Hunters Of The Dawn (A Mythic Age Tale)

She was Fox Clan. She did not feel the pain.

Anikka repeated the words in her mind again, pushing down the swells of agony that tore through her shattered body. She was dying, broken beyond her own ability to repair. She felt it, her very soul crying out, release from mortal cares drawing nearer with every ragged breath. Soon, one of the Ascended of Terakus would arrive.

Soon, it would be over.

Cold stone under her back. The sharp smell of blood hanging in the air. She focused on these things to ignore the pain. Celia had already gone ahead of her, crossing the final threshold only a short time ago. Anikka was certain Bounder had as well. No one, not even an Ogre, could hold off that many Demon Seed forever.

She blinked, clearing the tears from her eyes. She would not cry. Fox Clan did not cry. They avenged.

With clarity of sight came the remains of Daggoth, lying below the window she had used to kill him. His instruments lay about the room in disarray, tossed aside or broken when she had entered the chamber to stop him.

Through the window, she glimpsed color entering the night sky, the faintest hint of red and gold, as dawn approached. She smiled, tears slipping down her cheeks. The morning had come, and the sun would rise. She had put an end to Daggoth and his rite. The Demon Sorcerer had failed to complete the Ritual of Eternal Darkness.

He had failed to blind the Emperor of Heaven, and Grannax would look upon the world once more, as he always had, and she felt, always would. Her mission was complete, the ghosts of her family now able to lie easy in their graves. Celia’s and Bounder’s, too.

Anikka closed her eyes, ready for the end. She would not fear. She was Fox Clan, and a Blessed of Asdrid. She had served her Clan and her Goddess well. There was nothing to fear, for Paradise awaited her now.

She was ready to die.

G

It had begun over two years ago, deep in the heart of the Cycor forest. Buried amidst the seemingly endless stretch of deep green leaves and brown bark was a single fir with a trunk as white as snow, and needles of gold. It was a sacred tree, more than sacred, in truth, for it was a gateway to another world. One of the countless lost Mystic Gates that connected the Middle World to the Shadow Realms and beyond, to the very reaches of the glorious High World, home of the Gods, and to the very depths of the Low World, prison of the Demon Gods.

Fox Clan had found the tree near the dawn of the Third Age, and  had protected it with their very blood and lives. To find, guard, and when necessary, destroy the Mystic Gates, was the sacred charge of Fox Clan. After the fall of the Golden Empire in the Second Age, when the Clans had first been born, the Karthin had sworn an oath to Asdrid, the Fox Goddess, Guardian to the Gates of the High World, that they would serve her in whatever manner she chose.

The Karthin, the secretive priestly Order of women that had once advised the immortal Cynthanis, had died that day, replaced by the barbarian Fox Clan, warrior women with no peers. Since that day, they had performed the duty charged to them, without fail.

Until the day Daggoth came, and the White Fir fell. The Demon Mage had swept through the Cycor forest like a tornado, burning all that stood in his way. His Demon minions were unlike anything Fox Clan had faced before, unstoppable obscenities, spell stitched creatures revived from death in the most unholy of ways.

Fox Clan had fallen before Daggoth’s banner. When he reached the White Fir, only Anikka had remained, her axe in her hand, ready to do what must be done. The Demon Sorcerer had stopped short, and smiled at her, waving her on. Beside him had been a boy, a wild, feral looking child, that had smiled at her secretively.

Though it had torn her heart, she had buried the axe in the White Fir, dispelling the magic with in it. In moments, the tree faded to a black, dead husk, and another Mystic Gate was closed forever.

But from that husk had fallen a single golden needle. Daggoth had plucked it from the ground gently, placing it in a small box as Anikka watched. He had know it would happen, that in dying, the White Fir would leave behind the chance for rebirth. He had been counting on her to destroy the tree, and she had given the servant of the Demon Gods all he had wanted.

“Go, child, and tell the world to prepare,” Daggoth had said to her. “The Eternal Night is coming.”

He had left her there, to live with her failure, to bury her family and friends. In her pain, Anikka had cried out to the Goddess she had served since birth, begging a chance to set things right. The Ascended who answered her call, a glorious man with a burgundy red fox tail, had asked her a single question when he stepped from thin air.

“Would you give you very life?”

“Yes,” she had snarled, fingers curling in the moist dirt of her mothers grave. “Anything.”

He had nodded, and Anikka had become a Blessed of Asdrid.

