Demons

Demons: Epilogue

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After the Da’in, no more demons arose from the ground. Orcs, elves, humans and dwarves lived together in harmony, and trade flourished throughout the kingdoms. Smiles could be seen on people’s faces as they played in the streets. Nights became a period of joy and happiness rather than fear and isolation.

Angel was revered as a hero. He was immediately anointed the position of General, replacing the retiring General Oliver. He spent his days training recruits of Asgard and inspiring them with snippets of his experiences in the numerous battles he faced. He led his troops around the plains, slaying raiders and punishing thieves. Order in Asgard rose to their highest levels in centuries.

As Angel grew old, he wondered how he could continue to serve the human kingdom more. The threat of demons has disappeared for the next ten thousand years. Yet he felt a sense of emptiness. To Angel, there was always more to accomplish. Was the remaining of his life to be spent killing mere raiders and enforcing order? Suddenly, his thoughts drifted to the last spell he had yet to learn.

“Yang, yang, yang?” He chanted, curious to see the spell’s effects.

At first, nothing seemed to happen. He cursed and went to bathe. As he glanced at the mirror, he stopped, the image shocking him. He looked again. He was 10 years younger. His wrinkles were gone. He felt more alive. His hands were no longer shaking. His muscles grew in size.

“Ha, looks like I will be in service for a little while longer,” Angel chuckled, and went about his daily routine.

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Demons

Demons: The Duel

download (1)“I am Garm, the demon champion. Choose your hero and face me in one on one combat. Do it now, or the Da’in is forfeit!” the humanoid cried.

“General Oliver, disperse the Warband. I will take care of this demon.” Angel said, mounting Pearly and riding toward Garm. General Oliver complied, and the Warband disbanded, leaving behind Erica, Quo,kan, Maximus and General Oliver.

The leaders of the 4 factions stood to watch as Angel dismounted Pearly and squared off against Garm. Garm was very muscular, his frame barely fitting into his armour. He had empty sockets for eyes, leaving a hollow and empty feeling in his foes. He wore an intricately designed chest plate, with metal greaves and helmet. They were stained black, with Wards carefully carved into the armour pieces.

“Don’t think that demons can’t use Wards,” Garm smirked, registering Angel’s shock at a demon using his own weapons against him.

“Now, let’s see if you have been practising. Igni, igni, igni!” Garm screamed, hellfire flying towards Angel.

“Ven, voy, voy!” Angel countered, a gust of ice quenching the hellfire. Taking the initiative, Angel charged at Garm with his trusty sword.

“Ha, think you can beat me in close combat! Come!” Garm cried, drawing his sword. It was a horrific blade, cruelly crafted. It had spikes covering the non-cutting edge so when it impaled a victim, death was assured due to the pain of the spikes grinding flesh if it is pulled out. They clashed with violent force, trading blow for blow.  Garm was a very powerful demon, many times the strength of a human, but Angel had killed thousands of demons and eaten hundreds and has thus gained superhuman power. Every assault by Angel was parried by Garm and vice versa. This would be a fight for survival, with only one of them walking away.

As the fight progressed, Garm let down his guard, his ego getting the better of him. Angel found a weak spot and thrust his blade into Garm’s armour. It bounced off harmlessly, wards flaring.

“Ha, didn’t expect that did you!” Garm laughed, thrusting his blade into Angel’s flank. It made contact, scrapping Angel’s side. Blood gushed out as Angel staggered, letting out a curse.

“Time to end this!” Garm screamed, his blade swung up high. Garm’s armour was impenetrable, even with Attack Wards. All was lost. Suddenly, an idea occurred to Angel. “Igni, igni, igni.” He whispered, his hands heating up instantly.

He hugged Garm, forcing all the heat from the hellfire into Garm’s suit of armour. Angel figured that Garm would have Warded it to be resistant to physical damage, not physical conditions. He was right. Garm screamed as he was baked from inside out. The heat also scorched Angel, but he wore only a cloak, with his Wards on his body, so he was less affected.

