The Fate of The Fist
“Get the exemplar.” The Sand Sage waited in silence. He waved a hand over the pool of quicksilver as the unfolding scene coalesced in the still mercury. The coffee colored mage was visibly distraught and the quick acolyte of Lady Luck stared with mouth agape. Everyone in the room thought the ogre-kin didn’t stand a chance. Except the ogre-kin. He thought he was king and then succumbed to his wombs. The Sand Sage sighed in relief. At least the air elementalist was still alive.
The slaves standing by the archaeologist were cringing in horror when Her Grace arrived.
“So the big one bought the boat ride first? What is going on with his arms? Metal huh. Now that IS interesting.” Khymrasa purred. Since the word was spread about her treachery involving the Pharaohs of Ascension she has been on the run. He was forced to flee Osirion with her. Guilt by association. But they still have a modest amount of wealth. And contacts. “Contact Djal. He’ll certainly be interested in this.” And he’ll pay well.
“Ha ha ha ha!” bellowed the fat trader. “Mustafa is mine now! Honey!” With tears streaming from behind her hijab, Shepsit let a moan escape, then cried out as the meaty flat of her husband’s palm connects with her cheek with a smack, knocking aside the khimār covering her face. When she tried to replace the scarf, Djal grabbed it and pulled it from her head.
“Whore! You try to play modest with me! When you spread your legs for every two bit cretin who would degrade himself to lose himself between your fat hairy thighs!” He emphasized the last word with another slap, sending Shepsit sprawling to the ground.
“Ahmid, have Rahman set up a meeting with my fellows.”
As it turns out, Djal Awi didn’t have the right contacts in Sothis to pull off what he intended, but his associate in Katapesh certainly did. The Jackal has ways to get ahold of services even The Pactmaster’s sometimes cannot procure. So he contacted Madame Fajr to make the arrangements.
It took a month, but he finally was able make arrangements to have a sample of the body returned and to find a mage of enough power to cast the required spell. And a powerful entity indeed. It isn’t everyday that a mere merchant, even one as power as Djal, can claim to have met with masked figure who may be a god. But it seems even gods need gold sometimes, and at this very moment, masked priests were loading the dozens of crates of gold, rubies, and magical items to be teleported up north to the country or Razmiran.
The gladiator stood passively as he stared at the skull in the eerie moon over head. Staying in place for the days and weeks awaiting judgement has made the fighter bored and restless. He contemplated starting a fight with a tougher looking soul when he heard a whisper in his ear.
“Would you like to come back to your old life of excitement and adventure? Your companions are waiting for your return and are in need of The Fist!”
Mustafa slowly rotated his head right and left, but saw nothing.
“Just nod your head and you can have your old life back. Think of it. The women of Katapesh will once again swoon in your presence. The men will cower in fear. And all because The Fist is back!”
The gladiator nodded his head. The Mother of Souls grimaced as she watched the giant of a man wink out of her Boneyard.
“Aagh!” Mustafa screamed as his form coalesced. He barely had time to register his surroundings when he felt the manacles clamp around his wrists. His wrists! Tears welled up in his eyes as he recognized a sensation he had not felt as anything other than phantom pain for over a year. Then his resolve took over as anger filled his heart. He blinked away the tears and his eyes focused on a fat mustachioed Garundi. The fat smiling man.
“Ah Mustafa,” laughed the Garundi. “We finally meet at last. You made it easy. Expensive yes, but easy for me to gain control of you when you died.”
Mustafa tried to place the man. His confusion must have been apparent to the Garund.
“No,” the man said. The laughter stopping. “You don’t know me but I know you.” Mustafa blinked again.
“Think real hard. know it is tough for one such as yourself. But try. Here, let me jog your memory. Ahmid! Fetch the reminder.” A swarthy servant bows and backs out of sight. Mustafa heard an agaonizing wail before ee reappears a moment later with something bundled in his hands. The fat man snatched it from the servant, ripped off the wrapping, and holds out a bloody, flabby piece of meat over Mustafa’s supine body.
“Recognize this! DO YOU?”
