Avalon 3.3: part 3 of 6, Serpents of the Deep

Iddin-Addad stood on the beach and took a long whiff of salt air. “One day those hill will be covered with grass and trees. All they need is several thousand years for the wind and rain to leach out all the salt in the soil.”

“How do you figure?” Clicker asked.

“Easy. The Caspian Sea is shrinking. Once, it covered those little hills and deposited plenty of salt. Now, it is drying up, and the sea will continue to get smaller over the next some thousand years.”

“I like it,” Serpentelle said as she splashed her feet in the water. “I never got to see the water before in caspian sea 4the sunlight.”

“You are a hobgoblin now, no longer stuck in the dark,” Iddin told her for the thousandth time.

“I know, and I can’t wait to have a handful of little hobgoblins.”

“Not with me you don’t,” Iddin said as he looked down the beach in the direction they had to travel.

Serpentelle smiled at him even if he did not notice, before she turned to the imp. “How about with you, Clicker.” She bent down to kiss the imp’s gray, bald forehead and gave him a good view of her scantily clad body. Iddin noticed a little reddening underneath Clicker’s gray skin.

Clicker coughed when Serpentelle stood up straight again and looked once more at the sea. “We best keep moving on,” Clicker said.

“I don’t think we can,” Iddin responded. Nine riders, warriors by the look of them, were blocking their path.


The three witches floated in the air and let their eyes look all around the village, like they were calculating something. “Move village.” The one in the center spoke in the local tongue.

“We bring the three serpents of the deep,” the one on the left spoke. It was in a language unknown to the locals, but thanks to the translation gift of the Kairos, the travelers understood perfectly what the witch said.

“Serpents, come!” The one on the right shouted.

“Move village,” the center one repeated and the three witches flew off down the beach that the travelers had just come up.

“Congratulations Major,” Lockhart said. “We managed that whole exchange without you taking a potshot at one of the witches.”

Caspian sea 2“It was tempting,” Decker said. “Just to see what they were made out of.”

“Some kind of robotics,” Elder Stow reported what they already guessed.

“The serpents?” Katie got their attention and they followed her down to the sea which was already beginning to bubble with activity. Of course, it turned out there was only one serpent left, and it squealed when it saw the travelers, like it recognized them and did not want to be there. But it could not help itself. It was still bleeding from several bullet holes it received earlier in the day, but it dutifully began to reach for boats and nets, to tear them up.

“Allow me,” Elder Stow said, and he fired his weapon. The energy beam sliced perfectly through the neck, and like the last time, the head fell before the body joined it “Mercifully quick,” Elder Stow added even as Andovar and some thirty men armed with spears and bows came to the beach.

There were several moments of silence and dropped jaws before spontaneous joy erupted from the men on the beach. It was quickly joined by shouts and cheers from the people around the village. Boston took Roland’s hand and said they had to check on Alexis. The others and Andovar abruptly paused the celebration when they saw the witches returning. It was hard to tell on those unexpressive faces, but the travelers imagined the witches were not too happy

The witches moved again to the edge of the village and the center one spoke once more. “Move village”

“We bring the Giant of the Transvaak,” the one on the left said.

“Giant, come!” The one on the right shouted.

“You got a stun setting on that thing?” Lockhart asked.

Elder Stow fiddled with something on his weapon, but shook his head at the same time. “I don’t know about robots as you call them, or giants,” he said as the witches once again flew off down the beach to the south.

“We may have a wait,” Andovar said “The giant lives some distance from here.”

“Good to know,” Lincoln said

“How big?” Elder Stow asked.

“Which direction?” Major Decker asked.

“Hold up!” Katie yelled and pointed. There were twelve horses riding toward the village, eleven with riders, though one horse appeared to have two figures on it. Andovar quickly gathered his men into some semblance of a defensive formation, and they waited.caspian ponies

The riders were mostly women, as it turned out. One man and one of the women dismounted immediately on arrival. “Hey, Lockhart,” Iddin got that much out before he was surrounded by spears. The woman drew her sword. The other women appeared to have bows already strung and ready for battle.

“No, no,” Lockhart spoke quickly. “Andovar. That would be most unwise.”

There was serious tension in the air until they heard a squeak from the back of the horse that appeared to be wandering off down toward the beach.

“Help.” It was a pitiful sound.

“Get your paws off of me.” The response came in a woman’s strong voice.

Iddin rolled his eyes. “Clicker! Serpentelle!” he yelled and pointed at the small space in front of where he stood. The little ones appeared as out of nowhere. Clicker breathed. Serpentelle brushed off her little bit of clothes and remarked.

“Normally I don’t mind hands all over me, but you were preventing me from getting down.”

