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Yathol's Revenge #4

Author: 
Stariovarius
Old Vault Category: 
fanfiction
Old Vault ID: 
428

Yathol's Revenge

With nothing else he could do, Yathol lay against the trunk, cloak pulled over him and his weapons so they wouldn't glint in the rising sun, and waited. Pretty soon he heard the thieves moving through the woods, a spread out line to catch anyone trying to flee, and to cover the most ground. They were moving stealthily, trying to make as little noise as possible, moving from shelter to shelter in case the archer tried to launch another wave of arrows. Yathol stayed as still as possible, knowing that movement attracted the eye more than anything else.

Pretty soon the strain of not moving his head from the twisted angle it was in to look down was causing the muscles in his neck to groan in agony, but Yathol held his head there until the thieves had gone past. Quickly turning to grab one of his hunting spears, he hefted it, twisting to throw it into the back of the raider who had walked under the branches of Yathol's hiding place. The spear sailed down, a quiet death for the raider until it hit him, slamming through his back, the tip passing clear through his body. He managed one scream before dying, but that scream was enough for all the other thieves to come running, although very cautiously. They'd seen the spear sticking out of their comrade, and weren't in the mood to become the next victim of the hunter.

Seeing the direction the spear had come from, the raiders began doubling back, this time looking up into the trees in case the man hunting them had hidden himself there. By now, Yathol had been resting up in the tree for about two hours, barely moving except for the spear toss. Stiff, certainly, but he felt well enough to risk a more direct approach on the remaining five thieves. He waited until they'd past him sufficiently that they wouldn't hear him drop out of the tree, and then he followed them.

By now the raiders had decided to return to camp, pick up their ill-gotten belongings, and move on. They set off at a quick trot through the woods back the way they had come, Yathol following unseen at a safe distance. The hunter watched as they set one man on sentry at the edge of their camp, facing out the way the arrows had come from, towards Yathol, while the other four, including the two that Yathol had spared for later, were left to pack all of the belongings up into cloth sacks.

Smiling, Yathol drew his bow, gathering the air to him as he did so. Releasing both the bow and the air in one breath, he sent the arrow winging towards the sentry, catching him through the chest, dead before he hit the ground. He split the air into two great gusts, slamming them into two of the other men, driving them off the ground and into treetrunks, the crack of their bones audible even across the clearing.

Finally face to face with the two men most responsible for crippling his cousin, Yathol grinned, straightening himself from where he'd leaned against a tree, catching his breath. Pointing at the man who had spoken earlier, Yathol began his eulogy. “That 'poor fool' you spoke of earlier was my cousin. He lies abed, unable to work, unable to even walk, and you sit here laughing and joking at his pain. We will spend the rest of our lives caring for him because of a worthless cretin who was too stupid to earn a living and too greedy to notice others. Now spend the rest of your pathetic life as a cripple.” So saying, Yathol gestured, calling up the winds and sending them out, gathering up twigs, along with several branches. Launching these forwards, he slammed the branches into the thief's limbs, breaking each in several places, then impaling him on the swarm of twigs, each of them jutting out of his body.

The screams that echoed out through the clearing drowned out all other sound, but Yathol and the leader of the thieves stood there, facing one another. “And now, for you...” Yathol raised his bow, notching an arrow to the string. As he let it fly, the leader dived to the side, coming up with a dagger, flinging it at Yathol as he rolled to his knees. The dagger was thrown in haste, and had he not been exhausted from the efforts of the night and morning, Yathol would have been able to avoid it, but the hunter was too slow, and the dagger buried its tip into his thigh, the pain knocking him to one knee. Groaning, Yathol pushed himself to his feet, using one his throwing spears as a staff. Turning to face the leader of the raiders, he hefted the spear in one hand, gathering the power of the air to him. He swayed with the effort, then launched the spear through the air, sending the air with it to guide it and speed it on its way.

Yathol collapsed to the ground, his energy spent. The last thing he saw before the darkness swept over him was the javelin impale the leader fully, his head broken apart by the impact. Even the screams of the dying thief could not rouse the hunter.

The rising of the sun woke him. The immediate pain had subsided to a dull but powerful ache, and with difficulty he was able to put pressure on his leg, enough to walk slowly but little more. Searching through the camp, he gathered his spears and arrows, those that were still usable, as well as food for the trip home. Yathol knew he would be too slow and weak to hunt.

Loaded down with the essentials and leaning on one of his spears as a staff, Yathol began the long slow trek back to his village. They were safe now, this set of bandits gone. He'd spread tales of what had happened to them as well, maybe bring out one or two people. That should keep them from attacking his village again. That thought in mind, he smiled and turned into the woods, back to his cousin and home.

 

Yathol's Revenge #4 © Stratovaris

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