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Wolfran the Knight Avenger


The Last Crusade of Altraumzen

Episode 11: An Unexpected Target

Wolfran had seen his fair share of Ishtar’s and other dark god’s machinations, and nightmares made reality. This guardian was pale beyond the usual spawn of the Almighty’s disloyal sons. Flattering though it was to know his Skyfall contingent warranted such attention Wolfran rather wished the twice damned gene splicer witch hadn’t gone through the trouble of breeding this particular gift.

The dripping molasses from the shadows quickly revealed itself to be blood from the twisted creature which had been deemed to be created without a scrap skin on the demon’s body. With each passing moment more of the nightmare materialized into the physical form. This was taking some time. Considering the fiend’s horrid form dwarfed the massive giants lying broken on the marble floors.

The Knight Captain grimaced as he extrapolated the full shape of the unnatural chimera. The body was like that of a horse with extra limbs extending from its skinless back resembling that of a spider which the decrepit crawler used to suspend itself from the rafters. Rising up from where a rider would have sat on the freakish twitching body was the torso of a giant that was also skinless. The rider part had no eyes, but a mouth filled with row upon row of jagged teeth and a black tongue.

Wolfran didn’t waste another moment. The mind's simple reaction to such unnatural evil was to freeze, and deny its existence even as the fiend rises before one’s very eyes. Not so a Knight for the works of Christ. Though this threatened even the Captain’s resolve he had long learned to act when his muscles were gripped in the icy cold terror of that which should not exist. What the creator never intended, and thus exists by the twisted makinations of true evil.

“Specialists to the next chamber! All knights to the Guardian Chamber!” Wolfran shouted over his command override line. Every member of the contingent received the message no matter if they were communicating with the Holy Emperor himself or searching for the latrines in this cursed fortress. Wolfran acted as well, pulling his zweihanderkrieger, and charging the blade to its capacitors’ limits.

The brief moments of warming up his weapon gave the Captain an unwelcome pause to study the twisted trap left for his men. Or more likely him and the Specialists. They meant to cut the head off the Skyfall contingent whilst the men were stranded on the surface. Though seeing the glowing red eye form on the horse like head the size of a corvette gunship made the Captain question their tactics.

This seemed like far too hefty a demon to send against such a small force. A twisted one such as this would be a scourge to their own forces, and though there was no love from Ishtar to her minions, not even she could hold her horde at strength if she allowed powerful titans run amok in her ranks.

A miasma of shadows roiled around the chimera as it stretched and arched its back rattling a series of cracking joints along protruding spine bones. The sound could’ve drowned out cannon fire. The size and power of a fiend of this ferocity should be sent against the fleet itself. Indeed, massive folded bat wings could be seen. Two sets, one for the human shaped torso on the back and another pair on the horse bit like a cursed pegasus. This was the kind of reception one would expect if they had brought the crown prince or the chief Burdenbaron with them on crusade. What or who in his ranks warranted such a reception?

This was a question best left for after they rendered the chimera low. Wolfran’s knights were veterans, and enough time under their commander had taught them his moods. As such each had begun charging their zweihanderkriegers for a combined strike on the twisted guardian. Konrad was busy herding the specialists out of the immediate range of the monster, and organizing the details of Wolfran’s orders. He may be an ass, but when the hammer meant the anvil Konrad was a perfect Magnus.

“Zweihanderkriegers hold fire till the Captain shot. Lancers aim for weak points in the joints and head. Remember sirs! Even the most twisted of machinations must function on the physical plane. Damage the demon till the monster gives up the ghost, and its demons run screaming to the hell whence they came!” Konrad called over the intercom. With his Magnus enacting his order Wolfran was able to take an extra second to galvanize a strategy before he released his pint up capacitors on the beast. Another moment after that, and the cursed creature would strike. They had best make their first shots count.

Then an odd sensation of abject unnatural terror came over Wolfran as the massive cyclops eye of the horse spider hybrid half of the creature turned its glow directly upon the Captain’s mount. Realization came over the young Captain as he shook off the directed wave of fear blasted his way from the fiend like a salvo from an artillery cannon in the spirit world. This monster wasn’t here for his men, nor his specialists, nor even to break the beachhead upon Ishtar’s world. No, it was here for him, and Wolfran wondered if it even was one of Ishtar’s ilk. The feel was not of her machinations, or her servants twisted though they were. This changed things.

“All forcers retreat to the entrances of the chamber at once. Fire from cover only. Do not attempt to join me until our foe lies broken at our feet,” Wolfran shouted once more knowing full well the incredulous look that was doubtlessly on Konrad’s face if not all the Obenrittenbrudens’ faces as well. If he survived they could lecture him on recklessness another day. Now the Captain would draw this fiend away from his men.

Wolfran released the pint up lightning and plasma within his blade raking across the eyes that were stitched closed. A moment later a chorus of lightning bolts struck their foe who screeched and howled. The sound shook the marble beneath their feet and broke chunks of masonry from the roof which crashed to the floor in devastating barrages. A piece managed to wipe out an entire hell mortar squad in an instant to the Captain's left.

Not waiting for more casualties Wolfran engaged his jump jets, and propelled his mount up the side of the smooth walls in a gravity defying sprint as he unleashed his full rocket payload upon the nearest blood covered spider limb holding the beast to the wall. The Captain hoped his men didn’t hesitate to follow his orders because he planned on bringing this demon spawn down from its perch. The bulk of the beast would ensure none in the chamber would survive the impact.

As expected, the skinless horror ignored the other knights and men at arms. The fiend’s attention was fixated upon Wolfran even as the lancers bloodied its flanks and shattered one of the eight limbs holding it aloft.

Belching out from the mouth of the infused rider came a swarm of black spears flying in jagged patterns like lasers bouncing from mirrors. Everywhere one struck, wall, flesh, armor, or metal, rotted in an instant as if they had aged a thousand years. Wolfran’s eyes went a little wide as thousands of the cursed missiles gained on his mount. This guardian wasn’t going to make its demise a simple matter.

The Story Will Continue Every Friday.

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Wolfran the Knight Avenger series cover
An Unexpected Target episode cover
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Wolfran the Knight Avenger

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Long before history, and its lies began Wolfran and his fellow Knights battle the dark gods and their minions in the far reaches of the universe. Follow the endeavors of the Knight Avenger as he persues the forces of darkness wherever they flee in his iron fisted mech, and with his plasma sword at his side.
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