HammerheadThose who have witnessed the Hammerhead in battle see a new and powerful threat among the Stygian horde. A large creature of violence, its heavy tail is furnished with a wicked bladem, and its head is encased in metal as sharp and hard as the edge of an axe. Little do they know of the ancient ritual that delivers the Hammerhead into a life of tortured darkness. They might hate it less, but they would certainly pity it more if they knew the dreadful truth.
All Stygians have a deep fascination with the moon and the young Hammerheads are no different. The juveniles are raised in total darkness, deep in the brood chambers beneath the pyramids and ziggurats of the Stygians. They come of age with the shedding of their juvenile skin and the ritual is carried out under the light of the next full moon.
A Priestess presides over the ritual directing the Reapers who perform the actual deeds. The juveniles are brought up from the brood chambers when the moon is full and bright in the sky, and like all their kind they are bewitched by its ghostly luminescence. They are drawn out into the pale light, and like the newly-born they gaze up in awe at the distant light oblivious to the Reapers who come forward and bind them with cords of woven gold.
Pinned to the sand, the youngster cranes its head to look up at the moon. Then at a sibilant command from the Priestess, the Reaper’s approach. They slip their curving scythes into the pitiful creature’s sockets and cut out its eyes. Young as it is, the Hammerhead is very powerful and it roars in agony, straining against the ties that bind it. It struggles in vain and more Reapers descend upon it, hooking golden jewelry into its skin and fastening about its head a specially designed harness that encases the Hammerhead’s skull in gilded metal. The straps pass over its empty eye sockets and around its skull. Finally the creature’s tail is fitted with a vicious blade, and even as it screams in anguish it is dragged back down into the darkness. In all its life it has had its first and last glimpse of the blessed moon.
For the Hammerhead, the darkness is more complete than ever before and the memory of the moon torments its alien mind. It tries in vain to shake off the harness; it tries in vain to escape the pain that fills its skull; it can do neither. Madness claims the wretched creature and it begins to hammer its head against the stone.
The pain it inflicts upon itself means nothing to a Hammerhead; it only serves to remind them of the enchanting light that they can never forget. So they beat their heads against anything solid that stands before them as though attempting to break through the darkness that stands between them and the light. The madness of their animal minds will not release them from the task. There is no logic, no reason, only the pain as they try to break free of the relentless darkness.
© ? Target Games
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