One Lone Knight (Megan Smith Story)

In shadow, a rider road slowly on a horse, the mount carefully picking a path through the wet ground. A female voice spoke out quietly, "Wind Spirit, it looks like we are on another mission. A shifter who summons demons and sends them to raid the villages. We have been on so many but we are by ourselves now." as the figure looks down towards her waist. She looked up after a moment and gazed around at the land. It was a mixture of dank swamps and wetland forest. Spanish Moss hung from many of the trees. Speaking out again, the figure stated, "That tree right there is not native to Earth, my mother told me about it." She thought about her mother for a moment, a well renowned scholar, not as well known as Erin Tarn but still well known. While not much of a botanist herself, the memory of her mother talking about the tree stuck in her memory.

Anything in the distance was hard to see due to the fog that floated above the swamps. As well, rain fell intermittently. The figure kept having to wipe off the face plate of her armor to be able to see properly. Unfortunately, no one ever seemed to have developed a face plate which truly repels water well. She had to keep a careful eye on the ground to keep her steed from sinking into the bogs. The figure stopped at a large free standing pool and looked down at her reflection and dismounted after a few moments. She was quite tall and strongly built and cut quite a figure dressed in her silver armor. It looked like plate mail but was high tech armor which gave incredible protection against attacks. On her waist hung a bastard sword in a blue scabbard and she carried a silver round shield on her left arm. She felt no danger and after a moment, the figure took off her helm. "Sometimes it is nice to see the world through your own eyes", she stated absentmindedly. She shook her head and long blond hair cascading downwards and a strong but attractive face was revealed. Penetrating blue eyes stared out from under the golden hair and she looked up from the water to get a good look at her surroundings. The face appeared young, likely less than thirty. Still, the eyes showed an experience seen in few people.

She reflected back on what had brought her here. A few hours, she had ridden through a small village. It had looked peaceful. Appearances, like the are often after the coming of the Rifts, are often deceiving. They had seen her armor and immediately recognized her as a knight. In the Post-Apocalypse world, there were knights who traveled the lands to save those who needed some hope. Most were extremely honorable and skilled warriors. Often traveling alone, if anyone could stop the fell presence, a knight could do it. The villagers had asked for her help although begging might have been a better word. They told her about a Shifter that resided in the deep swamp in a tower. No one knew who he was but one day he seemed to just take up residence. He had arrived in the village with several demons with him one day and simply declared that he was taking over. The defenders tried to fight back but their weapons seemed to be useless with lasers seeming to do nothing. He had blasted one of the town's defenders with lightning and had his pet demons kill the remaining guards. The Shifter then took several captives who never returned. While they never saw the shifter again, his demons returned several more times and kidnaped further villagers. Just a few days, a young woman had been taken away by the demons serving the Shifter. The knight considered it most likely that victims were sacrificed to feed the Shifter's magic or the creatures who served him. She could tell from the magic of her sword that they were telling the truth and that she had to come to their rescue. One good part of their description is that it sounded like he had only ever summoned lesser demons. A Shifter in addition to a greater demon would likely be too much for her.

Turning her thoughts back to the present, the figure pulled out her sword and along the blue grey blade, runes could be seen running down both the blade and handle. It was a rune sword, an extremely powerful and rare magic item. Unlike lesser weapons, a rune weapon has a soul and a personality. Wind Spirit was the name of this one and she had been talking to it just a few minutes ago. The knight and the sword had long forged a link between each other where they could hear each others thoughts and were closer in many ways than lovers or siblings. Still, the woman usually preferred to vocalize her thoughts to the Sword. It allowed her to organize her own thoughts and made her feel less alone. In her mind came the response from Wind Spirit, *While we are alone, we have fought greater danger and greater evil. This Shifter, no matter how evil and powerful, pales compared to the horseman. You faced them in Africa and proved your metal.*

It was true, the knight had faced the Horseman in Africa and had emerged victorious. She had fought many battles with Wind Spirit being her companion for most of them. She had recovered Wind Spirit while adventuring far south in Mexico and the lands even further south. She had lost count of the number of vampires which she had slain. In many ways the Coalition had been her most implacable enemy. While not the pure evil which the Vampires were, their weapons made them as hard as any Dragon to slay. Also, many of the soldiers which she had fought and slain were just following orders and victims of their officers. The list of the knights adventures was extremely long and she already had more experience than most knights who were decades older than her. She had been a participant in a rescue mission to Atlantis. She had heard that there were those who had been so angry over her rescue mission that they had created a clone of her with the express purpose of killing her. She had visited England and had been to Camelot. She had even been off Rifts Earth to a place called Wormwood and had fought evil there.

