There was a rush of darkness as the Void Servant phased back into reality after the shadow jump, his form slowly separating itself from the shadow of the table beside him. It would not take his pursuers long to catch up with him; he had bought himself some time to rest perhaps but no more than that, once the Hellions got a good read on your energy signature they would hound you to the ends of the Earth.

The midnight black sword with its pulsing turquoise gem set into the hilt hung heavily from the Servant's hand, his thin spidery fingers covered in thin black cloth clutching fervently at the bade of his service. Blood oozed from deep cuts and slashes that appeared as gaping white and red wounds in the Servant's dull black armor and his feathery wings drooped, the Servant himself barely able to stay standing. They had caught him off guard and hacked and slashed at him before he could get his guard up, warrior though he was he was no superman. Physical injury could still kill him even if his mind was shielded from most forms of assault.

The Servant's dark eyes reflected only fear in the moonlight that poured in from the window, he knew that the end was drawing close. He could feel them now, the hellions; already the air around him was growing warmer as the Servants of Fire drew closer. He folded his wings behind his back and allowed them to dissipate; the possibility for his fleeing had long since passed, now it was fight or die. It wouldn't be long now, he had never known a hellion which took its time with a kill; the Champion of the Flame selected his servants with care, choosing only those that burned bright and fast; hellions often led brilliant but short lives, such was the nature of the servants of flame. Great patience and sense of forethought had never been a requirement for the post and likely these hellions would be no different.

Void Servant, he had never asked for the title but he had had no choice in the matter, the Void had chosen him to serve and he had agreed to do so to spare another from the suffering he would endure. Such was always the way with Void Servants and he was an exceptional example of such; a veteran he had served for almost twenty years now in his role as the carrier of a Soul Reaver. But no longer, his time was up and he knew it. The black blade glinted in his hand; how many lives had been consumed either by its reaping of their souls or consumption in the service of its will? Surely the number was unfathomable, but this was the great cycle of things, and there was no changing it.

The smell of sulphur and charred flesh filled the air and in the distance three brilliant spots of fire appeared upon the horizon; most other servants would have taken more care not to be spotted but these were Hellions, servants of fire, reckless and impulsive through their thoughtlessness, agents of destruction and consumption. They too were part of the natural order, but the Servant of the Void's execution was tantamount to murder. It wouldn't be long now, their flaming wings would take them to their target long before they burned out.

He glanced down once more at the Soul Reaver clenched in his hand; it was a plain straight blade just under 80 centimeters in length, nothing was unique about it apart from its strange pitch black colour that seemed to swallow up all of the light around it. The pommel was plain, singularly functional apart from a heptagonal gem set into its center, glittering turquoise and violet with faint specs of starshine glimmering outwards from within. It was an unassuming thing of unimpressive thing, practical and devoid of decoration, and yet it managed to be impressive though its mere emptiness; though it had reaped many who had come before it, it managed to remain clean and untainted like the endless vacuum of the void. Tonight, it would serve him one last time, and then another Soul Reaver would reap him too.

The Hellions arrived, burning like hot coals as their mastery consumed everything around them in an immolating coat of flame which incinerating the immediate vicinity and raising the surrounding air temperature to uncomfortably warm levels. The Void Servant felt as though the very air in his lungs was scorching him, and he took a step backwards away from the Hellions which had perched themselves on the windowsills. A crown of flames was wreathed atop each of their heads and their crimson armor glowed with white-hot jets of flame that sparked outwards from their joints; their faces were hidden behind a mask that revealed only the eyes as glowing red flames, of all of the elementals the servants of fire were those most altered by their transformations under the service of the Champion of Fire.

They folded their wings away and stepped down into the room, more easy now that their prey was in sight; they were often impatient and hasty, but evidently not complete fools; the Champion must have selected some of his most senior Hellions for this hunt, younger Hellions would have rushed straight at him without a second thought.

The center Hellion, tallest of the bunch drew his blade and the other's followed suit, unsheathing pale red blades that were almost rose-coloured with glittering rubies studding the pommel; with another twitch of the wrists the Hellions set their blades aflame sending the temperature around them skyrocketing upwards. A stray sheet of old paper burst into flame as one of the Hellion's swords passed above it as they raised their blades into a ready stance. There would be no words, no negotiations, just killing.

Wearily the Servant forced himself to raise his arm up to prepare to fight, these were no unskilled opponents and they had already ambushed and injured him; there could only be one possible conclusion to this fight, still he intended to go down with a fight, no sense in giving up and dying without making any effort to alter his fate. They approached slowly, very disciplined and formal especially given that they were Hellions; they were leaving no room for error and inched towards him together as one solid wall of flame. He took a step forwards and lashed out at them experimentally, his blade leaving a trail of whispery black in its wake; the center Hellion batted his black sword aside without any visible reaction and lunged forwards in a counterstroke which the Void Servant deftly sidestepped and with a flick of his wrist the Void Servant sent his black sword hurdling up towards the left Hellion's throat, and this time it was his opponents turn to back away.

