Battle of the Terries - Goodkind Meets Brooks
Some Extracts from The Pointy Bits of Truth
“My name is Rahllanon,” he announced quietly.
There was a long moment of stunned silence as the three listeners stared in speechless amazement. Rahllanon – the mysterious wanderer of the four lands, historian of the races (though he had no patience for weirdo cultural diversity,) philosopher and teacher, Seeker of Truth, woodsman, stonecarver and woodworker, chickenslayer and war wizard, emperor, dictator, tyrant and general, alchemist and herbalist, master archer, swordsman or martial artist, mathematician, speechwriter and tactical genius, dragontamer and garfriend, messiah of the Cult of Rahllanon, savant objectivist and all around knowledgeable scholar, blacksmith, cobbler and thatcher, writer and poet, proud carnivore and anthropomorphic goat, geographer, theologian, tailor, hunter, formula 1 racer, ornithologist, politician, milkman, and, some said, practitioner of the mystic arts. Rahllanon, the man who had been everywhere the Countless Barriers of Magical Plot Device failed. His name was familiar to the people of even the most isolated communities of the evil communist empire. Now he stood unexpectedly before the Ohmsfords, born followers, none of whom had ventured outside their valley home more than a handful of times in their lives.
Rahllanon’s face darkened with anger as nobody hastened to praise him. He’d come here to force one of these kids to leave behind the quiet and happy existence they had known for so many years, and lead him on a path of bloodshed, hatred and spite, and this was how they repaid him?
“What brings such a great beacon of moral clarity here?” Richard asked at last, sensing Rahllanon’s thing rising.
The tall man - taller than most, though some men were taller - looked sharply at him and uttered a deep, low chuckle that caught them all by surprise. He had found the one who would speak Truth.
“You Richard,” he murmured. “I came looking for you.”
Long moments passed as the brothers waited breathlessly in the shadows of the room, Michael shivering uncontrollably, Richard quivering with righteous anger. The night grew quiet around them, and they strained their ears for some indication of the creature’s position. Eventually, Richard worked up enough moral clarity to peer once more over the edge of the windowsill into the darkness beyond. By the time he ducked down again, the frightened Michael was ready to scramble for the nearest exit, but a hurried shake of Richard’s head assured him that the creature was gone. He hastened back from the window to the warmth of his bed, but caught himself halfway under the covers as he saw Richard begin to dress hurriedly in the darkness. He tried to speak, but Richard shot him a look with his raptor-like gaze. Immediately, Michael began pulling on his own clothes.
Whatever Richard had in mind, wherever he was going, Michael was determined to follow. When they were both dressed, Richard stood staring at his brother, his thing rising.
“I will never get to destroy that evil Chicken Bearer so long as I remain hidden in the Vale. I must get out tonight – now! Are you determined to follow me?”
Michael nodded emphatically and the strength of the awakened power exploded through Richard.
He could feel his jaw shatter like a crystal goblet on a stone floor when his boot came up under it. The impact of the blow lifted his brother into the air. His own teeth severed his tongue before they, too, shattered. He landed on his back, a good distance away, trying to scream through the gushing blood.
“It will not be said that my brother was a follower! What would that say of me? I have far too much moral clarity to allow my reputation to be ruined because you lack the strength and courage to rise up and take command of your own life! [...]”
“[...] besides, the more of us there are out there, the more ineffectual we will be, like a giant fighting centipede. And have you ever seen an effective two-legged creature?” he finished, pointing out the obvious.
In the darkness and gushing blood, Richard could not see his brother’s face, but he said something that sounded like ‘Thank you for showing me the Truth, Richard’, though with his teeth and jaw shattered, and most of his tongue severed, it might as easily have been ‘Get out of my room you deranged maniac!’ He hoped Michael wasn’t so consumed by his own deceptions as to say the latter. He was the kind of person who might use such an event to try banning boots.
Without another word, Richard picked up his small bundle of clothing from inside the closet and disappeared noiselessly into the pitch-black hallway that led into the kitchen.
Showing how stupid people were made him hungry.
At the peak of a particularly bleak rise, somewhat higher than the surrounding hillocks (which were high, but not quite as high,) Zeddicus Zeah found her sitting beneath a small twisted tree with long, gnarled branches that reminded him of willow roots. She was a young girl, very beautiful and obviously very much at home atop the strange looking man she was having sex with, seemingly oblivious to anyone who might be attracted by the sound of her ecstatic cries. He did not conceal his approach but moved straight to her side, smiling gently at her fresh ness and youth. She smiled back at him over her shoulder, and invited him to come join the fun, or else sit by the odd-shaped tree and she would see to him too.
The Prince of Zeah came to a halt several feet from her, but she quickly beckoned him closer. It was then that somewhere deep within him a small warning nerve twinged, some sixth sense not yet entranced by the hot sex tugged at him and demanded to know why this young girl should ask a complete stranger to have his way with her. There was no reason for this hesitation other than perhaps the innate distrust of the hunter has for all things out of place and time in nature, all this weirdo cultural diversity, but whatever the reason, it caused the highlander to pause. In that instant the lovers disappeared into vapour, leaving Zeddicus to face the strange looking tree on the barren rise.
For one second Zeddicus hesitated, unable to believe what had just occurred, his thing still risen. But the loose ground about his feet opened even as he paused, releasing a thick cluster of thick-gnarled barbed roots which wound themselves tightly about the young man’s ankles, holding him fast while other barbed roots searched for openings. Zeddicus stumbled over backwards trying to break free. For a moment he found his predicament to be ludicrous. But try as he might, he could not work free of those barbed roots. The strangeness of the situation increased almost immediately as he glanced up to see the strange root-limbed tree, previously immobile, approaching in a slow, languid motion. Thoroughly aroused now, Zeddicus dropped his pack and bow in one motion, unsheathing the ‘great sword’, realising the girl had been but an illusion to draw him within reach of the ominous tree.
He realised at once that the barbs contained some sort of rape-drug that was designed to put the plant’s victim to sleep, to render it helpless for easy disposition. Wildly, he fought the feeling seeping through his system, but soon dropped helplessly to his knees, knowing that the tree had won.
But amazingly, the rapist tree appeared to hesitate and then to inch slowly backward, coiling again in attack. Slow, heavy footsteps sounded behind the fallen prince, approaching cautiously. He could not turn his head to see who it was, and a deep bass voice warned him to stay motionless. The tree coiled expectantly to strike, but was then struck with shattering impact by his rescuer – a Gar. The strange thing was completely toppled by the blow.
Still heavily drugged from the barbs, Zeddicus felt the strong hands of his rescuer grip his shoulders roughly and force him to a prone position.
“Yuuu straaan guuurr duuumb. Yuuuu aaal moooos raaaaape byyy Naaammm buuuul treeee.”