The knight turned back to her sword again and asked, "I wonder what ever happened to my teammates. I went home to visit with my family and they simply did not come back. Well, I know what happened to Ki-Tarn. He decided to settle and start a weapon company." She thought about the Kittani who had been one of her adventuring companion for many years. He was always working on some new design. One item he came up with fitting a Glitter Boy boom gun to a Kittani Equestrian Power Armor and he could fire the gun without planting due to the greater stability with four legs supporting the design.

Wind Spirit responded back to her, *Your companions were highly capable but you were always the heart and soul. That heart still beats strong.* The lady knight thought about her other companions. Her other companions were both martial artists with one having come from Japan and being very similar in training to a knight. She had read extensively about the knights from Japan called Samurai. One item was that he was not subtle. He final companion was the direct opposite. She had trained in Ninjitsu and was an expert in stealth and subterfuge. They had been good friends and she missed them dearly.

Her thoughts to the last few years. She had spend much of the time on patrol but still had taken the time to train two apprentices. The both were full fledged knights now and they had made her quite proud. One had been the first fire knight. Sorcha had the potential of being a Burster but had a sense of honor which had driven her to become a knight as well.

Her thoughts were interrupted by her sword scolding her with *Enough time for reminiscing and time to deal with that Shifter.* She could only agree with her steel companion, she had a mission which she had to preform. She carefully sheathed her sword and slid her helmet back on, careful to lock it back into place.

As the lady knight continued riding forward, she thought she saw the indistinct shadow of what could be a tower in the distance. The problem was that the way was getting more and more treacherous as time went off. Her steed was a robot horse and was heavy due to being constructed from alloys instead of flesh. It was designed to even look like a normal horse and acted like one. The origin of her steed was a mystery. She had been given the steed in return for a rescue mission which she had performed. In its own way, her horse was as much of an ally as Wind Spirit. Eventually, the ground simply got too soft and she decided that the best thing would be to leave her steed here. She could come back and get him later.

Her armor had many unusual enchantments including the ability to allow the wearer to fly. It would allow her to simply avoid trudging through the swamp and forest. If she stayed low to the ground, the likelihood of her being spotted would be minimal. The other advantage was that she would be completely silent as she flew. Her armor had literally been a gift from the Gods. It had been given to her from the God Thoth during her battles against the Horseman of Apocalypse. It was a truly incredible magic item and had many similarities to Mystic Power Armor.

The knight simply used the flight ability to float off her mount and landed for a moment. She tied her steed to a small tree. It could easily pull loose but the horse understood that she wanted it to stay put when she did that. With that, she was off towards the tower.

Flying along slowly, the knight found her way into a clearing in the forest and the fog opened up for a few moments along with the rain letting up. Suddenly, the tower could actually be seen in the distance. She was amazed how close she was. The tower was only about a quarter mile from the clearing which she had just emerged into and it gave her the first true glimpse of her goal. While still partially hidden in the fog, something appeared definitely wrong. It looked like a large amount of the tower had been blown off and most of the top was blackened. It was possible that the tower had been like this before the Shifter had taken control but the lady knight did not think so. The trees also showed signs of having been burned as well. The intermittent rain had likely prevented any fire from spreading. If there was any smoke, the fog prevented it from being visible but the knight thought she smelled smoke over the early smells of the bogs around her when she opened her helmet.

There was some quick consideration of simply zooming up to the top of the tower but the lady knight decided that it would be best if she stayed low to the ground. If there were any nasty surprises, which she expected, she would be an easy target if she abandoned all cover. She did not want to fight several lesser demons while also having to fight off the Shifter. The fog would still hide her partially from any who might be watching especially if she took advantage of vegetation for greater concealment.

Suddenly she broke out of cover and saw that there was a large cleared zone around the Tower. It looked like it had been cleared some time before although it looked like it had been seared by fire again just recently, maybe only a few hours previously. The ground around the tower had become even more swampy and she saw several patches of what appeared to be quick sand. Around much of the base of the tower was what could be considered a large pond or a small lake. The damage on the tower was even more evident this close and it was obvious that something had happened. Around the base, rubble could be seen strewn about. The base of the tower appeared that it simply had been grown out of the swamp. This was not impossible, there were several magic spells which an Earth Warlock might use to basically do just that. A Shifter might be able to control an Earth Elemental to do the same thing. Still, none of the stories which had heard seemed to indicate that Shifter used Elementals and she hoped that he had none bound to him. Of course, an escaping Fire Elemental might cause results very much like what she saw in front of her. She could see no door and figured that she was at the rear of the tower.

