Final Sacrifice

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It was sensation only those of magical inclination could understand. In blunt response Vex drearily awoke from her straw bed, the strange tingling feeling in her soul eating at her. Sitting upright she pulled out bits of straw out of her mangled white hair grumbling in a haze eyes still closed. The sensation felt wrong and sickening. As if worms were crawling inside of her stomach trying to escape through her throat. Opening her eyes, she licked the tips of her fingers and gently dragged them afterwards on the cold cobblestone. Small green sparks erupted but were faint in comparison to her typical display. Her fatigue from utilizing so much mana left her drained and the limited sleep left her vulnerable. Her eyes wandered to Riken who appeared to have been standing staring at the entrance intently. His beastly swaying seeming rather graceful despite his hulking appearance.

“Is there something out there?” Vex asked as her heart started to sink, not out of fear but rather torment of what she could not perceive. The beast with its boney elk face turned to Vex and hissed gently before gaping its mouth open then closed as if trying to explain something. Walking up she undid his chains on the walls and let him walk up towards the closed entrance. The stone door sealed shut, an ominous representation of keeping not her work safe, but the world safe from her work.

Looking around her study she gingerly walked over to her work bench in what appeared to be a drunken stupor. Her legs wobbled, and her eye sight grew hazy and fuzzy as if intoxicated. The sensation of using all of one’s mana had such effects and was every so prevalent on small creatures like pygmy’s. Pulling her stool out she sat in it and crossed her legs as she sat upright laying her grimoire on her lap. Tapping her fingers on the cover she eyed it. It had a gray rough leathery cover with yellow stitching’s, while a black gem in the center of the cover made it gruesome to stare at. A gift given to her when she used to live in the great magi city, years prior to the scorn burning it down. Rubbing her hands across the front she knew her life’s works was all inscribed within, even the secret of the coven of life and death she was a part of. Looking towards the entrance where Riken appeared to have crouched low, was giving off a low hiss. As if sensing the same thing Vex was. An intruder approaching with ill intent.

The feeling made her sick with the sensation of vertigo setting in. She had no where to run nor was she rested enough to fight whatever was coming. Her thoughts went to the possible forest goblins retaliating, but the wards and traps around the perimeter would suffice until she was capable of combating them. No, this was something of revolting nature, a force fast approaching that felt all too familiar.

Setting her grimoire on the work bench next to her tools form the night prior. She leaned forward and grabbed the double-bladed dagger hoping there was enough energy stored, in the event she would be forced to fight. Grumbling she sat there knowing her creations in the back of the crypt would help such a situation, yet were buried behind a collapsed crypt no thanks to Beren. Her thoughts wandered to Beren then to the masked man Ragnar and wondered if they had been caught and were bringing possible scorn enthusiast or soldiers to her hideout. Biting her lip her sharp teeth made little droplets of blood that she quickly licked before straitening up in her seat. Her attempt at appearing presentable for a prodigal lich of the woods despite her mortal form.

Riken let out a loud hiss suddenly and began backing away as Vex felt the sensation stop. Whatever it was, it was stuck at the door unable to get in. Smirking she rolled the dagger around in her palm waiting, almost as if knowing whomever was behind her door could easily enter if they were powerful enough. And as if on que the sound of crushing stone and the whoosh of air entered the crypt as the stone door cracked down the middle colliding into Riken throwing him across the room trapping beneath the slides of rock. The light coming in was too bright for Vex’s yellow eyes that were accustomed to the twilight highlands of her homeland. The Intruder did not utter a word but simply stood at the entrance, the bright light shining in silhouetting his figure. Despite Vex’s fatigue she put on a smirk as the figure transcended down into the crypt in a deliberate fashion. She knew this man, it was Ragnar and he had come for something only she had.

“I see how it is Ragnar, destroying my door without knocking first. What If I was changing you would not dare walk in on a lady improper?” Vex stated her wry smile showing bits of her sharp teeth almost twinkling in the sunlight her yellow eyes stern as if hiding her emotions.

“If you plan to be a seductress perhaps grow a few feet and I would have been inclined to consider.” Ragnar called out his voice sounding harsh as if the water goblet in his throat was running dry. “Before I take what I came for you have any questions?”

Vex sat there as her tired and fatigue body did everything it did to keep her composure. Even her quick wit and savvy mind felt sluggish. Yet it was all laid out in front of her the moment she met Ragnar. In fact she knew he was searching for her, her colleague at the southern coastal town warned of a stranger from the east wanting her research. Keeping her smirk, she held back a grimace and laid her hands on the grimoire tapping it.

