Through the haze of murder and encroaching darkness, there was still a distant light somewhere, someplace. But he could not find it, and nothing he did could drown the screams that pierced his mind. Then she stood there, fair and tall, her hair akin to flaming darkness, beckoning him, urging for him to come.
There was moisture on his cheeks. Blood? No, Tears. He remembered those, yet he did not understand what they meant. All he could feel was the rage, the screams in his mind and the darkness that now possessed all. And as the hunter stalked his prey, fear in its eyes, he felt the distant light dwindle and disappear.
Then a rage unlike any he had ever felt before consumed him, and the hunter felt complete.
No. Not complete. I am undone. I am undone. Forgive me my brethren!
The light was no more.
Flare escorted Roack and Solstara, running down the road, dodging pools of blood and goo. There was a clap of thunder and suddenly the ghost doll appeared four dogs in quick pursuit.
For a few minutes they ran, the houses passing by like fleet shadows from the past. Somehow it all felt like a dream, a very strange dream and they were not quite sure they liked it. Small, black clad men harassed their journey, but the stone dogs took the forefront and they were flung aside when the massive dogs collided with the would-be attackers.
The journey ended as abruptly as it had begun, the mercenaries halting at a small square. Dietrich lay there, lifeless in a pool of blood. His eyes wide and bulging, his dark hair matted with blood. The swordsman had never been pretty, but there was something profane in his final posture. It was as if death had come surprisingly, yet his opponent showed clear marks of Dietrich’s blade. That very blade was now broken, having impacted with the skull of a tattooed tribal that now lay cleaved beside the once proud swordsman. Strangely enough Dietrich bore no signs of any wounds, yet he seemed to have blood all over.
At the middle of the square stood a young woman, her hair wild and ruffled, her eyes looking strangely wise. There was something about that woman, something the mercenaries could not quite place. Yet when she spoke, she spoke but a single word. And her voice was pure, her tone soft and inviting.
And the mercenaries dropped their unsheated weapons and they threw themselves prostate at the ground, for they were in the presence of the one, the Mater Domino.
Sharee did not wait for her spell to bear fruit, rather she jumped onto the windowsill, grabbing a nearby statue of an angelic boy with ram horns, using it to propel herself onto the roof. Her motions were fluid and she landed behind Huntar. The smith was choking two assassins, one with each of his hands. Yet the assassins were covered with frost and their eyes were bulging, their lips stiff and pale from the lack of blood. He just stood there, growling and shaking the corpses, when he suddenly turned to face his friend, Sharee.
For a moment Sharee felt as if there was some kind of recognition, but the moment quickly faded and the smith issued a growl, his mouth foaming. Then she noticed something strange in the corner of her eye. From behind and beneath her a black stream of smoke rolled, maddened whispers moaning her name, invisible claws tearing at her hair.
Then Hunthar lunged at her, his arms outstretched, murder in his eyes.
She was gone. Mother was gone. Flare noticed he had been crying, his lips kissing her feet as she carefully trod past, his fingers fumbling for a touch of her skin. And now she was gone, and the emptiness inside was too much to bear.
Roack had flung himself prostrate alongside his friends, but it was more on intuition than anything else. For some strange minutes his friends had been whining and moaning, sounding more like growling, scared puppies than soldiers. Roack had played along and for some odd reason he felt an utter fealing of dread as a young woman stepped over him. For a couple of seconds he was sure she was going to kill him, or at the very least hurt him badly, but she left and when she was gone, his friends began whimpering for several seconds. Then, finally, they came to their senses, seeming more like their old selves.
She had said something... A word. Roack scanned his memory, but he could not remember what the word was and when confronted his friends just said that, no, they hadn't heard a single word. They had experienced salvation, and that was more than words could express.
A shiver went down his spine.