The hunt had begun.

G

Four months into her chase, she had come upon the remains of yet another Fox Clan encampment. Nestled away in the high reaches of the Gol Mok mountains, in the ice and snow, Anikka found the Azure Spire. She had heard of it most all her life, from Fox Clan warriors who had been there and seen the Spire, but nothing could have prepared her for its beauty.

Reaching only eight feet high, and only as thick as her own arm, it was the most perfect gem she had ever seen. It still pulsed, its interior clouded with Mystic Energies, the defenders unable to destroy it before they had fallen.

Only on closer inspection did she find what she truly sought. At the base of the Spire, where small bits of crystal jutted out, one had been snapped off. Only a small piece, but a piece all the same. Daggoth had carried away with him yet another fragment of hope for a brighter future. A future where the Gods could once again walk the world they had created.

Soft cries drew her away from the Spire, to find a girl, not even yet nineteen years, curled in the snow. Celia, the only survivor of the attack. Anikka had consoled her as best she could, but the girl trembled against her with helpless loss.

“I couldn’t do it,” she whispered at last, her face buried in Anikka’s long, dark hair.

“Do what?”

“Destroy the Spire. It was my duty, and I failed.”

Anikka had smiled at her gently. “Come, let us do it together. Where the strength of one may fail…”

“Two will succeed,” Celia finished the old Fox Clan saying with a hint of a smile.

Anikka gathered her axe from her horse and held it out to Celia. The girl took it after only a moment, and they walked to the Spire. There, Celia hesitated.

“He said the Eternal Night was coming,” she told Anikka.

“I know. He told me the same, after he had slaughtered my camp.”

“Who is the boy, the one that rides with him?”

“I don’t know.”

Together, they had destroyed the Spire, shattering it beyond all hope. Another Gate closed, they had buried the dead and departed, resuming the chase. Anikka, no longer alone in her rush for vengeance, found the hunt tinged from time to time with joy.

With ease, and eagerness, Celia became her lover.

G

A year into their chase, on the plains Mekt, far away from home, on the north eastern continent of the world, the two Fox women found something that turned their blood cold. Had they not seen it with their own eyes, they would never have believed it.

The village had been one of the few Ogre Homesteads in this part of the world. Rarely did the children of Morobon, the Lion God, put down roots anywhere, but a few Homesteads were known to exist, places the Ogres could go to rest their battle weary souls, to raise their children, and be at peace from the never ending war they fought.

Every where the two women looked, lay the dead. Men, women, and children. Slaughtered without mercy, mutilated so horribly that Celia had to turn her eyes from it as she emptied her stomach on the ground. In places, the fires still burned, telling Anikka she was close now.

At the heart of the village, she found one left alive. The Ogre was a hulking creature, with red hued skin and massive tusks that grew from his lower jaw. It was said Morobon had brought his children into the world to kill the Demon Seed, and made them from the essence of the badger and the wolverine. The Ogres were warriors born and bred.

Anikka had never seen one cry.

He knelt there, amidst the ruins, his wife’s hand in his, and his daughter’s in his other. He was Bounder, son of the Warmaster, Rull Demonbreaker. His friends, his pack mates, his father, his wife and child, had all been put to the blade, but he had been spared. For this, he wept.

“What did they take?”

He looked up at the Fox woman slowly. “My daughter’s heart.”

“The Eternal Night is coming,” Anikka said slowly.

Bounder had nodded, his small eyes changing from pained to angered. “Yes, that is what he told me.”

“Did he do this himself?”

“No,” Bounder said. “He let a boy do the cutting.”

Anikka had knelt by his side, her hand out to him. “He is Daggoth. He slaughtered my camp, and Celia’s as well. He took from us that which was most sacred, a piece of the Mystic Gates we guarded. We hunt him now, to slay him. Will you ride with us?”

“To the gates of Hell, and beyond!” Bounder had roared.

G

A year after that, and Anikka found herself in familiar territory once more. The three hunters arrived in the port city of Brateen, under the rule of Ricmar. In the distance, she could see the green expanse of the Cycor forest. She had pursued Daggoth around the world, across three continents, and now, she was back where it had begun.

“An odd place for our foe to land his feet, do you not think?” Bounder asked her as they made their way through the market, heading out to scout the edge of town for signs of Daggoth’s passing.

“Not really,” she told him. “I was born in the forest there, in the distance.”

