The Last: Chapter Six

  • We left from Gorbzghazur and headed east across the Wrothgarian mountain chain, accompanied by Gluzra as our guide. I wasn’t happy about this. I found it unbearable being in her presence. My thirst for something more than mere animal blood grew more savage every day. I would catch the scent of her hair in the mountain breeze, and it took all of my willpower to not rip her to pieces and feast. Bjorlam could sense my discomfort, and so walked between me and the Orc as she led the two of us through the knee-deep snow. This served not only to keep up our ruse as a werewolf pack, where Bjorlam was the leader, but also to mask her scent from me behind his reeking dog smell.

    I must admit it was remarkably effective—werewolf stink was that revolting.

    Gluzra proved to be absolutely essential in crossing the mountains. At the highest points, there was nothing to be seen but white snow and thick sheets of ice. She was unwavering in her movement, never second guessing herself as she led us. Bjorlam and I would have surely gotten lost had we attempted to go alone. Even my eyes could not find the path, and Bjorlam admitted that he could smell nothing but snow and his own beard.

    “How can you see anything in this blizzard?” I asked the Orc. The conversation aided the stink in keeping my mind off killing her.

    Gluzra chuckled to herself. “These mountains are my home. I have walked this path far too many times to count. I do not see the path. I already know where it is.”

    “I didn’t know Orcs could be so…numinous.” Bjorlam joked.

    Gluzra made a point of stopping and slugging the old Nord on the arm, but it didn’t even faze him. He just kept chuckling to himself as Gluzra turned and continued to lead.

    Brutal gusts of wind sliced our bodies as we trudged slowly east. I pretended to be cold; protecting my face with the cloak Gluzra had made for me. I even once made a point of complaining about the cold.

    “Still not used to the cold, eh?” Bjorlam responded; spot on with keeping up our guise. “As you hunt with my pack, you will get used to it. Eventually you won’t even feel it.”

    “A wolf-blood who can’t take cold?” Gluzra sounded amused by the thought. “Bjorlam, where did you find this boy?”

    “In an inn.”

    Bjorlam didn’t say anything more on the subject, and neither did I.


    We reached the foothills on the east side of the mountains on the fourth day after leaving Gorbzghazur.  I was excited and angry about this; relieved that the Orc was leaving us, and enraged that I would no longer be under the protection of the gray mountain clouds. The demon in the sky was back, at its full strength of midday. Not even the thick hood fully alleviated my pain. My hunger was at its peak. I could barely contain myself.

    “Thank you, Gluzra,” Bjorlam said to the Orc, patting his friend on the arm.

    “Yes, thank you.” I added—my stomach empty and my skin burning. I stared fiercely at her, eyes wide. She looked so delicious. I wanted a bite. I needed a bite.

    “It was nothing, tribe-friends. Good luck in your travels. I hope to see you again. You are always welcome at Gorbzghazur.” And with that she turned and left.

    When she was out of earshot, I turned to Bjorlam. “Need to feed. Now. Not animal.” It was such an unbearable thirst I was barely able to use words. The hunger was worse even than on the Maiden’s Tear. I was becoming more murderous with every second that passed. Blood was the only thing that was on my mind. I had never gone this long without feeding in all of my centuries of life.

    “Do not worry, friend.” He produced a piece of raw deer meat—part of the provisions the Orcs had provided us—from a pouch on his waist. “Will this satiate you for now?”

    I took it without responding and bit down, draining every drop of blood in seconds, and threw the dry remains to the dirt. “An hour, at most. I need more than animal.”

    He nodded solemnly, with a remarkable look of understanding in his eyes. Upon his first transformation, he must have felt exactly as I was feeling then. Again I found myself amazed at how much I had in common with this werewolf, but I did not entertain the thought for more than a second before blood again flooded my mind.

    “In that case, we will hunt,” he almost growled the words. “This area is known for its bandit parties. I’m sure we can find some milk-drinkers the world would be a better place without. And I could use a bite to eat as well.”

    I cruel smile graced my lips.

    Bjorlam began to remove his heavy armor. It took no more than a few minutes before he was nude. And then he began to change. His back arched, his nails extended into grisly claws, his muzzle extended and his teeth grew into fangs. And his whole body sprouted thick, heavy grey hair. He howled the most ferocious of howls when the transformation was complete.

    “I can smell them.” He said. “Southeast. About a dozen. Bandit smell. Mead and blood and sweat.” His voice was powerful and deep, and even gruffer than it had been before.

    He took off at a dead run, and I followed close behind.

    “This is going to be fun.”


    We descended upon them swiftly and brutally. The first bite—into the neck of a Breton woman—was the sweetest. I drank for minutes. Bjorlam tore through three bandits before they could even draw their weapons. He ripped the heart out of one, crushed the head of another with his massive jaws, and hit the last so hard with his right claw that the bandit flew five yards through the air and into a tree, snapping his spine in two.

    When I had drained the Breton woman, I moved on to the next of them. I drank the blood of four of them, including the woman.  Bjorlam had massacred the rest before I finished with the fourth. The entire battle, although it could hardly be called such, lasted mere minutes.

    They were the most satisfying minutes of my life—the worse the hunger, the better the meal. But I had another hunger, a more fierce hunger, a hunger for revenge. My mind returned from its bloodthirsty state to a cold state of anger. I thought of my family, the Khulari. A powerful memory pushed its way to the front of my mind. I remembered standing before the leader of the clan on my first day as a part of the family.

    “You will do great things for the Khulari,” he had told me. If only I had known then what I would do. I never would have dreamed that I would be the last survivor of my family. But I knew then that I would make sure that the world knew the power of the Khulari. I would have my revenge on the Vigilants. I would drain them of their blood in the name of my family.

    I sat beneath a tree, smiling, patiently waiting as Bjorlam feasted on the bodies.