I have seen the sun rise for the first time, and saw the moon glow in the dark skies. I have seen kings rise and others fall, I have seen darkness in the brightest smiles and fear in a demon’s eyes. I have seen a man wake the dead, and saw monsters grow in the kindest souls. I have seen much and done more, for with my hands and my words I shaped the fate of the world.
Thousands of years ago, when men lived long and fought for land and dominion, when wizards were feared and despised, when giants and dwarves shared one land, the years of deception when perjurers were trusted, when the traitors were entrusted and when vile Lords ruled over all, in a land far to the west, was the great kingdom of Leidir, renowned for its unequalled strongholds, the beauty of its lands and wildlife exceeded by far all the realms surrounding it. It was the strongest and wealthiest kingdom in the west continent of Eigria -which, in the old tongue of Men, means Treacherous. Farther to the western south of Leidir, where the weather is warmer and pleasant, stood the great town of Dragontail. The last town south of the kingdom. All the houses were grey, many claim it is dragon ash. In fact, Dragontail was once a town of dragon slayers, when the winged giants lived nearby, but that was hundreds of years ago. Dragons left further south in the wild deserted mountains. The few that remained in the enchanted grey forest Hamu, were later slaughtered by the few dragon slayers that remained in business. Dragontail was at peace for many years later.
There lived Helain Silverfang son of Ralnor son of the infamous Igor the Untouched. Helain was almost as great as his grandfather, whilst his father was one of the many blacksmiths in the town. He was tall and strong. He was a great warrior and the pride of his family and town, he married the daughter of Gormog Stormscar, Olum the Cursed. She was not only beautiful but brave and strong. Raised in a family of dragon slayers, in her sixteenth birthday, she killed her first wingless-dragon and gained her title. An old witch lived in the grey forest with the dragon, and blinded with grief she cursed her. “Beshrew you! You are forever cursed for your misdeed! You have slaught’r’d this holy creature with bitter cold blood! May your soul never find peace! Hear this and bear it still! I am Massin, I am the moon’s jointress! Weilder of the Obsidian Heart of oracles! Many wars you will square and win, but you shall kick the bucket in a battlefield white as snow, you will be best dressed in red at which hour your first issue will crawl back to your belly from where it once came!” Shouted the witch at Olum who was drunk in joy, celebrating her first successful hunt with her two brothers. They didn’t pay any mind to the witch and threw rocks at her. They laughed and celebrated as she disappeared, with tears in her eyes, in the gloom of the grey forest. Years later, Olum the Cursed, married Helain Silverfang. She was eighteen, he was twenty three. Their love was strong and gotten stronger with every passing year. Both of them were often called upon by the great king Vamir to lead his armies along with other greater infamous warriors.
The Kingdom of Leidir was in war with several kingdoms in the continent, but the greatest enemity against Leidir was held by the Haxurid empire.
“No matter how good the cook is, a rat in the kitchen will always ruin his porridge. No matter how strong a kingdom is, one turncloak in the castle and we’re all porridge .” King Vamir feared the Haxurid the most, dangerous people, notorious assassins and spies.
Silverfang and Olum won many wars together, they were the heroes of their town, and that, didn’t please much their chieftain who was envious of their success. Karver the Bear, was named warden of Dragontail by the king himself. An authority he never expected, his father was warden before him, until he was murdered. He was very proud and condescending about it which made him think of Helain and his wife as a threat to his authority. To get rid of the couple of warriors, he sent both of them in a false quest, further in the south, in the forsaken lands of Gulgoloth, to bring him the legendary jewel of Ankros.
Every man, woman and child in Dragontail know the tale of this jewel. All the dragons in the world lived south of Leidir, they are nowhere else to be found but there. Helain’s hometown was called Dragontail because it is the last village in the far south of the kingdom and the closest town to Gulgoloth, the lands of dragons. It was believed that Ankros was the first and last man to tame dragons. Using a magic jewel he got from a spirit of the underworld in exchange of his mortality. The tale claims that Ankros still wanders in Gulgoloth as a dragon shephered. His immortality prevented him from leaving Gulgoloth, no matter where he goes, demons from the deep would chase him back to Gulgoloth.