Garm let out a final scream as his body exploded into flames. Angel staggered away, suffering numerous 2nd-degree burns and still bleeding profusely from his side. The leaders immediately rushed to his aid, bringing him back to the palace. The Da’in was won.

Demons

Demons: Revenge

download (1)Just the Warband thought it was over, the march of demons could be heard in the distance. General Oliver whipped out his binoculars and took a look. What he saw frightened him to the core. Rows upon rows of demons approached the hill. They were in the same formation as before but were over a hundred times the number. What was ten rock demons in the engagement before now became a thousand. The Warband was distraught. How were they supposed to defeat so many?

“It’s an endless horde!” General Oliver cried in desperation.

Cannons roared as the dwarves continued to pound the demons. However, the demons were smarter now. Having learnt from their previous engagement, they spread out to reduce damage taken, and before long, the demons reached the Orc defensive line.

When the demons reached the defensive line, it was complete chaos. The Orc matched the sand demons and wood demons in strength, and so, both ichor and blood sprayed. Dwarves and elves howled in pain as they were crushed by rocks thrown by the stone demons, while Orcs were mauled alive by the sand demons, or bashed to death by the wood demons. The elves assisted by shooting the demons with their arrows and the dwarves fired their pistols at the demons in close combat. However, it was insufficient as the demons continued to push into the defensive line.

“Well, it is time for me to join the fight. Calvary, with me!” Angel cried, charging from his hiding spot right into the demon horde. The demons cried as the impact of the warhorses sent them flying. Angel focussed on saving Orcs from being struck down by the demons. Just as Quo’kan was being knocked down by 3 sand demons, a swift thrust of Angel’s spear impaled all three and ichor spewed all over Quo’kan. He nodded his thanks and let out a loud war cry, rallying his Orcs. The Orcs fought bravely, and the demon numbers dwindled.

With Angel’s help, the battle turned in the Warband’s favour as the demons lost morale and started to run away. Cheers erupted from the Warband. Casualties were high, but the day was won.

Just as they thought it was over, a fireball struck the centre of the Warband. Dwarves and elves cried in pain as the hellfire scorched them. The Orcs distanced themselves in fear. What was happening?

That is when Angel saw it. It looked like a human, but Angel was sure it was not one. Angel sensed a very ominous presence from this humanoid. He was sure that this would be the hardest battle of his life.

Demons

Demons: Final Battle?

download (1)The time has come. Angel issued the decree for a Da’in with the demons. The soldiers gripped their weapons tightly as night fell. All the hatred and suspicions of the different factions were cast aside for this evening. Orc, elf, human or dwarf; it did not matter. Tonight, they were fighting for their lives.

The demons did not come through the ground. Instead, the beat of demon footsteps could be heard as they marched onto the open plains. For the first time, they had a formation, with the powerful sand demons being deployed as the vanguard of the demon forces. Wood demons were next, being the weakest and serving only to tire the enemy. They are flanked by the fire and water demons, which acted as an offensive flanking force. The rock demons were further away, being used for artillery means. Finally, air demons circled the air above the Warband, savouring the battle ahead.

“Archers, target the air demons! Dwarves, open fire at the rock demons! If they land one rock on us, we are dead!” General Oliver cried.

The battle began without further ado. Led by Maximus, the dwarves loaded their cannons with brutal efficiency, unleashing their own version of hell upon the stone demons. Ichor spilt freely as the rock demons reeled in pain. The air demons swooped down, determined to silence the cannons, but was met by a volley of elvish arrows. One by one they fell out of the sky, ichor pouring out of their wounds. Eager for vengeance, the sand and wood demons advanced quickly towards the hill. Well-placed traps by the dwarves paid off as the sand demons fell into pits of Warded spikes while wood demons fell prey to mines filled with hellfire.

