The Bone Pit

📅 Published on June 3, 2023

“The Bone Pit”

Written by Corpse Child
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Rating: 10.00/10. From 1 vote.
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Roars and growls echo in the night sky from atop the peak. In its center, the two lycans lock each other in an unmerciful glare. They are both covered head to foot in lacerations. Both are exhausted, yet neither is willing to stop. One of them roars at the other, prompting them to return, doing the same.

They charge at each other once more, tackling one another, wrestling one another to the floor of the pit. One mounts the other and uses his massive jaws to rip the other apart. The opponent counters with a vicious swipe across the attacker’s face, opening a gash the size of the canyon which is overlooked by the peak. A crimson flood flows from his face as he staggers back, howling in pain. The opponent then bounds for his attacker, teeth and claws bared, primed for tearing his enemy’s jugular out.

Always the jugular, thinks Ghan as he witnesses the battle. He knows these two pups are both young, bloodthirsty and reckless, neither of them having seen real combat before now. Their movements are largely predictable. Ironic in a way, given their brutality. They focus solely on tearing their opponents apart instead of which areas in specific to target; which parts will kill them quicker or which ones won’t, forcing their opponent to suffer all the longer. But Ghan knew.

The battle rages on with one of the pups, the one who’d remained dominant thus far, now with his back to the ground and his opponent gnashing at his throat. With a rise and powerful downward thrust of his head, the pup succeeds in biting his opponent’s throat. The other howls and cries for mercy. He struggles beneath the weight of his aggressor, but to no effect, until finally, his body becomes limp.

The pup raises up and howls to the moon above, leering victorious over his fallen opponent. Those around the pit join in, creating a twisted choir of blood lust that saturates the night air. Had he not had the muzzle restricting him, Ghan would’ve grinned. The pup is so sure he’s invincible.

In the Bone Pit, none are “invincible”. 

The crowd around the pit parts away. From the opening gap steps the ringleader of this madness. A mortal man, not even a lycan, by the name of Daruka Greyhame. He steps forward, with his chiseled look of bemusement, and simply nods to the pup. Such was Daruka’s acknowledgement, a nod of approval and nothing more.

For just a moment, the eyes of he and Ghan meet. Ghan’s blood boils almost instantaneously. Faint, distant screams echo in his ears. Faces, familiar — yet in a way, indistinct — flash before his eyes. Daruka’s vulpine grin widens. An air of sickening delight washes across his face. Among the chorus of screams, Ghan can hear the distinct voice of the wretched man, chiding him, “This is all that lowly Jackal’s like you deserve.” 

Though their gaze met for only an instant, it was an eternity to Ghan, forcing him to relive every horrid instant of that day.

* * * * * *

“Ghan!” cried his beloved Rhea. He turned to find her and their pup running to him excitedly. Ghan outstretched his arms, smiling. The day had been strenuous in the woods, hunting, and so his family running to him was a natural balm, a gift from the beautiful Goddess, Gaia herself.

They came closer though and he found not welcome in their eyes, but rather terror. “Ghan!” she cried again, and this time, Ghan heard the tramping of hooves in the distance, growing ever closer to them. Braying horses rang through his ears, followed by the angered shouting of men. Rhea reached him, breathless.

“Rhea, what is it, has something happened?” Ghan asked.

“Th-The village… They… They’ve come to burn the village!” Ghan’s eyes grew. The hoofbeats got louder, closer. “We have to run!”

Ghan looked out to see the distant shapes of the horsemen galloping straight for them. Ghan pushed his frightened wife and child behind them and commanded them, “Go, run to the hillside and find a cave.”

“Wait, Ghan, you aren’t–”

“Go, Rhea!” he barked, eyeing her with dire urgency. He could see the desire to protest in her eyes but thankfully she decided against it and ran with their child. Soon, Rhea and the pup were out of sight, deep in the woods, and so Ghan turned to face the oncoming horsemen. Once they were upon him, they began to encircle him. Ghan made no motion.