Karver’s scheme was infallible, or so he thought. He held a great feast, inviting old and young to his halls, he was certain Helain would come to the feast, the warrior wouldn’t miss the chance to drink and banquet with his friends. And he was right, for if there is something Helain would not miss is a gathering
“Alright you!” He hit the table three times with his hands to silence the noisy guests. “His majesty king Vamir, needs all the help we can provide. ’tis true that we no longer hunt dragons as much as we used to-”
“Eh? well you’re busy hunting for your own belly and getting hairy!” his wife interrupted him, pointing at his belly.
The crowd laughed hysterically. He laughed too.
“So are you woman!” He answered in a high pitched tone.
“I am pregnant you old frak!” In fact his wife lady Prun was pregnant with their fourth child.
The heat and the echo in the hall of feasts grew even stronger.
“Aye alright you, calm down you lot. As I said before, we no longer hunt as much as we used to but we still have some strong slayers among us, to whom I raise my drink! Fee!” People cheered and raised their mugs. “The Haxurid have long dared and challenged us, those blasted bandits do not fear us enough, not yet! I have long thought and cogitated of something, we -Dragonslayers of Leidir- can do to help our king, something only us can do. We have dragons. We have Gulgoloth. We need the jewel of Ankros.”
Silence fell in the great hall like a crypt, before bursting in a cacophonic laughter.
“Surely, chief Karver, you must have spent too much time thinking that you lost your mind on your way there.” Said Harvick jokingly, who was sitting next to Silverfang.
Karver did not look very amused. Under all the loud laughter and the uproar, the chieftain raised his right hand, the hall fell once again in complete stillness.
"I do not like it when people laugh at serious matter Harvick. Do I look like I am joking? Answer me!” The look on Karver’s face was hard and unpleased.
“Begging your pardon chieftain, I did not mean to offend you. It is just unbelievable. You of all people talking about this jewel? It’s tale for children ay? Everyone knows that ay?” Harvick looked around for agreements. Everyone in the hall nodded. “See chief? We all thought you were joking.”
"Well, I wasn’t. I need brave men for this quest, and brave women, who are willing to go beyond legend and myth to prove the world wrong. The jewel is with Ankros. Who will bring it to Dragontail along with an army of fire-breathing winged giants?” Everyone in the hall looked at each other. Looking for answers or courage to speak.
“What is the price for such madness?” Harvick asked standing up from his seat, his mug in his hand.
“None here have the right price for this quest. Not even the king himself. You will get your price yourself. Fame, power and of course an army of dragons. Who would refuse such an offer?” Said Karver.
“Anyone with enough wits to know this quest is suicide” answered Olum who was sitting on Helain’s lap.
“Ay! Gulgoloth is doom itself. If we ever venture there, God knows what awaits us in that land. And if the legends were to be true, not only Ankros will be shepherding dragons but his throne will be on top of the great Luthar. How are we supposed to take the jewel from such man? And if we were to anger Luthar, not even the greatest of wizards will help us!” Added Harvick as he was facing the crowd.
“Ay! Right! This is madness!” The hall agreed in unison.
"I can help you.” Said a voice in the corner of the hall. People looked around them searching for the person who pretended to be of help.
"Come forth whoever spoke!” commanded the chief who was desperately looking for someone to support his thought.
“I beg protection first.” The shadow asked.
“You have it.” Promised the chief.
A wizard stepped into the light from the shadowy corner he stood in. His blue cape gave him an intimidating look. His short hair was half golden half silver, his eyes were grey and his intriguing perfectly triangular face was clean shaved.
"Who are you?” Asked Poli, a young woman sitting in the nearest table to the chieftain.
“I am a simple wanderer but some of you like to call me a wizard, so a wizard I am. I’m Haruth wielder of the infinite oath fire. Son of the northern stars.”
"Tss, filth of the underworld!” Cursed Krog, the chieftain’s brother.
"Thank you, very welcoming.” The warlock walked in gracious royally steps between the tables to stand in front of Karver. ”I presume you have an interest in the jewel of Ankros. I do not believe in luck only in faith. How bizarre. I too grew an interest in magical stones.” His ironic tone confused half of the guests and annoyed the other half. “As of the certainty of its existence, I assure you sceptic men, it is real." He took his hand of his pocket and opened it for the men in the hall to see. ”This, is a jewel of power. It may not be as strong as Ankros’ but all wizards own magical gemstones. This one is known as the jewel of invisibility.”
The most curious of men who didn’t fear the wizard approached him to have a closer look to the yellowish stone in his hand. It had the shape of a tear. It wasn’t a catchy stone but the longer you looked at it, the stronger the desire of holding it grew inside you.