“How about some statements, and you state at the end if it is true.” Vex stated as she straightened her back and opened her eyes wider as if to concentrate. “You found my hideout but could not gauge my combativeness. With some discreet detective work you learned of my hatred and plans to eradicate the forest goblins. So, you got yourself caught and perhaps even struck a deal with them to lead me to them. You convinced the chief to scout the woods and antagonize me in hopes of striking some combat. You did not however expect me to beat them so easily where you could snatch my grimoire. So instead you were reluctantly invited back to my hideout where I can keep an eye on you.” Vex stated before pausing as if thinking. Though the true purpose was to breath as Ragnar stood before her, his staff combat ready and his facemask covering all except his blue eyes.

“In a show of display of my power I created a new body for Beren and made it appear I used all my mana. Knowing you would leave and dispatch him before coming to me next. Unfortunately, you forgot about Riken and my ample amount of mana left.” Vex stated through a wry grin hoping her bluff would make Ragnar second guess his actions. She was uncertain if her defiant display of story telling was working as she had no way to read Ragnar’s face. He simply stood their silently, barely an audible sound of breathing taking place between them.

“Mostly true except for one thing.” Ragnar finally spoke as he rested his staff across his shoulders. “I planned to return with you and give you false information of spirit weaving. Not only did it work but I was able to defeat the body of Beren and banish his soul back to death.” Ragnar stated as his piercing blue eyes caught Vex’s, her smile slowly waning from defeat and fatigue. “All thanks to your obliviousness and lust for your grotesque art.” Ragnar began as he raised his staff toward Vex. “Hand it over and I promise no harm will come to you.”

Vex sat there tapping her chin with the dagger she had in hand, her foot rolling in circles while cross legged made her appear childish in all manner. Her eyes darted upward to the end of Ragnar’s staff then to his eyes. Were it another life she would have fallen for such a man. His mysterious outlook and cool calculated demeanor left her idolizing. “Sure, you think you were one step ahead of me in this game of magi. But you fail to remember I hold the grimoire and a beast behind you to do my bidding.” She stated as she casually twirled the dagger in her hand in a slow manner attempting to feel as non-threatened as possible despite the obvious dark circles under her eyes.

“Yes that as well, you can’t hide a wendigo from my eye sight.” If you lived in my country, you would be hung for harboring such an abhorrent creature.

“We are not in your country, are we?” Vex stated leaving Ragnar escaped of words to retaliate with.

“No. No we are not.” Ragnar began as he raised his staff and quickly lunged at Vex aiming for her chest obviously an attempt to knock her out quickly. Having already planed such an event Vex rolled backwards rolling across her work bench towards the wall where a loose stone was located. Ragnar not letting her escape closed the distance in a stride and with an open hand made to jab at the little pygmy. Unknowing of her pulling the loose stone out letting a gushing spray of sand like texture escape the hole. Bugs and mites and other unsightly creations of the earth came gushing out as they sprayed into Ragnar’s eyes blinding him as the sand like texture coated his black leather attire.

Rolling off of the work bench she fell to the ground as the vertigo made the room spin in an almost unnatural way. If she were to use one ounce of magic, she knew she would pass out immediately. Clutching her dagger, she felt its charge and slowly moved its energy to create a small green spiraling orb at the end. She laid on the ground dizzy as she aimed it at the heavy stone pinning Riken down. She shot it hoping it would collide with the stone but faltered as she missed entirely and hit the wall behind him. The beast hissing slightly doing everything it can to move and help his master in the affair against Ragnar.

“Cheap trick you ugly little pygmy.” Ragnar called out as he outstretched his arms and let out small shout as blue energy erupted around him stunning the insect and dispelling the sand that encompassed him. Struggling Vex charged another green orb at the end of her dagger and attempted to aim for the stone atop Riken. Who’s own green eye’s seem to glow with a violent yet protective glare. Taking in a deep breath she aimed once more at the stone with the room still spinning. Tightening her lips and straining her eyes she shot the orb. It appeared to make its way at the speed of a thrown rock towards the stone pinning her pet down. Yet her heart sank as her eyes opened wide to see a spark of blue energy zip past extinguishing the green orb.

