They’d been on the move for several days heading through the forests, Amil turned out to be an exceptional trail blaizer and had the two of them moving with ease and well fed though they had got only the minimal of rest needed. They had to alternate their watches and only got about five hours each, on one night they’d had to respond to a group of montrous scouting animals that found them while they rested and ended up having to move through the early hours of the morning, since then they tended to sleep up high. Fortunatly the forest provided ample opportunity for that.
They had just made it over a fast flowing stream when Amil indicated for them to change direction slightly. She repeated the act a half hour later and then sped up the pace.
“We’re being followed” Amil whispered as she led the two of them through a collection of brambles.
“I don’t think so. It’s been stalking us since the sun rose.”
“I guess it must of caught scent of our camp or maybe our tracks?”
“Not much we can do about it now. We’ll have to deal with it.”
The two sped up their pace and looked for a spot where they could gain an advantage finding it after a while Amil nodded and indicated that this would be the place for the ambush, the wind was blowing away from where their pusuier was coming and there was a slight incline and the trees that the two of them had just past had been blown down. Amil quickly climbed a tree and readied her bow while Meredith ducked behind a large rocky outcrop spear in hand.
When the stalker moved into the clear Meredith curled her lips and readied to pounce as Amil let loose an arrow, the creature effortlessly dodged out of the way it’s long claw fingers faned out, its red eyes focused on where the arrow had come from and its pointy black ears twitched. It moved like a macarbre marrionette towards the tree line as Meredith dashed from her hiding spot and silently closed the ground with the monster in a blink of the eye, it looked in her direction and grinned as it batted away another arrow efforltessly.
“Well there little bitch,” The mocking tone of Primela as it also dodged the first jab of the spear.
“I thought it would be you.” Meredith danced back and then thrust foward aiming for Primela’s thigh.
“Time to settle our score.” Primela leapt over Meredith effortlessly.
“At long last.” Meredith spun the spear in an elegant arch her body following it like a fine ballet.
“Did i ever mention that everything about you made me sick?” Primela slashed out at Meredith claws barely missing her as she leant back out of the way.
“You imagined I cared?” Meredith flung the spear as though it had been fired from a ballister and followed up with her now drawn short sword and stilleto.
“grr” The shadowy figure of Primela barely dodged the spear and then almost stumbled as the sword danced back and forth infront of her, she lashed out with her claws again.
“Tsch” Meredith grimaced at the sound of metal slashing stone and sparks as Meredith’s short sword slashed Primela’s claws.
“Hah!” Primela raised her right hand claws to bring them down when an arrow from above hit Primela squarly in the neck followed by Meredith thrusting her stilleto into Primela’s chest cavety and darting back. Black blood began to ooze from the wound and Primela broke off the arrow shaft and looked at Meredith who grinned back at her.
“Ready to die again?”
“Snivling little sow!” Primela launched into a frenzied attack as Meredith batted away one attack after another none looked like the risked breaching Meredith’s defences as another arrow hit Primela in the back.
“Just hurry up and die you withered old husk of hate.” Meredith counter attacked her blade hacking into Primela who flayed her arms about wildly under the vicious onslaught. Primela stumbled and rolled onto her back, Meredith leapt onto her chest and with a maniacle grin brought the stilleto down again and again while Primela let out squeels and shrieks of pain and confusion.
“Probably dead by now.” Amil said after a few minutes, she was stood next to Meredith who lent back and let out a huge sigh of relief.
“Old friend?” Amil proded the strange demonic looking puppet with her bow.
“You could say that.” Meredith stood up and cleaned off her blades, Amil watched her quietly.
The two returned to their mission.
A few days later they began to see an increasing number of crows in the sky and the forest had come to an end and they had made their way up a set of hills when they’d heard the sounds of an army on the march. They decided to set up cover and watched the fields as the mostrous host first came into view their ranks went on as far as the eye could see and Meredith felt her heart sink as rank after rank after rank filed forward and these didn’t look like the shambling corpses they’d been seeing, these were highly ordered and armoured.
“I guess this is the army of their god.” Meredith rested her chin on the backs of her hands and counted to herself. There were massive mosnters matching the description that Erek and Primela had given of the mountains of meat, there were huge winged beasts, all kinds of terrifying monstrosities built from flesh and bone. Loud drums rang out to command the march a constant thundering rhythm.
“By the hells!” Amil exclaimed eyes almost bulging at the sight.
“Pretty much.” Meredith checked that the cover above her was still there.