“Why would Daggoth come back here?” Celia wondered quietly.

“Same as me. He’s come home.”

Bounder had growled softly at that. “Then the time is drawing nigh. We must make haste.”

“Don’t worry, Bounder. He has nowhere left to run.”

They had found his trail with ease, heading away to the north west, and had ridden hard to catch the Demon Sorcerer. In a few days time, the walls of Ricmar itself had risen up before them, and Anikka knew it was where Daggoth had gone to perform his rite. It was the city at the heart of the Kingdom of Unity, where the Six Races still mingled, and spoke, without resentment or hatred for the ancient wars that had long divided them.

Daggoth had truly returned home.

“Come quickly, my hunters,” the Blessed of Asdrid said. “We finally have an ally more powerful than Daggoth ever has.”

G

It had taken only the statement of her lineage for Anikka to gain entrance to the home of the Empress of Ricmar. Her camp had once been friends to the Empress, and Anikka hoped that those ties could still bind, at least for a time.

Litha entered her hall, every inch the ruler of her domain. Her dark hair held only the slightest hints of gray, and her face was as lovely as it had been in her youth. Anikka wondered again if the rumors were true, that the woman was a mage of some kind. Not that it mattered now, but in her youth, it had been a subject of fierce debate among her and the other children of the Clan.

The childhood memories warmed her heart as it had only rarely been warmed for two years. She could not help but smile a little as Litha approached her, those famous blue eyes veiled, until they saw that smile. Then, her own came out, and she embraced the Fox women warmly.

“Anikka, I am so pleased to see you still live.”

Anikka returned the embrace. “I’m surprised you remember me.”

“How could I forget you, dear. You were the only child in the camp brave enough to ask me what kind of mage I was!”

The Fox warrior nodded slowly, remembering the day. “That was a long time ago, your highness, and much has changed.”

“Daggoth…” Litha said softly.

“Is here. In Ricmar.”

Litha said nothing for a moment, then turned to Anikka’s companions. “Please, tell me who your friends are. Then we can sit down and talk like civilized people.”

“That would be a first for me,” Anikka laughed, and gave introductions to the Empress of her companions.

Shortly, though, they were seated, and fed, like civilized people. Litha gave to them as she would a visiting dignitary, waving off the matter of Daggoth until they had at least eaten. Only then did she return the conversation to the topic, and to why Anikka had sought her out.

“Daggoth travels with a boy, he’s maybe twelve now. A feral looking child. I do not know what part he plays in this, but I have often tracked Daggoth by the boy. When they are in cities, he sends the child out to run his errands, lest a Blessed of Zastra spot him and see him for what he truly is,” Anikka told her.

“I see,” Litha mused. “And you want me to alert the city guard to this boy. Have them on the look out for him?”

“Yes. I do not want him held, only followed. Ricmar is a large city, and I doubt we have the time to track Daggoth down. This ritual he is planning, the Eternal Night, he is not likely going to wait long until he performs it.”

“What makes you think he is ready?”

“He would not have returned here if he was not.”

It was enough for Litha. Celia’s artistic skills were good enough to provide a sketch of the boy, and the Empress had it sent to the Captain of the city guard as soon as it was done, the ink still drying on the page.

That done, Anikka made ready for her band to leave. When Litha asked her where they were going, she had simply smiled and told her the truth.

“Hunting.”

G

The trio had entered the city, eyes ever watchful for any sign of the quarry they sought. They moved quickly, Anikka’s sense of time growing short, hastening her step with every passing hour. By the time they came to the market place, the day was already growing long, and the sun had begun to travel towards the horizon.

The market place was massive, crowded with stalls, and people. Everywhere she looked, Anikka saw Trolls, Dwarves, Elves, Humans, and even the occasional Ogre or two. But no sign of the boy, or Daggoth. She was growing irritated, and anxious, when Celia plucked the hem of the leather top she wore.

“I see him.”

Anikka followed Celia’s gaze, as did Bounder, but they saw only a sea of faces that went on and on. Anikka shook her head, her heart pounding, steadied only by Celia’s hand on her back. Her lover’s touch had always had the power to calm her, no matter the situation.

“There, by the fish stand,” Celia whispered quietly, pointing.

“I have him,” Bounder growled.

“As do I,” Anikka said.

The boy had changed little in the last two years. He was the same wild child he had been when she had first laid eyes upon him. They stood for a moment, observing their prey as he easily stole fish from the stand, then began to move away.

