STEAL SHADE VS SOUL-SHADOW
The smell of the crisp early morning
dew and freshly baked goods filled his nostrils, to his delight. Stealshade
walked through the market, observing the goods for sale there. The small town
was bustling with movement. Merchants bargained and sold, children played
and laughed and carts and horses moved down the street. Stealshade's long,
coal black hair gleamed in the sunlight. He smiled as two young children ran
past him, nearly sending him off balance. He wore simple black cloth pants
under his black robe, and sandals on his feet.
Over his shoulder rested the strap
that held his katana. Stopping at a fruit stand, Stealshade purchased a fresh
piece of fruit that he had never seen before. He tossed the merchant a coin
and continued about his way, munching on the tasty, juicy fruit. Nearing the
edge of town, Stealshade prepared to leave and move on elsewhere, when he
heard a scream. The fruit fell to the ground as he jogged over to see what
the commotion was. An old skinny man came running out of the forest at the
edge of town. His face was white with terror and his hands trembled.
Stealshade stood at a distance and
watched for a momentum. The old man frantically looked around behind him,
as if something might be following him. Already a crowd was gathering around
him. "D-d-demon," he spoke. "In the w-woods." The blacksmith looked at him
gripping his hammer in his hand, then bellowed in laughter. "Foolish old man,
a demon in the woods. Hahaha, get back to your tankard old man. Go about your
business everyone, pay this fool no mind!" Stealshade still watched. "No!
Believe me. I watched it get them..." he was now crying.
Stealshade moved forward with urgent
haste. He pushed past the crowd, his robes fluttering behind him, no longer
in his usual cheerful mood. He gripped the old man's skinny arm. "Get who?
What did it do to them?" he asked, his eyes pierced into the old man. "A c-c-caravan...
it ate their souls! Over there, in the woods!" he whispered coarsely. "He
moved like a shadow, a s-soulshadow..." Stealshade stood there, staring into
the man's eyes for a moment, as if he were probing the man's mind... Moving
the man aside, Stealshade unslung his katana from his shoulder, but kept it
The blacksmith bellowed again. "You
fool, it's obvious he's drunk. It's the ale talking!" With that, Stealshade
darted into the woods. Stealshade stopped dead in his tracks and dropped into
a crouch. Movement had just occurred in the tree above him, about thirty feet
up. Slowly, the ninja craned his neck upward. Nothing. Standing, he removed
his robe and sandals slowly, so he was just wearing his black cloth trousers.
He chose to wear no armor, like most ninja's, for it would hinder his movement.
Unsheathing his katana, he lightly placed the wooden sheath on the ground.
His blade was glowing a light blue, imbued with powerful magics. It would
glow a more potent tone when it tasted blood. He surveyed the area for a few
After a little while, he saw over
a hill the caravan the man spoke of. The wagon was tipped on its side, claw
marks ran the length of it. Men lay scattered and dead, some half eaten. The
horses too, were dead and seemed to be missing some flesh. A growling noise
made the hair on Stealshade's neck raise. Turning around, he noticed something
moving his way. Hoping he had not yet been noticed, Stealshade crouched low,
then leaped into the tree next to him like a jaguar. The creature moved like
an ape, hunched over. A cloak like cloth covered it's mouth and wrapped around
is neck, and it's eyes were glowing. The most distinguishing thing about it,
Stealshade noticed, was its hands. It only had three fingers. A thumb and
two index fingers. And unlike human's with elongated, jointed fingers, this
creature had only knuckles, and it's fingers were huge claws.
The creature moved down to the caravan.
Taking the cloth off from its face, it bent over one of the bodies. A slurping
noise came as it ate the dead. Stealshade couldn't handle it. Taking three
shirukens from his belt in his right hand, and his katana in his left, he
jumped from the tree. Before he even touched the ground, all three shirukens
found their mark in the creatures back. Stealshade touched down with soft
gracefulness. His motion didn't seem to stop. He used the momentum from his
fall to fuel his run. The creature stood and turned around, seeming not to
notice the projectiles buried in its back. It was caught by surprise as Stealshade's
blade flashed - once, twice, making huge lacerations in its side. The blade
was now glowing with a heavenly light and black blood poured from the thing's
The creature roared, and Stealshade
saw for the first time it's mouth. Rows of needle teeth layered its mouth.
"Demon, let me end your purge of madness." It seemed not to be listening,
for it charged at Stealshade full force. Bringing his katana up, the ninja
hoped to score a hit. Instead, the demon caught the blade in it's massive
clawed hand. Throwing the sword aside, it raised Stealshade into the air.
Using its claws like a trap, it stabbed the ninja's left shoulder into the
tree. Stealshade screamed as the razor claw entered his flesh. His eyes rolled
into the back of his head as he began to summon great powers. The demon too,
was summoning powers of his own.
Stealshade could feel his soul lifting
from his body. The ninja used his mind as a weapon, and summoning all the
energy possible, he released it in one huge burst. The creature went flying
backwards, crashing into a fallen tree. Stealshade felt his soul return to
his body as he slumped to the ground in pain. His left arm was rendered almost
useless, and pain stabbed through the length of it every time his heart beat.
The demon was almost on top of him already.
The ninja began to hurl shirukens
from his belt. One after another stuck into the creature, stabbing into his
chest, stomach, legs and arms. He knew he wasn't causing enough damage, so
he drew a small knife. With all the force in his good arm, Stealshade hurled
the knife. It imbedded deeply into the creatures eye. The demon didn't even
slow. Grabbing for his sword, Stealshade swiped once then ducked low. The
sword tasted blood once again, slicing the creatures ear off. It tripped over
Stealshade, landing heavily on the earth. Both human and demon took time to
stand, both tired and loosing too much blood. Stealshade moved forward, his
katana held in front of him.
The foul creature looked at him with
its one good eye, and snarled. The ninja swiped upwards, sending the demon's
arm into the air, leaving a small opening to its chest. Stealshade took this
opening. Slashing his katana across his opponents midsection, Stealshade felt
the blade cut through flesh, exoskeleton and bone.
It took the demon several moments
to realize he was going to die. Blood was everywhere, and there was a hint
of his yellow-gray entrails. Summoning his last bit of power, Stealshade raised
his hand and the demon flew backwards through the air. A sharp stick rammed
through the demon's head as it hit the ground. Stealshade closed his eyes
and grimaced at the crunching noise.
By: Calvin Cockell