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Severed Shadows Continues...
“Wait one moment. You expect me to believe that you ran afoul of these gnolls by accident, and used your magic which you can’t control at will to slaughter them all. They just happened to be out here in the middle of the forest building a tower and hiding from locals. They just happened to be twenty or thirty strong and haven’t so much as plundered a single farm house or killed a single villager out alone gathering wood or filching robins’ eggs. That many gnolls out here long enough to begin construction on a stone tower and no casualties. Clearly they were under direct guidance of a more intelligent being; one whose secrecy involves plans for conquest. Tell me that being isn’t you,” she had crossed her arms in a most attractive, angry stance. Her eyes were sparkling and intense, cheeks flushed and clearly unhappy to be taken for a fool. She was quite clever for a sword slinger and Seandar found it irresistible.
“Alright, maybe I happened to come across the gnolls a little while ago. They were going to eat me until I displayed a trick or two. It was enough to get a word in and convince them that I could lead them to great power. What else could I offer them? But I had no intentions of ever helping them harm innocents. Why do you think they turned on me? As for the tower, I figured what’s the harm in letting them build me a defensible home. By the abyss, I’m tired of wandering. I thought it would be nice to have a place to call my own. Gemkray is more suited as a butler than a driver anyway,” the last was clearly a jibe meant for the zombie but Gemkray pretended not to hear. Seandar’s face scrunched with disappointment at the lack of reaction.
“If you think about it, I’m probably the reason no one has died yet,” he gave her his charming grin again, hoping it would begin to wear her down.
“You should have informed the nearest village, we could have come and wiped them out in a surprise attack. What if you had failed to defeat them with your magic? They could have overrun the outlying farms before we even knew what happened,” she was less outraged than before, but stubbornly refused to let Seandar off the hook. He liked how her shoulder length auburn hair shone in the firelight.
“Right, Meryl. I’ll just waltz into town and say ‘Hi everyone. I’ve tricked some gnolls into building me a tower. Go kill them. By the way, please spare my undead companion, whom I raised from the dead with dark sorcery’. I’m sure that would go well,” he chuckled at the thought.
“Well it would go over better than what you’re going to do, which is march into my village and explain to my captain that you have unleashed a demon shadow in the forest that may slaughter us all. At least we could fight gnolls. What can we do about shadows and magic?” she had a point.
“Look, Meryl. I’ll search for my shadow and find a way to deal with it. You are just going to have to warn your village alone. They’d burn me at the stake, and Gemkray too. I don’t even know if that would kill him, but it’s not a fun experiment,” Gemkray may have stirred at that remark, but the appreciative smile on his withered face was surely a trick of the firelight. Seandar began to lay down for sleep, hoping the conversation was over. It wasn’t.
“You are coming with me if I have to thump your skull again and carry you there myself. You just better pray I have a home left to carry you to,” she too rolled over for sleep.
“Gemkray, get our things together. It sounds like we are going to make some new friends tomorrow,” under his breath he mumbled further, “damned shadow wouldn’t be loose if you hadn’t thumped my skull the first time.” Wisely he didn’t let her hear.
|Severed Shadows Part 5||Severed Shadows Part 11|
|Severed Shadows Part 2||Severed Shadows Part 12|
|Severed Shadows Part 14 (Conclusion)|