"Truly I have no idea what you're asking of me" I said.
"I'm asking what you were doing outside the Tilth place?" repeated the guard.
I was getting frustrated. "How many times do I have to tell you? I was coming back from a not so successful hunting trip when I heard yelling. I got to the house just as you got there."
"So you say but tell me Drake where's you blade or your bow? When we found you you had nether."
"I broke my bow trying to get a rabbit and as for my blade I must have forgotten it back at my place"
"Ya that's a likely story."
Argg this guy is really getting on my nerves. I thought to myself. The door opened and in walked another guard. "Hank. Father Marcus is here and asking to speak to you."
"Great the quicker we get this execution over with the better."
Hank got to feet and left but not before saying to the other Guard "Derric say here and watch the prisoners."
I had looked over to the only other person in the room. A middle aged male with graying hair hunch over dressed only in ragged leather pants. He was tied down to a chair and looked in bad shape for he was covered in both shallow and deep cuts. Face, neck, arms, legs, chest, and, could only assume his back as well, clustered in groups of fives. Gods only know how he was still live. Though it didn't stop me from asking.
"What happened to him?" I asked guard Derric.
He turned to me with a look of concern on their face. "Werewolf attack. Poor guy."
Those cuts were starting to make sense. Claws marks.
He continued. "And after Farther Marcus gives him his last rights he's going straight to the block."
"Can't you do anything to help him?"
He shook his head. "No. The only thing we can do is give him quick death before the beast consumes him. That and prey to Aldaos to have mercy on him."
Okay that annoyed me.
"But if you ask me his getting off easy."
I looked at him. "Why?"
"Well Hank believes that Mr. Tilth is responsible for several deaths in the village."
"He's a murder?" Now I was concerned.
He shrugged. "Hank seemed to think so but he could never prove it."
The door opened again as Hank and another older man entered. The older man had short grey hair and was dress in a Brown robe with white and sky blue fabric belt and sash. I assumed that was Father Marcus.
Father Marcus looked at me for just a moment before walking over Mr. Tilth. That gave me a good view of the back of his robes and in between the shoulder blade was the symbol for Albaos. A pyramid divided vertically down the middle with a small gap.
For the next few minute they held their hand over the prisoner bowed head speaking in a strange language that I didn't recognized but when they were finished they turned and walked over to me. They moved to place their hand over my head when I looked up at them and asked. "Me as well?"
They looked me straight into my eyes. "I'm afraid so my son." Though I could see pain in their eyes. I was angry.
Derric spoke up. "He hasn't done anything."
Father Marcus turns to look at him."Guardsman Hank says he's responsible for several murders in the village and that the Mayor has already signed the order."He handed a piece of folded parchment to Derric.
Derric looked at it while I looked over at Hank. He seemed to be a little nervous but soon spoke while he looked me right in my eyes and said "See Derric they have both been sentences to death" The hate in his eye was chilling.
Derric look up from the parchment. "Hank. You know very well that Mayor left early this morning and won't be back in town till tomorrow."
Farther Marcus looked over at Hank. "Hank is that true?"
Hank, clearly upset, said nothing but instead he walked over and opened the door before saying. "Outside. Not in front of the condemned."
The way he said condemned just chilled me to the bone.
Why did he hate me so much? I swear Lord Therion if I get through this I will take those hunting lessons.
Hank and Father Marcus left the room. Derric was told to say behind so he walked over to me and said. "I'm sorry for that but when Hank gets like this."
"He's done this before?"
"Ya. But it's never gone this far."
"Why do this?"
"Here." he hand the parchment to me and read it
I write this as a quick response to your concerns. I've look over the letter you sent and in the matter of the two werewolf attack victims and, even though it pains me, I agree. A prayer and a quick death is the only thing we can offer them now. Please have Father Marcus give them there last right before the execution.
Sign Mayor Samuel K Adam's
The whole time I was reading I could hear a lot yelling coming from outside.
"If he thinks he can do this, he's wrong." said Derric
"But this letter says he can."
He took the letter from again and said with a smile. "This thing. It's a fake. See," He held the letter up and pointed to the lower right corner, "no wax seal. All of the mayor's official letters have them and ordering the execution of not one but two people. Well that's official as it gets. So you've got nothing to worry about."
