Borders Drawn in Blood

Something Lost, Something Borrowed

I grab Victoria by the collar of her shirt, she gives a minor protest but more out of confusion than anything. I take her to the stream and push her down to her hands and knees so that she is looking at her reflection in a moderately still pool. Then she sees what the rest of her party have been staring at, her eyes now glow like candles in the darkness. I notice that she is frightened at first but then she begins having a one way conversation shortly afterward. “She is talking to herself again!”, I shout to my other companions. I leave her be and begin collecting the horses. That’s when I realize how much that poison has taken out of me. It doesn’t take much more than crossing the river and I am out of breath and weak. Fortunately the horses have calmed down and are easily brought back to camp. After Victoria has finished her conversation with herself, we sleep the rest of the night, most of us too weak to go anywhere at the moment. Ettore is the worst off, he is extremely pale and with any movement, he is breathing heavily.
We wake the next day with the intent of trying to round up the rest of the horses and finding a safer place to camp. I manage to track most of the horses but several have run off. By the time we get to the ones that have stuck around, I am so out of breath I can’t motivate myself to get them, so Nizar and Geno step in and manage to get all but one. After a short respite we look for a place to camp. During the search, I can hear Victoria shouting something about wanting to hit Nizar but I missed most of it because of the distance and the grogginess in my head from being so weak. I do manage to find a cave which is a godsend considering how many caves are actually in this part of Italy. I try to hide our tracks going in and quickly head inside for a nap.
That night our rest is interrupted by a call from outside the cave. ‘Apparently I didn’t do a well enough job hiding our tracks this time’. Thirty men are outside the cave looking for us to surrender. I take a peek at the one yelling out us, from the look of him we could easily take them on normally but i wouldn’t risk it in our condition. Victoria manages to coax them inside ‘She is getting better at tactics, bringing them in an area that takes away their advantage in numbers, but she may be a little over confident in our abilities at the moment.’ Once they are in, she yells “The man next you is going to cut you out of the loot”. One of them responds “Hey, she’s right” followed by an all out brawl just inside the cave entrance. ‘How did she manage to do- ugh never mind’. The fight doesn’t last very long, most of them kill each other leaving only four alive but injured. Geno and Pierre dispatch them quickly and we begin to take care of the unconscious ones. ‘Hmm, what if we were to use them, they could have useful information or could be fodder for us. We might have to torture them though for them to cooperate.’ I suggest sparing some of them and they could be useful but the rest of the party shoots that idea down. ‘Well if they are not going to be of use to the group, one might be of use to me’. I begin surveying our dead and unconscious pursuers, I see one who is still alive and who appears to have been in a lot of battles. I look to see if anyone is looking and I start dragging him out of the cave and into the forest. I hear Ettore’s voice “Friedrich, where are you going?”
‘Damn that boy’s good eyes’. “Just taking a leak”.
“Ok”
‘Well that was easy’
I bring the unconscious man a good distance from the cave. After I prop him up against a tree a take a small break, I am out of breath again. After I take a moment I kneel in front of the slumped over, still unconscious man. "You look like you have been in a lot of battles, probably have done a lot of horrible things. I think we both know where you will be going, so really you should be thanking me. I am giving you a little more time before the inevitable. I then reach my hand toward his chest, I push against it and my hand passes his skin like I am reaching through a thick liquid. I am not reaching in him, there is no wound, its not a body part i am reaching for, its something else. After a moment I feel it, like silk scarf stretched against a body. I take hold and pull. Its tough at first but eases up as I pull. I almost have my hand out when the man wakes up. He gives out a horrified scream but I press my other hand on his mouth to stifle it. I give one last long pull and i can see the white wisp resembling his figure begin to emerge, it also having the look of pure terror. One last tug and I rip his soul from him. His eyes now glaze over and his body once again slumps over, now dead. I stand up, still grasping the almost intangible object when I hear a voice come from the direction of the cave.
“Friedrich, you alright?”
“Yeah,” I look back at the body, “there was just a straggler I had to take care of!”
I then look at the ‘object’ in my hand, it remains motionless, waiting for me to say something. “You will remain hidden, for now. Overlap my shadow and do not show yourself until I say”. I let my new shadow and it floats down, doing exactly as commanded and becomes indistinct from my real shadow. I return to the group, they don’t ask anymore questions and they don’t notice my new ‘friend’, perfect.
After a few more days we decide to take care of the sister in our custody. Remembering what happened the last time, we make sure to tie her up before we execute her. Once we are ready, we remove her head and upon doing so, Victoria’s eyes return to normal and the now removed head begins to let out a long wail. The rest of the party remove the rest of the body’s limbs as I wait for something to happen, and I hear a voice in my head “MURDER THEM ALL”. I am filled with an overpowering rage and almost out of instinct I raise my bow and shoot at Geno, hitting him and dealing a crippling blow. Dominique closes with me says something I didn’t understand, and then punches my arm. I hear a loud snap and my rage leaves me. I collapse from the pain, when I look down I can see my bone protruding from my upper arm. I am then filled with regret, “I am sorry Geno, I don’t know what happened, …. i am sorry…” the rest of the words are indistinguishable.
After a bit of healing and several apologies to Geno later, we emerge from the cave headed again east. We cross the river and it doesn’t take long before we come across two armored soldiers. After a short talk, we learn that these men are commanded by Guelf, and they are on the other side of this ridge. One of the second soldiers lights a huge fire and we kill both of them shortly after. We take position on the other side of a stream and see several men heading our way. We get ready and wait for them to come to us……

Comments

Good Job. Freiderich is now in a new class of super creepy.

Something Lost, Something Borrowed
 

Yikes, I second what Cheryl said!

Something Lost, Something Borrowed
Maerdran Alex_Padden

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