Shadow Wolf time! This is part of my weekly writing exercise, written raw and rough. The first story arc, Blade Breaker, can be found here. The first story of this arc, Red Fangs, can be found here. The previous week’s post can be found here.
“Do you remember how I said that she wanted to start a war?” said Berkhilda.
“I was thinking she might be in it just to profit.”
“Some people profit from war, Ragnar,” said Murith.
“Imagine, friend Ragnar, if what happened to me, happened to every Vampire in the city,” said Berkhilda. “Most of them could not resist.”
“What’s she talking about?” asked Git.
“Something in that building is triggering a primal hunger for blood,” said Berkhilda. “It is powerful. For a moment, it was an all consuming need.”
“If you have difficulty resisting this, most Vampires will succumb. If Cinder is able to unleash whatever this is, the chaos will be unimaginable.”
“What is the vector?” asked Git.
“How is it spread Berkhilda?” asked Git. “Is it a spell, is it something you smell, is–”
“It is the scent of blood,” said Berkhilda. “But very powerful.”
“She might be able to spread it then,” said Git. “Maybe over the whole city if she is smart and well-prepared.”
“The watch would be decimated,” said Murith.
“Garm’s bloody luck… Do we go in?”
“It is definitely a trap,” said Murith.
“Do we have a choice? Could we burn the place Git?”
“That might make it worse,” said Git. “It might even be what she wants us to do.”
“Skygge grant me the insight… fuck it. We go in, we get Cinder. Find out what we can and put a stop to this.”
After a quick discussion we decided to attack the building from multiple angles. It spread our forces, but it gave us a better chance to get Cinder. I decided to keep Berkhilda with me, in case the scent of blood drove her mad again. Since we had the heavy armour we would be the first to attack.
“Are you ready?”
“Give me a moment Ragnar… I’m sorry,” said Berkhilda. I had never seen the big woman this shaken. The scent of blood was overwhelming.
Berkhilda knelt. I heard her her pray.
“Furis, your daughter calls upon you. Grant me the strength of will to resist the disease that courses through me. Give me the strength of arm to strike down my enemies. I ask only to live the next few moments well and redden my axe with the blood of the unjust. I fear not death, only dishonor. Your name. My dedication. Thy will be done.”
She stood and we moved toward the door.
The Nordan Gods are known to answer the prayers of their people. Sometimes they even walk among us. I myself have seen the Avatar of mighty Hurn stride across a battle and the Spear of Garm fall from heaven to strike down a great foe. We Nordan say that Some say that it is a kind of mass cultural sorcery, and not a result of faith. It could be true, but it hardly matters when it works.
Twenty paces from the building, I heard a twang and felt something fly by my head. It wasn’t Murith. Berkhilda broke into a run, aiming for the main door. I matched her pace, determined to hit it at the same time. The smell of blood was growing ever stronger. Something hit my pauldron, hard. Then we crashed into the wood.
The rotten warehouse door splintered and we pushed into the building. Berkhilda growled and we cast about for foes. I saw movement near one of the windows on a walkway above us, and I looked up. Time seemed to slow.
The ceiling of the old warehouse was a forest of headless corpses dangling from chains.