The Monster from the Maelstrom

There is a man who endlessly stalks the Badlands. A region of the world where chaos is rife and warlords constantly vie for power. This man seeks dangerous criminals and tyrants the likes of which most men wouldn't dare to face. He does this for a reason no man has ever been able to ascertain and he will continue to do so as long as he lives. But there is one thing you must know about this man. The quarry he hunts are not what they seem and neither is he.

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4. Zainif

The estates banquet hall was a vast room that was definitely an example of Zainif’s wealth, status and power. It was dominated by a colossal table that stretch for almost the entire length of the room. Around it sat numerous people who were obviously very powerful and important in this town. If the man had been anyone else he would’ve been awestruck at the sight of all these prominent figures but he didn’t care about them. He only cared about one thing right now. The man sitting atop the throne at the far end of the table.

“Zainif the Destroyer.” called the man. “I have to say it’s not a very original name, nor a very relevant one really. I believe Zainif the Murdered or maybe The Late Zainif would suffice.”

At that comment the steel clad man standing to the right of Zainif’s throne reached for his sword. Zainif raised his hand, indicating for him to calm down.

“You have caused quite the commotion on my estate. Why?” replied the deep booming voice of Zainif.

“Because I’m here to kill you.”

Zainif appeared to consider what the man had said for a moment before responding.

“Whoever kills this interloper will be richly rewarded.” he said with a flick of a hand.                         

The man smirked at that. “Oh of course. The guards and the blade scarab didn’t stop me but I’m sure the plumb dignitaries will do the trick.”

An overweight townsman jumped up from his seat and leapt at the man who cut him down mid jump. Suddenly another did the same. Then another and another. What was wrong with these people? Men of power never sacrificed their lives so foolishly. Then the man spied the food they’d been eating. At first it appeared normal but on closer inspection he realised that it gave off the same stench as the one he’d smelt in the blade scarab’s cell. The stench of the Maelstrom.

“Sorcery.” said the man.

Across the room Zainif smiled.

“A gift from a lord of the Maelstrom.” he smiled.

Part of the man thought that he should have felt at least a shred of sorrow for these indoctrinated dignitaries that he was cutting down. But he didn’t. They were obstacles preventing him from his goal, that was all. His blade became a blur as he slashed, jabbed and swiped at the oncoming horde. Dignitaries fell left and right as dispatched them with efficiency. Suddenly a high pitched noise cut through the din of the battle and a bright purple light lanced out across the table and punched straight through the horde and through the man’s chest. He dropped to his knees. Across the table Zainif was wielding a bright purple bow that appeared to be constructed purely of light. The man then toppled over forwards onto the table.                              

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