“Don’t lose him,” Anikka barked.

The hunters pressed into the crowd, each desperately trying to keep sight of the prey, but the crowd was too thick, the day too late, and the growing shadows betrayed them. Anikka lost sight of him quickly as she fought to get past the milling throng, the press of bodies distracting her from the hunt.

“I’ve lost him!” she cried.

“As have I,” Celia returned.

“Not I,” Bounder called. “He is there, by the north end.”

“Enough of this,” Anikka snarled softly.

Reaching her arms out in front of her, she slapped her hands together, closed her eyes, and called upon her Divine Gift. Asdrid, the Guardian of the Gates, had known well that Anikka would have use of this Gift, and in the last two years, she had used it often, but never as she did now. The power to open the way, though, could not be stopped.

Between she and her target, her quarry, stood an obstacle that must be moved, and move it did. As she pulled her arms apart, the crowd was dispersed, tossed gently to the side, clearing a path between her and the boy. Cries rose up as the power of the Divine did its work, and Celia and Bounder raced down the way laid for them.

Only when the deed was done did Anikka move, knowing well that to stop before the path had been cleared would be to undo the effect. She was a few feet behind her companions when the boy caught sight of them, his eyes going wide with shock and fear. He bolted, as the hunted will often do, but Anikka did not fear, for Bounder was after him.

They pursued him out of the market place, and through the winding back streets of Ricmar, always a few feet behind him. He ran like a frightened deer, only glancing back occasionally to see if his pursuers still shadowed him. He seemed tireless, and impossibly nimble, moving with a grace and speed his age belied.

“Celia, bring him down first chance you get!” Anikka called, tiring of this pointless pursuit.

Her lover unslung her bow and notched an arrow without ever breaking stride, but did not release it. She held on, waiting, until at last the boy turned onto an open stretch of street, picking up speed with fewer things to avoid.

Celia stopped, raising her bow, sighting him and firing in only seconds. The arrow flew straight and true, striking the boy in the leg, toppling him. He hit the ground, rolling to a stop on the side of the street in a crumpled heap. Bounder was on him in a heartbeat, snatching him up in a massive hand, slamming him against the wall, knocking the wind from the boy.

By the time Anikka and Celia reached them, Bounder had his axe blade to the boy’s throat. The Ogre’s body trembled with rage, his eyes half mad. Anikka grasped his arm in her hands, knowing she could never truly hold him back.

“Bounder, don’t,” she said.

“He cut my daughter’s heart from her as she screamed!” Bounder snarled. “I want to feel his blood spray on my face! I want to watch him die, hear his last rattle as his twisted spirit leaves his wretched form! I deserve that much!”

“I know, Bounder,” Anikka said, her voice low, soothing. “But if we are to find Daggoth, we need him alive.”

With great effort, the Ogre lowered his weapon. “Tabra, forgive me, that I let him live while our daughter lies dead.”

Certain Bounder had himself under control, Anikka turned to the child, who struggled vainly against the Ogre’s hold on him. She watched him for a moment as he flailed, wondering if he would tire himself out, but he did not. Finally, she grew weary of it and motioned for Celia.

Her lover ripped the arrow from his leg, and the boy howled in agony. Anikka was certain she saw Bounder smile a little, and couldn’t help but join him.

“Daggoth. Where is he?”

“Foxy whore, I’ll never tell,” came the boys sing song reply. “Daddy said to never tell, and I’ll never, ever tell.”

“Celia.”

With a smile on her face, Celia punched him, hard, in the stomach. The boy gasped, tears falling down his cheeks from the pain. Part of Anikka knew she should be horrified at the torment they were inflicting on a child, but the image of Bounder’s daughter still haunted her dreams. This was no boy. This was a minion of the Demon Gods.

“Tell me where to find Daggoth, and I’ll make the pain stop,” Anikka said.

“Never!”

Bounder growled, deep in his throat. “This is pointless. I’m going to kill him. He’s useless to us.”

Throwing the child to the ground, the Ogre raised his axe to swing. Instantly, the two Fox women were on him, grappling with him desperately, Anikka begging him to hold his rage. The boy took advantage of the hunters’ disarray, scrambling away quickly.

They watched him go, until he turned a corner and vanished from their sight. Slowly, Bounder lowered his axe, his companions releasing their hold on him. They smiled at each other.

