The Efreeti’s Scimitar

Not much is known about the efreeti. They are a subject of many myths and legends, yet it is difficult to know what is true and what is false.
The chase had gone on for many days and the efreeti’s wounds had weakened him. He was cornered like a trapped animal now, the city’s walls forming a wide “V” behind him and his attacker closed in before him.

“Think, Khashig, think,” he said to himself and when the answer filled Khashig’s mind, he relaxed completely and smiled.

“You meet your death with a smile; good,” said Valmeer, the one who hunted him. “I have pursued you for many days. Know that I will honor your memory by telling everyone how you died: like a coward. But at least, a happy coward.”

“You see my smile and think I die happy at your hand?” scoffed Khashig. “My smile is my own. I know what you will lose. It is of no consequence now, though.”

Khashig shrugged elaborately, grazing his shoulder against the coarse stone walls behind him.

Valmeer’s eyes narrowed as he continued his advance. “What are you talking about? Do not seek to delay the inevitable with your chatter,” Valmeer said.

And yet, he paused, his sword still pointed at Khashig’s chest.

Inwardly, Khashig knew he had won the moment and pressed his advantage. He closed his eyes, saying quietly, “I delay nothing. Go ahead.”

“Speak, gnoll!” Valmeer ordered through gritted teeth, pressing the tip of his weapon against his adversary’s chest.

“But I am not a gnoll,” relied Khashig softly. “You know what I am and what I can offer you. Still, I blame you not. It is you who delay now, enemy of mine.”

Valmeer’s eyes darted over his enemy, who stood almost serenely with his back against the walls.

He assessed the efreeti’s visible possessions and then realized what what missing.

He cried angrily, “Where is it? Where is your scimitar?”

Khashig laughed, his eyes still closed.

Spreading apart his hands to show their emptiness, he replied, “You will not find it on my corpse, enemy. And if you slay me now, you will not find it ever. A pity. The scimitar is quite valuable. It can do many things, besides the obvious.”

The efreeti continued, pushing aside the tip of Valmeer’s blade scornfully as he did so, “Many seek the scimitar of an efreeti.

“It is said that it burns that which it touches, melting the hardiest armor like a candle.

“It is said that the owner of an efreeti’s scimitar can travel great distances by merely whispering to the weapon. Alas, you shall never find one.”

“Where have you hidden your blade, gnoll!” Valmeer shouted. He leaned forward and grabbed the efreeti’s arm.

Khashig flinched slightly, for his enemy’s grasp was stronger than he anticipated.

Valmeer hissed urgently, “I will spare your miserable life if you simply give the blade to me.”

Khashig nodded, opening his eyes to meet Valmeer’s gaze at last. He whistled sharply and his enemy’s grip loosened.

Valmeer stared at the scimitar blade penetrating his armor, slicing through his chest.

“Here it is,” Khashig said, “It is said that an efreeti’s scimitar is deadly. Farewell, enemy.”

How did Khashig summon his scimitar with a mere whistle?

Who can say? Like his scimitar, an efreeti is an elusive creature that perhaps can only be understood through closer assessment.


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