Hi all, been a stressful week, but good news all round. My partner's dad had a successful triple bypass and is now awake in hospital. We are all thrilled at the successful surgery. Thank you all of you who kept us in your prayers, it was greatly appreciated.
I hope you guys enjoy what I did with this part. I think I may have made Zak's life a little difficult, but the suspense needed to go up a little. Enjoy!
Derric halted their movement and whined.
Stay. Must stay still.
“No! We need to go!” Magna tried to pull at him.
Derric growled before snapping his teeth around the upper arm of her armour. He forcibly made her sit down while he lay over her.
His voice was marred by terror, and all Magna could do was try to calm her own heart as the white balls continued to float over them. At first, it looked like the balls were going to touch Derric, but then they seemed to be blown in a different direction by a gust of hot, disgusting wind. It was so putrid that Magna had to bury her face into the wolf’s fur to block out the smell. They remained like that until Derric was sure the white balls had floated away. He then got to his feet and dragged Magna to her feet.
We need to move slowly and with purpose. Pick a direction, and I will carry you.
“But you are hurt.”
And we will be eaten or worse if we stay here. Where are we going?
“Away from that thing. Wouldn’t it be better if we walk instead of you carrying me?”
I’d agree if I could change back, but I can’t.
Mortis’ head ached. He had actually lost consciousness when the gate exploded as Derric ran through it. He didn’t know that it would be possible for him to lose consciousness, but he awoke staring at the purple sky of the world they were trying to reach. Groggily, he sat up and rubbed his head. He then realised that his helm had been torn clean off by the explosion.
A quick survey around him rewarded him with his helm close by. He quickly jammed it back onto his head and continued to scope out the area around him. He was sure that Helga and Adiran had come through with him, but he couldn’t see them anywhere. Slowly the knight got to his feet and look toward the distance. The horizon was dark red as if the sunset was occurring, but the sun was at his back. That direction smelled of corruption and danger. The remaining area around him was rolling green hills with a scattering of large herbivores lazily grazing around him.
The realisation that none of his companions were with him caused a momentary sense of panic, and he was forced to calm himself. It had been a long time since he had known panic like this. Spying his sword not too far away, the knight strode forward to collect it. In the distance, he noticed more of the camp’s equipment.
Where is everyone?
A quick search revealed two of the talismans Adiran had been working on, some parcels of food, and a single bedroll. It wasn’t much, but it was better than nothing. Mortis looked to the corrupted sky and felt a stirring in his belly he had hadn’t felt in many years.
Despite that, he knew he needed to go there. Although Magna believed they were connected through the teeth of the Dreadthing, this wasn’t true. She had named Mortis, and therefore they were joined until she released him. Yet, the corruption of that place was stronger than Mortis’ will. Another stirring in his belly reminded him that he would need to eat before attempting to enter that place. If he didn’t…no, he didn’t want to think of what he was capable of doing.
He turned back to the creatures that were grazing. They were not what he needed, but they would have to do until he could find what he needed. He selected the closest beast to him and muttered a spell under his breath and pointed to the beast. Nothing happened. Confused, he looked to his hands and with horror realised that there was no trace of blood remaining. Without the blood, he wasn’t going to be able to hunt the children. He took a deep breath and drew his blade.
“Old fashion way it is then.”
Adiran’s head ached as he finally regained consciousness. He slowly sat up and was rewarded with a rebelling stomach. After emptying his belly of what he had last eaten, he got to shaky legs, but it was short-lived. He barely had the strength to prevent his head from colliding with the ground as he collapsed once more. He lay on the ground for a few minutes trying to remember what had happened.
“Planning on lying down all day?” came a voice from close by.
He looked up and saw Helga squatting close by. She looked more annoyed than before.
“God-touched and cursed children. You didn’t think the gate would let them through, did you? What did you think was going to happen when they tried to go through?”
Adiran slowly sat up and cradled his head. He wasn’t surprised when he saw blood on his fingers. He had hit his head, and hard. This wasn’t good. The pain was bad enough that it would influence his ability to cast spells. At least he had Helga for protection. He looked at the harpy and realised that he was wrong. Her one wing was hanging uselessly, and she was trying to bind it tightly to her back.
“Stupid Adiran, very stupid. Lying about a God-touched child was the worst thing you could have done.”
“Where do you think we are?”
“I…I don’t know.”
“The land between.” Muttered Helga, “And we are all split up. Looks like we got the easiest of the trails though.”
Adiran paled and he looked around. All around him was a grass field with patches of flowers. The sky above was a brilliant blue and the air was clean. However, of his other companions, there was no trace.
“No…no…” he got to his feet, “My spell was flawless!”
“It was, you proved it by defeating me, but what you forgot to do was to add the protective talismans to the children before they went through the gate. That would have protected all of us. Now we are scattered, injured, maybe even dead. Now we all need to prove we came with good intentions instead of harmful ones. What were you thinking!”
“Explain the trials!”
“Oh sweet, misdirected man, this has never happened before because people have enough sense to keep the cursed and God-touched outside of this place. By not abiding by those laws, you need to prove yourself by moving through this land to your intended destination. I don’t know the trials as I have never been bound to one stupid enough to bypass ancient laws.” Helga grabbed his robe and pulled him toward her, “If you want those children to survive the next few hours, we need to start hunting for them. By the looks of it, your magic has left you, and my wing is out of commission; we are hoofing it until we can’t anymore, or we find the children, whatever happens first. Now let’s go!”
I think @zakludick has his work cut out for him! I hope you all enjoyed! See you next week!
Here is an explanation of Chain Stories and here is the current Chainstory Library
Mortis Custos Parts
|by @lex-zaiya||by @zakludick|
|Part 1||Part 2|
|Part 3||Part 4|
|Part 5||Part 6|
|Part 7||Part 8|
|Part 9||Part 10|
|Part 11||Part 12|
|Part 13||Part 14|
|Part 15||Part 16|
|Part 17||Part 18|
|Part 19||Part 20|
|Part 21||Part 22|
|Part 23||Part 24|
|Part 25||Part 26|
|Part 27||Part 28|
|Part 29||Part 30|
|Part 31 - You are Here||Part 32 - Coming Soon|
The Reader List
If you would like to be tagged in every episode of Mortis Custos, leave us a comment and get added in, miss nothing!
Right now I will add people who have been keeping an eye on this series:
@weone, @merenludick, @clairemobey, @therneau, @blitzzzz, @pravesho, @joetunex, @captainquack22, @irisworld, @braaiboy, @sketchygamerguy, @fuego-oscuro, @felt.buzz, @dibblers.dabs, @beeber, @brittandjosie, @tamacvet, @thinkrdotexe, @alonicus, @joetunex