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Here’s another scene fragment from Episode 2.  I hope you like it!

Just a note, this is still very rough. I read through it and pulled out a few big mistakes, but you will find typos and things that do not quite make sense.  Just roll with it!

For the entire first Episode and other posts from Episode 2, see this link: https://aaron-brander.com/tag/shattered/

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JYRI LOOKED about in disgust.  Was this, then, the price of freedom?  A flock of sheep where once there were lions?  The calm had been nice for a generation, but the storm had arrived.  Jyri heard a familiar twang, and looked up to see a flight of arrows heading towards him.  He lifted his staff and willed his god-given powers of righteousness and justice into the weapon.  A blast of wind from Jyri’s staff disrupted many of the arrows, but the shrieks and cries of the wounded told him that some still got through to accomplish their vile work.

“Get to the temple!” Jyri cried, trying one more time to get the sheep moving.  There was no more time to play shepherd.  Jyri dashed towards the goblins and prayed the villagers figured it out and fled to safety.

As he ran, his battle chant spilled from his lips.

“Balim nu doct.  Balim nu molatting.  Solun imort belom, troi memnock dor faruck Balim!”

In the common tongue, it meant: “Balim is peace.  Balim is righteousness.  Through my arms, let evil know Balim is justice!”

To Jyri, the words felt like the embrace of a lover after a prolonged absence — or so he imagined, being a celibate monk after all.
He felt Balim’s power rush through him and transform his as he ran.  Jyri was a large man be any standards, but when Balim’s justice needed meting out, he grew to the size of a small mountain.

As a fisherman in a small rowboat looks upon the sea with fear and loathing as a tempest hits and the sea rages, so too did the goblins quake at Jyri’s approach.  No one had warned them that Jryi Benson, Balim’s Justice on Earth, would be crashing down upon them this day.

It would be their doom, for Jyri felt no mercy as his staff cracked down, pulverizing two goblins and knocking a dozen to the ground.  He waded in, knocking the startled creatures to the ground with each swing of his mighty staff.  But the goblin’s numbers started to bear down on him.  With the momentum of his charge spent, the goblins worked to slide in behind Jyri to encircle him.  Though each strike from the large, orange clad monk took down multiple goblins, there were just too many.  The little biters slipped sword thrusts past his defenses and nicked him.  Blood started to flow down from his legs and mix with the offal of dozens of destroyed goblins.

Jyri knew he needed to disengage from the fight and get back to the temple where its defenses and Maia could help him.  He spun in a circle with his staff held out low.  Four goblins were knocked back and a fifth, shorter goblin had its head staved in.

With room for a moment, Benson picked his unfortunate target.  Green Gummer was a model goblin: short, squat and surly.  Its moss-colored skin had a sickly pallor that was not completely attributed to its skin color, but may have something to do with its rotted teeth.  Black, patchy hair stuck out from under its misshapen helmet, which sported a blunt spike on top.  An equally battered breastplate covered its skinny chest.  In its hands, it hefted what appeared to be a sledge hammer, but with a vaguely pointed face where it would normally be flat.

Jyri noticed this all in a flash of insight.  He felt no remorse or recognition, he merely needed a target for his righteous fury.  Jyri snapped the staff above his head.  He took a deep breath, sent a quick, silent prayer up to Balim for strength, and smashed the staff down directly on the helmeted head of Green Gummer.  The squat goblin exploded in slimy gibbets of body parts.  As Jyri’s staff slammed into the ground, it sent waves of earth spreading out from the epicenter of the strike, knocking goblins into the air all around him.

Jyri did not hesitate, he broke into a run back towards the temple before the first goblin crashed back to the earth.  In the distance, Jyri descried the other goblin groups as they gained the edge of town.  The howls of enraged goblins behind him spurred him in his retreat.  The defenses of the temple were his only hope now.

ELI MAIA had sent one of the young men up to the bell, and it now rang with a desperate pealing that underscored the panic felt in the sanctuary below.  Maia stood outside the doors, his wooden staff in his hand, and herded the running villagers into the darkness of the temple.

The flow of villagers lessened, and still Maia had not seen his parents. He prayed to Balim that they had found a place to hide from the swarm of goblins.  And yet…and yet, perhaps it was best if they had been killed swiftly.  The world was changing. Maia could feel it happening in the air.  The peace they had known the last generation was not just ending, it was being shattered.  There were few people equipped to deal with this change and if this was just the tip of the shift, as Maia was beginning to fear, many would lament living through the desolation.

The last villager ran past Maia, and he turned to see Jyri Benson fleeing from a giant horde of goblins.  He slammed the door shut on the temple, and heard the locking mechanism rumble into place.  It was now just he and Jyri and their belief in Balim that stood before the goblins.

Jyri slid to a halt beside Eli, winked at him, and turned back to face the goblins while he leaned panting on staff.

“You know, young cub, I have not had this much fun in years.  It is lamentable that we were caught unawares, but we will crush these beasts for what they have done, and then we will find out what the devil is going on,” Jyri spoke sideways to Eli while not wavering from gazing a the goblins.  Eli did not know how to react to that.

The horde of goblins was an unstoppable flood of green limbs, gnashing teeth, and howling rage as it streamed into the courtyard.

Jyri raised his arms and intoned solemly, “Vintin sar malincardum”.

Nothing happened.

Jyri looked around, bewildered.

He spoke again, this time with angst edging his words. “Vintin sar malincardum!”

Again, nothing.

Jyri looked at Eli, shrugged, and said, “I guess the temple’s defenses won’t be helping us.  This just got a lot tougher. Get ready, we’ll have to do this the hard way.

Jyri picked up his staff, gave voice to his war cry, and ran to meet the raging green wall of goblins.

And then he stopped.  Balim’s power had not infused him. He remained merely Jyri, a large, overweight monk.

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