Thom's Kingmaking

Season 2: Episode 42 – Hunter and Prey (Kerubiel's Point of View)

Season 2: Episode 42 – Hunter and Prey (Kerubiel’s Point of View
 
I shoot awake at the sound of the screaming, frantically looking for the source of the noise and find Faerm screaming his fool head off at nothing. Everyone else seems just as shocked and that’s when we start to notice something different.
 
Each of us who was asleep have had something done to our hair, except for Faerm… and you never can tell with Finn, whole mask, and all. Mine has been slicked and knotted backwards. Ellira’s and Drael’s both look like they have received a shock and the volume of hair is unreal! Theirs too end in knots. Glanrim, having been awake looks as he did before.
 
Before anyone else can tell him to shut his pie hole, Ellira is over at him shoving him and asking what’s up. I am quick behind her to tell her to shut up. He then responds surprised and unaware of where he is. Ellira then tells him that they just finished making love, and how could he forget…Glanrim then quips in with, ‘that would explain the hair’.
 
She then says no, she says she’s taking him to town. He thinks Restov. She says Silver Falls, to see Janelle. He wants to know where Janelle is and what Silver Falls is. Ellira explains it’s the town she’s been helping by leading and growing.
 
He of course gives his dumb wowed response and how amazing she is – which she is, but just sounds so grating coming from his mouth. He then tells us that he vaguely remembers all his time with Melianse, the water lady. Ellira asks if it felt like a dream. He says she was fun, but he also feels icky saying she is some kind of creature. I quickly point out that the fey are not just ‘creatures’ and Ellira agrees saying the fey racism needs to stop. Tamus also growls at Faerm at this point.
 
He then goes on to talk about how he feels like two people – one who loved swimming and being in Melianse’s grotto and one who is like regular living in a town. Oh brother. We then try to explain that he was probably charmed, and the effects are wearing off.
 
We then take a second to contemplate who did this to our hair as Glanrim did not see anything and it wasn’t until Faerm screamed like a baby that he noticed something had been done to the rest of us. We say it was probably Melianse or Lucky, we know she can be invisible after all. We reminisce of some of the pranks the fey have played on us before.
 
Faerm then pipes up and asks how long was he with Melianse. I tell him ten years to freak him out. It doesn’t, he just looks more confused. Of course. Then says he might have babies. Ellira points out she didn’t see any babies with him and Melianse. I then tell him it’s been like two weeks, but he doesn’t even hear it, he’s off on a baby tangent. Gods, this guy is the worst.
 
He then asks again where are we going? So, I abruptly tell him, ‘To bed, and then to your sister so I don’t have to deal with him anymore.’ Then I head back to my sleeping bag, and give Sorath some scratches behind the ear and lay back down.
I hear Faerm asking Ellira where my ‘chill’ is and she tells him, rightly so, that I am protective of her and wants what’s best for her. She then tells him to go back to bed and we’ll be in Silver Falls tomorrow. He pipes up one last time that he hopes there’s bacon in the morning. Ugh, this guy.
 
As I am drifting off, I overhear Drael asking Glanrim what he thinks of the new look. He tells him that with his whole draconic claws and fire vibe, it works for him. And that if he could make his eyes blue or something. Glanrim surprises me sometimes, but he’s got a good eye on what works for Drael. Drael also asks him why his hair wasn’t touched, and he replies something about not messing with perfection. Oh man, I am rubbing off on him. They all want to be perfect like me.
 
The next day, the sun is up early and if it weren’t for the forest’s canopy and the cool breeze, it might be uncomfortably hot. As we are packing up, Glanrim tells Faerm that the best way to work of fairy enchantment is to sweat it out, so Faerm walks and jogs as we ride through the woods.
 
The first part of the day is peaceful, Sorath and I take point, so she can keep her nose peeled for any predators that might be in the woods – also so I don’t have to listen to Faerm talk much. After lunch sometime as we are travelling alongside the Skunk River, I hear something and Sorath’s hackles go up as if she has gotten something’s scent. Looking back, I see that there is a large beast rapidly approaching from behind us.
 
I yell to the others that we are being hunted and quickly turn around. I yell at Faerm to make sure the horses get to safety after seeing this massive green, black and grey scaled lizard. It is the size of a horse with a lot more bulk. It is covered in large spikes all over its body and it would have been more camouflaged if it weren’t for its glowing red eyes that look like they are intent on a fight today.
 
Glanrim quickly gets off his pony and urges it forward as he sets up a pincer position with me. I call it and tell the big dumb beast to focus on me. Must keep the innocents, no matter how stupid they are, safe.
 
Drael dismounts and sends Coal further along and then suddenly there are four of him – new magic – neat.
 
Faerm then says, ‘what a crazy day’ and runs and hides behind some rocks, ignoring the horses completely. Useless.
 
Ellira jumps off Sugar, sends them forward too as the blue sky starts to get stormy and her eyes go grey. Lightning is coming soon.
 
