Viewer discretion is advised due to gory violence! Undead! Swords! Death! Beware!
It is very early in the morning and I have not yet slept. There is just so much to do. I have decided to get my Mortis Custos done and created a bit of a glossary of all the Proper Nouns, people and places and such. This should help make things easier in the future.
Let's get cracking!
Mortis, Magna and Adiran are sitting across the fireplace from the Ghoul King in parley session.
"Always so impatient!" The Ghoul King snarled. It had massive ears and wings like a bat, which it folded behind it like bladed traps. Magna had struggled to comprehend it's size and features. It's face was almost wolf-like and when it spoked and snarled she could see massive teeth in its maw.
"After centuries, all you want to do is get back to business. How a human is still alive after all this time..." The Ghoul King leaned around the fire and gave a loud sniff. "Ah yes... a promise... an oath.... very good."
Mortis merely sat motionlessly. "We do not have time for long conversations and pleasantries. We are on a quest and there is life in the balance."
"Ah yes. The young Prince on his bed lies in a state of undying, tied to another. Most cunning idea from the Mage." The beast narrowed its pitch-black eyes. "Most unethical to most of your kind."
A cold feeling washed through Magna in that moment. The Ghoul King knew her brother was injured, where he slept and how he was being kept alive.
"You said that it was not my magic that protected this Kingdom from the Undead." Adiran interrupted. "Because of yourself?"
Was this monster in the castle all along? She looked around the perimeter of their meeting at the crawling humanoids with sharpened teeth and hungry, searching eyes. She shuddered again.
Or were these things sent to spy on us? All of a sudden strange disappearing cats and dogs in the City took on a more ghastly possibility.
"Hmmm, yes, this one must be of your family." The Ghoul King said, ignoring the question. "Straight to the point and no appreciation for this momentous occasion. Three very different and powerful creatures that all have a common enemy. That is something to celebrate!"
"I have never seen you or these ghouls in this forest before!" Adiran retorted. "How could you say that you are the one that protected the Kingdom? I travel this way frequently and I have never seen nor detected your kind in this forest!"
"Wait!" Magna stood up, unable to contain herself anymore. The Ghoul King, Adiran and Mortis all turned to look at her. "How did you know my brother was hurt?!"
The Ghoul King threw back its head and laughed raucously. It was the first time Magna realized how human-like the Ghoul King's speech was.
"Another Drakenspoort blooded little firefly!" The massive monster yelled into the night. Magna supposed that it was alright that this thing made so much noise. If anything was out there in the dark, it would be this thing.
"Come now." Mortis reprimanded the beast. "Quit playing with them."
The Ghoul King snorted. "Very well." It turned on Adiran. "If you must know, we like to remain hidden and undetected. My servants do not go into the castle. I do that alone." It pointed a clawed finger at Adiran. "You should know that you are not the only one that can hide his presence."
Didn't it only have claws on winged limbs? Where did those fingers come from?
"We do not like your... friend. The one who usually accompanies you so the ghouls have never tried to eat you, nor do I wish to get close to that thing!" The Ghoul King spat the last word.
"What? You mean Rhyn?" Adiran asked.
The beast's face grimaced and he nodded. The muzzle on the beast seemed far shorter than it did a moment ago. What is going on? Am I losing my mind?
"Yes, yes. Though usually invisible to normal sight, we know he is there. Frightening, really."
Magna decided to get closer to the Ghoul King. She stepped around the fire. For a second a flame obscured the beast and when she caught sight of him again she gasped.
Instead of the massive, hunched bat creature, the size of a bear stood a beastial man. On two legs, he stood with his hands on his waist. Fur still covered his body and his face was savage and full of teeth and large ears. His eyes were still pitch black.
The Ghoul King turned and gestured to Magna. "And here, as you can see... I can blend in if I need to. Finally, features became more clear on his face.
Magna's jaw dropped. "Captain Shike?"
The creature still had fur on parts of his body but his features and his hands were now identical to human skin.
"One and the same!"
"But Captain Shike is dead!"
At that the Ghoul King stopped strutting and came to a standstill, the features of the man, Shike looked remorseful. "I heard and I will be sorry about his passing. Nobody noticed when there were two Captain Shike's in the Castle since he could be anywhere."
"So you were merely pretending to be Shike?" Adiran asked.
"Indeed." The monster's shoulders were now covered in human skin. He gave a turn and in that moment his face changed. "Or I could would as another!" He smiled, arrogantly.
There was silence around the campfire. "Well. I suppose you would not remember just any old priest, even though I was in the royal chambers with you."
It was Adiran's turn to bark a laugh. "Darius had something like you right under his nose!"
The Ghoul King smiled. "Indeed. So I would want to let you understand the terms of my parley... I could have killed any one of you... or anyone you hold dear." He held up one human hand with a pointed finger that was now tipped in a black claw. "Anytime."
"And what if we destroy you right now?" Adiran stood up slowly. Around his wrists glowed two discs of gold.
Mortis held his arm before Adiran. "Sit down. I would not attempt to magic this one's hide, you will find your magic break like it does on me."
The Ghoul King laughed. "Indeed. After all, my demands are not high..."
"I am listening." Adiran said through gritted teeth.
The beast began shifting back into it's original form. What if that is not it's real form either? Magna thought. Could this be some sort of wizard or shapeshifter? Or a beast with an ability?
"You need not fear me." The beast continued. "I have protected the Castle and Drakenspoort..."
"The City's name is Dragonsport now." Adiran interrupted.
Even with its maw elongating, the Ghoul King managed to raise an eyebrow. "I meant the entire Kingdom."
"Why would you do such a thing?" Magna asked.
"Because of two reasons." The beast held up one claw. "One, because of loyalty to the Blood of those who I serve. Ancient bloodlines that were allies to the blood of Drakenspoort, the blood that this one..." The claw swung and pointed to Mortis. "...protects."
A second clawed finger was raised. "And two. Because this Kimgdom of the day is MY Kingdom of the night. It is my hunting ground. It is the hunting ground of my servants. It has been since HIS father, the King of Drakenspoort." Again the claw indicated Mortis.
Magna started in wonder at the mystery knight. "You are related to us then?"
The knight nodded his head. "The children of my brother, who became King after my father. You are my kin." Mortis made a fist. "The Kin that I swore to protect!"
"Touching as it may be... you are here to parley with ME." The Ghoul King grinned. "My requests are simple. I let you leave here alive and continue to protect the Kingdom at night. I follow the same rules as before. Honestly, you never even knew I was here. We kill only the wicked persons of the daylight Kingdom. That is why it is so very peaceful. As future Queen you will allow me to continue as your ancestor had done before you."
Magna realized that the beast was not negotiating with Adiran, but with her. She nodded her head.
"I also want you to follow this Ghoul to the forest. There is a cabin in the woods and a young boy will join your adventure and quest. Lovely boy, he has no clue who he is. Blood of a King forgotten. And he is my ward. The one I swore to protect."
"This journey will be full of peril." Adiran said.
"The boy is a capable hunter." The Ghoul King grinned. "There will be some of my minions nearby if need be, though I hope not. He has never seen us. You can not tell him of us! Swear to that!"
"Right." Said Adiran grumpily.
"I swear it by Drakenspoorts blood!" Mortis replied.
"I too swear." Magna said. "By my Kingdom we honor these terms. Anything else?"
"Yes... Keep that lizard out of my forest!"
Let me stop right there. Sorry if it's not well polished, but it was fun! Cheers!
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||You are here!|
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