Still flying low to the ground, the knight flew directly to the base of the tower so that she would be harder to spot. Even up this close, the tower showed no signs of having been built in a tradition manner and showed no seams or joints. Slowly, she circled around to the front of the tower. There was a door with a set of steps leading up towards it. The door itself appeared to have been blasted outwards. The metal holding the door together appeared melted and the stout wood was charred and blackened. It seemed likely that the wood had been enchanted but had been destroyed like it had been made from soft pine and someone had used a flamethrower.

Carefully watching for anything hostile, the lady knight floated up towards the blasted doorway. She wanted to be as quiet as possible. It was possible that whatever did this was still around. The charring on the remains of the door appeared to be fresh and the odors coming from the tower had the smell of burnt wood, burnt plastic, and the unmistakable smell of burnt flesh. She had smelled burnt flesh before and it was never pleasant.

On entering the tower, the knight found herself in a long corridor. The interior walls of the tower were blackened just like the top of the tower had been. It was possible that someone had beat her to stopping the Shifter but the knight wondered if whatever might have done this might be worse than the Shifter had been. This shifter had summoned demons in the past, it was quite likely that one had escaped his control. The lady knight wondered if that might have happened here. Whatever it was, if had definitely demolished the tower inside and out. She reached a set of mangled metal stairs and she floated up through the stairwell. While the stairway went both up towards the top of the tower and downwards towards what was likely a basement, whatever had happened appeared to have happened in the top of the tower.

A horror greeted the knight when she reached the top of the wrecked stairs. She had seen worse in her time but still it was a gruesome sight. Far worse if you include what she had seen while battling the "Horseman." The roof had been completely blown off and it was quite well lit by the light of the sun which had chosen this moment to burn through the fog and rain. The remains of burned books sat on shelves all around the tower, obviously the Shifter's work room from the various paraphernalia scattered around the room, much of it destroyed. A large marble altar, partially destroyed, dominated the room and was surrounded by the remains of black and red candles. Behind the altar, a badly burned body could be seen in the remains of what looked like some sort of circle. The knight was no kind of expert on circles but assumed that this one was a protection circle. It appeared to have done little good. While most of the body had been burned, it was still intact and the face was less burned and the Shifter looked surprisingly young. Some people managed to achieve incredible things at a young. Horrible things in this Shifter's case. The chest cavity had been opened up and entrails were spread all over the tower room. From the amount of movement, the knight thought it entirely possible that this person had lived long enough for whatever it was to have inviscerated him alive. Blood had been splashed all over the walls and the heart sat on the altar. Obviously, the Shifter had summoned something which he could not control and it had killed him. She had some fears of what he might have summoned but wanted to see what additional clues there might be. She began looking around the room to see what else she could find of value.

As Megan rode back into the village which she had first learned of the shifter, she saw another sight of horror in the failing light. If anything, the remains of the village were even worse than the Shifter's tower had been. Just a few hours before, it had been a tidy village although the people had been bleak. They had been buoyed up by her presence. Now, virtually the entire village had been burnt to the ground. What was left had been torn apart. Around the village, bodies were scattered. Some had been burned to a crisp while others were disemboweled and the guts were spread all over. The demon really enjoyed mayhem. Megan saw the bodies of men, women, children, and even animals. While most of the animals had been livestock, some had been pets. She could see the remains of two dogs who had fought to protect their master. They had no hope against the monster which the Shifter had brought against them. She quietly walked into the town and looked to see if someone might have survived against the odds.

She saw two figures which held the remains of laser rifles. From their appearance, they seemed to be L-20 pulse laser rifles. The figures seemed to wear some kind of body armor but it gave them little protection against the demon. The armor was so badly damaged that it was hard to tell what kind it might have been. One suit was half melted while the other figure had his armor torn off of him. Still, she had to approve. It was better to die in battle than to be slaughtered on your knees.

The body of a child. Hardened warrior that she was, the lady knight could still be overwhelmed with the death of a child. The knight kneeled by the body of the child and pulled off her helmet. She heard in her head *This is not your fault. This is the Shifters fault. He summoned a demon beyond his ability to control.* In her mind, the knight knew this to be the truth although getting her heart to accept it was a different story. If she had just waited a few hours before trying to track down the Shifter, she would have been in the village to protect it from the attacking demon. It made perfect sense for the demon to attack this village, it was the closest residence of sentient people to the Shifter's tower.

