They boiled forth like ants seething from the dark cauldron of their creation. Thousands of black skinned Thrallachs, embodiments of the malice festering in the broken heart of the enemy. Long had they dwelled beneath the rocky flanks of the Sundrian Mountains, biding their time until their dark master called them forth once again.
Like bloodhounds on the scent, the Thrallachs could sense war. Their red eyes glowed like simmering embers in the night, searching for their first victims. Many would suffer and under the weight of their numbers, the villages and cities of men would burn by their torches. How sweet the taste of death and destruction of works of beauty. Not so sweet as the ages long past, when the Thralls would feast on the flesh and the works of the Elves, but savory enough.
Night was their ally, and this night would be long. The horde was driven by the whip of their dark master, one of the Thirteen. A Necri. One of the ageless black sorcerers of the Dark God. Even the Thrallachs lived in fear of the Necri, a fear so strong as to drive men mad and send them fleeing in terror at the sight of one.
Most of mankind were weak serfs, without weapons and easy targets for the Thralls. Their sweet, fat flesh made for feasts such as they had not had in a century. The creatures and mushrooms living and growing in the stygian depths of the world were nothing compared to fresh bloodied meat.
Not all of the manfolk proved to be so easy. Some resisted the natural order. The tall ones to the south in Terrallia were best avoided. Too much like their Elven ancestors of old with weapons and armor the Thralls could not match. Only the iron fist of the Necri drove them to attack the empires of the half-elven.
The northern folk were less organized, more scattered in many villages without walls of cold iron to guard them. These were the first places the thrall would seek. To draw out the lords from their castles. Then their strength in numbers would overwhelm. Then they would feast, chomping at the flesh with dagger like teeth, lapping at the fresh blood with forked tongues.
**I was not really sure where I was going with this...I just wanted to write something and get some words out. I have been away for a while and am trying to stoke some creativity.
“I’m sorry for missing that ball Rick.” Essie said regretfully. “Cerissa’s move there, the setter dump.... I didn’t see that coming....”
“No worries, I’m having a blast playing with you, even if we aren’t winning.” Rick said reassuringly, putting his hand on Essie’s shoulder. “Besides, we’re gonna get that point back, then score more points after. You with me?”
Essie smiled and gave Rick a quick embrace.
“Always Rick. Let’s get that point back now.”
Cerissa sent a jump serve over the net. Essie received the serve and sent it over Rick’s head. Rick set to Dirk, who sent a powerful spike over the net. Doug dove into the sand and kept the ball in the air with his fist. Cerissa set the ball to Mitch, and he spiked the ball past Rick and Dirk. Essie dove at the back of her team’s side and used a bump to keep the ball from going out of bounds. Dirk volleyed the ball back over the net, and Doug managed to keep it from hitting the sand with his knee. Mitch ran to the ball and passed it airborne over Cerissa. Cerissa lept into the air and spiked the ball, but a well timed jump from Essie blocked her attack, sending the ball crashing into the sand behind Cerissa and between Mitch and Doug.
“Great block!” Rick cheered, Dirk also running over to offer praise.
“Now we’re tied, thanks to you!” Dirk said proudly. “Soon we’ll be ahead!”
“Well played Essie!” Cerissa called out. “But you won’t stop me again.” She added with a friendly smile.
“I accept your challenge Cerissa.” Essie replied, grinning ear to ear.
Before the game could continue, a familiar young woman in a sundress approached the group. Her eyes were puffy and red, with fresh tears flowing down her cheeks.
“Janet?” Mitch said tenderly as he ran to her. “What’s wrong?”
Find out why Janet is upset here: https://theprose.com/post/429105/leftovers-crushing-victory
To be continued....