SotF: Something to Prove

  • IX

    From the edge of camp to the deep of the forest, Brant had been talking nonstop on the plan. If he was in the Legion, Falrielle thought he would of have been flogged twice and discharged a long time ago for loose lips. At first he kept it short and simple. Eventually more and more details were added as he repeated himself but she more or less caught the gist of it. Set a trap with Falrielle as the bait for she was the new face and thus the ‘volunteer’. With bolas, iron chains, spears, and hook, they would overwhelm the werewolf before it would tear her apart.


                Easy plan.


                Falrielle started a fire in a clearing and began roasting a goat her newfound friends so helpfully provided. She was told that this werewolf had a taste for mutton and she did not blame him. The mutton darkened as the sky did and by the height of the twin moons, the goat was done.


                Roasted Northern-style: without any spice or finesse, just burn the thing over a fire. The way she liked it. Falrielle’s mouth watered in anticipation as she drew her knife and carved a mouthful of its flank. She knew she shouldn’t, the goat was for the werewolf but she couldn’t resist a taste and it was not a decision she regretted. Her fingers stung from the greasy fat that dribbled off the flesh when she peeled it and with a bite, a shot of pleasure surged through her body. She had to have another and carved another mouthful and then another.


                Eventually she decided to forgo restraint and she tore a whole leg off the goat and feasted. It wasn’t too long before she picked the bone clean. She chuckled to herself as she wiped her mouth, remembering of her heritage as a Wood Elf with their love of meat. She readied her knife, convincing herself that she could use more.


                Her ears twitched.


                The Initiate dropped to a knee and with one fluid motion, she picked up her spear and aimed the tip at the beast charging at her from behind. At the point of clash, the beast leapt over the crouching elf and knocked over the goat and the fire danced.


                The creature was humanoid but beyond that she found no humanity in it. It was large, far larger than her or any Nord she had ever seen before. Her eyes could not tell her any features of the creature other than its shape but her nose told her enough: this one reeked of wet dog.


                From across the campfire, the creature let out a menacing growl and snapped its jaw shut like a crack of a closing chest.


                But Falrielle was not intimidated: the elf too had teeth and she was more than proud to show hers in return.


                ‘Mara, what a big boy you are!’ she said, bearing an ugly grin. ‘What is a tiny else like myself to do?’


                In a blink of an eye, Falrielle lunged. The creature deflected her spear and responded with a swipe but she able bring the head back to point, earning her with a cut across the creature’s chest. Seconds later, her nose was delighted with the scent of blood in the air. Her body quivered and her ugly grin grew wider.


                The creature slipped a pained howl and furiously charged with claws slashing wildly in the air. The elf saw it coming and dashed aside in response but the creature was faster than it looked and slashed again, its claws connecting giving the elf a shallow cut across her lip.


                Falrielle licked her lips that metallic taste of blood being a familiar friend and the good memories flooded back. Her heart was pounding hard, her breaths short, her head light but she had never felt more alive in her life. It wasn’t a mere lust; it was a battle-lust. A lust that no sweet whispers would satisfy, that no strong drink would quench. Only blood would suffice and it was something that every True Nord would understand. It was something only a True Nord would love.


                Falrielle stuck her fingers in her mouth and whistled – no response. She uttered a short curse under her breath when the creature began another flurry of crazed strikes at speeds far too quick for a creature of its size. However, the elf was even quicker. Like a dancer, Falrielle’s body bobbed and weaved between the creature’s blows and when the opportunity presented itself, she attacked with a hard thrust to the gut and all her strength behind the blow.


                But it wasn’t enough.


                Distracted by her small victory, the creature swung its massive arms and knocked the wind out of her lungs, sending her flying a few feet in the air and landing on her arse by the campfire. The creature growled as it snapped the shaft in its belly in half.


                Falrielle coughed and gagged, struggling to breathe with her mind reeling on the idea that this creature had planned it; it allowed her to make an ineffective attack as a feint, an almost human thought. By reflex she drew her mace and saw that the creature was rushing at her again. Falrielle responded with a fistful of embers to the eyes.


                The creature flinched but it was too little too late. Falrielle had misjudged the distance and when she tried to roll away, the creature merely trampled her like she was trash as it ran past.


                A mouthful of dirt, she stuck her head out and saw the creature slowly creeping towards her. Her mind blanked for all she could focus on was a pair of wild eyes and a jaw full of sharp crooked fangs.


                Then a bolt flew through the air and landed with a brutal thud. Voices of men rang but all Falrielle would see were blurred lights. She gritted her teeth and forced her legs to stand and they did. She cursed and smacked herself on the head, her vision cleared enough to see the hunters swarming the werewolf.


                ‘No,’ she said to herself. ‘This is my kill!’


                A second wind blew into her and the elf charged. Falrielle snatched the spear off one of the hunters and pointed the head forward. At the last moment, Falrielle jumped high and plunged the spear as deep as she could into the creature’s heart with a mighty roar. The momentum was enough to knock the creature back and it yelped when Falrielle twisted the spear. She looked into its eyes and saw the look that all killers knew - the look of life slowly slipping away. It jerked violently before suddenly it grew limp.


                It was dead.


                Her hands were shaking when she let go of the spear. She looked at her companions who were standing back with hungry eyes: she had yet to have her fill of blood.


    ‘Took your fucking time did you, you fucking cock-suckers!’ she snarled. Breathing was still difficult and soon enough, she found herself on her knees gasping for air.


                Brant chuckled. ‘Yet showed we did, fellow Wood Elf!’ he said with the same jovial tone his voice always carried.


                ‘Eat-a-eat-a-,’ she said but she could not finish her sentence. Coughing and gagging, Falrielle first felt a burning sensation in her throat and then, the taste of goat along with whatever she had eaten that day.


                ‘That’s a waste of damn good goat!’ said Roald, punctuating himself with an annoying laugh.


                Falrielle raised her hand and gave him a rude gesture. The hunters laughed.


                Brant approached her and extended a wineskin.


                ‘For the taste,’ said Brant with a smile on his face.


                Falrielle took the wineskin with a short nod and took a quick swig


                She spat.


                ‘This tastes like donkey piss.’



     They approached the camp at the rising of the sun. As the hunters walked into the camp with wagon in tow, a crowd was gathering, rippling with excitement, curiosity and terror. On the bad old days she would of have figured that they came to balk at the elf with her pale blue eyes and her snow white hair but today they were more interested in the monstrosity that is their cargo. Its fur caked with blood and a broken spear embedded in its belly, the werewolf was a gruesome sight indeed and a sight few would rather see.


                Foreman Verner hobbled to the party on a pair of crutches and his partner, the woman who Falrielle just realised that she never did asked for her name. Brant spoke first. ‘Salutations, salutations, and salutations!’ he began. The other elf then weaved tall tales of heroism and bravery on how hard they fought to slay the beast. Falrielle could tell that Verner was just humouring him and gave him a sack of gold for the trouble.


                Thus it was time for the best part of sellswording: the pay. Two hundred Septims for the kill and an additional hundred from Brant himself. ‘You did good fellow elf,’ he said. She did now know his game but she took the extra coins nonetheless. Money was money and she knew better than to turn away – after all, money does not stink. Thus her partnership with the hunters is at its end. They would take the corpse back to their hideout for skinning and she would go on her merry way to wherever fate would take her.


                One last drink and farewells. And then the road.




    Previous Chapter: Something to Prove (VII - VIII)                                                                                   Next Chapter: Something to Prove (XI - XII)


1 Comment   |   Sotek likes this.
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  July 7, 2018
    It is probably the wolf in me... but I wonder what would happen if she recieved the blessing of the beast....