Jaru the Corrupted Disciple and I ducked and scurried toward an outcropping of volcanic rock to avoid being trampled by the Rampage-like Hunter and Rift Arachna as they tore at each other.
My eye was drawn once again to the blackness of the Great Rift, which seemed to have grown in the brief time since Jaru brought me there. At first I thought the shape emerging from the darkness was another tentacle, but it was white and, when I squinted to gain detail, braided. It lashed into Newerth and disappeared back into the Rift.
Then the tip of a steel sword sliced across the black veil. A jagged red blade that seemed to be made of bone met and stopped it, and both weapons retreated into the Rift. Jaru saw it as well. His orb began to glow brighter and spin faster. I made sure I was not between him and whatever might issue forth.
One of the giant purple tentacles uncoiled from the Rift and loomed above us. The end spread and dipped, its viscous fluid quivering. Our reflections in it appeared quite concerned, even terrified. The tentacle jerked once, twice, and fell into the dust and ash, where it rolled and whipped in a frenzy. Its severed base flopped through the Rift spewing purple blood that glowed upon the stones.
A warrior burst through the Rift and landed next to it. The white braid trailed behind him from a golden mask adorned with a fringe of white hair and a single giant green eye in the center. He carried two swords, wicked cleaver-like blades with rolling eyes embedded near the base. I shuddered, imagining what sort of creatures this Hunter had subdued in order to forge these weapons.
He gazed at us with the burning green eye for a moment, then swiftly drove both blades into the tentacle. It gave a final twitch and moved no more. The fluid which would have become a stalagnight spilled from its mouth and formed an opaque pool in a crevice. The Hunter pulled his blades free and turned to join the fight against the Rift Arachna. He had taken two steps when a glowing red streak burst from the Great Rift and slammed into him, knocking the Hunter off his feet into a graceless tumble across the harsh landscape.
He recovered and rose into a half-crouch to face the Riftspawn. This monster seemed to welcome the confrontation, as if it had finally cornered its elusive prey. It possessed the massive lance-like claws of red bone I had seen moments earlier. They grew from its forearms, leaving the hands and their hooked claws free to slash and pierce. Jagged bony armor ran down its back to a tail bristling with bulbous red tendrils that matched the two at the end of the whip-like antennae sprouting from its head.
The Hunter sprinted forward, blades whirling, and the Riftspawn lunged to meet him.