The lead horseman then lifted the cover of his helmet, exposing the face of a younger man in years, younger than many other of his Lord’s commanders. “By decree of Lord Greyhame, this land is forbidden now to all lycans. As now a trespasser, you and all others will come with us to be relocated by Lord Daruka himself.”

Ghan frowned. “Trespasser? These are our lands. As per the treaty imparted by Kallah, we are–”

“No longer allowed on this land.” finished the young commander. Ghan looked around at the other men around him. Each of them were girded for battle. He was without weapon or shield. He had naught but his claws, teeth, and wit.

“Why?” he asked. “Why does he do this? I thought we were to coexist; lycans and mortals.”

“Lord Greyhame has declared you dogs to be a nuisance and a threat to his dominions. You are all filthy dogs,” He drew his sword, prompting his men to do the same. “Thus, you will be hunted as such.”

Ghan stepped backward, only to be met by the tip of a blade in his back. Ghan froze again. “Listen, we wish harm neither to you or Lord Greyhame.”

“And so you will come with us.”

“These are our lands. This is our home!”

“Not any longer.”

Ghan sprang for the first man, effectively knocking him from his mount and bounding for the next. He knew if he were to have any chance against these men, he would have to engage them on his own turf; the ground. He was successful in knocking two more men over before one managed to catch him across his eye with his blade.

His left eye was gone, shadowed in darkness. Blood ran freely from the gash. The same horseman used this opportunity to attack, using his steed’s powerful hooves to knock him back to the ground. The grounded men charged him then. One man rushed over to plunge his sword through his chest, and was rewarded for his efforts with a jaw strike to his throat. The man cried in pain and staggered backward.

Ghan was back to his feet but his lack of stamina and limited vision diminished his strength immensely. His legs shook, yet he still stood strong as he could. In seconds, two more of the men rushed him from behind. In a fluid motion, Ghan sent a savage claw across the men’s throats, tearing them wide open. Blood sprayed from their throats as a fountain, saturating, tainting the Earth below.

No sooner than those two had fallen dead that one of the still mounted horsemen charged forward. Ghan turned around just in time to see the rider’s mace before being bludgeoned in the face with it. His vision exploded and his balance abandoned him. On the ground, the horses proceeded to trample Ghan into the dirt. Their attack was ruthless and in less than three seconds, over half of his ribs were ground to dust.

One last stomp to his face sent Ghan into darkness. The last thing he would hear was, “Take this dog with the rest! This is what Jackals deserve!” 

* * * * * *

Daruka raises his hand, silencing the eager audience. The victorious lycan heaves his chest to the air and howls. “Well done, Jackal.” he declares. “You have proven yourself quite formidable, haven’t you?” The lycan doesn’t answer, opting instead to growl at Daruka. Daruka grins.

“Your Lord is speaking to you, you fucking dog!” bellows the guardsman. He strikes the young lycan across the ear for his insolence. He yelps in pain and the guardsman rears back for another swing when he is halted by his Lord’s hand. “Calm yourself now,” he says with a wolfish, dominant grin focused on the young lycan. “Do not blame him, for he is only a Jackal, yes?”

The crowd erupts with laughter. The lycan glares at Daruka. “You see, he has no dignity. He wasn’t raised as I or even you dogs are.” Ghan shifted against his restraints a bit. That pale verminous snake, with his deviant smile so smug, dares to use the name “dog” in vain as he does. To continue calling him a “Jackal”.

To be called a dog was one thing. It was a term of endearment in lycandom, at least in certain circles. Then to be called a “Bitch-heel” was to court one’s own imminent demise from the person you were foolish enough to direct the insult towards. But above even this, calling one a “Jackal”, is something you couldn’t walk back from. It was a curse among lycans to be named a “Jackal”. You see, a “Jackal” wasn’t even a dog. Wasn’t fit to lick the paws of a goddamned dog.

No, a Jackal was the equivalent of excrement in society. To be a Jackal meant one had to be a lowlife scum, devoting his days to merely thieving, brawling, murdering, all for the sake of gathering pilfered coin from whomever they could at the time. Jackals had no place to walk the same ground as other creatures, no place to breathe the same air, and certainly no place to sit inside a royal palace, on Earth or in the Elysium with Kallah herself.