"What does this have to do with our quest? You said you can help us, how?” Inquired the hasty chief.
“Didn’t I just help you, chieftain? They didn’t believe a word you said until I stepped in.” He looked at the crowd and smiled. ”I’m only joking of course. I will help you talk to Ankros. You see, I am looking for the spirit, and I will need help from Ankros who last saw him.”
All the men and women in the great hall of feasts, who not few moments ago were sceptical of the stone’s existence, grew very curious. Karver noticed the swing in their behavior. He didn’t care if all the people in the hall didn’t believe him, he only needed Helain Silverfang and Olum the Cursed for this quest. He needed to get rid of them, but now, this Haruth showed unexpectedly, claiming he can help them.
"Although I promised to help you with your little adventure, I’m afraid I cannot promise you safety nor you coming back home unharmed or at all.” Added the wizard.
Karver smiled unconsciously. Krog noticed.
“So be it! Who among you, dragonslayers, is brave enough to find a jewel in a dragons’ nest?” Karver the Bear was certain, Helain would volunteer. He was, after all, a proud warrior, the grandson of Igor the Untouched, he wouldn’t let this chance to prove his worth once again.
“I am!” Harvick raised his mug.
“I too!” Followed by Poli. Krog raised his mug as well.
“What about you Silverfang? It will add another name to your list of fame. Helain Dragonshepherd?”
“He will go. And so will I.” Answered Olum. Helain didn’t seem to agree but kept his remarks for later.
The chieftain roared, followed by all who were present in his feast.
“Death comes tomorrow!” Chorused the entire hall, cheered and drank.
“Eat and drink and don’t stop till it’s time to piss!” Cried the chief in elation.
“Or fuck!” Cried back someone in the crowd followed by grating laughter.
The chieftain sat on his table beside his wife and two of his daughters, along with Krog, his brother.
"Ankros hunters, come join me, sit with me! Let us feast and drink to you! Haruth, come beside me.” The chief pushed his wife’s arm. "Step aside woman. Let our wizard feast beside me.”
“I will not share food with a fucking wizard.” snapped Krog.
“Then don’t, brother of mine.” Said the chieftain whipping his mouth with the back of his left hand, with a hard tone. “Like it or not, Haruth is going with you.” He added gazing coldly at his brother who was seated on his left.
Krog frowned, took his mug and drank his ale bottoms up then whipped his mouth with his long ginger beard. The Ankros hunters joined their table, and the moment Haruth sat on the -now empty- chair on Karver’s right, Krog leaned closer to whisper in his brother’s ear.
“I know you, brother o’ mine, maybe a little too well, and I know the look on your face when I see it. Conspiracy is a fiend’s weapon.” He leaned back and made a sign with his hand calling a servant. “Serve my brother’s warlock some ale, he must be thirty, the road from hell is parched. Isn’t it?”
"Is that how you westerners call the east? Hell? Well, it is warmer, more welcoming, that is.” Snapped back Haruth.
"How dare you?!” Krog drew his dagger and stood briskly. “Filthy sorcerer! Damn you and all your kin! Curse the day men and wizards agreed on false peace, you should be drowning in the depths of Marmagul with all your forebears!” Many of the guests cursed and threatened the wizard.
“ENOUGH!” The chieftain bumped both his fists on the table. “Shut your bloody mouth or I will make sure you never speak a word again brother! As of you Haruth, disrespect us once more, and I swear it on this holy land we all share, I will drown you myself in that damned sea.”
“As you command, chief.” Obeyed Krog with no further objection.
“Good. Now let us feast.” Answered Karver.
All of the volunteers sat with the chief, drank and ate and laughed all night long.
“I am afraid it is time for us to leave. Thank you chieftain. We should get some sleep if we were to leave on the morrow.” Helain Silverfang and his wife bowed to their chieftain and left the halls.
Their house was half an hour from the feast. They walked all the way there.
"You shouldn’t have.” Said Helain lying in their bed.
"I shouldn’t have what?” Olum was brushing her hair next to him, on the other side of the bed.
"You know what. You are pregnant. You shouldn’t have agreed to this quest.”
“You mean I can’t go because I am pregnant? I can still beat you bloody!” She threw her brush at him. He dodged it.
“You are not going. I am. I didn’t want to leave you like this, but now, and because of your stubborn pride, I am obliged.”
“I am going. If you want to stay, that is your problem.” She slipped under her cover and rested her head on her husband’s arm. “Sleep tight Silverfang, tomorrow is a great day.”
