This month’s first main update is live, returning us to Scars. In this chapter, the vampire responds to Khy-kala’s presence in Janth’s Bend. There’s only room for one apex predator here. Meanwhile, Jilene, wracked by nightmares and unending pain, continues to go through a horrifying change. Hope you all enjoy this latest chapter! There’s a sneak peek below and the full story in the links above!
Even the low light within the boarded-up building was enough for her to see and Khy-kala moved like a stalking cat, each foot careful and quick to be drawn back if the floor felt like it would shift and creak beneath them. The house was small; no more than a hallway that lead from the door straight through the building with the kitchen, dining room and a pantry on the left. On the right was a small living room, master bedroom and child’s bedroom.
The trail of blood led straight to the latter. The elf checked each room as she passed it, wary of an ambush. This was the kind of trap she would make – and had made – in the past. Something to draw the prey’s attention and focus so that they would never see what was creeping up behind them. This time, there was no sign of a lurking foe in the empty building and Khy-kala carefully stepped around end of the hall, looking into the child’s room.
The door was open. Thin spars of light stabbed in from between broken planks covering the window, filling the bedroom with soft greyness. There was little in here; a forgotten dresser and a broken bed, the mattress torn up by scavengers and nesting vermin. Beneath the salty, metallic caress of blood, the room smelled like mice and birds, but whatever had once lived here had taken flight. The only movement within came from a curtain of buzzing carrion-flies, their iridescent green and blue bodies swarming around the gorey tableau in front of the elf.
Skewered on the wall opposite the door was a dog’s corpse, its severed head staring glassy-eyed up at Khy-kala from top of the dresser, the collar still around the stump of its neck. It was a big animal, a Tellian shepherd. They were tall, strong beasts, bred as wolfhounds and guard dogs, and well known for their loyalty and protectiveness. It was said that Talloic’s king had a pack of Tellian shepherds that served as bodyguards for the royal family. This one didn’t even have blood on its teeth. It had died before it could fight back.
She remembered seeing it in town; a mother shopping at a store, a small boy clinging to the dog’s fur as the animal sat on it haunches beside to him, watching the other townsfolk with attentive curiousity, its ears flattening as it caught sight of her. When she didn’t approach the animal or its small ward, it paid no more attention to her. Khy-kala took the collar off the dead animal’s neck. Stenciled in the leather was a name.
A watchdog murdered and placed where someone searching for a vampire’s lair would find it. It was a message to her. This was one of the town’s protectors, just like you.