“Did you get it?” Anikka asked.

“I have his scent, do not fear,” Bounder replied. “There is nowhere he can run now that I will not be able to follow.”

“I dare say a blind man could follow the blood trail, as well,” Celia laughed.

They gave it a few more minutes, and set out to catch their prey in its den.

G

The boy’s trail followed a winding course, all through the city of Ricmar, his fear of being followed obvious. He could not shake them now, though, for Bounder knew him too well, and the trail was fresh with both smell and with blood.

Into the night, they followed, finally coming upon a decrepit manor in Ricmar’s oldest district. Few still resided here, and the streets were cold with ghosts of memories of better days. The three watched the house for a time, studying the lair of their quarry. It offered little in the way of easy access, the windows narrow slits, built in a time of greater fear than even known now, when the Demon Gods themselves threatened to walk the Middle World.

“There are likely to be guards,” Bounder said at last.

“Inside, I reckon,” Celia added.

“Then we should dispatch them quickly,” Anikka replied.

Moving with stealth, they covered the distance to the house, creeping across the dead lawn until they reached the massive doors of the entrance. There they paused, listening, but heard nothing. Whatever the Demon mage had summoned to protect him was silent, an omen that did not bode well.

Bounder went first, his greater bulk guarding the human women behind him, his ability to shake off pain the shield that had kept them alive many times. Inside, the place was a shambles, its glory days lost to dust, cobwebs, and decay. Again, they paused, listening.

“Upstairs,” Bounder whispered. “I hear movement.”

The two women had learned to trust his sense more than their own, and nodded. They had only to gain the stairs, and Daggoth would be finished, no matter the cost. This matter proved difficult in only seconds, though, as Daggoth’s guard made itself known.

They took only a step, and the Ghouls began to appear, crawling up from where they lay behind broken furniture and every nook and cranny the house held. Lesser Demon Seed, the dead returned to half life, with a need only to feed on warm flesh, they were most dangerous in large numbers, and that was what the hunters now faced.

It would not deter them though, and they attacked, slashing away at the decaying fiends, inching their way to the stairs. For every one they killed, two more seemed to appear, coming in from other rooms, their burning eyes rabid with hunger. Against the swelling tide, they fought, backs to one another, desperate to overcome.

Bounder made a final push, tossing the undead aside with his powerful arms. Anikka followed him, gaining the first step as Bounder turned to defend their ground. Celia, only a step behind, felt cold hands grasp her throat, and was dragged back. Her outstretched hand missed Bounder’s by so little their finger tips touched, then she was gone, buried under a carpet of rot.

Her screams lasted only a moment.

“Celia!” Anikka felt her heart die, a coldness washing through her she had not known since the day her lover had first kissed her. She stood, for a moment, helpless, lost, her will gone. Her sword fell from her fingers, clattering on the steps as she swayed.

“Finish it!” Bounder screamed, shoving her back. She staggered on the steps for a moment, watching as Bounder pushed the Ghouls back with a massive swing of his axe, then snatched up her sword.

He gave her only a brief look. “I will hold them here, Anikka. Go, and finish what we have come to do. Do not let so much death be for nothing.”

Pushing down her pain, she nodded and raced up the stairs, pulling her bow free and dropping an arrow into place. She would kill him as soon as she found him. Give him no time to talk, or cast a spell. An arrow in his heart, another in his head for good measure, and the deed would be done.

She trotted down the long hall at the top of the stairs, kicking in door after door, seeking the mage. At the end, she knew she had him. Large double doors, under which candle light could be seen flickering. Voices, soft and hushed, reached her ears, and she kicked the door down, bow raised.

What she found, made her pause. Demonic runes had been inscribed on the floor in a circle, candles laid around as well. Other things, tools she had no knowledge of, had been set as well. In the circle of evil, stood the boy, his shirt gone, showing the criss-crossing scars that marred his young flesh. Daggoth was there, standing by the eastern window, and she knew he had chosen this place so he could watch the sun not rise once the ritual of Eternal Night was complete.

“Well,” Daggoth said. “If it is not my vigilant pursuer. You know, I have but a single regret where are concerned.”

“That you didn’t kill me?”

“Hardly, I have enjoyed our game. No, it is that I did not let my son here have his way with you. He so wanted to bite your lovely tits off.”

Anikka took a step closer, uncertain now who she should kill. “What have you done to him?”