“I’m not finished woman, you still can’t go, you are with child for goodness sake. This quest may take more than two months, you won’t make it.”
“Sleep.” She kissed him good night and turned left.
He stared at her back for a moment, her golden hair glowing under the gentle torches light. He smiled and kissed her neck.
"Sleep well wife.”
Back in the halls of the chieftain, Krog was sitting in another table with two other men, spying every move the wizard made. Manyar, the man on Krog’s right, was a very tall man, well built, his eyes were hazelnut and he had tattoos on his bald head and his neck. His front teeth were in silver, he lost his in a fight once, thankfully his thick moustache covered his whole mouth and his short blond beard made him look older. He was twenty five years old. Manyar was dressed in a green embroidered shirt and a dark brown tunic with a cloak fastened at his shoulders with a golden dragon-shaped brooch. His black loose leathery trousers were tucked in his brown boots. Rudolph, was six feet tall and buff. Although he had a very big scar on his left eye, he was a beautiful man. He lost sight with his injured eye that turned from dark brown to crystal clear blue. His hair was long, wavy and as dark and glowing as a raven’s plumage. He had few breads with silver rings that matched his numerous piercings on his ears and right eyebrow. Krog was the most handsome of the three and also the youngest. He was twenty three years old. His long beard was dear to him, all the women in the capital were fond of it. Krog and his two friends were sailors in the king’s fleet. Although their kingdom was at war, they weren’t called upon much since almost all of the battles were fought on land. All three of them had their guns on the table.
“That warlock is up to something. We shouldn’t trust him.” Said Manyar suspiciously.
"He gives me chills every time I pass him by.” Added Rudolph.
"I don’t trust him, but it isn’t him that frightens me. It is the bear I fear.” Krog didn’t like how friendly his brother was towards the wizard.
“You fear your brother? Hah, he might be the chief, but nobody fears him. Not anymore. We only respect him for his old age. You should be chieftain. We shall vote for you during the next ballot.”
“Ay, Manyar is right. You should be warden of Dragontail.”
“Spare me. I have no interest in ruling. Whoever doesn’t fear my brother is a fool. He is up to something. I know this quest has nothing to do with king Vamir, he doesn’t like Silverfang. He knows we might not come back.”
“Why are you going then?” Asked Rudolph.
“Because, Rudolph my friend, I am going to kill that wizard.” Krog drank some more and belched. “My brother might have forgotten what happened ten years ago, but I haven’t. I swore I’d behead every wizard that crosses my path. I will avenge the murder of my father. I will declare war against the entire east if that’s what it will take to avenge him.”
The two men pounded his shoulders, excited for his plan.
“We shall come with you then.” Said Manyar.
“Oh no, no need. I can handle one sorcerer.”
“There won’t be just one sorcerer. This Ankros, he is more than just a man. He sold his manhood for immortality and witchcraft. For all we know, he might be stronger than Haruth. We are going with you Krog.” Answered Manyar.
Krog stared at both his friends and then at Haruth and his brother. His teeth clenched in anger.
“Alright. Tomorrow you come with me.” The three of them raised their mugs, toasting for their journey.
“I must say, Dragontail has the best ale. You should taste the piss they drink in the capital.” Chuckled Manyar.
“But they do have the best women.” Added Krog.
“You’re one to talk. Girls have eyes for you only.” Said Manyar.
“Look. He is coming.” Rudolph leaned on the table and put his hand on his pistol.
The wizard was holding a mug in his hand, like everyone in the hall. He pulled a chair to Krog’s table and sat in front of the three men.
"You don’t like me.” Stated the wizard, smiling and pointing at Krog.
“Ay. And you better get your fucking face off of my sight.” Snapped Krog.
“Listen, Krog. It’s Krog right? I know about your father.”
Krog stood angrily with his gun pointing at the wizard’s head who wasn’t really moved nor frightened.
“Sit and calm down. You may like what I’m about to tell you. Or not. It depends. And frankly, a gun? Against a wizard?” Haruth chuckled.
Manyar held Krog’s arm and pulled him down.
"Do you think that wizards will risk ruining a hundred years peace by killing the old warden of Dragontail? I know, men fear us, more than we fear you, but if there’s something a sorcerer would never do, is break a promise. You see, our promises aren’t just words we speak, it costs blood to break a promise. You’re aiming your anger at the wrong people.”
“What do you mean?” Asked Rudolph.
