“Griselda, you old wart encrusted anus!”
The words wafted in the darkness of the abyss in which they had bled, and nearly died. This Ketian hole, this cavern of horros.
The shrill voice of one of the coven’s other witches sent icy fingers running down their spines. Involuntarily, they all hunched down when they heard the cackle which did not hide them any better in this complete darkness, nor conceal them any better in this open tunnel. Hurting, bleeding, wounded. Mentally drained. They fought to keep their wits. Haryk knew the only thing still driving him was putting an end to the so-called bard, Inara Goldpetal.
He thought back to the moment when he met her. They were sitting in a bar in Far Realm, My Father’s Moustache. She was cajoling with many different would-be adventurers. He wondered now, how long she had been doing this. Won’t matter he mused, she won’t be doing it much longer.
Thrak lowered himself as well and in so doing sat down on the body of the hag they had just killed; His tail felt around to make sure she wasn’t moving instinctively. He had now just learned, this inhuman witch, this ghastly hag in a beautiful guise was called Griselda.
Thrak was learning to control his urges around the humans, the Celns, but after a kill, it was hard not to want to take a few fingers. Especially from one of his adversaries such as she had been. Such was the way of his people. Without thinking about it, he removed a finger from Griselda’s dead hand. He had a technique he used whereby he would take three taloned claws and encircle them inwards quickly, sawing around the tissue and twisting the finger off. He did so, and was about to pop the morsel into his mouth.
Half way there though, Andril’s lighted stone appeared next to him. He heard Areia’s voice in a whisper nearby. “Late night snack there, eh Thrak?”
“Might want to wait a bit Master Thrak, looks like your treat has spoiled.”
Thrak stared at the finger before his snout and watched what appeared to be from someone healthy turn into a green, moldy, wart covered and shriveled thing. He threw it away into the dark. Andril moved his dim light towards the body, the glowing rock in his hand, and they watched as her the rest of her turned from a beautiful and youthful woman, to that of a green, warty, long faced demon.
“That’s one down,” said Lord Haryk. “I’ve got good news, and I’ve got bad news. What do you want first, adventurers?”
“Always go bad news,” quipped Areia quietly. “The good news always seems better that way.”
“Nah, good news first,” said Andril, “Sometimes this counteracts the bad news.”
“Ok then, we’ll choose mage before hoody. Good news is we killed one of the coven, so they’re weaker than they were according to the wizard’s logic here.”
“What’s the bad news?” said Andril. His stone lit up their faces as they came close together to minimize the noise. Haryk looked like he was trying to avoid what he sometimes called Thrak’s “ass breath”, and Areia was as always, smiling.
“Bad news is all our dates are going to look a lot worse in the morning friends,” said the old soldier. His face was serious, even with his joke.
“Date?” said Thrak, “I wouldn’t date a human.”
It took all of Areia’s might not to lose it (She reminded herself to ask the DM if he could add an Amulet of Stifling Laughter in his notes).
They knew they had gotten lucky to get the first hag on her own. But the idea of fighting two more together, was daunting. Then, they heard the sounds of arguing drifting down the cavern tunnel towards them.
“Blast you, Inara, you’re the weakest one of us, and you always were!” came an evil and cunning voice. It was the voice of someone old, cynical. It was an intelligent and wicked voice.
Then came another, this one, all too familiar. It was the voice of their one time companion. Inara’s voice answered back, only a trace of it’s sweetness left, now rotten. “You’re a foul spoiled old dungheap Clamydia, never you mind what Griselda and I have been into.”
“What you’ve been into? You loathsome loined wretch! You’ve convinced her to go on find the spoils of those blasted Celns. Who knows what Kasillian goodies they’ve found. I smelled the coppery scent of the before days magic on the lot of them I did.”
“Well why didn’t you go then, you old hag?”
“I will when I’ve a mind too, and when I do, you’ll be only more of a pissing ant under my feet, Inara. You can spend a few more years in the Celn towns, waylaying your stupid men, while I go for the Sasser prizes that have alluded us.”
“To Ket with you Clamydia! You won’t, I swear it.” There was a pause, and the sounds of someone or something shuffling, perhaps in their direction. “And there better be some man-flesh for me when I return, and the native girl left unspoiled for the ritual!”