The Warband cheered as the demons fell even before reaching the Orc defensive line. There were smiles all around as the Warband rejoiced over the defeat of the demons. Angel remained stoic. The demons would not be defeated so easily.

Demons

Demons: Prep for Final Battle

download (1)When Angel stepped into the palace he was raised in from young, he no longer felt as invited as before. The guards muttered under their breath, remarking at his tattoos. They had reason to be suspicious. The number of humans dying due to demon attack has been on the rise, and General Oliver was desperate for a solution.

“YOU! You are back!” General Oliver screamed, leaping off his throne with open arms.

Angel hugged General Oliver like they were old friends reunited at last. Angel quickly ran through the situation with General Oliver.

“Attack Wards?? Master Hik will see that they are used on all weapons. I think it is appropriate to call everyone to the open plains to fight. That way, fewer civilians will be harmed. The small hill in the middle of the plains would be ideal to have a height advantage.” General Oliver reasoned.

“Alright. I will set up the beacon.” Angel said, turning around and striding out of the palace.

The first to come were the Orcs, clothed in simple chainmail armour and wielding their Warded weapons with glee. Quo,Kan nodded at Angel with respect, his hands gripping a Warded Warhammer. The next were the elves, with shining silver armour and Warded Steel bows and arrows. The Warders, including Erica, begun working on improving the Wards, as well as setting up a preliminary Ward Shield. Finally, the dwarves arrived, with Maximus heading the rows upon rows of cannons, as well as personal handguns and axes.

By sundown, everyone had reached the camp. Even some civilians joined in the Warband, and their numbers swelled to the hundreds of thousands. However, there was much to be done. The inexperienced must be trained in the art of combat, and the dwarven weapons have not been Warded yet.

The next months were bustling with activity. The elves worked on the dwarven weapons, carving intricate Attack Wards on them. The dwarves set up creative traps in the earth itself, digging tunnels for demons to fall into and spikes for demons to land on, with elves assisting them with Warding issues. Angel busied himself with his own war preparations, memorising the Words of Power: Igni, Ven and Voy. He also held daily training on the use of weapons, with the orc commanders as his practice buddies.

“Note that you cannot fight the demons directly. They are robust and vicious. They will win in a face to face confrontation. So, instead of fighting them head-on, use your head. Feint and dodge whenever you can and when you see an opening, go for it.” Angel instructed, demonstrating this on Quo,Kan. The civilians nodded, grabbing their Warded hoes and sickles in fear. Angel sighed. The real army was half that of the civilian mob. The crowd of civilians is needed to add numbers to prevent an immediate rout. However, they were inexperienced and would most likely perish in combat.

Half a year has passed, and they were ready.”Angel, come. We have to talk tactics.” General Oliver called.

“Angel, come. We have to talk tactics.” General Oliver called.

Angel proceeded into the commander’s tent. General Oliver was seated with the various kings and queens of the different factions.

“During a Da’in, the defensive Wards will be useless, so we need to think carefully about the placement of our troops. The orcs are the strongest and so, they will form the defensive line around the peak of the hill. Behind them will be the elves and their archers. Then, the dwarves with their artillery. They will be pounding the demons hard. Hopefully, the traps will work and some of the demons will die.” General Oliver reasoned, to the agreement of the other lords.

“Sir, what about us?” Angel inquired.

“We are an interesting bunch. Not as strong as orcs, but not as good a shot as dwarves or elves. I am advocating for a mobile cavalry unit, led by you. Of course, the civilians will be at the back of the phalanx of orcs, giving pushing power whenever needed. I will lead the civilians.” General Oliver surmised.

“Alright. my cavalry unit will provide help where the fighting is the hardest. I will send the Da’in now.” Angel agreed, bowing and exitting the tent. The battle has begun.

