Chapter Snippet

Nickademis grit his teeth. “Nevermind Everest! Where’s a magic-user when you need one?” He took a deep breath. With night fast approaching, they barely had enough light to see the outskirts of the forest, let alone walk into one. “Alright. Phine, have that vial ready. Either we do this now or wait for better lighting.” Snatching a good-sized branch laying at his feet, he held the pointed end out in front of him.

Nemmerel kept a dagger in his grip while they started in. “Mididus can’t afford to wait!”

“Do we have a plan?” Phine inquired. “Or are we just marching into a blanket of death?”

“I’m open to suggestions.”

“You know, when I was at sea, creatures had a tendency to come around loud noises. Make a lot of splashing and…well, you guess the rest.”

The men paused and stared at him in question.

“What are you trying to say?”

“What if all Mididus needs is a moment to escape? Assuming he’s still alive, maybe if we draw its’ attention, that will give him enough time to get away.”

“Assuming we survive after we gain that attention, huh?” Nickademis glanced at the thick branch he held, then slammed it up against the closest tree. A loud smack projected around them.

Nemmeral scrambled for something to throw and discovered some stones halfway buried in the dirt.

“Get behind us with that vial in case it charges,” the doctor commanded. “And if you’re right, it will….”

A ruckus of wacking branches and tossed stones rolling over dry leaves, followed by whistles and shouts resonated within the trees. It did not take long for their efforts to work. An agitated growl soon answered.

“How many sisters did she say lived here?” Phine asked.

“Two, I think!” Nemmerel said. “But one is enough!”

Nickademis held up a hand to stop Nemmerel from throwing. His last stone disappeared into the shadows. They heard something rummaging through the leaves where it had landed before it suddenly flew back at them. It missed Nemmerel’s head and cracked alongside the side of Phine’s tree instead. A good-sized chunk of bark tore off at the impact.


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