"Your father, Old Kraus, had many enemies among men. Men who envied him. You remember Barbaros the Tall? Remember his riot?” Inquired Haruth.
“Ay, he was beheaded for treason.” Agreed Krog.
“His family didn’t take his execution well, right?” Asked again Haruth.
“They all moved to Alkatown, by order of Karver. Why don’t you tell us where you getting with all this?” Krog was growing impatient.
"Alright. Willis, Barbaros’ brother, he came to the east once. To Tadmil, to be more precise. Well if you were more familiar with our lands, you would know that, the town he visited, is famous for wizard-mercenaries and assassins, Saarth, as we call them. Twenty years before the murder of your father, Zion was banished from the kingdom I came from. He established his band of mercenaries and assassins in Tadmil. Many people of all the races came to Tadmil, seeking their services. Our kings, the one you made peace with, were and are against this activity, yet couldn’t do much about it, because Zion owns something... Something more powerful than mere magic..."
“What is it? What does he have, that you don’t?” Enquired Krog.
"Doesn’t matter. What matters is that Willis came to Tadmil to pay a Saarth in order to kill your father. You can either avenge your father by demanding justice upon Willis or killing the wizard who was paid to do what he is good at, murder.”
“Your kin allowed this. If this peace meant something to your people, you would have stood agaisnt this Zion and his band.” Said Manyar mockingly.
“We cant! He is very strong. Stronger than you can imagine.” Haruth raised his voice. He was nervous.
"How come?” Enquired Rudolph.
“I am afraid I cannot tell you.” Replied Haruth.
“Of course you can’t.” Said Krog.
"Arg... fine... fuck, I hope I won’t regret this...” He took a sip of his mug, to drown the hesitation. ”You see, all wizards have jewels... closer now, I wouldn’t want others to hear what I am about to reveal to you.” The three men bend on the table to get closer to the wizard. ”Wizards have magical stones, each jewel gifts its wielder with specific powers. A wizard can have more than one jewel, and there are many." Haruth pulled all of his jewels from his pockets and exposed them on the table, pushing the guns aside. “There are many replicas of these, except for the two great stones of Mahavhar. These two are the strongest. Unlike the other jewels, these two aren’t made by wizards, but a spirit of another world.”
“A demon.” Implied Rudolph.
“No. Not a demon. Demons are stupid. Anyway. The spirit that made these jewels was called Mahavhar, he gave Zion one of the jewels but he had to pay for the jewel with something dear to him. He wanted to sacrifice the life of his son, but these spirits are cunning and can guess your deepest thoughts, it turned out the most precious thing to Zion, was his own life. He didn’t kill him, but he faced the same fate as your Ankros. Wizards might live longer than men, but we are mortal as well. And that is how he came to own the great jewel of Umbar. The death gemstone. It gave him incredible powers that exceeded any wizard’s. He is able to wander through the world of the dead as he pleases, kill at will, and there are rumors that he can resurrect the dead as well.”
“This can’t be true.” Rudolph looked at Krog.
"Yet it is. Zion is preparing an army greater than all the armies of the races combined. He is planning to declare war on the entire world. Many giants and dwarves of Devbodur joined powers with him, for he already claimed their homeland. There are still some who resist him, but they won’t last long. He will then overthrow the kingdoms of my homeland, and then come to yours."
"Good heavens! What can we possibly do against such power?" Manyar clenched his fists.
“Nothing! We’re doomed! What can we do against an immortal wizard that owns death like a tool?” Rudolph was losing his temper.
“Quiet! There is something. He knows. Continue.” Krog was calm, at least his voice was.
“Indeed. You see, Ankros isn’t just some dragonshepherd. The stone he has is so powerful that all creatures bow to its power. Dragons can smell danger, that is why they obey Ankros. I believe that Ankros is wielding the second gemstone, the great stone of Grigori.”
“It can’t be.” Manyar’s eyes widened in surprise.
“Are you familiar with this jewel?” Asked him Krog.
“What are the powers this gemstone gives?” Added Rudolph.
“Its... its wielder... he... tell us this isn’t true.” Said Manyar, stuttering of fear.
“I am afraid it is.” Admitted Haruth.
“For heavens’ sake, tell us what is so frightening about this jewel!” Begged Rudolph.
"The wielder of this stone has an army of two hundred myriads of damned spirits under his command. Demons of the underworld. He can summon them any time he wants. With such power, you can rule both, the living and the dead.” Answered the warlock.