Demons

Demons: Convincing the Dwarves

download (1)As Angel approached the Great Mountains, in which lie Dovan, Home of the Dwarves, he felt uneasy and tried to brush off the fact that he could be killed by cannon fire at any moment. The keep was nestled in the face of a cliff, the only path to it being a treacherous climb up the purely vertical slopes of the cliff. The black smoke of industry and buildings of silver and gold characterised Dovan; Dwarves only cared about guns and money. Dwarves, with their short legs, could not hope to scale the cliff. However, they had the advantage of superior technology and could burrow through the mountains. Angel sighed as he dismounted from his horse and begun the climb.

Even with his superhuman strength, the climb proved tortuous, and when he was done, he was a heaving pile on the floor.

“What’s a human doing here? You are far from Asgard, friend,” the dwarf guards noted, helping Angel up.

“I … need to see … Maximus now,” Angel heaved, catching his breath.

The guards looked at each other, baffled at that suggestion.

” Well, we could let you see Maximus, but he told us that anyone that wants to see him has to pass through a few trials to determine their worth. First, a generous donation of 1000 gold coins. Second, a marksmanship test. Lastly, a brawl with 10 guards. Most people die by then. You wanna give it a try?” The guard inquired.

Angel sighed. He did not have any cash on hand. Suddenly, a brilliant idea came to mind. He threw his old sword, as well as a flask of ichor to the dwarf. The dwarf gingerly catches the items, unsure what they were for.

“The sword is worth 200 gold coins. The ichor blood is a rare commodity, worth well more than 1000 gold coins. I think that should cover my costs.” Angel declared, and the dwarf guards nodded, happy with the tribute.

“As for marksmanship…” Angel quickly drew the dwarven guard’s gun and shot into the air. Instantaneously, a bird fly about a kilometre away felt to its death. Impressed, the guards clapped their hands in a thunderous applause.

10 guards surrounded Angel. This would be an easy fight. With his supernatural speed and strength, fighting these dwarves were like fighting children in the playground. He deftly dodges their swings, sending them flying with a single punch. Before long, 10 guards had to be sent to the infirmary for severe injuries.

As Angel stepped into the golden-plated palace, he bowed his head in respect. He quickly explained the situation to Maximus, a grumpy old dwarf with over a hundred years of war experience.

“Angel, you know we don’t Ward. We prefer our technology to all these hocus-pocus. I mean, I can help you in your fight, but don’t expect us to draw those so-called Attack Wards on our weapons.” Maximus replied, measuring his words carefully.

Angel sighed and replied, “Fine. We can have some of the Elves help you Ward your ammunitions and weapons. Just be there when the fight comes.”

With that, all the factions are united. Angel mounted onto Pearly’s back and rode with all haste towards Asgard.

Demons

Demons: Convincing the Elves

download (1)After successfully convincing the Orcs, Angel desired a change of scenery and made his way to the elven city of Acadia. He followed the sound of gushing water and was easily able to locate Acadia, nestled below the Great Waterfall. There were no walls to this city, with Wards adorning the outer buildings, extending towards the underbelly of the city. This formed a sphere of defence that was rumoured to be unpenetrable in spite of it being only one layer, with the next being the Wards of the Elvish homes inside the city.

As he stepped foot into the city, he noticed hundreds of Elven bows trained on him, threatening to fire upon the slightest infraction. He could not see them but knew that elves had the ability to camouflage well in any environment. Angel knew of the deep distrust between Elves and Humans, which rivalled that between Humans and Orcs and so, immediately raised his hands as a sign of peace.

“I wish to speak to Erica,” Angel announced boldly.

This aroused a series of high-pitched laughter amongst the soldiers.

“No humans sees Erica,” one of them screamed, her bow still trained upon Angel.

“What if I say I can Ward faster than your best Warder?”

Again, another series of laughter engulfed the elvish soldiers, amazed that a human would want to challenge an elf in Warding. However, they were quickly silenced by the arrival of Erica, the Queen herself.

“I accept your challenge. I am the Queen of the Elves, Erica. I also hold the position of Master Warder. Do you think you can beat me?” Erica taunted, eager to see Angel’s response.

