The following is a tale I wrote for the occasion. If you prefer, you can skip past it to the big news.
The boy slammed the heavy trapdoor above him, smacking his head with the metal chain in his haste. His vision, already blurred by tears,Â swam from the self-inflicted blow and he stumbled down the stairs onto the stone floor of the cellar.
He lay there a moment, panting, his breaths broken by sobs. In his ears he could still hear the screams of his mother and his sister; in his mind’s eye he saw his father cut to pieces by a dozen swords. In her last desperate act his mother had ordered him to flee to this place, the abandoned keep once held by his great-grandfather, who had been the Royal Guardian of the land a century before when the hordes first appeared.
The boy had slogged for miles through the marshes until his legs burned with exhaustion, certain his family’s murderers would set upon him at any moment.
After reaching the keep and finding its doors rusted shut, he had gone around the side and squeezed in through a narrow window. Inside, the keep was infested with birds and rodents. Still terrified the soldiers would find him, the boy recalled the trapdoor his father had shown him years before and, after searching in the dark for what seemed like hours but was likely mere moments, his hands found the rusted metal ring.
It was still late afternoon, and a few dim rays of light shone through a grate in the ceiling. There wasn’t much to see, the keep having been abandoned decades earlier–a few decayed wooden crates, some rusted, broken armor, long-empty wine casks.
But as the boy recovered his breath, he remembered his sister telling him a story about their great-grandfather; how he had kept a secret room full of treasure in the old keep–a trove that included the weapon of the greatest warrior of the hordes, whom their great-grandfather had slain in the Battle of Nevermoor. According to the legend, their great-grandfather had offered the weapon to the king, who told the Royal Guardian to keep it as a reward for his valor.
The boy’s mother had shushed his sister, saying it was just another old legend about a legendary man, but the boy–keenly observant even at that young age–had seen the troubled look that crossed his father’s face.
His mind happily seizing upon this distraction from recent horrors, the boy began searching the cellar, running his hands over the heavy blocks of stone that made up its walls. Despite his hopes, he was nonetheless shocked when he found a stone that came loose easily in his hands. Sliding it out, he peered into the rectangular hole–and gasped.
Against the back of the hole was a metal panel, into which was set a single rectangular button. It glowed a dim angry red in the cellar’s darkness. Spellbound, the boy reached out and pushed it.
A large portion of the wall slid back and away. The boy was temporarily blinded as ancient lights flickered to life. When his eyes adjusted, he saw a small room packed with crates, books, scrolls, and yes, even treasure–golden coins, goblets, and the sort of gem-encrusted ceremonial swords his late father had derisively called “wallhangers.”
Spiders had found their way into the room, coating it with wispy cobwebs, and some of the books had been eaten away by age and vermin. But as the boy’s eyes roamed the room, what caught his attention was the large iron case in the center. Something about the case drew him irresistibly toward it.
The case was black, and etched with strange runes he didn’t recognize. On its front was a massive lock, but curiously it was already undone, and the case was slightly ajar. It took no effort at all for the boy to grasp the top of the case and throw back the lid.
He knew right away what he was looking at: it was the weapon his great-grandfather had pried from the lifeless hands of its owner. Despite the decades of neglect, the weapon looked pristine, as if it had been forged that very day. Its strange black surface gleamed; its edges glittered wickedly, razor-sharp. The red eyes of the skull etched into its haft seemed to glow.
And then the boy knew. Here was the power he needed to avenge his family. Here was the power to punish not only those who had killed his family, but those who had directed them, those who had paid them, those who had supported them–and all those who had forgotten his family’s name.
Soon, they would remember. Now, he had the power.
He reached out his hand…
THE DREAD AXE OF DARKNESS
Text by Poe Ghostal, Art by MechaShiva
So a few days ago, I mentioned I had opened up a webstore, Poe Ghostal’s Points of Acquisition, and hinted there would be an exclusive item available at the store. Well, the time has come.
In conjunction with Spy Monkey Creations, I am very proud to offer you The Dread Axe of Darkness!
Cast in black plastic with silver edging on the blade and red in the eyes/mouth, the Dread Axe of Darkness color scheme is exclusive to Poe Ghostal’s Points of Acquisition.
Designed for your 7″ fantasy action figures, the first super-limited production run of this accessory will go on sale at 7pm ET next Monday, July 12. The axes will be $10 each plus shipping, with a limit of 2 axes per customer. International fans are welcome to order.
In case the axes sell out, I will offer a waiting list and Spy Monkey Creations and I will go into a second production run–with potentially more to come after that, depending on demand. Please help get the word out!
I’m very excited by this first foray into a PGPoA exclusive, and I want to thank SpyMagician and all the guys at Spy Monkey Creations for their hard work and patience!