The lycan growls at Daruka. “Now,” Daruka shouts, outstretching his hand to the gates. “For our next battle, our champion here will face one of the most considerable warriors from the village of Terrace.” The gate begins to open, light blinds Ghan momentarily. Provoked forward by the two armed men, Ghan stumbles forth. His legs feel unsteady, something he knew could be problematic, even against this young fool.

Stay light on the feet, he told himself. Continue to move, alleviating the need for balance. From the darkness emerged Ghan, and with him, so too did the crowd’s hysteria. “Ghan, lowly Jackal you are, as is your opponent! One of you shall be allowed to live. Who this will be is for you to decide in the Bone Pit.” Ghan looked from Daruka to his opponent again. The young lycan stared back coldly, growling.

Ghan stepped into the pit and Daruka with his men stepped back. Raising his hands to the night air above, Daruka declared, “Begin”, prompting the two lycans at his left to strike the gong with a powerful crash. Howls from the audience once more saturated the night sky above. The young lycan went on all fours and began to circle Ghan. The growls from the pup were heavy, venomous, telling him without telling him that his sole purpose was to tear Ghan limb from limb, to hell with honor or reason. The mark of a true Jackal, just like Ghan…

* * * * * *

The young woman fled for her life. Her eyes were trained solely forward. She knew she couldn’t dare look back. Ghan chased after her, horrid intent in his eyes.

She was beautiful, the most beautiful in all of Terrace, and as such, Ghan could not resist. He had spied her in the woods whilst out on a game hunt. He had just made meal out of a young, tender buck when he spotted her just off to his right.

Exhausted as he was, having spent better than the last four days on the hunt for food, with no home to return to or any person to aid him. As a Jackal, such was his way of life. Run through the wild until your body fails and slumber only when your body collapses, dreaming of being among honorable lycans in the court of Kallah.

She needed not to look back to know he was on her trail, either. The heavy impacts of her feet indicated just as clearly to her that he was gaining upon her. Each fall of his paws shook the ground beneath. Her pace appeared to keep herself just far enough ahead of him to keep from being snatched, at least so long as she kept moving.

In truth, of course, Ghan could have very easily overmatched her in terms of speed, claiming her, and could’ve been on his merry way, but then, where was the sport in that? No, Ghan was one to psychologically torment his chosen victims before physically doing so. He loved being able to work for his meal, and loved it more when it tried to fight back. It gave him the opportunity to show his strength. To prove why he should be feared. To prove to the world and to Kallah herself, why his name is to be whispered, throughout mankind and lycandom, with due respect and reverence.

Finally, he decided she’d gone far enough and bounded forth, grappling her and bringing her to the ground. Her flailing and screaming was nothing to Ghan as he mounted her. “Please!” she wailed, tears flooding her eyes.

Oh, how he loved to see them cry, to hear them beg. He rose to the air and blasted his most furious howl. She screamed again, with once again no one there to heed it. Ghan bared his teeth and used his claws to shred away the poor young woman’s milky white silk dress. The look of panic on the young girl’s face sent the Jackal’s heart quaking. She was his; his plaything, his victim, and there was no salvation for her now.

Once he’d stripped her nude, he howled while taking up her legs. “What are you doing?! Let me go! Let me–” She stopped, realizing exactly what was about to happen and began writhing and struggling harder than ever. “No! Please God, no, not this not–” Her pleas were cut short, replaced by cries of pain and pleas for mercy. Mercy that Ghan would not give her. No sooner than he had finished his appalling deed that he was startled at the sound of men shouting in the distance. Though he knew he could’ve easily taken down a handful of men on his own, he decided against chancing an encounter with a possibly considerably sized militia or even a battalion from Lord Daruka’s fortress itself. He swiftly fled from the forest, escaping, leaving the poor young girl to bleed, naked and bare, battered and violated, in the woods as but a mere piece of meat.

* * * * * *

“There is good in you, Ghan…” 

Her voice, the soothing, balmy voice of his beloved Rhea, echos distantly in his mind as a forgotten fragment from a time seemingly lost. A time when he could be happy. A time when his sins would no longer define his spirit.