The next moment those glowing red eyes are coming straight for Sorath and I. It lowers its head and two horns line up for my chest. I get the shield up, but the for of the blow definitely causes some bruising for later; however, because of my brilliant tactical play, the beast is left its flank exposed to Glanrim, who takes advantage. Slicing through its ankle tendon with Lily’s Leaf, the beast lets out a whimper just before impact. The blow seems to have weakened it. All thanks to my distraction.
 
That’s when Finn shouts out that this large reptile is a hodag – a magical beast that likes to hunt things for the sake of hunting, not food. He says all this while he slides off Charlabu like a practiced rider and throws one of his incendiary bombs at the beast. Fire licks its back. Good work, Finn.
 
Glanrim then side steps around it to set up a flank with me. It focused on me has let him have another blow land on its back. I try to reposition and jab it with the lance, but its thick hide causes my attacks to glance off.
 
The temperature then rises drastically as an explosion of fire engulfs the beast. Drael’s fire magic has definitely improved. To top that boom off, a bolt of lightning, thanks to Ellira, smacks it in the side.
 
The hodag still only has eyes for me. It takes a staggered step forward and bites into my chest. I feel the hot breath and teeth sink through the small gaps in the armor. Better me than Sorath though. As it comes back ready for another attack, we hear the sound of break water swishing and churning.
 
A massive writing muscular mouthed tenacle bursts from the water and wraps itself around me. One of the mouths gnawing at me. I struggle, but its muscled thickness has me grappled. Finn yells ‘let go of him’ and chucks a bomb at its base.
 
Glanrim then shouts, ‘save the king, I’ve got this one!’ as he jumps and sinks his axe into the hodag’s back, causing it to slump down. Not that I need saving, but it’s nice to be loved.
 
Drawing upon my knowledge of undercommon, I let loose a torrent of berating words and the accomplishments that this new beast should be aware of as it is fucking with the wrong team. It clearly has an impact as it starts to shake. And then I am covered in a thick greasy substance that at first I was worried it was secreting, but it turns out it was just Drael trying to help me get free.
 
Ellira, ever the storm summoner, releases a fresh bolt of lightning into this thing. The thing then wriggles and constricts and pulls me off Sorath as it goes to bite Glanrim with a different mouth. Sorath also tries to nip it when it passes by her, but it is shockingly agile for such a huge mass.
 
Finn, very concerned for my safety, obviously, screams and lobs a bomb at its base. Fire dances along its flesh but doesn’t seem to bother it much. It’s at this moment that it starts to pull me closer to the water’s surface. Glanrim then rushes up to the water’s edge and chops into its side. Black blood splashes into the water.
 
Seeing this as my last chance to get away, I reach into my magical haversack and say ‘ungent’ and the thick goo is in my hand. I spread it on my feet and the magic takes effect right away. With no resistance at all I hope onto the riverbank.
 
Drael seizes this opportunity for me to be clear and pelts it with another exploding blast of fire. We then hear from behind a rock somewhere, ‘whoa, so cool, he totally slipped away!’ Looking over, the horses have moved on with Charlabu and no handyman is in sight. Useless.
 
With me clear out of its way, Ellira slams another bolt of lightning into the creatures writing mass. It then uses its red eye at the end of its shaft to peer closer at me and seems to have a confused look – if a muscular, four-mouthed, red-eyed shaft can have looks…but then it turns from me and slams into Glanrim.
 
With me clear out of the way, and clearly blood dripping, Finn throws one of his healing bombs at me. Thanks Finn, I needed that! Drael, meanwhile, tells Glanrim to hold on a second as he starts preparing another spell.
 
I quickly climb back onto Sorath and down another healing potion and am starting to feel a bit better from being the punching bag this fight. As I finish, Drael finishes his incantation and now Glanrim is coated in a thick layer of greasy lubricant. This, in turn, allows Glanrim to wriggle free. He then turns and says ‘come here beasty’ with his axe at the ready. This possibly impressive moment is dashed; however, because another sound is heard hidden behind a rock. “Whoa, everyone around her is super slippery.” … Why did we save him?
 
Ellira hits it with another bolt of lightning, and with that, it realizes it is no match for me and the Court of Argentum. Finn rushes over and makes me drink another healing draught. Feeling better I back up, urging anyone else to back up, and ready Lily’s Thorn in case that foul tentacle tries to come back.
 
Glanrim hustles back as Ellira blasts the water a final time, just to drive home the point. Finn then asks if he can harvest some of the hodag’s parts. We agree, guarding him the best we can. Nothing happens as he gets some teeth, a horn, a tusk, the saliva gland he tells me, and one of its red eyes. He seems quite pleased as he finishes, and we continue back toward Silver Falls.
 
We make it home by dinner, we are greeted by the guards at the gates as we ride through. Ellira stops at Leather and Leaves. I ask if she is good and she nods, so the rest of us ride on towards the castle.
 

At the base of the path leading up to the castle is a new sign board with a list of different quests that the kingdom has. Some even offering up rewards. I guess we will be discussing this with Jensothi tonight. Or maybe in the morning. Going to find Cora.

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