“Yes,” Angel said plainly, hungry for a challenge.

The rules were set. A panel of 3 judges, all the best Warders in Acadia, would determine the integrity of the Ward Shield, which was to be drawn in 30 seconds.

“On your marks, get set, GO!!”

Angel speedily scribbled the Wards, his drawings crisp and accurate. The Queen was quick too, but not as fast as Angel and had to play catch-up from the get-go. After the 30 seconds had run out, Angel’s Ward Shield was up while the Queen had only a single Ward remaining.

The 3 Warders looked at each other in dismay, struggling to find loopholes in Angel’s Wards. After a full 15 minutes of inspection, Angel grew frustrated. He swung his flask of ichor blood onto the Ward Shield. The blood exploded from the vessel, and the Warders recoiled in terror. The blood drenched the Ward Shield, exposing no weaknesses.

“Well, it seems that you have won. Come, tell me what you want.” Erica sighed, dismayed at being defeated by a mere human.

Angel drew the Attack Wards on the broken flask and explained the situation to the Queen. Erica gasped in shock upon the knowledge that the Attack Wards were rediscovered.

“For the Da’in, you will have my full support. Just say the word, and my warriors will come. My warders will analyse and implement these Wards, and we will provide ranged support through our bows and arrows, as well Warding assistance in case of emergency. Thank you for giving us this chance to rid of this menace forever,” Erica bowed in deference.

Angel nodded in respect. After saying a brief goodbye, he mounted his horse and rode away. Two factions down, one more to go.

Demons

Demons: Convincing the Orcs

download (1)When Angel reached Ka,vi, it was complete pandemonium. The inner walls of the volcano were lined with Orcs, who desperately swung their weapons against the fire demons, only to have them simply pass through the demon. The demons chuckled as they tore the orcs apart. Orcs were the only ones still brave enough to fight the demons. They would attempt to distract the demons using their weapons while Warders quickly drew crude Wards around the demon. If successful, it would be unable to descend back to Hell and die, their body destroyed by sunlight.

Angel had read up about Orcs. They were about twice the size of a human, wielded axes and blades with great mastery, and used wolf mounts. A few of these mounted wolves could be seen trying to fend off the demons, to no avail. They were stronger than an average human and could rival a weak demon in terms of raw strength. They were initially a faction that could have dominated the globe due to their high fertility rate and raw strength. However, their aggressive policies with regard to demons thinned their numbers and they were now close to extinction.

To prove his worth, it was simple. Orcs favored honor and courage, so killing a demon should get him a meeting with the chief of the orcs. Through the consumption of the meat of countless demons, he had gained some of their strength, and a punch sent a fire demon sprawling on the ground. In a rage, the demon got up and blew fire into Angel’s face. He held up his hands and the fire turned into a breeze. The orcs stood in awe as Angel chanted,

“Voy, Voy, Voy”

Torrents of water emerged from his fingertips and doused the fire demon’s flames. It screamed in horror as it tried to relight itself but was quickly silenced by a thrust of Angel’s silver sword. Orcs cheered as the demon went down, bleeding with black ichor. The fight continued through the night, with Angel assisting the orcs wherever he could. In the morning, he was brought before Quo,kan, the King of Orcs.

Angel introduced himself quickly and explained the situation. Quo’kan pondered for a moment and replied,

“If anyone had said that we could win the Ka’in in the past, I would have slapped him in the face myself. However, after having seen what you have done so far, I believe we can do it. Give me the list of attack Wards and I will see to it that my master Warders will get them carved on each and every bow, arrow, spear, sword and ax we can find.”

Angel thanked the king profusely and left on Pearl to a thunderous applaud by the Orcs. One faction down, two more to go.

