Enjoy this story about the Kraviks, our featured race from the world of Entyl, the MMORPG I’m helping to develop. Please let me know what you think of the story.
The sound of metal crunching into stone echoed through the darkness of the mines. Grunts of exertion punctuated the cascade of sound, swinging around the creak of wheel barrows. Occasionally, a pool of light from a mage globe provided an oasis from the oppressive atmosphere, yet the darkness seemed all the thicker for those rare shelters.
Graxx tightened his grip on the pickax before slamming the tool into the wall of earth before him with an excited grunt. Dirt sprayed in all directions as he continued his unrelenting assault. Next to him, Shak shoveled the debris into the wheel barrows lined up nearby. Down the line, other Kraviks hauled the dirt, stone, and metal out of the mines. Armored humans stood next to the massive wagons that were being loaded up by yet more of the large reptilian slaves.
A spark glinted bright in the darkness as the pickax slammed into a vein of akkinite. The spark caught on the vein, disappearing for a moment before erupting in a line that pierced the darkness and shook the mines. Graxx grinned broadly, fangs glinting in the sparkling light as the mine grew brighter with each passing moment.
Dirt and stone began to cascade down from the roughly hewn ceiling, bouncing off Graxx’s leathery skin. Absently reaching up to brush the dirt away, the large Kravik kept his attention on the vein that continued to push its way free of the earth all along the wall. The vein had to run at least a good fifty feet and was at least a hand wide. Magelight shimmered for the entirety of the vein, muted at some points due to the dirt, yet for the most part the metal had shaken free.
The large Kravik reached for the metal, one clawed hand resting on the all too warm surface before pulling back. He’d long known he’d had the Touch of Harr. It was always he who found the veins of akkinite. Always he who resonated with the strange metal that had the humans falling over themselves in glee.
Shaking his head, Graxx removed his hand from the metal and watched as the glow began to fade. The humans would be here soon. They too could feel when the metal was found, the mages always joining the soldiers when they came to pull the large deposits from the earth.
Looking around, Graxx caught the attention of his fellow miners, then shook his head towards the exit. Grunts of acknowledgement followed behind him as he cleared the mines just as the first human mage came hurrying over, a trio of mage globes floating behind him. Other humans followed behind. Armored soldiers. A variety of other mages, as well as the workers to actually pull the metal free and take it to the Capital. All the akkinite went to the Capital.
Moments passed before a sharp scream echoed from the mines. Seems the humans found something else waiting for them in the darkness. Graxx’s lips pulled back into a bloodthirsty grin as he gathered the other miners, each of them laying hands on a pickax. Seems something was giving the humans a hard time. Most likely a group of barakar that had tunneled into the area. They were known to burst into the tunnels from time to time. The armored insects were carnivorous and enjoyed the taste of human flesh.
The chitin tasted surprising good with the right spices. It also had this pleasant crunch to it when roasted.
Moving back into the mines, Graxx guided the mixed force of kraviks and humans through the tunnels, following the heavy scent of blood. And the screaming. That was a good indication of which way the humans had fled as well.
As they neared where the akkinite had been found, the chittering of the barakar finally made itself known over the moans and cries of the humans. The sudden silence of the cries and the increase in volume of the chittering boded ill for the mage and his companions.
Graxx stepped around the corner of the tunnels and spun the pickax in his hands before driving the blade into the head of a barakar that had reared up at his presence. A snarl erupted from him, echoed by the snarling as the kraviks and soldiers fell among the insects with wanton abandon. He could feel the Rage slipping over him, a red haze that demanded an answer and drew him deeper into that sweet, seductive song of battle.
Pickax slashing and smashing around him, Graxx waded into the skittereding barakar, smashing chitin with blade and claw. All around him, his companions slammed into the suddenly retreating insects. Several minutes passed in the mindless slaughter before the only barakar left moving in the tunnels were those twitching on the floor.
Ichor dripped from Graxx’s pickax and claws, oozed over his clothes, and dripped from his cheek. He struggled to pull back from the Rage, the push it aside, even as he looked for something else to destroy. To smash. His red gaze turned upon the few humans who had accompanied him to save the mage and companions. He took one shaky step towards the humans before stopping himself.
With a heavy roar, he slammed the pickax into the wall, embedding the blade in the earth. He turned around, sweeping his eyes over his fellow miners as each fought to master their own Rage. One of his fellows had to be restrained, pinned to the ground by a trio of others, but the rest seemed to take hold of themselves.
Grunting in satisfaction, he turned to search for the missing mage. Time to see how many survived and how many ended up in barakar bellies.