Such matters little to him now, though. She was gone, as was his village, his home. Whatever life he had with morality and conscience, it was gone now. Now there was only cruelty again. Now there was only brutality. There was hate and wrath. There was only the Bone Pit.

The young lycan bounds forth from behind him. Ghan, though he can’t see the attack, can hear each sound made by the lycan and easily ducked out of the way, causing the lycan to land hard once more on all fours. Ghan lowers himself, not quite lowering to his haunches, but low enough to maneuver around the pit a tad easier.

His opponent is quick to rebound, leaping for a second assault from where he’d landed. Ghan’s dodging is far quicker this time and he uses this opportunity to spring for a counterattack, springing forth and grappling the young lycan. The lycan struggles vigorously, which strains Ghan to try and keep him down. Both lycans growl and bark at one another. Venom drips from the bared fangs of both of them.

Both dogs hate one another, despite being brethren. Lycan blood or not, neither would cease the violence until only one was left standing. The young lycan gnashes his jaws at Ghan, catching his muzzle with one of his fangs. Ghan yelps in pain, but still holds firm. Ghan retaliates by clamping his own jaws around the cub’s ears. The lycan’s screams and roars of agony momentarily drowns out the cheers of bloodlust from the crowd.

Ghan’s jaws tighten around the ear of the cub until it begins to tear, escalating his opponent’s screams to almost maddening heights. With a violent jerk, the ear is ripped clean from the lycan’s head. Ghan spews out the severed flesh and rears back to deliver another strike when he catches a swipe of the lycan’s claw across his snout, knocking him over.

Ghan lands on his stomach and the lycan proceeds to pounce him. He lands on his back and begins shoving his snout into the stone of the pit. Each strike both dulls his vision and numbs his muscles. Darkness begins creeping into the corners of Ghan’s vision.

The lycan shows no sign of relenting until he finally grows dissatisfied with this and decides to sink his own fangs into Ghan’s scalp. Ghan roars in agony. As this happens, the audience gathered round the pit roar and cheer, devouring every second of the carnage.

Daruka grins even wider at the sight of Ghan’s suffering. Just faintly, Ghan can make out the face of Lord Greyhame, seeing once again those eyes, eyes that watched before so gleefully as they do now as he was subjected to inhuman torture. Just faintly, the tastes of feces, of glowing embers, of scalding iron; all things he was forced to endure at the hands of this fiend, all come back to him. Finally, her anguished wails, her last words to him, assault him. ***

“Let her go!” Ghan bellowed, struggling against the hold of two armored centurion. Rhea stood opposite him, struggling against her own captors. In front of her, Lord Daruka Greyhame himself stood. With a dominant smile, he let out a hand to gently caress the face of the beautiful Rhea. Rhea snapped at his hand, coming dangerously close to taking away at least two of his fingers.

“Tsk Tsk Tsk, such a vicious little one you are, aren’t you?” he asks condescendingly. “Please, Lord Greyhame, let her alone, I beg you!” cried Ghan. Daruka scoffed. “Well if it isn’t the filthy Jackal himself!” He turned to face Ghan. “And tell me, just why

should I, hm?” Ghan’s struggling was halted by one of the guards twisting his arms, forcing him down to his knees. Daruka stooped down to meet eyes with his lycan prisoner. “Surely her life can’t have any meaning to you.” He leaned in closer to Ghan, widening his grin evermore, and asked, “Can it now?”

Ghan’s eyes betrayed him, silently confirming Daruka’s suspicions, that this she-wolf wasn’t merely some bitch-heel from Terrace, but in fact, his bitch-heel. Daruka couldn’t help but to chuckle at this. This was far too precious. His enemy and his bride, kneeling and begging on their knees before him.

How fitting for him.

“Please, Lord Greyhame, do with me what you will, but leave her out of this.”

“Oh, I think not, Jackal,” Daruka said. “No, you see, mercy to you would be to condone filth like you. All of you.” A swift fist rocked Ghan’s jaw sideways. Rhea screamed and flailed pathetically against the men.