The prisoner suddenly let out a cry of pain that cause both of us jump and to turn towards him. He was drenched in sweat and seemed to be in a great deal of pain as they strained hard against the ropes.
"What's with you?" Derric asked the prisoner. I knew.
They gave groan of strain just before they snapped the rope. The sudden release had caused them to be flung out of the chair and landing onto the floor and to have their left hand brushed my leg. The instant that happened, everything around me went dark.
Quickly the darkness started to disperse to reveal I was not in the guard house anymore. Instead I was looking at what looked like a dark cellar of some kind that hadn't been used in years. A dirt floor and stone walls with large cobweb log beam ceiling made up the whole 100 by 40 foot space. At first I thought I was the only one in room but movement to my right said otherwise. Though threw the dim I could only make out the outline of something but, just as I thought about it, the room was suddenly awash in light
The shape I had seen turned out to be a man with their arms chained to the rafters and feet to the ground. They were dress in a linen shirt and leather pants. It was Mr. Tilth and they look terrified of something and a growl from behind told me what. I turn around just in time to see black male werewolf with it mouth open with saliva dripping from its canine teeth. Ember eyes seem to glow in the dimly lit cellar. It razed a claw tipped hand before bring it down to strike. I threw up my arms and closed my eyes as Mr. Tilth's cries filling my ears.
When I open them again I saw I was back in the guard house. Though Derric had left. A growl and one look at Mr. Tilth told me why. He was now on their hands and knees with body still drench in sweat.
Is it just me or is he bigger.
Another growl and I watch as his torso stretch forward and the muscle swell.
Yep definitely bigger and growing.
I heard Guardsman Hank and looked toward the closed door. "Fine. Let just get the other prison to the executioner. Their waiting."
I looked back over to Mr. Tilth and they were already well into the change. They had grown large black claws on both their hands and there now digitigrades feet. They must have put on over 150 pounds and grown a good foot and, even though they were still growing, there body was quickly being covered in dark brown fur. Their face was even starting to push out into a canine teeth filled muzzle.
"TOO LATE!!" I called out just as the prisoner charged through the door into the next room.
I cursed to myself as I quickly removed my own cloths. Leaving only my amulet hanging from its chain around my neck before starting my own transformation. I could feel my body began to grow. Now I normally I would love the change in fact it can be quite pleasant but I had to hurry so I closed my eyes and was forcing it to go faster. I was literally pushing it out so that made it hurt, a lot. I was pushing so hard that my body was tearing itself apart faster than I could heal. My bone broke, cracked, and stretched as my muscle and skin was ripping apart causing me to bleed. The pain was almost unbearable but, only about 10 seconds later, it was over giving my body a chance to heal. Now fully transformed I stood over 7 feet tall with 300 plus pound of large well defined muscle covered in short thick black fur. I groaned in relief and gave a quick stretch before reopening my now amber eyes.
I could clearly hear the former Mr. Tilth fighting in the next room so I rush in and what do I see. Derric, sword in hand, was trying to fend off the brown werewolf attempts to maul his face off. Thinking fast I quickly changed and tackled Mr. Tilth right off their feet causing them to let out a yelp of surprise as we went crashing through the far wall and landing outside in a cloud of dust.
The impact with the ground caused me to lose my grip on Mr. Tilth allowing them to break free and disappear into the cloud of dust. I got back to my feet and I tried to shake the cobwebs out of my head when a growl to my right cleared it right up. The dust was still thick in the air but, looking towards where the growl came from, I could only see a pair glowing red eyes. Another growl just as the dust was beginning to settle only to show Mr. Tilth charging at me mouth and teeth bared. I braced myself but, just when they got into striking range, they suddenly stopped as something went whizzing between us. Just missing their nose. It was quickly followed by some cursing that drew Mr. Tilth's attention allowing me to give them a large body check to throw them server feet away. I had a moment to see that, in the hole in the wall of the guardhouse, stood Derric. They had a crossbow in their hand as they were fumbling to load another bolt. I turn back to Mr. Tilth to see them turning tail and running for the wood as fast as his 2 legs could carry him.
