Dragon Fire: Episode 62

When Razham and Cerros called out for the guardian of the woods and held forth the stem and bulb of the Oneyroot, they heard the voice said,

“You have fulfilled our agreement. Follow my voice, and I will lead you out of these woods.”

Leaving Wildeye Woods and its caretaker behind, Cerros and Razham entered the road and mounted their steeds, turning their heads toward the village of Yavasadir.

“If Baron Dumnos is dead, then what is in the city?” Razham asked.

“We will soon know this, my friend. I wager it is a trick of sorcery.”

When they reached the top of a hill with its flowering meadow, the outlying fields of Yavasadir came into view. Just beyond lay the village and the alchemist Lullian.

As Cerros and Razham rode through the city gates, Lullian hurried up to them.

“Thank the gods you have arrived,” she said, walking along beside Cerros’ horse.

“Where is the baron?” Cerros asked.

“He has called the people to the town square to speak to us. I must know what is infecting him for fear he may lead us to our death,” she said.

Cerros’ pace quickened as he drew his ax.

“Why do you draw your weapon?” Lullian asked, confused by Cerros’ response.

“Your village may be in greater danger than you thought,” Razham said, trying not to frighten her.

“Tell me your meaning,” Lullian pleaded.

With no answer for her, Cerros pushed past the people making their way towards the town square.

At that moment, the baron climbed to the top of a platform high above the crowd and stepped forward to speak, his guards standing behind him.

“My people,” he began, “I have called you here today to make a declaration of change.”

Cerros continued to weave his way through the crowd, moving purposefully towards the platform.

“What is he doing?” Lullian asked.

When he saw Cerros approach the platform, the baron grew silent and looked down.

“Who is this?” he demanded.

“Who are you?” Cerros asked and hurled his ax toward the baron.

The ax flew through the air and imbedded itself in the baron’s chest, knocking him backwards to the ground. Amid the screams and panic, the guards rushed down the platform steps to the baron’s side then turned toward Cerros and drew their weapons.

As Cerros unsheathed his sword, Lullian hurried over to the baron.

“You killed him!” one of the villagers shouted.

“You killed Baron Dumnos!” another yelled.

“No, I did not,” Cerros shouted above the crowd.

As he spoke, the baron slowly stood, his broken limbs popping back into place. The ax was still buried deep in his chest.

“This is not Baron Dumnos.”

“We found the body of Baron Dumnos in the woods,” Razham told the people. “He never left Wildeye Woods.”

As the wounded man reached out and pulled the ax from his chest, he smiled at Cerros.

“You discovered the plant.”

Suddenly the man’s body began to pop and crack as his bones thickened and pushed against the skin. He stretched upward and his skin transformed into a smooth pale gray with eyes pure white.

“I knew someone would find him one day, but this day has come too soon,” the creature said.

“What is this?” Lullian asked.

“A creature that takes another’s form,” Razham replied. “It feeds off the living to replace its own decaying body.”

As the creature raised Cerros’ ax, the guards prepared to attack.

“I had hoped to accomplish what I want more slowly,” the creature hissed. “Feeding off an entire village at one’s leisure is such a joy.”

Suddenly, the creature reached out and grabbed one of the guards, lifting him off the ground and tossing him far above the crowd.

“I should have known when that foolish bloodthirsty baron died this good fortune was short-lived,” the creature grumbled.

With a sweep of his hand, he grabbed another guard by the legs and swung him like a mace before flinging him at the other guards.

“I am going to find pleasure in this. I will not return to the woods. The caretaker lost me, and you will not restore me to that place.”

“You will return,” Cerros growled, “once piece of flesh at a time if need be.”

“You must stay back,” Razham warned Lullian then hurried to help Cerros charge the creature.

Published in: on June 22, 2015 at 12:42 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

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  2. Welcome. Hope you enjoy it.

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