Daggoth smiled. “He is my vessel. All the ingredients, the needle from your tree, the crystal from your friend’s spire, even the heart of the young Ogre girl, and many others as well, are within him. Through him, with his sacrifice, I will bring the night that will never end.”

“You sick son of a bitch,” she said. “You’d kill your own son?”

“To be rewarded, forever, in Hell,” the boy intoned, spreading his arms wide.

Daggoth laughed. “That’s right. You see, girl, you cannot stop me, not even now. I suppose that it’s fitting in some ways that you be here, at the end, as you were at the beginning. To see how pitiful are you Gods’ powers before the might of the Demon Lords.”

Before he had even finished speaking, Anikka released her arrow, spearing the child in the heart, killing him instantly. “Dark rituals don’t work without the sacrifices, Sorcerer.”

Daggoth stared at her in mute fury for a moment. “How dare you? How dare you impede upon the will of the Gods!”

“I am the will of the Gods!”

“You are nothing!” Daggoth screamed. With a gesture and a runic word, he hurled her across the room. “And you shall suffer the greatest pains imaginable before I am done with you!”

Again, he spoke, and gestured. Anikka was thrown against the wall, an invisible hand of force crushing her to the wood. She struggled to defend herself, but could not move.

“And when I am done punishing you, I will use your blood to raise him anew! You will have gained nothing, save to delay me a short time. Your death will be meaningless, girl, as meaningless as those who rode with you in the wake of my greatness!”

Light burst from his fingers, piercing her body in multiple places. She fell to the floor, the spell released, only to be thrown again. Daggoth stalked her around the circle, chanting word after word of runic power, slamming her over and over again. He tore her with white fire, shocked her with lightning, and battered her with magic she had no way to defend against.

Finally, he reached down and lifted her body up, holding her for a moment by her tattered leather top, so he might spit in her face. She wanted to rip his eyes out, to tear him apart, but her body could only hang, limp, beaten.

“You know, I think Xen Phal has a yearning to deflower that virgin Goddess you serve. I wonder what the Demon Lord of cannibals would give me for helping make that happen?” Daggoth mused.

Anikka lifted her head, her hands slamming against Daggoth’s body. The strength was not her own, the fury not of her heart. It was Divine, and she was more than happy to wield it.

Her faith, rewarded, in her time of greatest need.

“What’s this?” the Demon Mage smiled. “A little fire in you yet?”

“You,” she spat. “Are in my way.”

Pushing against him, she drove the mage back against the window, the narrow slit that looked out to the eastern sky. Her Divine Gift was meant to open the way, to let her pass through whatever blocked her path. At the moment, it was Daggoth.

Slowly, her Divine Gift ripped the mage down the middle, giving her passage to the window beyond. His screams lasted far more than a moment.

Anikka staggered back, looking at the bloody pile on the floor that had been her prey. It was done. He was dead. There was no one left who could perform the ritual, and plunge the world into a never ending night where Demon Seed could roam free.

Her own strength long spent, the Divine strength lent by her Goddess faded as well, her faith lasting long enough to carry her through, to see the end met. She fell to the floor, dying.

She was Fox Clan. She did not feel the pain.

G

A shadow fell across Anikka. Sensed, more than seen, she opened her eyes. A hulking form filled half her vision, the morning light casting it into shadow. Slowly, it bent over her, and she smiled. Terakus had sent someone to gather her home, the Death Goddess knowing her time was done.

Bounder smiled back at her. “You are a mess.”

“Am I already dead, or dreaming?” she asked softly.

“Neither, Anikka.”

“Bounder, you live.”

He nodded. “It takes more than a few Ghouls to put down an Ogre, girl. Thought you’d know that by now.”

“My friend, Daggoth is dead, but I’m afraid I am done as well,” she said, clasping his hand.

Again he smiled. “Not yet, you are not. Litha’s guard arrived. Their healers are on their way. You are going to live, Anikka.”

Carefully, he gathered her broken body into his arms, lifting her up to rest against his massive chest. She curled against him, resting her head on his shoulder. All would be well, she knew. She had no reason to fear. Bounder was on it.

He carried her down from the room, and out into the dawn.

©-2017 Cain S. Latrani

Hunters Of The Dawn is set in the world of The Mythic Age, the same world setting as my novel, Rise: Book One of the War Witch Saga, available at the links on the right side of the page, up top.

Yes, that means you have to scroll. Geeze…

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