Tazix’s Last Gurgle

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Under a cloudless sky burnt orange with the setting sun a lone figure wrapped in white cloth, stood. All around, the harsh landscape of the Scupi Badlands. Small creatures began to hop, crawl, and slither out from their daytime refuges. Would the cool of night bring out his quarry as well. Pulling up the gauzy cloth that shielded his face he yelled a variation of what he’d been yelling for hours.

“Tazix! Coward, mutant. Show yourself. Let’s settle this now, fight me! Or are you too afraid?”

Ah, dammit it’s probably not even here he thought to himself. The air behind him filled, solidified into the chimeric abomination that was Tazix the Everchanging. Coiling it’s purple tentacle around his neck and pincering his arm with a giant lobster claw it hissed.

“You’re the last, Ikase. The others begged before I slew them. Cried like the fatherless whelps you left for dead. But today I, Tazix, do not seek retribution on their behalf. No, I demand revenge for myself. How dare you puny human! Raid my home, steal my belongings, and challenge me, me! For these insults you will die now.”

“No, it is you who will die this day!” replies Ikase followed by choking out the arcane words that will send bolts of arcane force shooting into his assailant. But Tazix’s barbed tail pierces the flesh of his forearm interrupting the somatic component and spoiling Ikase’s spell.

Ikase has been wrestling since a child and even though breaking free from a four appendaged freak is difficult it is no problem for him. Ducking and rolling out of it’s grapple he spins sword slashing out in a classic counter-attack. But it is too late, Tazix the “ever disappearing” has already fled to the ethereal and his stroke slices through nothing more than an after image.

Ikase stays his taunt since four mists blow rapidly into the area. Barely visible in dusk’s twilight. What has him on edge is the utter lack of wind and his suspicions as to what they are. Suspicions born out when the mists solidify into a High Priest of Creegas and three titanic Pelosian soldiers, Juggernauts.

“Kirphis! This does not concern you.”

“Ikase, still deluded into thinking you matter. Your usefulness was that of bait, no more. Now step aside and let real soldiers handle this nuisance.” finishing with a few words of divine power that sends a ripple across the rocky ground. Forced into the material realm by Creegas’ might Tazix fades into view. It is surprised to find two of the Juggernauts moving to intercept his attempted retreat.

“Yes, Tazix we see you. Stand now and face punishment for your crimes against the Pelosian Republic. By order of the Scupi Council I am …”

“Noooo, I’m Tazix! I …” A Juggernaut’s kick interrupts and sends it flying back towards the middle of their ring.

Kirphis, please, ending it’s reign of murder is something I must do. Justice for my slain comrades demand it.

“I don’t have time for this Ikase, step aside.”

“Tazix is my responsibility, let me finish my duty. You must understand a soldier’s need to finish a mission.”

“Fine, just stop blabbering. You have 10min.”

Giving a nod of thanks he swings blindly at the expected charge from Tazix. Instead it is slinking away towards a gap between the Juggernauts. Ikase gives chase, sword held high. Unnecessarily it turns out as a circular wall of spining blades about sixty foot in diameter is conjured by Kirphis. Another boon for the favored of Creegas.

Tazix, crouching, trapped, turns to face its assailant. Springing up and using its claw as a shield to deflect Ikase’s sword blow. It lashes out wildly with suckered tentacle, a feint Ikase falls for. The true attack is a staggering upper cut from one of its true arms. Followed by strikes with it’s spiked tails that bounce ineffectually off Ikase’s muscled breatplate.

Too dependent on tactical retreats to the ethereal Tazix’s defense is no match for Ikase’s aggressive assaults. Grasping with two hands he swings and cleaves through that hated tentacle. Black ichor spurts from the flailing stump as Tazix howls. Not so much from pain as realization of the inevitable.

Ikase drives forward with attack after attack. Slicing arms, severing tails, delivering a vicious slash deep across it’s thigh. Down on one knee Tazix can do little but hold it’s claw up as a shield. Ikase mercilessly bashes into it until chitin cracks and fleshy muscles protrude. Pointing with sword he proclaims

“What arcane transmutations have wrought, Pelosian steel will sunder.”

Tazix lunges, taloned hands reaching for Ikase’s legs. Its final bid is cut short by Ikase’s torso piercing thrust. Pinned to the ground it glares up with rage. Blood and ichor clogging it’s mouth Tazix gurgles out final words.

“I hate you most…”

After the blade barrier dissipates Ikase finds himself alone with the stars. Left to find his was back through the dark by himself. Tieing a harness to drag Tazix oozing corpse he thinks out loud.

“Kirphis, one day …” Waterdrop, bright and blue rises above the eastern hills.