He was holding them back, for now; the Hellions were wary of approaching too closely together, the nature of the room prevented them from all being able to attack him at once since he had backed himself into a corner, and they had quickly discovered that he was an equal match to their skill with the blade. But if they waited and slowly drove at him one at a time in shifts they would tire him out and take him down eventually, he knew this and fought hard to free himself from the corner but could not, they were just too strong. For every step he tried to take forwards they pushed him three steps back and eventually he stopped trying. He knew though, that they would not try to finish him off in this manner; they were Hellions, and they did not use such tactics and measures, they were embodiments of fire and destruction and would behave as such and thus he was not surprised when five minutes after the Hellions had arrived and caught up to him he felt the ground beneath him ripple and break as a pillar of fire erupted from the earth and moved towards him with startling rapidity directed towards him by the efforts of one Hellion.

He lowered his sword arm and raised his arm upwards leveling it towards the pillar and pointing his index finger towards the column of fire which raced towards him, at the sight the other two Hellions which had been racing along behind the pillar scattered and moved aside; the Void Servant focused and drew in the necessary void particles focusing them in front of his finger, they quickly built into a sparking orb of deep purple and black before he let loose the void ray with devastating results. The purple-black beam scythed through the air with a terrible howling before it impacted the column of flame and exploded against it, nullifying its forward momentum before wrapping it in darkness and extinguishing it. The effort left the already tired Void Servant visibly weaker; sweat beaded along his brow and his breaths came in ragged pants. His Hellion counterpart was similarly affected but it mattered little; there were three of them and one of him, they could afford to tired themselves out if necessary.

The other two Hellions advanced forwards racing forwards, each step they took leaving behind a smoldering pit of fire until a trail of flames blazed along behind them. The reflections of the flames flickered like ghostly dancers across the midnight black carapace of the Void Servant, growing larger as the Hellions drew ever closer. The lead Hellion gestured and a wave of fire burst out from his hand swallowing the Void Servant in a blistering torrent while the second leap forward; its rose coloured blade coated in white hot fire.

There was a brief exchange of swordplay, the unwavering blackness of the Soul Reaver clashing against the burning white of the Hellion's sword from within the fire until seconds later the Reaver thrust upwards in a single lethal stroke through the body the Hellion impaling it upon the black spike which thrust skywards. The flames on the stricken Hellion's armor flickered once before they extinguished themselves and with an idle flick of his sword the Void Servant cast the already crumbling husk of the Hellion upon the ground, leaving nothing but his counterparts pale red sword which clattered loudly upon the concrete floor. The torrent of fire snapped shut from the lead Hellion's hand as his fellow crashed to the floor and shattered to pieces.

"Enough Void Servant, you die now." The Hellion's voice was low and raspy as though its throat had been scoured or damaged, but was still decidedly masculine. Its tone carried an unmistakable finality and even from just the way in which it held its own sword the Void Servant could tell that it was vastly more experienced than its brethren which he had just killed.

Armor still smoldering from the previous flames and covered in cuts and burns, the Void Servant was so blackened that he almost looked like a moving coal; every movement he made, however slight, was agonizing, it felt as though the flames had melted his hand to his sword. A wave of heat emanated from behind him and he saw that the lead Hellion's companion had finally caught up to them, they stood in the center of the old abandoned building now, the Servant in the center and a Hellion on either side of him blocking the path to the exits and windows. But for the pale moonlight and the smoldering of the Hellion's armor the inside of the building was pitch black, and the Servant felt the darkness slowly nursing his wounds; where it not for the fact that it was night he wouldn't even still be standing right now, the strength he drew from the darkness was the only reason he was still standing.

His two opponents raised their blistering hot blades and charged, a terrible hissing sounding from somewhere within their armor. Black on white, the blades danced until at last one of the two slipped through the Void Servant's guard slashing downwards across his chest burning through armor gristle and bone as though it were cleaving through water. He fell; the servant felt a strange emptiness as he sank towards the floor, it was as though he were watching everything happen from far away in slow motion. He lifted his hand upwards pointing at one of the Hellions, which one he could not say, his vision had become strangely clouded; the void ray burst outwards from his hand blasting away one of his opponents from the waist up even as his body thudded heavily to the floor. With what was left of his vision he made out a flickering white blade move methodically over his head, and then there was nothing but blackness.

...

The remaining Hellion, the leader and the tallest of them all sunk his blade downwards into the Void Servant's neck severing the spinal cord and trachea cleanly; the light faded from the other elemental's eyes and the servant of the void disintegrated into ashes and dust. Beside him that fool unwary partner of his met a similar fate, burning up into a flickering pile of ash and smoke leaving only his sword behind.

Clarignis, the only Hellion of the three to survive slowly walked over to each of his companions swords and collected them; he was going to have to find replacement masters for them, the champion would not be pleased. He shook his head, whatever Primumignis needed the Soul Reaver for, it had better damn well be important he thought. He carefully paced over towards the glittering black blade; would it allow him to pick it up? He already served under an element, there was a chance that it would destroy him if he touched it, he hesitated, an uncommon trait for one of his station, and finally came to the conclusion that he could either pick it up or stand here all night and do nothing. He gingerly picked it up and seeing that he wasn't disintegrating, opened up a Ring of Fire and stepped inside, disappearing in a flash of fire. It was time to report back.

Hell Hunds