“Its over Vex.” Ragnar stated as he walked up and kicked the double-edged dagger out of her hands. Her small fingers hyperextending as she did all she could to keep a hold onto it with no avail. It spun sporadically in a circle before resting a few feet from her hands. Ragnar stood above her with his foot on her chest. Her vertigo making her sick as the fatigue made everything as if a dream. Closing her eyes she moved what little mana she had left into mouth and let green sparks erupt at the end of her sharp teeth. Ragnar looked at her in curiosity as Vex simply grabbed Ragnar’s foot pinning her down and opened her mouth biting down hard. The green energy tearing through his leather boots and into his fleshy foot within. Ragnar let out a howl as he kicked Vex in the face and tripped over as he struggled to quell the burning sensation he felt.

“You vile little creature!” Ragnar stated his sense of calmness escaping him as he fell to his knee ripping off his leather boot in due haste.

Vex laid there with a bloody nose as the green energy subsided from her teeth. She had an aspiring wry smile as she rolled over to eye Ragnar temporarily subdued. Her eyesight was growing dark and her sense of reality felt almost euphoric as she used all the mana she had left. The room no longer spun but instead vibrated in an unnatural rhythm, only those under the influence of hallucinogens would experience. Stretching out she began to drag herself forward as she grabbed for the dagger. The energy within gave her minor clarity as the world around her darkened in a fit of staying awake.

“I am sorry Riken, but you need to awake now.” Vex stated as he pointed her blade at Riken, the blood from her nose covering her face in an almost dreary abused way. She held the dagger with both hands as she laid on the floor. Mouthing a few unheard words, she closed her eyes as a beam of green energy escaped the blade entering Riken. The light was brighter than her usual green as it gave off an ominous hum that resonated throughout the room. The energy seeping into Riken seemed to change his exterior as it once did against the goblins of the forest. Except this time at a faster rate and in a more grotesque fashion of morphing flesh.

Ragnar sat there with boot in hand as his eyes widened as he witnessed the change. Looking to Vex, he quickly crawled over and snatched the dagger from her hands to quell the magic. But was surprised as its effect continue unabated. Grimacing he threw the dagger on the ground as he stood up holding his hand up to his chest closing his eyes as if preparing a spell.

Vex watched from the corner of her eyes as Riken neared his transformation with Ragnar standing still. A smile etched itself onto her soft lips before her eyes closed in complete fatigue, the energy within her fully drained.

Ragnar finishing his spell as he lowered his hands, blue energy erupted around him as he held his facemask in place. The sounds of popping bones and ripping flesh filled the room as the green beam of energy from the dagger subsided into the hunched over abomination known as Riken. Taking a step back Ragnar watched as the beast moved the stone off himself with an all too human arm. Readying his staff Ragnar noticed the beast stand upright as it let out a normal breath unlike its typical hiss. The dust in the room did little to help identify his new foe. Yet he lifted his staff up precisely as a boney hand came surging through throwing Ragnar back a few feet. The staff cleaved and broken in two in his hands, giving way to a powerful foe. Knowing he would need room to combat such a beast he bounded backwards out of the crypt and into the sunlight where he faced his next combatant.

Inside the crypt there was a rumble as a hulking figure with glowing yellow eyes slowly emerged from within. It barely fit through the entrance as Ragnar finally laid eyes on such a vile creature. There like blood upon snow stood the sight of a true wendigo. Its torso showing ribs and a partially open chest cavity. Its animalistic legs mated with fur held hooves for feet, and a tail like bone for its balance. Its arms hung low near the ground as the hands appeared to be of sharp bones used for slicing. Its shoulders broad up to its rather thick neck where fur stuck out like a mad wolf. Its head looked all too human with its skeletal face. The only inclination was the god forsaken bulky antlers extending from his skull, sharp carnivores’ teeth and glowing yellow eyes.

A sensation of fear overcame Ragnar. A feeling he had not felt since his childhood. A true being of horror stood before him and he was forced to fight such a monster if he wanted the grimoire that lay inside the crypt.

Heh heh heh

The laugh sounded like a child’s yet eerily deep and evil in nature. Ragnar’s eyes widened as the being known as Riken stood upright appearing ten feet in height, the sound of an evil child laughter escaping his agape mouth.

We want to play

The sound erupted through its mouth once more. Sounding like a child’s yet transitioning into a deep ridiculing voice. As if snow were falling from trees in a secluded forest. Ragnar taking a stance stood there unwavering, knowing his sense of terror build up inside him. But the inhuman part keeping him determined standing in place as he brought his hands up ready to fight.

Fight now eat later

Riken stated, his eyes glowing as he fell to all fours as his childish laugh became apparent, before quickly galloping towards Ragnar. His long arms pounding into the dirt as he back legs kicked moving his huge hulking body forward, the giggling unending with glee. The sight of true terror and eldritch horror eroded Ragnar’s mind as he prepared for quite possibly the end.

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