Saturday, August 27, 2011

Character: Phaseshifter (Lictor)

Behwan sprinted through the forested region his tribe regularly hunted.  Four others were on this hunting party with him, fanned out to keep their prey in front of them.  He knew Dersim was to his left, about twenty meters away, and the others to the right, spaced similarly.  As he advanced, Behwan could hear the two thexiera stumbling through the trees ahead of them.  The big cats were native to the rocky regions, rarely coming into the forest.  Had he had time to think about it, Behwan would have wondered why these two had ventured this far into unfamiliar terrain, but the thrill of the hunt and the bounty it would provide overwhelmed him.

A shrill bird call rang out through the cooling evening air.  Behwan paused, and hefted his spear a little higher.  The hunt leader, Hewre, had just called for them to stop.  He could hear the sounds of the two thexiera growling just ahead.  Behwan bent low over a fallen tree, and tried to adjust his eyes to the moonlight coming through from the clearing where the cats had stopped.  When his vision could finally make out their shapes, he could see that they were both growling at the opposite end of the clearing while lowering themselves into a striking position.

Without warning, the smaller of the thexiera was rent in two, spilling it's entrails on the ground, and perishing before it could utter a sound.  The killer seemed to shift in and out of the visible spectrum while killing the second large cat with ease.  Behwan was horrified at the creatures’ ability to kill and camouflage itself, so he made to turn and run back to the village.  However, the war cry bellowed by the impetuous Awedan brought him back.  Seeing his fellow tribesman run to engage this new creature, Behwan hurdled the log he had been behind and echoed the war cry.  The other three members of the hunting party followed suit.

Not wanting to get in range of the monster’s massive talons, Awedan launched his spear.  All he managed to do was take a small chip out of the light green chitin that protected the beast.  Within seconds the monster had shifted next to Awedan and rendered him unrecognizable.  It then rounded on Bedlis, the fifth member of the hunting party.  While dispatching him, Behwan, Dersim, and Hewre fanned out to surround it, with the intent of keeping it at bay.  It turned and considered which of them would be the easiest target, ultimately attacking the smallish Dersim, using its scythe like blades to decapitate him.  Behwan and Hewre dove forward and both drove a spear into its flanks.  The deafening roar and the thrashing that followed caused them to lose their grip on the spears, and stumble back.

The wounded monster cut off its’ roar and stepped back to the edge of the clearing.  This was strange behavior for a creature that could have easily finished him and Hewre off.  Behwan nudged Hewre, thinking he and his tribesman might be able to use the apparent opening to escape, at least to warn someone.  The monster then seemed to blink out of existence.  Behwan froze along with Hewre.  The clearing was silent.  The remaining two hunters scanned then forest, but could find no trace of the beast that had killed three members of their tribe with ease.  After a few minutes of complete silence, Behwan turned to face Hewre.  Before he could speak, the monster leapt from concealment and pinned both tribesmen to the ground.

With a quick twitch, the hunters were silenced for good.

Phaseshifter is the main lictor scout for Hive Fleet Tizheruk, surviving a countless number of battles thanks to it's ability to shift the spectrums of light around itself, which can render it invisible to the naked eye.  It prefers to attack from concealment and will not reveal itself to it's prey unless it is ready to strike.

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