“An eye for an eye!” shouted Daruka, sending a sharp kick into Ghan’s ribs. Ghan spat blood after that strike and his muscles instantly went limp. “Tooth for a tooth!” Another kick, this one straight into his jaw, causing him to accidentally crush his tongue between his teeth. Daruka sent one more heel-kick to Ghan’s face that knocked him, and by extension the guards restraining him, backwards into the wall.

“And a life for a life.” he declared while walking over to a dazed Ghan. Ghan saw his persecutor approaching, but possessed no strength at all in his limbs to move, even to attempt defending himself. Daruka snatched Ghan by his fur and brought him up to meet eye level with him once more.

“So again, I ask, Why in Hell should I grant either you or her any sort of mercy?” Choking and weak, Ghan replies, stuttering, “W-W-We were s-sup-posed to c-coexist!” Daruka chuckled deviously.

“Coexist?! How is that, hm? How do you call the murder of an innocent young woman, of my daughter, “Coexistence”, hm? How is it that we mortals coexist with the likes of you animals?”

Ghan had no answer for this, something Daruka noted with both excitement and fury. “I see, you have no words for yourself? No attempt to justify yourself?” He slapped Ghan, attempting unsuccessfully to provoke a response of some kind from him. “Not even an apology or an act of defiance.”

Throwing Ghan to the floor again, Daruka turned his attention back to Rhea. “As I thought, nothing but mere animals. If that’s what you are, all you are, then that will be how you and your kin shall be treated henceforth.” He turned then to his two men and motioned with his arms to bring Ghan back to his feet. They complied and after, they were motioned to bring him forward.

Facing one another, their eyes held together, tethered by fear and fear alone. Fear for their lives, fear for their people, for their young cub, and most importantly, fear for each other. All of this provoked such perversities in the mind of Lord Greyhame.

“Tell me, can a Jackal truly feel something as tender as love? Can you truly feel the weight of losing someone you love like that?”

Their eyes watered together.

“What, I wonder, would you do, Ghan, if I were to inflict such cruel treatment upon your beautiful bride here as you had my daughter, hm?”

“No!” shouted Ghan, who had begun struggling again. Daruka chuckled.

“Oh, so he speaks now!” he exclaimed.

“Don’t, I beg you! Please, I’m the one you want, not her!”

“She isn’t?” asked Daruka with a wolfish grin. “What about my daughter then? Was she who you wanted then?”

“Lord, I know what I’ve done is wrong–”

“Wrong?!” he shrieked. “Wrong” is the word to describe a small transgression. It’s wrong to steal from another. It’s wrong to harm another to pilfer their goods. It’s wrong to murder one’s brother. Wrongs can be forgiven. What you did, however, is nothing short of abominable.”

“You took my daughter, a beautiful, innocent woman, a future queen, having not even seen the age of sixteen yet, and you violated her brutally. She couldn’t even defend herself, nor could she even be helped. You forced yourself upon her and left her to her fate in the woods.”

Ghan saw Rhea’s eyes. Still fixed in horror, but now it wasn’t merely at the plight itself, but with her beloved husband. Could Ghan really have perpetrated such an egregious act as Daruka was claiming? Ghan had a wicked and twisted past, she knew this, but Daruka was right as well. This went far beyond the simple sins of a troubled life. The longer their eyes stayed entangled in one another, the more she realized her fear were true. Ghan truly was a monster.

But every monster can still be redeemed, if given only a touch of love to heal with. Daruka turned again to face Rhea. “I will ask one last time, Ghan, can you feel love and what it would be to lose it?” Ghan’s head sank.

“Y-Yes.” he muttered, defeated entirely.

“And how would that be? How can you prove to me that you love anything, especially her?” His hand raised to stroke Rhea’s cheek. Rhea was too stunned here to attempt resistance. Ghan looked up again and pathetically groaned to Daruka to spare her from his wrath.

“Oh, I don’t think so.” he replied. “In fact, I believe now that it is only fair that you are granted the same treatment as I with my daughter, seeing the one you love most, prized above all things, reduced to nothing but a bloody, broken husk, just as she was.” He waved to Rhea’s captors to carry her away into his bedchamber. Rhea kicked and wrestled frantically, but to no avail.