The child appeared to have only been dead about an hour, maybe two, and the lady knight carefully closed the child's eyes with her gauntlet covered hand. Blood had began congealing around the body from where the demon had torn the child apart. The knight saw a small black and white cat come walking up to where the child was laying. Something had survived, maybe there was some slim hope that some of the villagers had as well. Obviously the child's pet, the cat rubbed her head along the left shoulder of the child and the hardened warrior could not help but turn her head and was fighting tears. The knight bent down and picked up the cat, petting the small animal and trying to restore both the cats calm and her own calm.

She knew what the shifter had released now. She had been unable to find any real clues from the Shifter's tower. She had examined everything in the upper part of the tower and had checked out the lower levels of the Shifter's abode as well. She had found the bodies of several people whom she assumed where the villagers which had been taken by demons. The woman which had been taken just a few days previous was found dead as well, having been sacrificed to power the summoning which had cost the Shifter his life. Wind Spirit had given her a vision of what had been released. The Rune Sword had given her the image of a huge humanoid demon with red bronze hide and bulging muscles. The creature had huge black wings like those of a bat. He appeared to have escaped from his summoning circle through a tiny flaw. In addition, Shifter had summoned a pair of Gargoyles which turned on him when the greater demon escaped his control. The creatures dwarfed the Shifter and she was given images of the demon first throwing fire at the Shifter and later just attacking with claws along with the two Gargoyles. The shifter had tried to fight back but was unable to do anything more than throw a few ineffectual spells. His magic spell of armor had protected him for a time but had ultimately been of little protection. The demon was a Baal-rog, not as cunning a Raksasha, but still smart and extremely cruel. It had been what she was afraid that had been released. Even before receiving her vision, the signs of fire had strongly hinted at it being a fire demon. The Baal-rog is a greater demon with powerful control over fire. The lady knight had fought gargoyles before and knew how to fight them. It would be a very difficult fight with three of them against her. Still, she must hunt these things down before it destroys yet another village.

There was the sound of twigs cracking and the knight turned towards the sound. She jumped up with her hand already on her sword, ready for a fight. A man, who appeared fairly old by her first impressions with his leg slashed to ribbons, but still alive was hobbling towards where she was standing. He could barely walk and was still bleeding from the damage done to his leg. The man appeared to have come out of the grasses, perhaps the demon or the gargoyles had tossed him away when it was thought the man was dead. The knight could see in his face accusation and he spoke out in a rasping voice, "You brought this thing to us. If we had not told you, we would have been spared this. It came here, just seemed to appear and start killing." Seconds later, the man collapsed.

The lady knight ran for the man and pulled out her canteen and held it up to his face. The knight picked up the man slightly so that he was sitting up. She pulled a small flash of healing water she had gotten when adventuring in Central America and poured it over his leg. Immediately, the tattered leg began to heal. The knight then put the flask up to his mouth and let him drink the remainder. She did not answer the man for a moment because she did blame herself. If only she had been here when the Demon had attacked. Still, she owed him an honest answer, "No, it would have come no matter what. The Shifter who summoned this thing was killed by this Demon before I ever got to the tower. He summoned something he could not control." She finally realized to herself that it was the truth.

The mans breathing improved as the healing power of the water pulsed through his body. The scars would never likely fully heal but he should recover in time. At least they were no longer bleeding. He replied in a weak voice, "I am sorry, thank you." and passed out completely. As she looked at him against she realized that he was not a particularly old man, likely in his early thirties but he appeared to have lived a tough life like many villagers and the pain of the injuries had made him look older still. Now, with the pain mostly ebbed, he looked quite a bit younger than he had previously.

The lady knight looked down at the man and laid him fully on the ground. She stood fully up and looked around but saw nothing intact which could be used as a makeshift bed while he recovered. Finally, she spotted the fact there were several stands of reeds over by the shore of the lake which the village sat next to. She walked over to the reeds at the edge of the stand and cut them off. After she had a reasonably good side bundle, she picked up the reeds and brought them over to where the man was laying. She created a matt from the reeds and picked him up and laid him on the mat. To the female knight, he weighed almost nothing. Even though he could not hear her, she stated, "I have to go after the Demon but I will be back. I will help you bury your villagers and find you somewhere safe."

