King Slothervarkn and his ships waited on the river for the portal to open; the portal that would link their world to the place beyond Yiggrissil’s branches, where the monsters lay waiting to devour the worlds that were unprepared or undefended. Ahead of them a spark of light appeared, hovering in the air before it spiraled outwards to form the portal.
The young King lifted his head and braced himself as the water of the river began to move, pouring down the hungry throat of the portal and dragging the ships along with it. The men scrambled about the ships, needing no instruction to set the metal sails and to stoke the fire burning within its bowels. Within moments the lead ship was at the portal. It slid through the burning light, hung suspended and then pitched forward as it sailed off the edge of the world.
With a roar the metal sails at the side of the ship snapped out and the engine puffed and the ship righted itself just in time to escape the lunge of a fireworm as it writhed through air, desperate to reach their world through the portal and sate its deadly hunger. The ship banked and turned and Slothervarkn bellowed for them to attack. The men buried their spears, tips glowing from the coals inside, into the fireworm. It squealed and dropped for only a moment before it regained control of its body and continued on its path.
“Hooks!” shouted the king. Sharp grappling hooks, shot out from the ship and latched onto the fireworm.
The ship’s engines groaned and the lines became taut. The fireworm came to an abrupt halt as the ship dragged it back. It struggled violently causing men to curse and duck. Lines snapped but more hooks were quickly shot into the beast.
The King and his crew had just enough time to see the rest of the ships pitch safely through the portal without crashing into the fireworm, before said fireworm twisted around and barreled towards them. It slammed into the side of their ship and continued over it. The ship spun, while men grabbed frantically at handholds, and then righted itself as the fireworm continued to pull it.
Slothervarkn found his footing on the rolling ship and ran to the edge, gripping his glowing axe and jumped. One hand latched onto a rope and he slid down it to the fire worm below him. He landed on its back and rolled to his feet at its head and swung his axe repeatedly until the grotesque head flew free from its body. Then he turned and grabbed one of the ropes still attached to his ship just as the others were cut free. He hung there as the body of the fire worm fell into the abyss.
And then suddenly there were thousands of cries as creatures out of legend and nightmare flocked towards them. The Viking king surveyed them all and gave a vicious smile.
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