“Ghan!” she screamed. “There’s good in you! I love you!”

“Rhea!” he shouted, thrashing again against the centurion. “My love, I’m coming!” He turned to Daruka as he was leaving the room. “Daruka, don’t do this! She is innocent! Don’t punish her! I’m the one that should suffer, not her!”

“And suffer you will, Jackal, rest well assured.” Those were his last words before exiting the room, leaving him to the mercy of the centurion once again. That night, the castle was filled with the painful wailing of Rhea, echoing through the very brick of the walls. Eventually, everything was silent again.

This was when, for the first time, even since he was a cub himself, Ghan cried. His beloved now suffered because of his sins. Now, with the silent halls once more dominating the environment, Ghan knew he would never again see the beautiful face of Rhea in life. “There’s good in you, Ghan…” 


Something within him flares. A bonfire, incinerating in its magnitude, rises in Ghan’s chest, allowing a surge of strength to burst within him sufficient enough to rise once again and throw off his attacker. Ghan’s eyes bleed a red filter overcasting the entire Earth. All that occupies his mind is rage and determination.

Utilizing this and the surge in strength and power, Ghan leaps once more on top of his opponent. This time, instead of relying on restraint of his hands and feet, Ghan instead decided to simply sink his claws into the eyes of his opponents. Once sank deep into their skull, he decides to do it again except instead of simply leaving then. The opponent doesn’t cease struggling until he finally splits open his skull with his bare paws, killing him.

Just as before, Daruka nods, albeit reluctantly, and acknowledges that Ghan won the battle in the pit. Ghan stands breathless. The adrenaline slowly ebbs away, with his strength following suit. His legs shake again, forcing him to buckle under his weight.

“Ghan, you have earned your right to freedom, as was stipulated. Now depart and never return, either to Terrace or to these mountains.” Ghan’s head rose, fire blazing within his eyes. “No.” Silence sent a tidal wave across the crowd, leaving Daruka speechless. “What did you say to me, Jackal?”

“I. Said. No.” He takes a shaking step forward. “I’m not finished yet. My debts have been paid, but yours have not. Your hands are stained with the innocent blood of my wife and child.” Another step forward has him almost lose balance entirely. Daruka stands rigid, prone for attack. “Now, if a man is what you truly are, then I challenge you to duel me in the Bone Pit!” Daruka laughs. He can’t believe his ears.

This Jackal actually means to challenge him. He can barely stand, far less fight. It was almost cruel for him to duel him now.

Ghan straightens himself. “You laugh?” he asks. Daruka goes silent with this. “You intend to face me, Jackal? Are you so tired of your life?” He laughs again at the irony.

“My life may end, but by Kallah, so shall yours!” Daruka barked with laughter. “I see, so you’re delusional then!”

“And you’re a coward!”

“Me? The coward? And how is that, Jackal? You can barely stand, let alone fight? Tell me what I have to fear.”

“You have me to fear, “My Lord”. You fear the Jackals, you fear lycans, and thus you razed our land to cinders and slaughtered us. You could not control us, nor could you kill us then, and, sure as Hell, you cannot end us now!”

Daruka’s face reddens, his blood boils. No one has ever spoken to him like this, challenged him like this. None, human or lycan, have ever stood against him. None dared to. But here, now, there stood Ghan, a lowly Jackal, doing so without even the slightest hesitation or fear.

Ghan points to the crowd. “You see this?” Ghan says. “They know my words are true, Daruka.” looked to see a silent audience. “They can see the truth, and I know you can too. The rule of man ends tonight, here and now, and lycans will reclaim what was and has been rightfully ours!”

Two guards move to seize Ghan but are halted by their lord’s hand. “Stay your spears!” commands Daruka. “I will end this filth, and he shall serve as an example to all that oppose me!” He casts away his drapes and chest plate. “Bring the armory rack,” he says. Two centurion then bring an assorted rack of various weapons, ranging from iron forged axes, swords of solid, slick steel, serrated spears, bear claws, clubs and maces.