Noob. I thought. But before I could take a step I heard Derric's fire his crossbow again and to have that bolt embed itself though my right arm and it burned. I looked down at it to it was crossbow bolt tipped with silver. I looked Derric in the eyes "Oow!" I said before I grab the back of the bolt and yanked it out causing some blood to start running down my arm but I had no time to think about that. Turning back to Chase after Mr. Tilth, I launch myself forward, and started to run on all fours after him using my nose to track him and, even thought the pain in my right arm was preventing me from using it to run at full speed, I was catching up,
I'm not going to let you get away from me this time.
I soon found Mr. Tilth was trying to climb over the village wall. I quickly grabbed their feet and dug my claws in before pulling him back over my head and down onto ground. They responded by kicking me against the wall before they stood up to slash my back with their claws. I turned to face them only for them to get my chest and shoulders several times before I could grab his wrist with my right hand. We growled at each other for a moment until he glanced at my still bleeding arm. He razed up his arm which also brought mine up so he could clamp down his full muzzle so hard I could hear my arm bone braking. I hastily reach out with my left hand and grab his throat and began to squeeze. That forced him to release his hold on my other arm just to have them kick me in the groin. I buckle over in pain, hands on my groin, trying not to vomit. They took that time to dig there claws of both hands into the back of my shoulders and throw me through the air a good 20 feet leaving deep gouges in my back. He quickly followed up by charging at me; still lay on the ground, and standing with his right foot and claws pressing into my neck. "You DIE!" He growled, and began to press down closing off my windpipe. Each breath getting both harder and shallower. I grabbed onto his foot and tried to get free but I didn't have the strength with only one good arm as the darkness was quickly closing in around me...
When suddenly there foot came off. Gasping for air, I rolled onto my side before turned to see Mr. Tilth stood a few feet away with a silver Bolt through his right foot. I didn't look for the source I just launched into Mr. Tilth and pinned them to the ground before clamping my muzzle tightly around his nick and squeezed with as much strength as I could. The whole time Mr. Tilth was clawing at anything he could reach but was slowly lessening until, with a snap, he fell limp. I released my grip on his neck but I was far from done. I slid down there body so I could get to their chest were I used my claws to cut it open. Through the fur, flesh, and muscle to the rib, which I pulled on till ether they broke or ripped out, to expose the heart. When Looking down I could still see it slowly beating away. I lowered my head down into the cavity and, with my muzzle clamped down around there heart, I proceeded to rip it out before swallowing whole. It was quickly followed by surge of energy that spread throughout my body for only a brief moment as I got to my feet. Leaned back, with my arms at my side, and let loose a tremendous howling roar that made the ground vibrate.
The energy surge fading, I took a couple good deep breaths, before the pain in my right arm caused me to wince. I cradled it against my chest before turning back towards the village and there stood Derric, Crossbow Loaded, pointed at me, and ready to fire.
I could smell the fear from him from where I stood and I was a good 35 feet away. So I Just stood there and made no aggressive move or sounds. I just looked him in the eyes and waited as his hands shook as he hesitated.
"Derric. What you waiting for. Kill It!!" Hollered an Unwelcoming voice of guardsman Hank with Father Marcus following right behind him. Derrick still didn't fire and I could see the confliction in his eye even as Hank began yell in his ear. "Guardsman! I order you to FIRE!" but he still just stood there.
I noticed Father Marcus was looking at me so I turn my head so I could look him straight into his eyes. But only for a moment before he turn to Derric.
"Stay you hand Derric."
Well this enraged Hank "That is not your call. I'm Guard Captain and I say that things a threat to the village and must be killed."
But Father Marcus replied "He is no threat to us."
Derric lowered his crossbow.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING!? KILL IT!"
"I would really wish you wouldn't."
Both Hank and Father Marcus turned too looked at me to see I was again back in my human form. Without my fur they could clearly see the claw marks and blood that littered my body not to mention my mangled right arm.
"Now Derric." order Hank once again but Derric turn to Hank and said "No I won't do it."
Well that made Hank Livid "Snap out of it you idiot. It's just mess with you head so kill it before it recovers."
Father Marcus placed his hand on Derric shoulder and said. "Don't worry my son that's the right chose."
