Since the closure of Sisyphus’s portal and his banishment back into the darkness of the underworld the business of life on Eden has carried on as normal. As usual the warriors of Eden who always manage to find themselves united together while facing evil have dispersed in this time of peace.
However, the death of Sisyphus left many demons free of the underworld and unchecked.
After the death of Barnibus, Jinx had felt rather lost. He in fact barely knew where he was on his new home. He sat among the ruins of the castle where the battle had taken place for many days contemplating his next move. When a greater demon and few of its apparent minions crossed his path Jinx decided to make his next move. He would track and kill the demons.
Part I: On the Heels of Evil
The smells of sweat and fresh earth mingled in Jinx’s nostrils as he crouched in the low brush of an open plain in Isysia. He’d been hunting the greater demon and his minions for a few days now and had been waiting to strike until there were no civilians around to be hurt by the battle. Though here only a short time Jinx realized that he and others of his strength and skill were not always appreciated as heroes, but were often seen as dangerous demolition experts.
It appeared as though the greater demon knew some kind of incantation that made them appear human, but anyone with half a nose could smell their stink from a mile away. There were for of them gathered around a fire eating, and whatever it was stank of rot.
Jinx sat on his haunches about thirty yards away, down wind, and covered by fully leaved mid-summer brush. He hesitated for their numbers. If only he could distract and confuse them…then maybe he’d have a chance at singling one of the weaker ones out and killing it before the others knew what was happening. At the moment it appeared to be his only option if wanted to even the odds. He preferred a fair, one on one fight. However, he didn’t trust these beasts as far as he could spit.
He’d wait till dusk. The time when the crack between worlds was visible and with any luck the inevitable pull of the underworld would weaken the demon’s grasp on freedom.
Jinx over the course of some minutes sank into a more comfortable kneeling position as the demon's grew tired from their large meal, a meal that Jinx tried not to think about. Who knew what they'd eat. From the stench he'd assumed it was carrion, something they'd found.
As dusk grew into night Jinx began to get impaitent. The sun was just starting to dip past the horizon and the crack between worlds became visible to those who could truely see, and not just look. He was waiting for exactly the right moment, for the hour of magic when the light mysteriously lingered though the sun had faded.
Jinx quickly, but securely tied his hair back and unslung his spear. He moved slowly, but dilbertly into a crouching stance ready to strike as the sun sank. He could taste it in the air, those precious moments when this would and the otherworld mingled deliciously.
He singled out a demon who, acting the part of a human, went to releave himself in the brush some distance from the group. Jinx smirked, They make it all too easy... He leapt silently into the air and rapid fired several ki balls into the fire pit of the demons, then teleported and rushed the demon who'd wandered off.
Jinx hit the ground running zig zagging and threw his spear at the demon's chest. The lesser demon had looked up as the ki balls and exploded in the camp fire, the illusion wavering and his true face grimacing through as the spear flew nearly all the way through his chest, cracking ribs as it went. Jinx continued to charged the surely finished demon and smashed his forarm into its face knocking it finally to the ground.
He knew his biggest advantage was still the element of surprise. He quickly moved to the east side of the gathered demons and fired another ki volley at them, the teleported to the west side of the and fired another. He was burning some amount of energy but he had to keep them confused. The vollies impacted only seconds away from each other, making the apperance that enemies were attacking from all sides.
The greater demon, losing its illusary form, was impacted by hits from both directions. Jinx quickly jumped into the group, but was met by a direct punch to the face, bloodying his nose. He ignored the hit and returned the favor with a knee to the groing, dropping another of the lesser demons, for the moment. He turned to the third lesser and had to block a savage and untrained roundhouse. He brought an arm up to block, but was still knocked backwards. Jinx gritted his teeth, Maybe this wasn't the best plan...
Suddenly there was a beastly roar. Jinx and the two remaining smaller demons looked up to see the greater demon had dropped its human façade. It stood somewhere over six feet tall, with a grayish blue skin. Its limbs and torso rippled in muscle as it took a step forward knocking on of the lesser demons out of the way.
“Out of my way little brother…” it move to within inches of Jinx snarling and breathing in his face “…and you fool, what do you want? For that matter who are you that you think you can win this fight?”
Jinx just stood defiantly with his arms crossed almost looking away from the bulk of moist flesh hulking over him. “I am Jinx of Tat’su, wielder of the sacred light of the ancestors.”