Both warriors approach the rack. Almost immediately, Daruka takes up the largest sword. Ghan doesn’t immediately choose, instead taking time to carefully evaluate his choice. He knew all too well that in his current state, he wasn’t going to be able to efficiently wield any of the swords or maces. He would have to choose something light, something small, designed for quick, fluid strikes.

Finally, his eyes fall upon just such a weapon in the form of the two sharpened fragments of elephant tusks. Perfect he told himself. It would require him to be a lot closer to his opponent for them to be effective, and they are nowhere near as durable as Daruka’s broadsword, but they are light and nimble, just as he is.

The warriors, wielding their weapons of choice, enter the Bone Pit and Daruka’s chief centurion declares “Begin!” As before, Ghan stands firm, despite the lack of strength in his legs. Daruka steps forward slowly, twirling his blade, showing off the different ways he knew to handle and maneuver it. This does nothing to phase Ghan or his focus.

Reaching within two or three feet of him, Daruka yells as his blade swings directly for Ghan’s head. Ghan skirts out of the way, and again from a second strike from the blade. Upon the third failed swing, Ghan sees an opening for Daruka’s abdomen and strikes. The ivory fragment flashes across his flesh, opening a gushing slit across his stomach. Ghan goes for another strike but he isn’t quite quick enough to catch Daruka by surprise a second time and receives a stiff boot to his face for his failure, sending him crashing to the ground.

Enraged, Daruka raises the sword high, ready to crush this feculent Jackal. With a mighty scream, he brings the heavy blade down. Ghan rolls away, but not before the blade slashes his right shoulder. Ghan struggles to recover his footing while Daruka screams and brings the blade around for another attempt at Ghan’s head. Ghan ducks just in time to miss the blade, but not quick enough to avoid Daruka’s boot again.

Ghan staggers back, dazed. His view of Daruka is clouded. Shaking his head, he dips to the side, avoiding another mighty swing at his head. Daruka brings the sword high again for a downward blow, opening himself open once again for an attack. Ghan seizes the opportunity, slashing him not once, but twice. Searing pain causes Daruka to drop his weapon, howling in pain and clutching his stomach. Without an instant wasted, Ghan rushes to attack. Swing after swing, he tears more and more flesh away. By his tenth blow, Daruka’s body is mauled and shredded.

In spite of this pain, Daruka proves to still be alert, catching his hand as it was coming down and snapping his arm at the elbow before using both hands and all of his strength to hurl Ghan to the floor of the pit. With another mighty scream of rage, Daruka attempts to bring his boot down to crush Ghan’s head. His strength rapidly depleting, Ghan raises one of his tusks,

impailing Daruka’s foot.

Daruka falls back, crashing down on his back, wailing in agony. Ghan attempts to rise to his feet. Neither his legs or arms possess any meaningful strength. His vision is little more than a giant cloud.

In spite of this, he manages to find his feet again and he staggers toward his fallen opponent. Daruka is moaning in pain, writhing on the ground in the center of the pit. “You…” says Ghan, leering over Daruka. “You have lost, Lord Greyhame…”

Daruka looks up to see the menacing Jackal before him. “Wh-who… Who are you?!” he cries in anguish.

“I… Am… Ghan!” He raises his tusk into the air. One stroke more and it was finished. Daruka’s reign would be no more, Terrace would once more be the heart of lycandom. This… Ends… Here! 

He howls to the moon above and declares, “Long live the Jackals!” The audience, who up to that very moment had remained in silence, now howl in both bloodlust and reverence alongside their triumphant brethren. The hour had come for the end of the age and rule of mankind.

In that very instant, Daruka, revealing a hidden dagger tucked in his tunic, springs upon Ghan, embedding it to the hilt into his chest. The handle sticks out just below Ghan’s heart. Ghan’s breath leaves him.

The audience abruptly goes silent once more. “No…” growls Daruka. “This is your end! This ends for you, and for every Jackal and dog that walks the Earth, plaguing the lives of everything holy on this world! I swear it!”

He withdraws the blade and Ghan falls to the ground. Daruka staggers, his knees threatening to buckle with each second they’re forced to maintain balance. Ghan gasps and wheezes. Blood flows a viscous scarlet river from his chest.