Demons

Demons: Angel Conversion Course

download (1)Aran stored the black ichor in an empty water flask and ate the demon’s flesh raw, hunger pushing him to his natural instincts. He tried to feed the horse some. She was reluctant to try the rotten meat at the start, but soon got used to it. Aran knew all about the Attack Wards and now was the time to use his knowledge. He considered all the Attack Wards and decided which were more useful on his limbs and which were more useful on his body. Then, he used the black ichor as ink and his old sword as a tattooing needle, paying particular attention to the designs of the Attack Wards on the stone slab. At first, the black ichor stung, and blood flowed freely from his tattoos. However, as he got used to it, progress quickened. Wherever he needed food or more ink, he killed a sand demon, gathering more demonic resources for his own purposes. He even tattooed his warhorse, much to her discomfort. Months went by. Soon, Aran’s and his warhorse’s whole body was covered with black ichor tattoos.

Then, he proceeded to memorize the words of power (i.e., the last lines below the Attack Wards). Basically, Igni represented hellfire, Ven represented the wind, and the air and Voy described water and ice. These 3 base spells could be manipulated in any way to create an effect. There was one final spell which Aran could not comprehend, but that did not faze him. He could learn it later. Once Aran was done with all of this, he wrote his name on the sand.

“ARAN.”

He then stamped on it, signifying Aran’s destruction. Aran was dead. He was no longer the helpless little boy whose parents were killed by wood demons. He was no longer the master Warder that quarreled with a general. He is Angel, the one that sends demons back to the Hell they came from and his horse is Pearl, the defender, and protector of Heaven from hellish forces.

It was time to unite the factions. Elves, orcs, humans and dwarves must put away their differences to win the Da’in and put the plague of demons away for at least the next thousand years. Angel mounted Pearl and rode off to Ka,vi.

Demons

Demon: Chapter 10

swordsman_by_afrocream-d7x8h4eAran set up his Ward Shield and waited, his silver sword in hand. Soon, sand demons spawned all around him. They circled the oasis, muscles twitching and aching for a fight. Today, Aran will give them one. As a sand demon leaped at the Ward Shield, Aran quickly covered a Ward with his hand, causing the beast to crash through. He immediately redrew the Ward to prevent further intrusions. The sand demon was to be his challenger.

The sand demon hesitated before getting up. No one has ever allowed a demon to pass willingly through the barrier and the demon was curious why Aran would enable it to do so. Aran’s horse brayed loudly as it stood uncomfortably in the pool. Although she was safe, she worried about her master’s safety.

The sand demon circled Aran. It was twice the size of Aran and had sharp fangs and claws. It was shaped like a tiger, robust and powerful. Its mouth opened and closed, gathering sand to blind its opponent. Aran had a difficult fight ahead of him. Although he was trained in the sword, he was not much of a combatant, and his hands quivered as he held the sword.

The demon started to spew sand from his mouth, a classic move to blind its prey. Aran, of course, expected this and shielded his eyes. The demon then leaped at Aran, its razor-sharp fangs glinting in the moonlight. Aran ducked under the demon and managed to nick the underside of the devil. The demon howled as black ichor flowed out of its underbelly. Enraged, it threw itself at Aran and managed to swipe at his thigh. Red blood poured out of Aran’s thigh. He knew he needed to end this fight quickly. The demon spewed sand again and launched itself at Aran’s throat to seal the victory. Aran was tired and hungry. He had no more strength to fight anymore. All was lost. The Attack Wards flared, and the beast howled in pain. Black ichor spewed out of the demon as the life drained out of its limp body. Aran has won the day.

Then, he remembered the weird writings under the Attack Wards without any drawings or markings. Do they mean anything? He quickly yelled a line from the writings

“Igni, igni, igni!!”

Hellfire leaped from his fingers, burning the sand demon. It howled in pain as the fire engulfed it. Using this distraction, Aran plunged his sword into the beast. The Attack Wards flared, and the creature screamed in pain. Black ichor spewed out of the demon as the life drained out of its limp body. Aran has won the day.