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Maul of Winter

Maul of Winter

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Published by Bogdan Tudosie
The destiny of siblings, separated by war and reunited by it....
.... now with a conclusion!
The destiny of siblings, separated by war and reunited by it....
.... now with a conclusion!

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Published by: Bogdan Tudosie on Apr 12, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/26/2011

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LOST
Mikaela Korinski shivered, she shivered profusely as her small hands clutched an old coat that belongedto her father, who now lay among the ruins of what had once been the small market town of Dobrinka.Her bare feet took her through the deep snow, almost not feeling the cold anymore. Icy-blue eyesscanned the frozen horizon, wisps of snow, blown by the wind forming around her, her eyes now seeingbut shapes, faces of lost people and her small home town in Northern Khador. The child advancedslowly, to the stump of a tree that could be seen from the snow, eventually moving into a crawlingposition.With every ounce of strength she dragged on toward the remains of the old tree, in her image, the onlyshelter from the freezing snow and winds that carried whispers and other sounds with them. For amoment she thought she heard her older brother Sergei calling out, but it was not to be. Driven to
survive she dug relentlessly into the snow at the stump’s base
with purple hands until a hole wasuncovered.Dragging herself into the hollow stump she curled up, looking at her frostbitten hands and feet. She hadbeen strong as she had been taught but now somewhat warmer, memories returned. First they werepleasant;
the family home, small unassuming close to her father’s Jack workshop, their voices, those of 
her parents and relatives. At first they came clearly but the black haze came, the shadow of death. Thedead that walked stormed Dobrinka, overwhelming the huntsm
en. “How could they even overwhelmthe huntsmen?, they were strong and brave”; she thought
. A man came, a creature of darknessmurdering, asking questions. Just as she ran through the snow as her father commanded her to do thescreams of the dying could be heard.For a second her blue eyes closed, trying to shrug off the images. Not falling asleep was her priority butshe was tired and now the storm outside carried whispers but they were not something she understood.A foreign tongue, perhaps Menoth whom she prayed to every morning and evening before bed wastrying to talk to her, encourage her to stay strong. Her eyes closed slowly as exhaustion took over, sleepcame as much as she fought it.
The Raek dubbed “Hossir” or “Scythe” in the language of the Nyss strolled forward, it’s maw snappingclosed. Behind it Rhyliss Wintershard followed, a female Nyss, still relatively untouched by the Dragon’s
blight followed. Trekking between a shard encampment and her village she had been caught in thestorm that now was abating. Hossir kept itself in sight, like a faithful hound, smelling, seeing in theshadows, but just as the beast stopped by an old tree stump it hissed. A barbed tail began to flail slowly
as it’s foreclaws dug into the fresh snow.“Always hungry!”,
the Nyss thought to herself smiling. Just as her footsteps took her feet from theWarbeast she recognized the screams of a child coming from inside the stump. The Raek was digging
furiously and soon it’s clawed leg went inside the stump only to drag a hum
an child into the open. Far
 
from any settlements the girl tried to free herself, a free frostbitten foot barely kicking at the Raek’s
head but she resisted.
Raising her hand, Rhyliss spoke quietly “Hossir, leave her!”.
 Obedient, the Raek withdraw, slavering jaws still drooling at the prize it had found. A gloved hand
grabbed the back of Mikaela’s oversized coat the girl turning around. Before her eyes stood a grey
-skinned woman with locks of white hair coming from underneath her hood. A Winter Elf; she heardstories of these people, living in hunting parties, sometimes engaging Khadoran hunters, other timestrading.
Her mouth opened to speak in Khardic; “D…. d.. don’t hurt me. I .. I did not mean to hurt youranimal…”. Tears rolled down her red cheeks just a
s the Nyss studied her, trying to fathom what was ahuman stripling doing all the way there.A terror-filled look stared at the hungry Raek and for a brief moment, in the clutches of the Nyss she felther mind commune with the beast. Hossir seemed to calm down, approaching Rhyliss and her captive,its nostrils sniffing what it had initially taken as prey. Before a dumb-struck Rhyliss the child extendedher hand toward the Dragonspawn and it responded like a faithful hound. The elf unable still tocomprehend what happened set the child down, backing off slowly.
Thoughts filled young Mikaela’s mind, thoughts coming from this animal, this frightening predator that
stalked the snows. She felt in it hatred, insatiable hunger but also a primal intelligence, lurking in thedepths of its mind.
There was no soul but this “hound” belonging to the Nyss had intelligence.
A small
hand touched the animal’s scaly hide and the very same moment it’s thoughts changed. Besides the
malevolence inside it moved around the child now like a dog, waiting for a command. As fear washedaway, human and Dragonspawn bonded.Rhyliss hesitated a second but recognizing something she had seen in others, she grasped the child inher arms, wrapping her in her fur cloak and resumed her trek to the Hyssar village. The human hadshown something only a few of her kind could do and if a Dragonspawn refused to hurt her it must be asign. Eager to consult her village mystic she hastened the pace. Hossir followed closely, suddenlypreoccupied with
its new charge, hissing now and then, often it’s eyeless head turning toward the
creature the elf had found.
With the first sun’s rays appearing in the east, the silhouettes of several houses appeared in the
distance, smoke coming from each. Put together by the tree line of an evergreen it seemed a welcomedestination for any traveller across the frozen wastes. Opening her eyes Mikaela could see similarWinter Elves greeting the female who carried her. Some however looked evil with spines, pointed chinsand horns.
Hossir was still in tow, snarling at the Nyss who tried to approach viciously, it’s barbed tail
flailing in their direction. Not wasting time, Rhyliss moved toward one of the central huts, followed bymost of the Nyss community, curious of the hu
man child’s identity.
Laeryll Stormshadow, Seeress of the Hyssar clan bended over a large pot, slowly twisting a woodenspoon in its contents, muttering words in the Nyss language. As the door to her hut opened she turnedto face the arrival but could not hide her surprise. Her apprentice had returned with a prize. Leaving her
instrument aside the black haired Nyss woman quickly moved toward Rhyliss’ location, grinning.
 
