'Inspired by' The Death Dealer

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Fantasy Realm

'Inspired by' is a series of Stand-Alone Fantasy short stories, inspired by the Fantastic artwork of Frank Frazetta.

'The Death Dealer'



The Death Dealer


Inspired by series...

The Mountain People have a legend they speak of in hushed tones.

The Death Dealer, words whispered on frightened superstitious tongues, a phantom, a spirit, an apparition sitting astride his monstrous black warhorse, Mortis Negros.

He scours the battlefields collecting the souls of fallen warriors for the great Mountain God, the God of granite and stone. His mighty axe, Soul Drinker, gripped tightly in his fist. Its razor-sharp teardrop blade constantly weeping fresh blood.

If a soul is worthy the Death Dealer will guide them to the gates of Valhalla and the great hall of the mountain God, where they will feast and drink and brag of their heroic deeds, and the battles in which they fought.

If they have been found to be unworthy, the Death Dealer collects their soft hearts into his axe where they will suffer a thousand lifetimes of pain and suffering and anguish, for this is the reward for the bleak hearted and cowardly curs.

If you ever see the Death Dealer, make sure he does not see you!


It had been a battle worthy of songs sung and sagas written. It had been a battle worthy of the gods! Ten thousand men and boys lay on the crimson earth, their lifeblood seeping into the ground turning it into a dark deathly quagmire.

The carrion birds hopped about the field, glutting themselves on the flesh of the fallen. Broken swords and shattered shields littered the field and tribal banners fluttered in the stinking death breeze.

And then he came, The Death Dealer... a grim bastion of doom. His mighty warhorse stood twice as tall as any normal mountain pony. Its muscles were like thick woven hemp cords, its powerful hooves sank into the blood-drenched soil.

Its eyes, like it's master’s, red pits of hellfire. Its nostrils quivered, exhaling jets of pluming smoke. It was a thing of volcanic beauty and terror. It snorted and shook its mighty head. Its plated armour rattled the death bells hanging from the brass bit in its mouth. They jangled like the clacking bones of the dead, breaking the silence.

He sat in his black leather saddle. His armour was demonic and heavy and ate the light around him. His image wavered like a heat haze coming from a lava flow. Brimstone was his odour, it seeped from him in choking vapours.

He rode into the middle of the battlefield trampling the bodies of the fallen beneath his stallion’s crushing hooves.

He looked around; his horned helmet covered whatever horror lay beneath its grim visor.

But those red eyes gleamed like rubies from within that iron helm.


His scorching vision took in the fallen and dead and wounded, strewn across the field like discarded chaff. He raised an oaken thick arm. His axe, Soul Drinker, gleamed like polished obsidian in the dim light.

The axe head began to beat a deep throbbing blood hue. A pulse of strange arcane effervescence seeped from it, spreading out across the battlefield. The twisted, mutilated and mangled bodies touched by the air of doom began to twitch, and then slowly like puppets; they rose up, suspended in the air as if on invisible threads. Their souls being drawn and sucked from their mortal remains.

Streams of ruby droplets were drawn from those bloated dead meat-sacks. Drawn in dripping red bloodlines, weaving through the air in a sanguine tapestry toward the great axe, which drank in their souls. Fresh blood dripped from the keen-edged axe blade.

The bodies hanging in the air shivered. Their dead jaws hung open. They moaned as their souls were gathered, and then, one, by one, they dropped back down to the earth, sucked dry of their life force. They were nothing more now than food for the scavengers of the forest to feed upon, once the apparition of the Death Dealer was gone.

The Death Dealer’s arm suddenly tugged against a ruby stream of life force. His huge helm turned, his pulsing red eyes settled on a body hovering above the ground, caught in his axe’s soul seeking grasp.

The warrior hung in the air, he was stripped to the waist, his muscles were cramping from the exertion, and they stood out like chiselled stone beneath his scarred skin. He gritted his teeth and gripped a mighty broadsword in his hand. His deep green eyes beheld the Death Dealer, in belligerent defiance. He held on to his own life force with the grit and determination of a lion biting down on the neck of a gazelle.