“Now, who is your Lord?” Daruka demands. He faces the speechless crowd. “Answer me, who?!” A small murmur passes throughout the crowd. Finally, one speaks up. “Long live the Jackals.”

Attention now shifts to the speaker, a lycan of middle age. “You say what, dog?” Daruka asks, agitated.

“Long live the Jackals.” He repeats louder. “Long live the Jackals.” Before long, the audience as a whole begins chanting that singular phrase.

“Long live the Jackals! Long live the Jackals! Long live the Jackals!” 

Daruka stands in disbelief. Despite it happening before his very eyes, he cannot believe this. He refuses to believe it. Ghan was dead; a dog lying in his own blood. How can they still defy him like this?

“Silence!” he commands. It’s no use. The audience, these “Dogs” of his, no longer call him master. Their spirit has been lifted above his oppression of them. Howling begins to erupt from the audience and several rise to their feet.

“Long live the Jackals!” cried them all one last time before they sprang upon the unsuspecting Lord and his centurion. The men are vastly outnumbered and horrifically outclassed by this onslaught of vicious lycans. In less than seconds, Daruka himself was punched upon and fed off of by a rabid lycan. The rest of the men have no prayer of escape or survival.

One by one, they’re torn apart in brutal and savage manners. One man has his head torn clean from his shoulders with but a single clamp of the lycan’s jaws, while another is drawn and quartered by four lycans at once. Fountains of blood, accompanied with screams, silhouetted against the pale light of the moon. It then stains the pit, painting it forever in dark crimson. At the holocaust’s conclusion, each and every lycan raises up to howl at the moon.

The night was theirs, the lycans, the Jackals, and it would be from then on. ***

“Awaken child” 

He stirs. His eyelids slowly open to see a bright, yet soft golden glow in front of him amidst an expanse of white. The voice is soft and welcoming, yet alien to him in every way. “Who’s there?” he asks.

“One who has watched you, Ghan.” 

“You know my name?”

“I do. I know all names of lycans. You, however, are not a name that can be forgotten, however; by me or any other.”

“What do you mean?”

“Your act of valor has earned you fame, Jackal. You have stood against a long-standing oppressor to lycandom, and you have shown that he can be felled by a lycan, even a lowly Jackal as yourself.” 

“I… I don’t understand. How have I stood against him? He bested me in battle, why would anyone–”

“Watch, my child…” 

A flash of light briefly blinds Ghan before shifting to show him a scene of the mountain, of the Bone Pit. All across the pit lay the bodies of armored men. And in the center, almost unrecognizable, lays their Lord, Daruka Greyhame. Lycan brethren stand proudly and howl around the carnage.

“Seeing Daruka brought down before you awakened a new drive in your lycan brethren. You have shown them, even in your own defeat, that the might of Daruka can be bested.” Ghan stands in awe. The voice is right. His death was no defeat, but an inspiration for the greatest victory. The Lord of men has fallen, and felled by the hands of lycans. And he knew it would stand this way until the end of days.

He turns again to the figure shrouded in a heavenly aura. “You still have not told me, who are you, really?” The aura dissipates and from it emerges a beautiful she-wolf, with bright golden fur across her naked body and wings protruding from her back.

“I am Kallah,” she says warmly.

“M-Mother of wolves…” stammers Ghan. “Can it really be?” Kallah smiles and reaches a hand to him.

“Come, dearest Ghan. Your life upon the Earth may have ended, but your destiny has only just begun.” He takes her hand and she pulls him into the golden light. ***

In the millennia since the fateful night in the Bone Pit, whispers continue to spread of the Jackal who bested the great Lord of men atop the mountain. Men that whisper of the Jackal do so in a cold shudder, while lycans do so in reverence. The name of Ghan has since gone down in legend in the land of Terrace as the Lord of the lycans, and the mountaintop, “Jackal’s Peak” as it’s since come to be known, would forever be his holy domain.

Rating: 10.00/10. From 1 vote.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

Written by Corpse Child
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Corpse Child

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