 
“Well well, what have we here?”, she commented, trying to take Mik
aela away from the younger Nyssbut the apprentice stopped her.
“No, elder. This human turned a Raek bound on devouring her on the spot into something akin of ahound. Hossir nearly attacked a few of our hunters to protect her”, she spoke looking at Laeryll, giving
her a knowing nod.
The human was a complete mystery but perhaps with the Seeress’ help they will be
able to learn her secret. A hopeful look now studied the mystic, waiting.Seer Stormshadow could not believe her ears. The child was not Blighted, not even a Nyss but what herapprentice mentioned bordered the extraordinary. Taking a reluctant, scared Mikaela from her assistantshe placed the child on a bed and her clawed hands began searching through jars and bottles.Frostbitten feet and hands would not be of much use. Finally turning toward her young guest she knelt
down and spoke in Khardic, “Whatever you are human I will find out. But if I am to find out, I must cureyou first. You suffer from frostbite, but you’re lucky. I am able to cure you, but you must promi
se me
you’ll do as I tell you to.”
 
A nod was all the child could give. The witch’s hands touched her frostbitten hands and feet, an oily
smelly salve now covering her skin. Covered in a thick arctic bear blanket she finally slept after being
LOST IN THE SN
OW…”.
 
AND FOUND ONCE MORE
With a bare hand Rhyliss touched the girl’s forehead and sighed. Fever raged in her young body but theSeer’s salve seemed to be working. It was the second day the lost child slept, wrecked by high fever and
four since she had been found. Now left alone with Mikaela, the apprentice seer did all she could.Applied the salve regularly, worked her small amount of magical knowledge to assist with the healing. If the Blight was at work perhaps the temperature was a sign of it. Moving away from the bed she set thesalve jar back in its place. A warm fire burned in the center of the hut, keeping everyone warm.A low voice muttering Khardic words and a small hand emerging from underneath the blanket was thesignal the child was better. Blue eyes opened again and she attempted to see but her vision was foggy.
The smell of warm stew bubbling made the girl look in the pot’s direction, and then toward the furdressed Rhyliss. “.. I.. I am hungry..”, she said
.Shoving a bowl of stew under her
nose, the Seer’s apprentice spoke on a commanding tone “Here, eat.The Elder wishes you to regain your strength… and don’t waste any human. You won’t get more!”;
turning toward her scrolls the Nyss seemed to mind her own business but the sound of a spoon hittingthe clay walls of the pot was a good sign. Mere minutes later setting the bowl down the human
youngster lay back on the bed. This house she was in… it was odd.
 Decorated with furs, skulls, minimal furniture save two shabby beds, a large cooking pot a table and two
chairs it didn’t seem like much. Candles lit up the building, assisted by the central fire and for a moment
the shadows of this place seemed interesting. A medium sized cabinet held scrolls and a few books buteverything looked like it was going to fall over. The elves seemed mean or hating her to say the least, yet

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1 hundred reads
Bogdan Tudosie added this note
Updates to Maul of Winter.
Kristi Henry added this note
Well . . . . I really like what you have here. There are a few mistakes here and there but that can be overlooked. I think you have great start and a wonderful concept that needs to be continued. Good Job :)

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