesh. Some of the men’s knives got stuck in the savage’s thick muscles. They left the knives and charged on, reaching into their pockets and pulling out more of the white powder. The second assault on the savages broke them. They fell in agony, shrieking in pain and fury. A couple of them threw their spears. Even as the powder ate through their flesh, they were deadly accurate. Men in helmets fell with the savages. It was a mess seen from high above.     

The green men on their blue and purple creatures dived. They threw their poison as they came in close. The arrows hit the men in the helmets and the savages alike. The savages aimed their spears towards the skies, the men in helmets dove for the protection of the ground, fliging their arms around their necks. Large, winged creatures let out painful wails and slammed into the tangle, taking out men and trees as they went.  

 The creatures were massive, fifteen feet at minimum. They had giant heads with a single long horn that swept back into a blunt tip. Their bodies were thick and their leather skin had brown or purple tattooing covering their sides and neck. The Wings had a span double that of their bodies. They were thick and striped with dark and light shades of whatever color the individual beast was. At the very tips of their wings were hands which they used to walk or catch their prey. They had large red eyes and mouths wide enough to swallow a man whole.

They were Hartides and they belonged to the Hangees. The Hangees were green men and women. They had completely hairless bodies and lean, hard forms. The only difference between the men and the women was the shape of their eyes and their height. All of the Hangees were roughly the same size. The men stood at about six feet and the women about seven. 

They were seasoned warriors, the lot of them. They had heavily tattooed bodies, intricate circles and swirls swept across their stomachs, around their backs, and across their necks. Some had black bands around their arms. The more bands, the more important and revered they were among their people. The bands, like the swirls and circles were not solid. They were made up of tiny dots. Their skin was raised and bumpy where the tattoos covered them. They wore only thin strips of cloth around their torsos and necklaces made out of the bones and feathers of their enemies. The savages shrieked in anger and the men in helmets ran in retreat, right into the Kipllers.                                                                    

The Kipllers waved their chains above their heads, lashing out at the men and the Hartides alike. The long, powerful metal caught a Hartide by the wing and dragged it to the ground. The Kipller turned and ran, dragging the Hartide with it. The blue monster shrieked and thrashed in anger, grabbing at trees as it sped along, pulling the roots and all free of the Earth. It could not regain its balance. The Hangee atop of it was strapped down to the beast. He could not free himself. He yelled out insults and obscenities in his native language. The Hartide’s powerful head cracked and was dragged under its body as it went. The massive head swung towards its rider and the teeth caught him by the middle, ripping him in half. Both rider and creature were dead. When they became quiet, the Kipller stopped and unwound his chain. He easily jumped over the monster and charged back into the fray.                                                        

Kipllers were large creatures. They had four legs to run on, and snake like torsos that could move in a complete 360 degree turn. They had human heads and arms, but no shoulders. Their skin was smooth from their heads to the bottom of their torsos, A long, single lime of course hair ran from their scalps all the way to the bottom of their torsos. The rest of them was covered in a armour like leather. They were completely silent, incapable of uddering any sound whatsoever. They needed no spoken language to communicate with each other. They ran in with their chains flying high above their heads, cutting through the air with frightening speed.  They came from the south, at the mouth of the clearing. The men in the helmets and the savages were trapped. There was no other way out of the canyon but up, and that way was blocked by the Hangees.

The four groups clashed. The Earth turned red beneath their feet. Anyone who stumbled was trampled to death. A Hartide picked up a savage in it mouth and swallowed him whole. As he circled back down, another Hartide slammed into it, knocking them both to the ground. The men in helments dived for the beasts. The Woman on top threw her poison spears at them as they came. The smell of burt flesh filled the air as the poison seeped into one the men. Their ragged screams were lost under the clash of steel and metal as the Kipller’s chain wrapped around one of the savage’s spears, ripping his arm off. It went flying through the air and blood shot up like a geyser from the fresh wound.                               

The last of the men in the helmets fell, killed by the Hangee’s poison. The Kipllers and the Hangees clashed, the winged beasts ripping into the bodies of the Kipllers unprotected torsos. The Savages tried to run, but they were trapped. The last of them were forced in to the center of the commotion. They stood back to back, wielding the knives of the dead men in helmets.  

