Enjoy a new tale from Entyl, featuring the Ra’shan, our featured Race of the Week. Enjoy and please remember to comment and let us know what you think!
A soft grunt was all that escaped the soldier as the twin blades slid into him from behind. The claw covering his mouth ensured the continued silence as he was dragged into the shadows. Moments later a form emerged from the shadows, the torchlight flickering across leather and scales. A fang filled muzzle tilted into the air, tasting for other defenses.
She was answered by the silence of the night.
The hints of a smile stretched her lips before she slipped back into the shadows. These humans were so frail and so unaware at times. Were it not for their numbers and their magics, they would not be the fearful demons that the world had come to know them as. She shook away the distracting thoughts before they could progress further. Her target awaited.
Torchlight flickered in their iron holders around the door to the tower and a pair of mage globes floated just within the archway. Two more soldiers stood guard, their eyes continually on the move, scanning the darkness. They were alert and vigilance, letting nothing escape their notice.
They did not notice the shadow that slithered around the back of the tower, claws and talons finding those hidden cracks within the ancient stone. Where no purchase could be found, claw and hammer made one. With agonizing slowness, she crept ever higher, eyes focused on the set of windows set near the top of the tower.
As the portal to the tower interior loomed closer, she paused, tail lashing beneath her as she searched the air. Though the reports had told her the prey would be in attendance, she was not one to leave things to chance. The shaman had tasks her with this duty and she would not fail. For the memory of her stolen children, she would not fail.
Moments slipped by and yet she waited, muscles tense as she crouched against the sheer stone of the tower. Nostrils flared as she finally caught the scent she was searching for. Swiftly she uncoiled from her position, vaulting through the window and tucking into a roll before scanning the room. Vials and tomes adorned nearly every surface. Scrolls rolled out and seemingly held down by whatever was closest. In the corner of the room, a trio of eggs sat in a circle of etched runes.
Standing before those eggs and chanting in a language she did not recognize was the target she sought. One of the human mages tasked with stealing the children and twisting them into slavery. A snarl ripped from her throat as she leapt across the room, twin bladed claw extended to tear the life from the mage just as he had torn the life from her and others of her people.
A flash of light and the sound of a gong and she was sent tumbling back, rebounding off a shimmering barrier that appeared around the mage. With a snarl she scrambled to her feet and jumped at the mage, claws slashing at the barrier. Each attack blinded her and set her ears ringing, yet she persisted. Her clawed feet dug into the carpet, clinging for purchase as she sought to bury her claws into the offensive flesh that even now continued the work of twisting and polluting the blood of her people.
The eggs glowed red in the torchlight and seemed to darken with each flash of the barrier. A few minutes into the assault the mage ceased chanting, turning around to consider the beast trying in vain to assail him. There was nothing the creature could do now that the ritual had been completed. This was the last batch of eggs. He was eager to see the results. Many of his fellow scholars had theorized on the form that would be taken with the hybrids and he couldn’t wait to see just how strong and durable his magic had made the new slaves.
“Give it up, creature. Your pitiful attempts are beginning to try my patience. Be gone. I have no time nor need for more of your kind. I’ve had my fill of stinking swamps.”
He turned back to his work, noting the way the runes were now flowing onto the eggs. The configuration was consistent with previous instances of the ritual. A quick glance at his scrolls confirmed what he already knew. Everything was perfect.
The silence from his barrier was a welcome diversion from his thinking, not to mention the lack of flashes ruining his vision. He turned to make sure the creature had truly left before grunting as something slammed into his belly. Looking down he could see the hand of the beast resting flush against his robes. What was that in its hands?
She gave the blades a twist, the claw ripping apart flesh and fabric before she withdrew the blades only to plunge them back in slightly higher. Her red eyes appeared to glow in the torch light as she stared at one of the humans who were responsible for so much suffering in her world.
“Become one with the night, monster.” She knew the human would not understand her words, but they needed to be said nonetheless. Pulling her blades out once again, she let the corpse crumple to the floor before turning to consider the eggs.
The shamans had spoken of the brutish magics that were wielded by the humans. The way they twisted flesh and bent the minds. Looking at the helpless eggs, she did the only thing she could before turning to the window.
With one last, longing look back into the room, she sighed, then turned away and disappeared down the tower.
The tower stood silent, only the dead mage and crushed eggs as quiet witness to the grim happening.