“Oh so you’re the blue bastard that’s got the underworld’s panties in a bunch eh?”
Jinx turned to the demon, confronting him with his glowing eyes, “What do you mean, demon?”
“It doesn’t matter because you’re going to die tonight, right here, and I’m going to reap the benefits” Jinx began to speak again, to question further but the demon rushed forward knocking another one of the lesser demons out of the way in his wake. The demon threw several punches that Jinx blocked, the last of which Jinx blocked with a forearm. As the blow impacted it felt like his bone gave a little. Jinx flipped backwards while the demon stood gloating. This thing is serious…this one doesn’t have the feel of the others we fought at Pellonia…its something more
Jinx charged forward teleporting out of normal sight and slammed an elbow tackle directly into the demon’s chest. It made no attempt to block, counter, or move as the force of the attack seemed to do little more than pulsate through its frame and dissipate. Demon just laughed as Jinx once again retreated some distance, flabbergasted
Jinx leapt into the air forming two medium, but dense ki balls in each hand. He threw one at the demon from a distance and charged forward with the other still in hand. The first ki ball impacted the demon covering him in a cloud of vapor and dust. Jinx rushed forward and slammed the other ki ball into the demon’s head. The resulting explosion sent Jinx flying backwards, although he regained his balance and landed gracefully. Again the demon stood and laughed at Jinx’s attacks, none of which seemed to be having an effect on him.
About a month had passed since Jinx had tracked down and killed some of the remaining demons left over from Sysiphus' portal. Jinx had since wandered the Great Continent keeping a low profile. The final battle with Sysiphus and the following scermishes with the demons had left him drained, both in strength and spirit. The only real friend he'd made on Eden, Barnibus, had died in battle. As time wore on the realities of Jinx situation had become clear to him--he was alone on a foriegn planet with little hope of ever finding his way home. Jinx's preferance for the wilderness and farmland had caused him problems in several instances. The big cities had their share of strange beings, and Jinx didn't stick out terribly. Farm country, however, was another story. Habitated primarily by the pseudo-native humans Jinx was treated with a distant kindness, an oddity, and at worst a threat. He often took flight from what had appeared friendly communities to avoid conflict between himself and the locals.
Jinx also had to adjust to the money based economics of Eden. On his homeworld their had been no currency system. Although the larger cities had their share of high technology, major industry was limited to the government, currency was a concept retained to those few large metropoliton areas. Jinx had grown up on a remote tribal island. He found it difficult to find work as anything else but a minial laborer or as hired muscle. The latter always leaving a sour taste in his mouth. He'd earned a modest sum of money, he preferd hunting or gathering his own food and felt at home sleeping under the stars so his little savings went far.
Having wandered back to Isysia he'd purchased passage on a merchant ship bound for remote points in the cold northern ocean. He'd been collecting rumors and myths of a remote island inhabitated by only a small farming and fishing community. The island was supposed to be a kind of focus point for spiritual energy on Eden, and Jinx figured if anything else he might be able to harness this energy to find Barnibus or his home world.
He was two days out, wrapped in a newly purchased hooded cloak. It wrapped around him several times and snapped in place. Though used to wearing nothing but pants, Jinx was glad for the purchase. He had never experience such low tempatures anywhere before.
He paced the deck trying to keep warm. The crew was friendly enough, made up with some of the stranger beings of Eden, while even the human crew members were odd enough in their own fashion. The ship moved slowly today for a thick fog that had risen in the night.
((OOC: Anyone is welcome to jump in, my next post will be the landing on Big Pine Island...no particular plans yet. Feel welcome all))
Jinx had tried all night to sleep in down in the few and very small guest quaters the cargo ship offered. He simply could not used to it. He'd spent his share of time in caves on his homeworld, but this was insane. He felt he could barely breathe, but as exhausted as he was he quickly feel asleep until the hour just before day break we he snapped immediately from sleep. Tossing the thin blanket asside, his cloak still tightly wrapped around him he moved quickly from the room and above decks.
Once there the skeleton night crew were busy working away. Jinx thought their shift had to end soon. The waters were choppy, the wind blowing widly through his unchecked purple braids. He moved to the bow of the ship, a forsaken portion of the deck on such a morning as this. Once there an older sailor, probably in his fifties was smoking a briarwood pipe and swigging from a cresent metal container. He nodded to Jinx as he stoked his pipe, sending thick plumes upwards, quickly distroyed by the wind.
