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Friday, April 7, 2017

Ambush & Subterfuge

As Donny walked through the sun dappled trail heading back to camp, he turned the staff in his hand. He tried to figure out what the carved runes meant, but the language was one he didn’t recognize. Interspersed among the ancient runes were what appeared to be vines that wrapped around the staff as if lovingly holding it. What worried him was what appeared to be carvings of death such as skeletons, tombstones, and ghosts. He remembered the voice speaking of controlling ghosts, but he couldn’t figure out how that would happen.

Suddenly he stopped in his tracks as a vision filled his mind. In it he saw the thieves surrounding the camp, his family unaware. Just as the vision showed the strangers attacking, the vision disappeared, leaving Donny with a terrible sense of urgency. Grasping the staff tightly he took off at a sprint heading to the aid of those being ambushed.

Dominic looked around in confusion, where had Donny gone? He tried to think of the last time he had seen him, and kept returning to the night before. He could not remember seeing him at all today. He thought maybe Donny had walked into the woods to relieve himself. Thinking something might have happened such as his illness making a return. He decided to go look for his missing twin.

He entered deeper into the brush surrounding the clearing where they had made camp. Suddenly, he felt something poke him in the back. Spinning he went to reach for his bow only to realize he had left it in camp. “Way to go idiot” he thought to himself. He still had his short blade though, and he pulled it from its sheath as he went into a defensive stance. “Who the hell are you? Where did you come from?” he questioned the stranger standing before him.

Paevia followed Dom into a defensive stance, she cast a sly glance past the male to where Diewen hid in the shadows ready to jump on the unsuspecting Dominic.  “Who I am is unimportant to you. All you need to know is that I will take joy in killing you. Your dark friend killed my mate, and I will not be satisfied until you all rest in the grave. Oh, and the two of you also took something that belonged to us.” The whole time Paevia had been speaking she had been striking and counter striking against Dom’s blade. Slowly she pushed him back until Diewen grabbed Dominic from behind. His arm locked around Dom’s throat.

Dom struggled to break free from the smaller assailant. For his size the brown furred Felis was strong as hell. It didn’t help that the female kept attacking him with her blade. “Last time I check a living being couldn’t be owned by another, so in the case of the kit, he wasn’t yours to begin with. As for my friend killing your mate, I am sorry for that. He is in the middle of something and didn’t know his strength. Now tell your friend to get off me before he really pisses me off.” The look in the female’s eyes told Dom all he needed to know. With a surge of strength, he reached up and flipped the rex over his head, and into the female knocking her to the ground. Dom didn’t waste time on the two but ran back to camp to help his friends.

The view as Dom entered the camp was of Bo fighting a black and white furred male, as Azereus protected CeCe. Neko was fighting two tiger striped assailants, one male the other a female. Dom was surprised to notice that Neko hadn’t started to glow yet. Dominic ran toward Neko to even the odds, and watched as the multi-colored female from his ambush ran into the melee going for an attack against Az. As he engaged the female attacking Neko he forgot the small brown rex that had attacked him.

Diewen skirted around the clearing, searching for his target. He found the small apprentice standing by a tree on the outskirts, his attention trained on the battle before him. Diewen couldn’t hide the smile as he came up behind the kit and grabbed him, placing his hand over the kit’s mouth so he couldn’t sound an alarm. He slowly backed away from the clearing into the forest. When he was out of sight, he took his weapon and used the handle as a club to knock the young one out. As he wrapped the unconscious kit in a bag, he gave a whistle to let the others know his job was done.

Nilla had been waiting for the signal as she circled the black male. She studied him as they fought, noticing his strength and prowess. In another time and place, she would have found him quite attractive, but now he was an annoyance. She wished to finish the one responsible for Quillen’s death and her sister’s injury but she had orders. She was getting ready to disengage from the fight, when the strangest thing happened. She noticed a haze come over the camp, and then the moans began. Wild-eyed she turn to watch the impossible.

