Chosen-Chapter Fourteen

Savage is as savage does

Obtaining the proper components for an ancient, arcane ritual is difficult under the best of circumstances. There are ways to make it easier, having resources at your disposal, minions, an extensive library of eldritch lore, properly indexed and filed (an excellent librarian is worth their weight in gold) and a network of Shadow Creeper spies can uncover any number of bits of vital intelligence.
All Hubert wanted were the statues of the Lords of Munthos, whose empire spanned the world so long ago that they were the stuff of legends to even those who had heard of them.
Using a portal spell, he and a legion of his most fearless Dread Knights, who had long ago bargained their souls away for power and unending life, along with one hundred enchanted Automatikus to remove the statues, because Dread Knights will NOT do any sort of manual labor, with the sole exception of killing things and then going somewhere else to kill more things.
Even with all that at his command, one barbarian can stop up the whole works. Mighty thewed and be-loin clothed, as all his ilk are, he defiantly stood at the top of the stone ziggurat temple that held the statues.
Hubert used a minor charm to amplify his voice. “Look, all I want is the statues, and you can have the gold or jewels or any other treasure. It’s a win-win.”
The savage made a great barking laugh that echoed throughout the hidden jungle valley. “Do you take me for a fool, wizard? Am I dressed in motley?”
“You see all these Dread Knights I have with me? They will kill you. They are very good at that. I mean really good at it. It is literally all they do.”
Smiling, he spread his arms. “It is a good day to die.”
“You all say that. What isn’t a good day to die?”
“Tuesday,” replied the barbarian without missing a beat.
Hubert paused “Why Tuesday?”
“He’s just mocking you,” said the ghost of this father, who faded into existence next to him.
“Are you mocking me?” he asked the brutal warrior.
Smiling, the barbarian took a bite out of piece of fruit and spat out the pit.
“Just kill him,” hissed the former Master of Evil.
He turned to his perpetually disappointed father. “I’m handling this.”
Transparent shoulders shrugged as if to say, “Please ruin this, the simplest of tasks, as you have ruined everything you have ever done or will ever do”. Which was less cutting than the “I should have fed your soul to a demon to perpetually light a part of the citadel I rarely visit”. But more crushing than his, “You did what I needed but just barely and seemingly by luck”.
His father could speak volumes of distaste with out uttering a word.
“Listen, is there anyway you’ll just stand aside and let us just do what we have to?”
After wiping his hands on his loincloth, the barbarian drew a double headed axe and broadsword from his back. “I’ll send you to the Hells last,” he yelled and leapt into the Dread Knights at the base of the ziggurat.
Most people soil themselves at the suggestion of one Dread Knight being in the vicinity. The barbarian fought them as if there were prize for each one he dispatched. His axe and broadsword glowed with a silvery light that blazed bright each time he hit.
“His weapons are Munthos steel,” observed Balor-Nar.
“I can see that,” replied Hubert.
“The one thing that can assure the permanent destruction of a Dread Knight.”
“I’m well aware of what Munthos steel does, father.”
“Are you? Because it seems that this nearly naked savage is killing them at an alarming rate. I just felt that I ought to point that out. In case it had escaped your attention.”
As if by cue, the barbarian beheaded the last of the Dread Knights and strode straight at Hubert. Hubert pointed his staff, which was very impressive: it was carved out of a dragon’s femur to look just like the dragon it was taken from. Most people would stop when it was pointed at them, if only to admire the artistry with which it was crafted. Of course most stopped because they knew that some terrible magic was about to be unleashed. It seemed that neither subject interested the savage approaching him.
“By Umm, prepare to be cut in to two pieces and then smaller and smaller pieces until you’re a fine paste.”
Umm was what the barbarians called their great god. The real name was unknown to all but the wild shamans who spoke for him or her. Like the name, the gender was a great secret. When asked a direct question about these holy mysteries, the shamans would mutter and answer, “Umm…”
“I’m sorry,” said Hubert as he blasted the warrior into the air and across the valley. As he disappeared into the distance, the barbarian said, “By Umm, I will re…” The rest was lost to the to the jungle.
He turned to his father, “Does that meet with your approval?”
“Ask your Dread Knights,” sneered the ghost who sarcastically faded into the mist.
Hubert did the only thing he could, ordered his Automatikus to retrieve the statutes and put this one in to the win-lose column.

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