Blood spewed from Zander’s mouth as he was flung against a tree. He flopped onto the ground, and quickly got up, wincing at the pain of a broken rib. He spit onto the ground in front of him, his breath haggard and heaving. Bastion chuckled and watched from a nearby bush.

Zander raised his silvered shortsword to Bastion, “You better have some fucking health potions on you!”

“Naturally.” Bastion smiled.

The cultist roared and flexed his muscles, he was stronger than Zander anticipated. The cultist rushed toward him, Zander’s blade whirred, and one of the cultist’s six hands lay severed in the dirt.

The cultist roared again, punching Zander in the gut. Zander groaned, knocked off balance for a moment. The cultist grabbed him with the remaining five hands, four on his sides pinning his arms down and one atop his head crushing downward. Zander gritted his teeth, trying with all his might to break free.

“I TOLD YOU, THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DEFY ELDERERE! IF ONLY YOU’D LISTENED, YOU COULD’VE JOINED US!” Said the cultist, his spit splattering across Zander’s face.

The cultist squeezed harder, but it wasn’t doing as much as it should’ve. His hands weren’t fully making contact, sliding ever so little a millimeter above the surface of Zander’s skin.


Zander heaved and butted the man in the head with his own, sending the man’s teeth flying off. Seizing the split second chance, Zander knocked two of the hands away and pressed his own against them, the two men struggled in vain each trying to get the upper hand.

“Bastion!” He yelled.

“Yeah?” Said Bastion, now actually a little nervous.

“Grab the horse and get at least ten feet away!”

Bastion’s eyes bolted wide, he knew what was coming. He scampered over to the horse, who till now had been standing idly in the road. He grabbed the reins and tugged.

“Come on horsie horse! This is no place for you now!”

The horse bucked him in the ribs.

“Come on!” He winced, “No time for this!” He tugged harder and finally the horse followed. The two scurried away a safe distance down the dirt road.

Zander closed his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath. He whispered a few words in a language the cultist didn’t entirely understand, a language spoken only deep beneath the earth by beings who have never witnessed the light of day. There was only one word which he understood. A name.


Zander opened his eyes, they were black.

The cultist loosened his grip in fear. From Zander’s eyes shot two dark tentacles, wrapping around the man’s neck and forcing themselves down his throat. From his arms came more, uncountable tendrils that clawed and gnashed at the man’s arms prying them away, stinging and sinking deep beneath the flesh. The cultist’s skin bubbled and popped, wriggling as dozens of tiny feelers ate away at him from the inside. His eyes shriveled and sunk into their sockets, slurped away by the tentacles.

Finally after a few moments, the tentacles retracted and flowed back into Zander. He opened his eyes again, they’d returned to normal. The cultist stood there for a moment, in shock, then fell to the ground. His body quickly turned to goop.

Bastion peeked out from the bush. The horse also peeked its head out from the bush.

“Are you done yet?”

Zander heaved and fell on one knee. “Yeah. I’m done.”

Bastion walked back over with the horse. “I always hate when you do stuff like that, gives me bad dreams after.”

“Just give me a fucking potion.”

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