She walked away from the resting man and kneeled down by the lakeshore and stared out into the murky waters. Slowly she pulled her Rune Sword out and closed her eyes. While she did not have the power of clairvoyance herself, Wind Spirit did. She concentrated on a vision of where she might find the Baal-Rog and the two gargoyles. She simply asked "Wind Spirit, lend me a vision of where these creatures." At first she saw nothing but slowly a vision came. First, she saw the Baal-Rog leading the attack on this village, laughing evilly while it tore people apart with its claws. The monster seemed to be greatly enjoying the mayhem it was causing. It grabbed a child and used it as a shield against the only two men armed in the village. It beckoned the mother to come over and then tore the young woman's head off as soon as she got within arms length. He threw fire everywhere, no one seemed to escape from his fiery destruction. All the while, the two gargoyles were adding to the distruction and deaths. Suddenly, the vision shifted. Another village, several miles away, calm and peaceful. Still, watchful like all of the villages but nothing like this one. She knew that this would be the Baal-Rogs next target. Megan knew she had to beat the demon to the village or it would be destroyed just like this one. She did not know if any opf the creatures could smell the people but it was heading directly for the next village.

Suddenly fully awake from the vision, Megan found the black and white cat licking her face. She picked up the cat, likely it was too young to survive on its own. The knight walked over to her steed and placed the young cat in a saddle bag, making sure that it was securely fastened so that the little creature could not escape. Maybe there was a child in the next village she could give it to if she managed to stop the Demon. She swung herself on her horse and rode like the wind. Few horses could ride as fast as her steed when it had a firm path.

She could hear the sound of giant bat wings. Over the trees flew the demon and the two gargoyles. The creatures were huge. Even though she had seen the creatures in her visions, she was surprised by the sight. They would find no easy target here. She had prayed to Thor and Freya to make her strong for this battle. As well, she had told the villagers to hide before the Demon and Gargoyles arrived. She had also told them to just run if she was taken down by the demon. Most had followed her advice and had hidden although a few had refused to leave their homes. She stood in the dirt of the main square and just waited, a prominent target for the Baal-Rog and Gargoyles. In her right hand, she held Wind Spirit and in her left hand she carried her sword shield. She did not make a move to attack the fell creatures and just stared at it as if provoking them to attack. She wanted to engage the creature in hand to hand combat so that it could not escape. She did not want to have to chase them down again. If she had brought her Flying Titan power armor, she might have fought them differently but it was too large to carry on her steed.

As the monsters got closer, in a loud voice the knight proclaimed, "I am Sword Mistress Megan Smith, Order of the Psi-Knights, and you shall not claim any more victims. Your destruction is upon you" and drew Wind Spirit. Granted, she knew that she was speaking out of bravado but what choice did she have.

The Baal-Rog just laughed, "I am Maal-Gor, I have lead Demon armies on countless worlds. I have slain knights for thousands of years. You will be yet another addition to my countless victims, little human woman who styles herself a knight."With that statement, he threw a ball of fire at Megan Smith. It hit what looked like a field about half a foot from Megan and seemed to dance around. It dissipated within just a few seconds and seemed to do absolutely nothing, not even singe her armor. The two gargoyles moved to the sides to attack her.

Megan stared directly at the demon, trying to look into its eyes. Suddenly, a lightning bolt came from the heavens and struck the monster. It did not seem to hurt him particularly badly but definitely left a black spot where the lightning hit.

The demon laughed but Megan thought there was a hollowness to its laugh. "Is that the best you can do?" the demon proclaimed. He gestured over to a graveyard and Megan could see a half skeletal hand push its way out from the ground. Megan could see a second hand reach out of the ground and another. They were joined until a half dozen shambling corpses had risen from the ground. While the knight knew that they could not penetrate her body armor, the demon probably planned to pin her with them. She swung her trusted companion towards the Dead and created a whirlwind around the animated dead. The magical storm shattered them in seconds but the Demon chose that moment to attack.

Megan half expected to be attacked and turned as the Demon dropped down on her, throwing her Rune Sword in the air as she turned. She yelled out, "Wind Spirit, fight with me." It could fight on its own and gave the Baal-Rog and gargoyles another enemy to deal with. Still, it could not cast magic or use psionics while wielded in the air. As her sword flew into the air, blue white psi-swords appeared in her right hand to replace her rune weapon. The swords of knights usually reflect their personality. Hers took on the appearance of Katanas. Fast and deadly with perfect balance. Parrying his claws with her magical shield, Megan swung her psi-sword straight into the guts of the demon. It howled in pain from her strike. Still, the blow form the demon had pushed Megan back several feet. If not for the enchantment on the armor which gave her supernatural strength, virtually the equal of the demon, she would have been knocked down and stunned. Luckily, her shield was enchanted to be indestructible, any normal shield would have shattered under the blow. At the same moment, Wind Spirit came in for a stroke and sliced deep into the creatures shoulder, knocking him off balance.