 Wizards floated down from the atmosphere, materializing as they fell. They had used their magic to transport themselves there. They slapped their hands together casting spells at the mess. The Hartides and their riders were unaffected by the wizard’s magic. They attacked in furiosity. The wizards threw their shields up and the Hartides bounced off of them like skipping stones on water. The monsters roared in fury. They swooped up high into the sky and nose dived the wizards. It was no good. They bounced off the force fields again. The force of them knocked the wizards off balance. Some were knocked off balance so much that their force fields fell. More Hartides dived for them, urged on by the shrieking Hangees that rode them, digging their bare feet into the animal’s flesh to gain speed.                                       

Below, the battle raged on, unaware for the time being of what was taking place in the air. Some of the fallen Hangees ran and ducked as chains and spears and knives came flying at them. There was little protection, most of the trees and coverage had already been flattened or torn off by the intense fighting. Finding the few spots they could to duck for cover, they loaded their flutes and shot their poison at the kipllers.

The savages seemed to be forgotten. They slowly paced around in a circle. Their weapons waiting to attack anything that came to close. They were in the eye of the storm. It was quiet there. They didn’t like the feeling. They tripped. One of them had stopped, he found a pouch, it had belonged to one of the men in the helmets. He opened it and looked inside. There he found the white powder that turned to acid when it touched moisture. The savages stopped and looked at each other, the dangers surrounding them momentarily forgotten. They began to silently pass the pouch around, each man taking out a handful before surrendering it to the next, cautiously watching the Kipllers and Hangees fight to the death. The pouch came back to the man who had found it. He clutched it in his hands. There was still a lot of powder in the bag. More than they would need to bring the entire war to a sudden and decisive  stop. He clutched it and looked to the sky.     

The wizards wore long black robes. They were wizards of the king’s army. The king only had wizards in his army. No men and no beasts, just wizards. He would have had an army of sorceresses if sorceresses walked their planet. None did. They did not concern themselves with the trials and tribulations of men and their petty wars. The wizards were good enough though. They were thin men. Wizards usually were. They ranged in age from young, to several hundred years old. They all had clean shaven faces, save for some of the oldest ones, who had thin, short beards. They trained together day and night. They were in sync with each other, which only made their magic stronger.                                          

The Hangees, however, were strong and formidable opponents. They trained just as much as the wizards, maybe even more. They were relentless. They dedicated their whole lives to war. Those who could not take pain and were not capable of learning to do so were given “honor killings”. Only the strongest among them lived past puberty. Their passage into adulthood was marked either with death or with a long tattoo that worked its way from the bottom of their ankle, up their right thigh, across their stomach and part of their back and ended under the base of their left ear. The tattoos ran across the most delicate sensitive parts of their bodies, to show that they could tolerate the pain. They took days to complete. During this time, they were not allowed to eat, drink or sleep.   

The wizards had their hands full. Their shields could not hold much longer and they were unable to kill the Hangees while still hovering in the air and holding their shields. They spoke to each other and they all aligned their minds. Closeing their eyes, they let their force fields fall. As they began falling towards earth, the Hangees steered their mounts at them, diving with the wizards. The Kipllers threw their chains at the figures in the air.  One of the Hartides dove close to the savages, trying to avoid the swinging steel. The Savages defensively threw their powder at the beast. It screamed in pain and flung several of them into the air, including the one with the pouch. White powder filled the sky.

The wizards were almost to the ground now. The last words of their spell intertwined through all of their thoughts. Bright red and orange light shot through the sky, crackling, sizzling and popping as it exploded. The savages and the Kipllers exploded into nothingness. Frightened Hartides climbed in the sky, trying to out-run the flames. The wizards hit the ground in crouched positions, their backs exposed to the air, deflecting the heat of the flames. Hartides that could not out run the flames caught on fire, screeching as they burned through the air.  

Then the fire collided with the powder. The Explosion was deafening. It incinerated everything, the wizards, the Hartides and the Hangees as they climbed higher in the sky. The ground melted away as the heat of the explosion bore into it. The flames reached the atmosphere, climbing higher and higher. It hit the protective mantle that separated the planet from the sky beyond. The mantle caught fire and ignited in a crimson hue spreading and enveloping the entire surface of the planet. Nothing was able to hide from the flames.  The planet exploded, shattering as it went. Suddenly, there was darkness and nothingness.     

Where the planet was only moments before, there was nothing now. The universe was quiet, like nothing had ever happened; it was as if that world had never existed. A silent force field whipped through the universe, traveling faster than the speed of light. Millions of miles away, a planet suddenly exploded, shattering in the exact same way the other had done.

 

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