“How come Ankros never did such a thing?” Inquired Krog.
"He is weak. You see the spirit didn’t give away the stones because he wanted to. I still can’t figure out why, but I am sure there is a reason to why he did so. He is cunning. He gave away the most powerful of the two stones to the weakest race upon earth. I don’t mean to insult you but it is true. Imagine what could have happened if Grigori’s stone fell in the hands of Zion. Men aren’t meant to use magic, Ankros is so weak that his own demons are stopping him from leaving Gulgoloth, if it wasn’t for the stone, they could have killed him long ago, but he is protected by the stone, they cannot kill him, but they will torment him forever. He is imprisoned by his own powers.”
“This is wicked.” Fretted Rudolph.
“Why are you telling us this just now? You’re not a mere wanderer. Why didn’t talk about it earlier?” Asked Krog.
Haruth smiled and put his jewels back in his pocket. “True, I am not a wanderer. Greed of men is more dangerous than any spell. You, Krog son of Kraus, aren’t greedy. At least not as much as your brother. You are a good man, maybe bold and young, but you are a great man, just like your father. I also believe that you are destined to do great things, greater than ruling. Also, because our only hope of defeating Zion is to find the stone before him, and I can’t do it alone. I need help. If the stone falls into the wrong hands, we’re doomed. All of us, wizards, men, giants and dwarves, all of us.”
The three men looked at each other, frightened and confused.
Manyar pressed his lips then gulped down his ale. “The end is nigh. Death comes tomorrow. Let’s bloody do it. Let’s help him Krog.” He muttered after a long belch.
Haruth was waiting patiently for Krog’s answer, sipping on his drink. He rose his mug and waited for Krog to raise his. Rudolph and Manyar looked at Krog, who was eying tirelessly the wizard.
"Ay. Let’s bloody do it. Fee." Krog finally raised his mug, followed by his two friends.
“You hold your liquor well for a wizard.” Said Krog.
“Oh this?” Haruth pointed at his mug. “This is just milk.”
They all burst in laughter.
"Come on, drink with us. We may not live long to see you drunk.” Insisted Manyar.
"Alright, alright. One drink.” Agreed Haruth.
They didn’t stop until all four passed out.
It was past midnight, Dragontail was asleep, no torches burned and no soul was heard. Poli was awake, hunting rabbit with her dog in the grey forest, under the cloudless moonlight. She couldn’t sleep, the quest filled her mind and she was too excited to rest.
"We should head back Sven, I’m tired. No rabbits here. Foxes must have ate them. Let’s go.” She said jokingly, the dog followed her, sniffing the air here and there. They walked for a moment before Sven started to bark angrily.
“What is it? A rabbit?” Asked Poli alarmed. She nocked an arrow and aimed at where her dog was barking. “I can’t see anything. We should go, the moonlight isn’t enough to hunt, it was a stupid idea. Let’s go.” She put back her arrow in the quiver in her back and whistled at her dog. Sven didn’t seem to hear her and kept barking even more.
“Sven! Let’s go! Leave it!” She tried to pull it but the hound didn’t move an inch. “Alright, stay here. Dragons love dog meat.”
She walked away as to scare the dog, but no use, she could still hear it bark. “I can’t believe this.” She sighed and turned back to her dog. Poli walked to where Sven was looking to have a closer look. “See? Nothing! There is nothing here but trees and shrubs!” The dog growled even more aggressively, approached Poli and dragged her by her leg gently. “Easy boy, let’s go back home.”
She walked two steps away from the bushes and turned back again. She saw a silhouette rise from the shrubs. A dark shadowy body with glowing green eyes. She fell to the ground, frozen by fear she couldn’t get ahold of her bow. Sven jumped in front of her and growled and snarled at the shadow.
The shadow moved closer and whispered something she couldn’t hear, but it did scare the dog enough for it to run with its tail between its legs.
She nocked an arrow and shot the silhouette, it went right through it as if it was made of smoke. She was shaking and it was getting closer to her. She tried to stand on her feet but she was too frightened to do so. Poli was sweating and crawling backwards. The shadow leaned so close to her face, she could feel its breath.
"Go! Tell Haruth you have met me. Tell him you have met death, and tell him that the dead will claim the world of the living. He can’t save you. Traitor.” The shadow whispered and moved back as if to leave before getting closer to the frightened girl. “Oh, why risk doubt when I can give him proof? Forgive me weakling, I have a use for you.”