The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Aresan Clan pt 37

Mill knew all the tricks for evading the creature. He would many times annually leave Orinda through the creature’s hunting ground to trade communiqués with Strya. He had done it many times without incident, but it still was dangerous. The creature was, as he well knew, an unpredictable and ungovernable servant, who wasn’t so much commanded as coaxed into performing her duty.

The first step in evading the creature was to lure her away with a distracting scent. This involved taking the innards of two freshly slaughtered sheep and leaving them for her to find. He pulled out two small sacks he’d purchased from a neighbor filled with the hearts, livers, intestines and stomachs of a couple of sheep. It was cheap, since usually this meat was simply ground up and spiced to cover up the unpleasant flavor of the meats. For the Creature, though, it was a savory and irresistible temptation.

Walking to the edge of the town, Mill cast the two sacks deep into the forest far away from where he would be leaving. Tearing through the cloth sacks would give the creature trouble, but the sweat aroma would keep her trying. As soon as she caught the scents, if she hadn’t already, she would be pursuing them.

Mill then pulled out a bottle of essential oil, which he distilled himself, made from the sap of a fir tree, and poured it over himself. The forest smell was a very pleasant one to his nose, though it had an overwhelming pungency when he covered himself in it. It helped mask his human scent from the nose of the creature. The large quantity of oil would overwhelm the creature’s delicate nose and give Mill cover, so long as the creature didn’t see him.

After all this preparation was completed, Mill, who smelled like a walking tree, gathered up his stuff and cautiously jogged in the direction opposite the meat.

Alles entered the camp at full speed shouting as he ran, “Everyone to arms. We’re under attack! Form a line! Form a line!”

He ran directly towards the palanquin and, opening it up, he gingerly deposited the still sleeping child within. As he set him down, his hand brushed against Samuel’s bare skin, and he momentarily froze with fright. The child seemed to be stirring, so he quickly closed the door and locked it. His mind spun, as he half expected some instantaneous change wrought by his contact with Samuel. Was he going to be under Samuel’s control? a willing servant devoted to him? Was his mind irrevocably biased in favor of him? He looked around to see if anyone had seem him, then, not sensing any change, he turned around to prepare himself for an attack.

Jesek, Imann and Jyorg arrived in the camp soon after Alles with Sorn trailing at the back, running desperately to the protection of the crowd of tents where their companions were just beginning to stir. Sorn desperately pounded on the tops of the tents, shouting to the soldiers inside, “Get up, get up get up! God damnit, this is an attack! Do you want to die in there?”

Soldiers began to groggily emerge from their tents, mostly only lightly dressed in a shirt and some boots, with only their swords in hand to defend themselves. As they emerged, they mumbled questions, “What’s going on?” “What is it?” “What’s the emergency?” Annsi alone emerged fully dressed for battle and ready for a fight, donning her armor and carrying both her sword and dagger sheathed at her side.

The soldiers’ questions were answered when they saw sprinting down the slope towards them Erek-Monte and his horde, hollering battle cries at the top of their voice while they ran. They raged with a fiery energy, kicking through the undergrowth with their boots, creating a cloud of dirt and leaves that preceded them.

“Form a line in front of the palanquin,” Alles shouted, and his groggy soldiers, now fully awoke, lined up shoulder-to-shoulder with swords drawn in preparation. The line directly faced the approaching horde shielding the palanquin and the other attendants, which remained behind them.

When Erek-Monte saw the line of soldiers before him, he finally stopped in his tracks and brought his soldiers to a halt with a loud command. He then called out to Alles, in halting speech, as he sputtered out his attempt at an Omnian dialect. “Hello. Boy, what worth is you? Why you want?” Erek-Monte shouted to Alles across the gap of only several paces that separated them.

Alles didn’t respond for a long time as his mind contemplated exactly how to respond.

<-- Go to Part 36         Go to Part 38 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

No comments:

Post a Comment