But Father Marcus's word didn't deter Hank. He grabbed the crossbow. "Fine. I'll do it then." But Derrick held fast as the two struggles over the weapon. "Have you finally lost it? Let go!"
As the two struggled, Father Marcus calmly walked up to me, removed his larger outer robes, and placed them over my shoulders before saying. "Here you go but please let me invite you over to my home for some tea and biscuits. I will also see if we can't take care of though cuts." He turns back to Derric. "Derric could you run back to the Guardhouse and retrieve any of Drakes cloths that might be there. Thank you. Come Drake please follow me."
Hank however, having apparently given up on the crossbow, stood right in front of the Father Marcus. "NO. That Thing is a Threat to the entire village. It needs to die not Give food and a healing."
Father Marcus patience had pretty much run out at this point. "That enough Guardsman. As my right as a high priest of Aldaos, I take Drake into my care. Furthermore as long as he is in my care nether you or anyone will do him harm. Is that clear?" He had his finger against Hank chest.
"I can and I have. Now get out of our way."
Hank just clenched his teeth and said "Fine. But this is on you if it goes on a killing spree." He stormed away. Though he only got a few feet away before I yelled.
"HEY HANK. I SEEM TO HAVE MADE A SMALL MESS OVER THERE. THINK YOU COULD CLEAN IT UP. THANK YOU!" I had a huge grin on my face though I did hear him mumble something.
"Please Drake don't make things worse." said Father Marcus though I could clearly that he did have a smile on his face.
I followed closely behind him as we passed by several other homes before stopping in front of one, which was right beside the chapel. It looked a lot like all the other home, stone walls on the lower floor and a wood frame second. So much so that I couldn't help but wonder how the villagers could even tell them apart from one another. Father Marcus soon had the door unlocked and held it open for me. I thanked him and entered. The inside was just like the outside, simple. I was in large front room with a wood table to my right with half a dozen chairs around it. "Please have a seat Drake. I'll be right back." he took a few steps away before turning back. "Oh I think it's best you don't answer the door." He then pushed open door in the back wall and disappeared in the room beyond. This gave me some time to look around the room. There wasn't much to look at though. A large central fireplace that looked to be the center of the house. There were two chairs with a bench between them all that which faced the fireplace and finally on the far wall were several bookshelves filled with leather bound books.
It wasn't long before there was a knock on the door. "Ah that must be Derric." I heard Father Marcus say before reentering. He crossed the room and sure enough, when Father Marcus opened the door, in walked Derric.
"This is all I could find." He said handing a small pile off clothes to Farther Marcus.
"Thank you Derric please take Drake into the other room and help clean him will you?"
"You will find everything you need in the cabinets."
I followed Derric past the fireplace and though another door to a back room. It was not that big there was a window on the back wall, cabinets on ether side, stairs on the right wall, and a chair and stool in front of a cabinet of the left. The fireplace from the main room continued in hear but had a separate pit. I walked over and sat in the chair while Derric pulled some towels and some small cloths.
Father Marcus returned with a large kettle of hot water and my clothes. Derric took them and Father Marcus said. "Here you go Derric and Drake you clothes are still in good shape. Just hang that robe up when you're done." He turned and left.
After placing my close on a nearby cabinet, Derrick walk over and pored the hot water in a basin that was on that same cabinet. But before Derric started he paused looking at the blood. I could guess why we paused.
"Don't worry I have to bite you. My blood can't turn you into a werewolf by itself."
"Somehow that doesn't make me feel better." Said Derric. He began to cleaning my wound, and even sowing the deeper ones closed. While the whole time we talked "I thought Werewolves could heal themselves. Shouldn't these have healed by now?"
"You shot me remember?"
He gave me a quizzical look. "Sorry about that I was just scared."
"I don't blame you though I was surprised that you hit me at all." I grinned.
"Well I wasn't aiming at you if that helps it's just that my hands were shaking so much. But does this have to do with you not healing?"
"Since the bolt was silver tipped, my body is suffering from what we werewolves call silver shock. This means my werewolf abilities have been severely weakened including my healing and will take time for it to recover."
"How long do you think?"
"It will slowly recover over the next few days."
"So that's why silver is used."
"We'll Drake how did you end up out there anyways?"
I blushed "Well that's a long story and beside I don't think I should."