“Is that what we face?” Meredith gave Amil a long hard look.
“Yeah, looks like it” She turned back and looked out at the army.
“Can you see the one we are after?” Amil strained.
“Not yet, he’ll be closer to the back I suppose.” Meredith let out an irritated sigh and checked her pocket.
“Hells, we are doomed.” Amil looked ill and downcast.
“I think you’re most likely correct.” Meredith scrunched up her nose and pulled the dried meat up to her mouth and started to chew.
Amil looked at Meredith who looked back at Amil as though weighing up the situation.
“We have a mission, we either succeed in that mission or we fail, that is all there is to our lives.” Meredith chewed.
“Do you think it ever ends?” Amil asked as yet more ranks came into view.
Meredith didn’t answer she just watched.
“Tsch, there they are.” The drummers came into view, they were huge fat beasts macarbe mockeries of men made of patch work sat atop huge eight legged beasts among them a small group of the most bizarre servents clustered around an ornate wagon pulled by slaves.
“I can’t see them”
“Woe to human eyesight.” The suns were setting over the horizon.
“Do you think they’ll set up camp?”
“Now there’s a question, when I first encountered them they only moved at night, then they seemed to shamble about aimlessly during the day, now they march in ordred ranks. The hells knows.”
“What should we do?”
“Eat the rest of our food. We wont be needing any come sun up.” Amil looked at Meredith who was staring at the army intently and frowned.
They stayed on the hill and watched as the sun set the front of the Army had started coming to a halt and for the most part seemed to stand where it was. Torches weren’t lit, fires weren’t raised, if you hadn’t of given adequate attention to the seen you likely wouldn’t have noticed the army at all. Close to the back though a fire was lit and it in turn lit up the caravan.
“They don’t seem to have set up any pickets?”
“I suppose they assume that they wont need them, I think it’s safe to say they can see in the dark.”
“Then why stop?”
“Maybe they can’t see well enough to be sure they wont lose troops in the forest. Flacidious being too human maybe, he always was a bit too compasionate”
“Why light the fire?”
“Food, from what I’ve seen the intelligent ones keep their mortal appetites, well their appetites I’d say are increased and show me a mortal that doesn’t like a good meal.”
“We should formulate our plans.” Meredith rolled next to Amil, by mid night they were ready to activate their plan, Meredith would create a spell to hide their aura’s from the dead so that they seemed to be lifeless as well and then they’d simply walk to the command tent and stab flacidious to death.
“Simple, do you think it will work?” Amil asked.
“No, but it’s as good a plan as we can get so let us get to it.” Meredith smiled and Amil nodded and looked out over the vast army. Meredith closed her eyes and began creating the magic needed to cloak them both her quiet muttering and tracing of invisible patterns with her fingers carried on for almost an hour before she placed a hand on Amil’s shoulder and took her hand away.
“Done.” Meredith let out a little huff and wiggled her fingers/
“Really?” Amil didn’t look to sure.
“Probably. Let’s go see.” Meredith shrugged and headed down the hill.
As they neared the army Amil looked to slow down but Meredith walked as bold as brass forcing Amil to skip a bit to keep up. They both kept their mouths shut and a metal clad guard turned to look in there direction and Meredith kept walking towards them, the soldier turned back to face forwards as though she was supposed to be there and she smiled and carried on her swift walk looking back a moment and nodded at Amil who joined her. The two continued past rank after rank of soldiers, the place smelt of rancid meat occasionaly they would see a maggot drop from between a join in the armour or an eye hole but they looked away and continued towards their target.
The fire made it easy to stay on course and within a half hour of walking they could see the ornate wagon, the giant beasts with their mamoth drums and mountains of beastial flesh that they rode.
“I thought I smelt something sweet.” Meredith’s head jolted towards the voice to see the strangely monstrous Long stood their staring at her and Amil.
“What’s this, have you bought us a gift?” Long asked looking at Amil.
“Something delicious to gain your seat?” He paced forward.
“You didn’t have to, your place is guaranteed unless of course I slice your pretty head from your shoulders”
“I don’t have time for you Long, she’ll play with you.” Meredith pointed at Amil who looked both confused and concerned at the turn of events, Long looked at Amil and back at Meredith.
“My target is Flacidious. You deal with Long” Meredith turned her back and walked towards the wagon. Long roared and leapt after her but Amil jumped in the way batting his scyth like arm away.
“Want to die first then?” Long asked as Amil sliced at him.
“Very well, I’ll oblige you.”