Zak and I have agreed to update this story more frequently because of how fast paced it has become. Basically, you will be getting two posts a week. Mine will usually be on a Monday while Zak's will likely be on a Thursday.
This week has been pretty chill. Working on another survivor book, this one considerable better than the last. I work well with the client and have built a report with them. It's the first time I have thought of buying books I have written for someone else.
My dad came for a visit on Friday, so it was great to see him. It did mean that I didn't get nearly as much work done as I should of. Good thing I like to keep ahead of my deadlines!
Anyway, enough chit-chat from me. It's time to see what happens.
The knight viewed the Dreadthing before it. They hadn’t seen one of these in a very, very long time. In fact, this may have been the one…
An ear-splitting roar filled the air, and the swarm of undead shambled forward, separating the knight from the Dreadthing.
Oh, you are not getting away again.
Their left hand left the hilt of the blade, and a finger traced the oozing cut on Adrian’s chin.
“I need this.” It muttered at the boy’s shocked face.
The knight then traced a glowing rune before them and bellowed a word of power that caused Adrian to cover his ears in shock. The eye sockets of the undead glowered a strange pink color before flames burst out of all the orifices in their heads. The sound of skulls exploding was sickening, and several surviving soldiers gagged and vomited.
The Dreadthing reared on its hind legs, threatening a charge. The knight gave it no chance as they sprinted across the field and buried the blade under its chin. Black blood flew into the air, looking like a reverse waterfall. The area stank of corruption, and Adrian covered his nose and mouth with one hand as he took a step back. Then he realized his father was still lying on the other side of the field. He needed to get to him.
“Stay!” ordered the black armored knight, as they shook the beast’s corpse from their blade, “These things hunt for blood, and I must determine who it wants.”
A soldier grabbed the prince and tried to pull him away. Suddenly the man’s body convulsed, and Adrian found a shadow emerging from the soldier’s shadow, driving a blade into his neck. He backed away quickly, but the shadow followed him.
The knight kicked the Dreadthing to ensure its undeath had come to an end when they heard a yelp of pain. Its full helm spun in time to see a shadow lunge at the boy once more. A quick glance at its gauntleted hand showed it had just enough blood remaining for one more spell. The knight cast it without hesitation. There was a shriek of agony as a glaring light filled the courtyard. They shielded their face long enough for the spell to fade. Once the glare had died out, and the only light was the fires on the corpses of the undead, did the knight lower their hand from their face. They had been too late.
The one the castle guard had referred to as the prince lay on his side with a vacant look on his face. The knight stepped forward until it looked down at the boy. A knife had opened the boy across the belly, and he had tried to hold back his innards. For the most part, he had been successful, but the blood and organs were leaking between his clamped arms. The knight kneeled and held its gauntleted hand to the boy’s mouth. A fine condensation appeared on the metal. He was still alive, but barely.
“Oh no.” whispered a voice.
The knight looked up and saw an older, thinner, almost sickly man step out from a door nearby. He was brimming with magic, but not the kind which would save the boy. The knight tilted his head down and looked for the blade which had been used on the boy by the shadow, yet it was nowhere to be seen. They looked back up at the mage and watched his shoulders droop as tears came to his eyes.
“I was too late.”
The knight sighed, at least tried to, as it came out as a dry wheeze. It lay a hand on the boy’s head.
“He still lives.” That was all they could say.
The man’s head came up suddenly, and he touched his ear before saying, “What did you say?”
“He still lives.” The knight repeated.
Adiran felt his heart quicken. Not because his nephew was still alive, but because the person before him spoke no audible words. Instead, its thoughts were projected directly into his head. He had no idea what this thing was.
“He’s had his soul stolen with a soul knife.” The knight continued, “I tried to stop the shadow, but…”
Adiran didn’t hesitate for a second as he put himself between Adrian and the knight. Without looking at the knight, he muttered a quick spell and placed a finger in the middle of the boy’s forehead. Adrian gave a shuddered breath and his eyes closed.
“I need a healer.”
“That will not help the boy. He is but a husk.”
“My brother!” Adiran rushed to his feet and tried to push past the knight.
The knight grabbed his arm and said, “The King is dead.”
By the time Ranos had made its second cycle that night, the fighting in the castle had already ended. Those who had survived the night quickly looked for some sort of leadership once they discovered the King had died. The healers had been summoned, and those not killed during the evening raid rushed to the castle as soon as possible. There weren’t many people who could be saved.
Undead injuries weren’t clean, and though they couldn’t raise new shamblers from those that had fallen without a necromancer, the injuries left behind became sour quickly. Most soldiers opted to rather end their own lives than go through the pain of slowly dying.
The castle was in shambles, and any able-bodied person from the kingdom immediately stepped up with cleaning, burial, and burning of what was needed. The air within the castle was thick with tension and emotion.
Although King Jonathan had been a difficult man, he had been a fair king and had ruled well after his father’s death. He would be missed.
The kingdom had hoped to fall back on Queen Mary’s rule, but she had been shut in the royal chambers with the healers and her son for hours. No one had seen her since the doors had slammed after Adiran had brought Adrian to her.
Magna felt helpless. She had known her brother wouldn’t have survived an attack like the one that had happened. She should have gone to find him after she was done with her punishment, but she had been angry at him. She blamed him for the way their father had treated her. She had gone straight to her bedroom without making an effort to see if he had been alright.
Now, when she had tried to follow her mother into the chamber where her brother was, the queen had snapped at her. She knew it wasn’t her mother’s fault, but she hadn’t deserved to be yelled at. She had done everything right.
Knowing she wouldn’t get to see her living family; she went down to where her father’s body was being kept until it could be buried. She arrived in the room and was surprised to see it vacant of soldiers guarding the royal corpse. Instead, there was a single, dark-clad knight which stood at the end of the table which hosted her father.
“You are the daughter then.” Came a metallic voice.
The voice startled her, because she heard it, but also didn’t hear it. The knight must have noticed because it turned to her and tilted its head slightly.
Here is an explanation of Chain Stories and here is the current Chainstory Library
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, @shopnilhasan, @therneau, @blitzzzz, @pravesho, @joetunex, @captainquack22, @irisworld, @braaiboy, @sketchygamerguy, @fuego-oscuro, @felt.buzz, @beeber, @brittandjosie, @tamacvet
Mortis Custos Parts
|by @lex-zaiya||by @zakludick|
|Part 1||Part 2|
|Part 3||Part 4|
|Part 5||Part 6|
|Part 7 - you are here!||Part 8 - upcoming|