Jinx recalled seeing the sailor around decks. The sailor nodded kindly, and gruffed, "goodmornin". He closed the metal container and tossed it to Jinx. "have a swallow" he spat. Jinx eyed the metal container, opened it and took a medium swallow. The liquid had its own heat and warmed his gullet as it went down, reminding him much of a beverage distilled on his own island, though this stuff had its own distinct flavor. The two shared a comfortable silence as the ship charged forward in the clear morning, bucking on the the three foot whitecaps.
"Getting off at Big Pine I imagine?" the sailor asked.
"Yes. You happen to know anything about the island?"
"Grew up there, whatdya wanna know?"
Jinx chuckled, part outloud, part to himself.
The sailor laughed gruffly, "Ain't much to tell, small farming and fishing community. Make thier money from speciallity herbs, don't grow anyother place habitable on the whole planet. Forest there is supposed to be haunted by a tricky spirit, or I should say is haunted...can't say much myself...but I got lost there a few times as a boy. The forest is a wring around a high country at the middle of the island, ain't thicker than 6 miles at any point, but well...the forest has a way a' keeping you inside it if it wants you there."
Jinx just nodded and looked the old sailor in the eye. He just looked back as if he knew Jinx believed him due to his own experience with such matters.
"Don't speak much eh' boy? But you got a feelin' about you...like you been to outlands other planets and places a'fore...a look like you ain't terribly scared of no haunted forest."
Jinx chuckled again, he was beginning to like this old sailor. He had a cap tucked tight over his longish shaggy salt and pepper hair, his pipe burning from underneath, lighting his face slightly as he puffed. "Well, I've been a few places in my time I suppose"
The old sailor stood and slapped Jinx on the back several times, "Wanderings, woodoos, whiskey, work, women, and witchcraft eh?"
The land craft, strangely more modern than the ship itself, crashed through the the four foot waves as it motored slowly toward Big Pine Island. Many of the passangers were huddled in the corner, hanging on for dear life. To Jinx they appeared to be locals, probably farmers gone to sell the rare herbs in Isysia. He stood next to the old sailor, Rusty.
The farmers gazes continued in a circlular patern: hopefully towards land, grimacing toward the driving, and trying to figure out who or what Jinx was. Rusty had invited Jinx to join him at a pub named Montgomery's. This intrigued Jinx, a pub named after his old master on this planet. For Jinx, nothing was coincidence. It had been strange enough that he had suddenly had visions of Montgomery from the otherworld when he landed on this planet. Especially years after his death. Why now?
As Rusty gathered his gear and made some kind of arrangement with the captain of the landing vessel Jinx took in his surroundings. It was high noon and the sun had burned away the clouds. The air was still crisp, almost cold. The beach was all stones and some larger stones and even boulders. Children were playing all along the beach where a swath was cut into the forest and the farming community stretched for some miles. He could see the fields of subistance crops, but no herbs that Rusty spoke of. To his left Jinx saw a long arm of rocky land jutting out and curving around creating a calm pool were several young men were fishing and smoking pipes.
Jinx was taking in his surroundings when suddenly he heard the sound of feet marching in time. He turned to see a group of soldiers moving up the beach. Jinx quickly threw on his hood and stepping back, pushing Rusty back with his arm. All the soldiers were dressed in light armor and carried strange looking staff weapons Jinx didn't recognize. From behind them stepped a man dressed in black pants and a long navy coat. His hands look a bit large for a man of his stature, and he wore white gloves over them.
"My name is Anarshu, this territory of Big Pine is now under control of the Brotherhood of Steel. For this protection an initial fee will be paid by the village to the brotherhood, then a percentage of the annual profits from the farm yields."
The young men that had been fishing had come forward in time to here Anarshu's words and began to laugh and shout various vulgarities. One of the young locals, a large muscular man, stepped forward and spoke.
"We will never pay, why should we? No one threatens us here!"
Anarshu moved towards the group of young men who backed off a bit besides the well built one. "Well, young man, there might be trouble if you don't except our offer"
The young man spat, "Trouble this..." Throwing a well aimed punch directly for Anarshu's face and knocking him back, bloodying his lip. Anarshu stepped towards the man again taking a nother punch to the face. The man threw a third but, Anarshu caught the punch in a gloved hand. Suddenly there was a flash around Anarshu and his arm was covered in what appeared to be electricity. The young man was soon covered in the blue arcs, his flesh quickly began to smolder and fall away from his bones until there was nothing but ash.