The death Dealer pointed his axe at the suspended Barbarian and then yanked his arm back as if trying to reel in his catch.

The Barbarian roared like a lion. Blood seeped from his eyes. He would not relinquish his soul.

The Death Dealer nudged Mortis Negros in the ribs. The warhorse snorted and stomped forward toward this upstart who would dare to challenge the might of its master.

The Death Dealer came to a stop before the struggling Barbarian. His lava eyes blazed like hot coals, they burned into the bloodshot green eyes of the Barbarian, searing his primal brain.

The Barbarian growled, He gnashed his teeth and his sword arm quivered in a futile attempt to try and break his ensorceled bonds and strike at the collector of souls.

The Death Dealer swung a leg over his mount and slipped from the saddle. He stood eight feet tall, a hulking armoured, mammoth of a man. He lowered his axe... The Barbarian fell to the ground onto his knees.

The Barbarian looked up at the Death Dealer leering down at him. He snarled, his lips peeled back in rage, his eyes burned with indomitable inner strength.

The Death Dealer raised his axe.

The Barbarian moved like lightning. He rolled to one side as the axe came down and swished air where he had just been kneeling. His broadsword came up and hit the axe. A clang rang out across the battlefield and a surge of energy was released from the axe. The Barbarian cried out and was hurled across the battlefield where he came crashing down in a heap.

The Death Dealer stomped toward the crouching barbarian, who had taken up a defensive stance, gripping his mighty sword in both white-knuckled hands. His bottom lip quivered with feral rage, his legs bulged with veined muscles. His long black hair hung down to his shoulders, dripping wet.

The Death Dealer stood before this man, this warrior, this barbarian. His strength and ferocity were admirable... He swung his axe.

The barbarian moved, dodging from left to right working his way inside of the giant Death Dealer’s defences. He hefted his sword leaving an X scratched into his foe’s armoured breastplate. The Death Dealer lashed out with a foot, catching the barbarian in the chest, kicking him backward.

The barbarian groaned, a rib cracked, yet he pulled himself up and leapt forward.

Sword met axe and sparks flew and the sword blade was sheared in half. The barbarian was knocked back with a glancing blow to the head. He lay on his back. Dazed and winded. He growled, filled his lungs with air and roared with the spirit of a mountain Lion burning in his breast, defiant to the end.


The axe came down and split his skull in twain...

The Death Dealer gathered the Barbarian’s soul in his axe; the blade shone a deep crimson... This indomitable soul would take a prestigious place amongst the fallen elite ranks in the hall of the Mountain God...

Beneath his helm, the Death Dealer managed a grim smile...

No man can escape his fate... and no man can cheat death and escape his axe... No man can escape the Death Dealer...


inspired by the artwork of

Frank Frazetta

The End

Submitted: April 18, 2021

© Copyright 2022 Celtic-Scribe63. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



My mind moves to a modern equivalent: an Apache assault helicopter, mulching jihadi tribesmen from kilometres away...

Sun, April 18th, 2021 4:30pm


you know, I really like helicopters! Huey is my no1, but Apache is my no2... black hawk no3...


Sun, April 18th, 2021 9:54am

David whitley

A great story you never seem to disappoint great work

Sun, April 18th, 2021 6:04pm


thank you for the praise. But I have to say it was the amazing artwork of Frank Frazetta that has inspired me to write...

Sun, April 18th, 2021 1:40pm

Sharief Hendricks

Excellent and mind bendingly descriptive as what I have come to expect from you Master CS63

Thanx for recommending this one, now I understand why, because this is where the barbarian was born...

Great action sequences offset with some eerie moments...

Loved it CS63

Mon, June 7th, 2021 9:26am


I have been a fan of frazetta’s amazing art since the early 80’s. I thought it about time to pay my homage to it.
I am pleased you liked it.

Mon, June 7th, 2021 5:25am

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