Meadow



  • Various perspectives



  • The Wraith

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    It was a cold, autumn night. The moon scattered dim light through a star strewn, cloud speckled sky. A light wind scattered leaves on the forest floor. Gy’Yeegu stood with two of her trusted soldiers, R’rosh and J’Kargh. Almost a dozen younglings stood chattering nervously in quiet, fearful whispers at the scene before them.

    There were two younglings, both dead, yet propped bizarrely in a comfortable sitting position facing each other as if playing a game. In between them was a silver token with two faces.

    One of the younglings had its throat cut in the most bizarre manner, as if stricken by a large extremely thin blade. The other had two vicious cuts under its arm and its throat slashed open. It had likely bled out within moments by the blood that stained the ground. None of the younglings heard anything. They both had died silently in the night.

    “Take them”, Gy’Yeegu gestured to the younglings, “…and bury them properly. J’Kargh, help them”

    The younglings whined and cowered. J’Kargh sneered and shouted with menace, “You heard your Gynarch! Now!”. Several of the younglings moved forward fearfully and with J’Kargh’s help, gathered the two up. The whines continued as they ventured through the forest back to the cave carrying the deceased.

    R’rosh stepped forward and picked up the two faced token and brought it to Gy’Yeegu. “It’s the old Eastlander symbol, the human god of vengeance”, he said, flipping the coin over. “The children are fearful of the night now. They say an Eastlander wraith haunts these woods.”
    Gy’Yeegu sniffed and spat, “This is no wraith that haunts these woods R’rosh. I smell human … a female. Her scent lingers here”.

    Gy’Yeegu turned and paced anxiously while R’rosh watched. Finally, she spoke again, “Tell the younglings it is no Eastlander wraith but an uppity human who thinks she’s better than us. Tell them to travel in pairs. We must be strong! We will continue to raid these humans and teach them that WE are the ones to fear!”.

    Gy’Yeegu walked over and stared angrily at the pass that led to the road. The humans might have their cities and steel, but they were weak. Gy’Yeegu would show them that while they thought themselves predators, that they were mere sheep to the might of the Gnolls. With a satisfied nod of self-assurance she turned to R’rosh with a bitter snarl…

    …but R’rosh was not there.

    “R’rosh?”, she whispered into the night, but the only answer was the rustle of leaves on the ground. Her hackles went up, and a cold feeling traveled down her spine. She quietly walked over to the place where R’rosh had stood and nearly tripped over him in the darkness. He lay there, his eyes wide open. The air steamed and coppery scent of fresh blood filled the air.

    Suddenly, there was the faint ping of metal as a silver token landed at her feet. Gy’Yeegu looked briefly down with a mixture of fear, anger, and horror at the visage of the two faced coin before violently swinging behind her.

    Her scythe however, met nothing but air.

    Some thirty feet ahead of her was a small hooded figure shrouded in a cloak, which billowed in the gentle breeze. Two eyes glinted red in the moonlight. Then with a quick gesture of its hands it vanished into darkness.