The men with the spears backed up. It was hard to say what was more frightening, the imp or the hobgoblin, or maybe the fact that this man just called them to appear out of thin air. Iddin signaled to the woman beside him and she lowered her sword. She turned to her troop and shouted, “Lower your weapons.”

“Borsi, put down the spears,” Andovar shouted as soon as he found his breath. The spears were lowered, but Iddin was already on another track.

“Hey, Katie. I brought some friends of yours.” The woman beside Iddin opened her mouth and her eyes, wide. She rushed to Katie and two of the women in the troop leapt from their horses and joined her. All three went to their knees.

“Elect,” the first woman said. “The second in all the world. Zoe is gracious to her humble servants.”

“Yeah.” Iddin was still speaking. “The Amazon seer said I was going to face a terrible monster and she sent help all the way from the Black Sea. They have been chasing me for weeks, and finally caught me just up the beach here. Say, where is Little Fire?”caspian village 2

“You? Facing a terrible monster? Hard to believe,” Lockhart said and Decker almost smiled.

“Here I am,” Boston said as she and Roland came back out of the house. “What’s up?”

“Iddin-Addad,” Lincoln pointed at the newcomer.

“Just Iddin,” Iddin said. “Addad is a reference to our family god, if you follow me. Nice guy, by the way. I met him.”

“Come on Alia.” Katie was already giving orders. “Let’s get your horses rubbed down and put up for the night.”

“Can someone explain what is happening?” Andovar shouted to the sky. Lincoln and Lockhart decided to try to explain the inexplicable.

Boston and Roland came close and Serpentelle became very animated. “An elf. A light elf Well, well. I could have fun with this one”

Boston grabbed Roland’s hand. “Not a chance. He is taken.” The fire danced in her eyes.

“I don’t traffic much with hobgoblins,” Roland said, honestly.

“I could show you how,” Serpentelle batted her eyes and wiggled her fine figure in an enticing way.

Boston found the fire down in the palms of her hands and Roland had to let go quickly to keep from being burned.

“Hold it” Iddin bravely stepped between the women. “Boston. You have no claim until you and Roland make a decision.” That stopped Boston cold and she looked at Roland, but he deliberately kept his eyes on the Kairos whom he hoped was not finished speaking “And Serpentelle. You keep your wiggles to yourself. You can practice on Clicker, but that is it.” Serpentelle pouted.

“Incoming,” Major Decker interrupted everyone. At least he was still keeping watch.

“He is bigger than I thought.”  Elder Stow shook his head again.

The giant began to throw stones into the village that were more nearly the size of small boulders.

Avalon 3.3 Fireworks, part 1 of 6

After 3029 BC, around the Caspian Sea. Kairos lifetime 36: Iddin-Addad

Recording …

Every time Iddin-Addad reached the top of a hill, he expected to see the shoreline of the Caspian Sea stretched out in front of him in blue and deep glory. Instead, he found there was yet one more hill. “There is always another hill to climb,” he said out loud, and then scolded his tongue for mouthing the cliché.

“We are almost there,” Clicker the imp said. He always said it with the same cheery voice, and Iddin thought if he said it one more time, he might hit the imp.

Serpentelle, the hobgoblin laughed. She always laughed when the imp said it, and licked her lips with Caspian hills 2her forked tongue. Iddin thought he might have to do something about these two and their obsessive, compulsive disorders.

Iddin stopped and looked back. Whoever that group was that was following, they were still following.


“Over here,” Roland yelled. “This one is alive.”

Boston raced up and dismounted before her horse stopped moving. She rushed to Roland’s side, but said nothing as she looked. Alexis was moments behind. She arrived as the man began to moan and mumble.

“Three witches,” the man said. “No escape. Three witches.” He fell back into a semi-conscious state as Alexis came up and began to lay on hands to heal the man’s obvious wounds.

Lincoln and Lockhart rode up more slowly. They each had a string of ponies that trailed out behind their stallions. Three of the ponies had dead bodies of men carefully draped over the backs and tied underneath with old fishing net to keep them from falling off.

“Did he say anything?” Lockhart asked. He was searching for some idea of what they might be up against.

caspian 1“He said something about three witches,” Boston responded. Lincoln quickly looked around. That did not sound good.

“We must be getting near the Kairos.” Lockhart tried not to grin.

“How do you figure?” Lincoln asked without moving his eyes from the horizon, what he could see of it over the hills.

“Dead bodies and witches. What could be more Kairos than that?”

Lincoln gave Lockhart a foul look, as Katie came up leading another pony. “That makes seven ponies,” she said. “But we only found four men.” She craned her neck to see what she could. “How is he?”