Mustafa’s eyes tried to focus on the pendulating object. Is that a nipple? Then the fat man slapped the meat onto his chest. It oozed off his body onto the floor with a splot.
“Bring the bitch!” The servant bowed and shuffled backwards once more. This time he returned much sooner and trailing someone being led by a chain. She was hunched over, cradling her chest as blood poured out from the hole where her breast used to be. It was hard for him to recognize her. It had been a long time, and he never really took note of the many woman he satisfied himself with. Her nose and ears have been cut off. The stubs healed with ugly scars. One of her hands was missing. Oh wait, it is dangling from her neck. She walked with a limp. Then Mustafa recognized the beard and the balding pate.
“Shepsit,” he whispered. Then he raged. “You animal. You fiend. I curse you to the nine Hells and the hordes of the Abyss. When I…” His rant was cut short when a mailed fist cracked against his maxilla, knocking out several teeth and fracturing the bone. He struggled against the chains and tried to scream, but his broken mouth could only grunt as a madman wearing a toothed mask laughed over him.
“Yes, Shepsit. And I am her husband, Djal. You will inimately know my name when I am done with you. Khair. I do believe this man was short some arms when he died. Do you mind rectifying this for me?”
“The Rough Beast will enjoy his pain as much as I’ll enjoy inflicting it.” Without a pause the servant of Rovagug lifted his great ax and brought down onto Mustafa’s arm. Before Mustafa could register the pain, his other arm was hewn. He reflexively sat up, blood spraying from the stumps as he wailed. He futilely tried to kick off the chains binding his feet. Through the pain, he could smell Djal’s fetid breath as the fat man grabbed his head and forced it to look at the wreck of Shepsit. Her eyes made painful contact with Mustafa, then widened as the axe took her head.
“I’m done with the whore.” Djal whispered into Mustafa’s ear. His hot breath stinking spitting all over Mustafa’s neck. Suddenly, Mustafa felt a tickling on his stumps. Then a searing heat and flashes of light strobed the room and then his arms felt heavy. The pain was gone.
“Oh really, fat man.” Mustafa growled as he reached back with a metal fist and grabbed a hold of the fat man’s face, crushing with all of his strength. He slammed the man over his head, forward onto his lap. He used his other fist to smash the chains binding his feat as Djal screamed his agony. Mustafa kept hold of the man as some guards tried to swarm him. Mustafa used their master as a bludgeon against the crowd, his other arm smashing faces and skulls as they tried to flank the former gladiator. Bodies piled high around the warrior
Djal kept his screams going as his limbs broke over his servants and guards. Mustafa looked for the man in the toothed mask when he felt a flash of eldritch pain as an axe smashed him in the chest hard enough to send him reeling back. The man named Khair laughed as he circled around the warrior. Mustafa, looked at the writhing murderous merchant still in his grasp. He unceremoniously smashes Djal’s head against a pillar, sending the body into sickening convulsions as he fell to the floor twitching. Khair just laughed as the two combatants circled each other.
Khair shouted a prayer to Rovagug as Mustafa charged, striking the priest with a powerful blow. The cleric grunted, but returned with a swing from his axe, missing. But Mustafa felt the bite of something else behind him. He quickly turned to look only to see a translucent greataxe weaving in a battle pattern behind him. Mustafa smiled, then proceeded to unleash a flurry of blows against the priest, ignoring the second axe’s chops to his side.
As the priest collapsed in front of him, he saw a dark-skinned man haughtily standing with his arms crossed. The man had an amused look on his face. Mustafa screamed with rage and waded through the bodies and soldiers still trying to engage him.
Then he heard a whistle and saw a woman stroll into the chamber with two bird-like things in tow. She clicked her teeth and the chicken-things strutted around the room towards him as she looked at Mustafa and whispered. His world became very fuzzy when he heard the words “Strike a pose. Show me how mighty you are.”
For some reason, this seemed like the most logical request that Mustafa has ever heard. He backed away from the priest and flexed, then he raised his arms and crouched into his most impressive battle stance as the chicken-things strutted up and began to nip at his naked thighs. At the last second, he shook his head as he felt his legs grow heavy. He took a slow step. Then another.
His world went dark.