The fight went back and forth, the Demon scoring many times against Megan although the knight seemed to score almost three times as often. There was simply not enough space for the gargoyles to attack her as well and she stayed in close to the Baal-Rog for just this reason. They were destroying the village although at least most had evacuated. He tried to pin her with his much greater weight but found that she was incredibly strong for her size and was extremely quick. The Baal-Rog also was constantly harassed by the flying Rune Sword. Even though her enchanted armor protected her, the enchanted field was slowly being cut down. She was also severely bruised from his multiple hits even though they were stopped by her armor. It felt like she had been fighting for hours although it likely was only for a few minutes. Trying to parry his claws was like parrying a sledge hammer. The attacks constantly pushed her back and had knocked her down several times. Luckily, she had been able get back up fast enough that he could not pin her to the ground.

Even though the Demon could see the human warrior was weakening, he knew that she had the upper hand. The psychic blades had bit into his flesh over and over again and he was weakening as well. The enchanted protection around her armor felt like it had been built by a god and had not crumbled against his onslaught. The Wizard's shield had collapsed long before this. He had encountered few Rune Swords but this is one of the worst he had ever fought against. It could fight on its own and gave him an additional opponent to fight. He had to escape. He jumped up while flapping his strong wings. While damaged from the attacks of the hated blade, his wings were still functional. He would get revenge on this horrible knight, just not now.

Megan saw the Demon jump up into the sky, likely to try and escape. She could not allow it to terrorize and destroy another village. She leaped into the with the Demon, slashing with both psi-blades and her Rune Sword took the creature in the back. The Rune sword cut the creatures spine while one of her blades drove itself into the Baal-Rog's heart. The creature collapsed. It was dead, two Gargoyles to go.

Even though already winded from fighting the Baal-Rog, Megan attacked the first of the Gargoyles. The fight was in the air with her using the flight ability of the armor. It went back and forth with the enchanted force field around her armor dropping suddenly. She managed to bring it back up but not before the Gargoyle managed to get in a couple of blows directly at her armor. The creature was extremely strong and was able to score deep damage against her armor. Still, she was trading blow for blow against the Gargoyle and was actually doing better than she had against the Baal-Rog. Wind Spirit was keeping the other Gargoyle busy and Megan was able to concentrate against a single Gargoyle. She was able to finally get a few telling blows and the monster dropped from the sky.

She was half expecting the final Gargoyle to attempt to make an attempt to escape but instead it decided to attack her. It had a feral look and likely had gone into battle madness. She wondered if the two Gargoyles might be brothers. By this time, she was virtually completely exhausted while the Gargoyle was almost fresh compared to her. The bruises for the Baal-Rog and the other Gargoyle were beginning to tell as well. As it came charging in, she made a slashing attack with both swords against his chest while Wing Spirit plunged into his back. They were deep blows but not enough to disable the creature. The Gargoyle clawed back at her. Megan was usually able to parry but quite frequently a blow still managed to land on her. Slowly, she began getting good blows into the creature although she knew she was weakening quickly. Finally, a final blow and the creature went down. As a final action, the creature grabbed at her and the knight and the gargoyle fell together.

The creature's fall took her by surprise. The great weight of the Gargoyle fell directly on her, pinning her to the ground. She just could not get enough leverage to stand up. It felt like the fall of the creature might have cracked several ribs but otherwise, she felt intact. She was amazed that her armor had held up for the battle.

Megan look out and watched as the body of the final Gargoyles was pulled off of her. The villagers who had stayed in their houses had hitched up several cows and had pulled the Gargoyle's corpse from her. She stood up. Her ribs hurt from the impact but she found she could move. The armor which Thoth had given her was riven and crushed. Still, the enchanted armor healed itself and eventually would be fully repaired. Her rune sword flew right into her hand. She could feel a tingle as the blade began healing her. As her breath returned, it hurt less and less. Megan thought she had never felt this exhausted and fell like she was about to collapse. She pulled her helmet off with her left hand and looked at the villagers. She had won. Now, she would have to head back to the wrecked village and begin the burials.

[ Rifts® is a registered trademark owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc.]

By Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2005, Kitsune. All rights reserved.