“He’ll live,” Alexis stood. “But I have no doubt he has a concussion and maybe some internal bleeding around the brain. He had a terrible gash there.” Alexis looked at the arrangement. “Katie, would you take Lincoln’s string of horses? I want to tie the pony you found to the back of Benjamin’s horse so we can put our wounded one on it. I want to keep an eye on him.” Katie nodded, and she and Lincoln got down to make that arrangement.

Major Decker and Elder Stow came in last and the Elder reported. “The scanner doesn’t pick up any more bodies.” He looked up. “Flesh and blood bodies.”

Caspian pony“There is a village not too far north along the shore,” Decker said with one more look around. “But this is a pretty desolate area.” The rises in the ground they had been traveling over were full of rocks. The horses had to tread carefully. Even the shoreline of the Caspian Sea was rocky, though those stones were rounded from the sea and the tides. “No place to hide a body here,” he concluded. There were trees here and there and some grass and bushes between the rocks, but that was it.

Lincoln got up on his horse to keep the horse steady while they got the wounded man up on the pony. They draped the man’s arms around the neck of the pony and Alexis and Roland did some magic to keep him glued there. Lincoln would not be able to move fast in any case because of the man’s wounds and head trauma, but at least they would not have to worry about the man falling off.

Roland and Boston prepared to take the point, as usual. They had seen two villages in the morning, likely fishing villages, but both were deserted. There were signs of violence, like the people were driven out in a hurry, but at least they found no bodies until now.

Lincoln and Alexis took the middle, and Alexis paralleled the pony with the wounded man. Decker and Elder Stow switched their normal sides so Decker could watch the inland flank while Elder Stow floated over the sea. Katie and Lockhart took rear guard position, still wary of what might be following them, though presently, two strings of ponies with three dead men, trailed out behind. The ponies at least seemed to be obedient animals and had not bucked much since being tied in a line.

“We ready?” Lockhart asked with a quick look around at the nods. “Wagons ho!” He waved his hand forward and spoke in a funny voice before he turned to Katie. “I always wanted to do John Wayne.”

“That wasn’t anything like John Wayne,” she scoffed. “He was a movie actor, right?”

Lockhart was astounded before he said, “We have some generational issues I see.”

“Great Gobs of Puss!” Elder Stow swore. He had not done that before. Everyone looked as three giant serpent heads rose out of the shallows. The center one snapped at the Elder and could have swallowed him in one bite. Elder Stow raced to the shore as Decker came riding up, blazing away with his rifle.Caspian serpent

Everyone kicked their horses into high gear as Katie got out her rifle and began to fire. One snake head lunged for Alexis, but Lockhart blasted it with both barrels of his shotgun and it swerved off.

Decker and Harper put enough holes in the one on the end, it began to jerk from the concussions before it collapsed to the beach behind them. They turned on the one out front that made a snap at Alexis. Elder Stow had his sonic device out, but the sound made no difference to the snakes. He fumbled for his weapon, but before he drew it, the center snake grabbed the pony on the end of Lockhart’s string. The serpent easily lifted the pony and began to lift the whole string of ponies.

Katie dropped her rifle and grabbed her knife. She got up on her horse’s back and leapt straight toward that terrible mouth. She cut the lead and the snake head snapped back, the screaming pony in its jaw. It began to submerge.

Elder Stow had his weapon by then, but he dared not fire on the snake with the pony for fear of hitting Katie. Decker was riddling the other even as it made a try for the pony with the wounded man. Elder Stow turned and made short work of the beast when his weapon sliced through the neck. The head fell and landed inches from Alexis. Then the body fell, mostly in the sea.

There was pandemonium as the travelers struggled to restore order to their animals and the trailing ponies. Katie was banged up when she fell, but all right. The second to back pony on Lockhart’s string broke its leg when it fell. It had a body tied to it so they had to transfer the body to one of the unburdened ponies they had. They took it and tied it at the end of Lockhart’s string so he and Katie now had two each rather than three ponies trailing behind. Lockhart shot the poor pony with the broken leg, and Decker came up to Elder Stow with an observation.

“Now we can guess where the other three bodies went.”


Please forgive my haphazardness in posting these episodes.  I am 70,000 words into a book.  I’ve been writing for the past twelve days like a madman, and losing track of day and night, and things like posts.  Episode 3.3 of the Avalon season 3 will cover six posts.  M, T and W of this week, and again, M, T, and W of next week.  If I lose track and miss a posting.  Bear with me.  I will get it up on the net.as soon as my brain starts functioning outside my current story mode.  Thanks, and enjoy the episode.

— Michael.