Everyone in the clearing seemed frozen in time, as shapes began to form out of the mist.  The figures were in various stages of decomposition. The dead walked among them.  Donny stood at a break in the woods that stood behind him, a staff lifted high over his head. The jewel that crown it glowed a deep green. Donny seemed in a trance as the spell broke from his lips. Calling the dead victims of the band of thieves to attack.

Bo noticed as the male he had been fighting stopped as if listening to something, he then turned and his eyes become wild as he viewed something only he could see. Bo looked at the other attackers, and saw that they too saw something. Slowly he backed towards where Az and CeCe stood. “Do you see anything? What are they looking at?” he questioned the two.  His attention then focused on his brother standing not far away. “Where did Donny get that from?” he pointed to where his brother stood.

Az and CeCe both looked over to where Donny stood with the impressive staff in his hands. “I have no idea, but I think it is doing something to our guest.” CeCe said as she watched as the attackers all ran into the woods like something was chasing them.  Dominic and Neko came over to stand with them. They looked as perplexed as well.

The jewel’s glow faded, and Donny let his arm fall. He looked around a bit confused, then his gaze swept to the group standing by the fire. All eyes seemed focused on him, and he felt himself blush. “What are you all looking at? Never seen a guy cast a spell before? Oh! Wow! I just cast a freaking spell. Did you see those guys run? I guess that wizard dude was right. Sweet.” Donny looked around the camp, and it was then he noticed “hey guys, where is Spooks?”

This seemed to wake everybody up, as they all searched the camp for the kit. “Dammit” Dom exclaimed when they all had returned to the embers of the campfire. “I should have paid more attention to the one who ambushed me. They are the ones we rescued Spook’s from in the village. This was all a trick to steal him back. We need to go get him back.” He sat down with a harrumph. “They think of him as a possession, I’m worried what they might do to him.”

Donny came over and sat next to Dom. “It will be okay twin, we will find him. And I have this new weapon to help us too.” He lay the staff across their laps so that Dominic could get a better look. “It’s weird. I have never felt so attuned to something as I am to it. I feel like it is speaking in my mind, telling me the spells to say for the situation. I know that sounds crazy but it’s how I feel.”  He watched as Dom ran a claw back and forth across the engraved runes.

Dom had felt a flash of energy as he touched the beautifully carved wood. He could feel the power radiating from it. “Where did you find it? I woke up and you were gone. I went to look for you when those kitnappers attacked. Where did you go?”

Donny touched the now clear jewel with reverence. “I spent the night locked inside this strange dream. When I awoke, I felt this need to look for something. I wasn’t sure what I searched for at first. I just knew I needed to find it. I found a small cave opening in the mountain, and went inside. What I found was the bones of an ancient wizard. His claws were still wrapped around this staff. When I reached out to touch it, I don’t know if it was a dream or something else but the wizard stood before me as he was in life. He spoke of the fact that I was a guardian worthy to possess the staff. Then he disappeared and I left the cave.” Donny noticed that the rest of the gang had come to form a semi-circle around him.

“When I was walking back to camp, I got this strange vision. It showed me what was happening here at camp, so I ran here to help. When I entered the glade, I felt this need to raise the staff, and strange words started coming out of my mouth. I felt out of control, but in control at the same time. It’s hard to explain. I just knew what spell needed to be said, and it worked.” Bo handed Donny a canteen and he took a deep drink of the cold, crisp water.

CeCe looked out towards the forest. “Should we follow them and retrieve Spooks? Or do we carry on in our quest, we are running out of time. I feel this in my bones. We need to find the Triad now.” She felt Bo’s hand entwine with hers, and smiled. “What do you think?”

Bo thought for a moment, as much as I want to help the kit, I am with you in feeling we are running out of time. I vote that we continue on towards…” here you could see a tremor race over Bo’s body, “Black Barrow as much as I hate the thought.” The others all nodded their agreement. With the words unspoken, they began to break camp.

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