"Well I'm not sure I should. We're not supposed to talk with humans about personal stuff."
"But you told me how silver affects werewolves."
"Ya but humans already knew about silver and how it effects us but there a lot of other things."
At this point Derric was finishing the last of my wounds on my arm before placing it in a sling. "There, the last one. Now how about I help you get dressed. I'm sure Father Marcus had enough time to bake those biscuits." he said with a grin.
"You don't need to I'm sure I can manage." I said with a blush.
"I really don't mind. It's the least I can do after you saved me from werewolf Mr. Tilth."
"Don't worry about it besides you didn't shoot me, the second time, so were even."
It took a few minutes even so I couldn't get my mangled arm into my shirt so Derric just refolded it and set it on the cabinet. I stood by the chair and waited for Derric to finish cleaning up. It didn't take long then he helped me back into the main room.
Entering we found Father Marcus was sitting at the table and had set out enough tea and biscuits for three. He spoke up pored us each s cup of tea. "You feeling better Drake?"
Derric and I sat down as I answered. "I'm getting there. Give me a few days and ill be as good as new."
He grinned. "I'm glad to hear it." but soon his face changed to concern but continued. "I just hope you get that long."
Derric now was sharing his concern. "You're talking about Hank aren't you?"
Father Marcus nodded. "Yes. I'm afraid that can only protect you for about a day. Maybe less if Hank gets the Mayor involved for real."
"That's right. He'll be back in the morning." said Derric.
"Isn't there anything more you can do?" I asked having a sip of tea.
"Perhaps. Can I have a closer look at that amulet of yours?"
"Um... Sure." However I winced as I tried to slide the amulet's chain over my head.
"Here, let me get it." Said Derric
"Thank you. There's a clasp in the back if that helps."
Derric had gotten up and was now standing behind me. He quickly found and undid the clasp before, with amulet in hand, walked over to Father Marcus. Derric then placed it in his hand then returned to his seat.
Father Marcus looked the amulet over for several minutes until asking. "Drake. Can you tell me where you can to have this?
"Well for as long as I can remember I've always had it. My dad even said that on the same day I was born he turned his back for just a moment but when he turned I was around my neck."
Father Marcus smile and turned the amulet over. "And on this side?"
"Oh my dad did that for my 18th birthday."
"Really? You dad is very talented." said Derric
Father Marcus handed the amulet back to me and I place it on the table. "Thank you. He's had a lot of practice but how is it suppose to help."
"I'm not sure I'll need to do some research but it's getting late and with all that you've been through I think we should finish this tomorrow." Said Father Marcus. He got and began to clean up the table
"But..." Derric placed his hand on my shoulder. "It's no use Drake. I know Father Marcus, he won't tell us anything till he ready."
I gave a sigh of defeat. "I guess this nothing else I can do."
Derric again helped me to my feet as well as allowing me wrap my good arm over his shoulder for my leg had decide that it was nap time already. Thankfully they woke up enough to get up the stairs.
"You don't need to worry, I doubt Hank would Try anything till the mayor gets here but I'll stay and make sure he doesn't try anything."
"Somehow that only makes me a little better about it." I said as we enter a room at the top of the stairs."
Helping me to the bed Derric asked "What do you mean by that?"
"Well isn't your duty to kill me to begin with?"
"Well true but Father Marcus Has put you in his care."
"In his care. What does that mean?"
"Well as a high priest of Aldaos he as the power to give anyone a change to become a Disciple regardless of who they are or what they've done."
"Are you saying that they would get away with any crime including Murder?"
"Well maybe. You see if they agree, then they are taken to the temple to Eldaos in Hammer Shrine. There they go through a special ritual were, I hear, they are Judged by Eldaos himself."
"What happens to them?"
"Well if they get through it they are disciple of Eldaos and work the rest of their life in the temples in repentance."
"And if they don't?"
"Well I hear they don't come out. Taken by Eldaos."
"But what if I don't want to be a disciple?"
"Well you would have one day to decide after which your back were you started."
"Ya, in Hanks crosshairs."
Derric helped get my undress and covered up in bed before saying. "Father Marcus will find something so just get some rest I'm sure you're going to need it for whatever he comes up with."