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Desperate Measures

McIan

Adventurer
Scar could kid himself no longer; his self-control was rapidly diminishing. A full moon sent his mind reeling, creating visions of madness that wracked his tortured mind. Drink did not drown the images. Nothing tasted right. He was easily agitated and unsettled, avoiding human company. These were all familiar symptoms of his lycanthropy, his past that had now returned full force to torment him.

He was slated to meet with his enemy Torak soon but wondered if the sight of him would shred the last vestiges of control. He knew not what would come of it - the man was not to be trusted; he surely had something nefarious up his sleeve. He had informed Lord Chanticleer of the situation and that wise paladin had suggested the Fist go along at least covertly. That would not do; Torak was no fool. One sight of any of them would end the game, for that is what it was.

His mind raced back to a time when another enemy had threatened them, Scar and Deminatza - his own father, Scaramandine. The ancient liche-necromancer had tried to woo her even as he had unleashed horrors upon the world in the form of Dark Slayers and use of the Orb of Soul Seeking. He had failed utterly, however, and fled back into his impregnable dark citadel to brood, along with the remnant of his death cult, the Necromari.

Scar knew his father had great power, unusual power, even the ability of which Torak referred - cross realm transveyance. Would he help him this once, for some price? And what might that be? He had not spoken to his father in many years; they were extreme opposites to be sure.

Sighing, he determined he would visit him after this encounter with Torak, if things did not turn out well.

And he was quite certain they would not, one way or the other.
 

McIan

Adventurer
VENGEANCE

The small hamlet of Delucia went about its daily business as usual. Home to a handful of struggling rustic businesses, nothing ever seemed to happen there. Watching over everything was the hill top fort, home to a tiny band of warriors who spent the day strolling the ramparts, bored beyond words. The nearest thing to anything resembling a threat was a nearly-abandoned orc village to the east and the ever-annoying, prodigiously breeding mongbat population.

Today would be different. Scar had received Torak's message and appeared in advance outside the town. He wanted to survey things before marching in to meet the man who promised a peaceful parlay that could net him the precious promised belongings of his true love...

* * *

"You are sure he will come?" Suka inquired. "Unaccompanied?"

Torak nodded. "He will come alone, but I would be prepared with a good escape route, just in case some of his merry band have been posted nearby, unseen," he assured her. "You will get this one quick chance. I will use Malikai as bait; he will think he is to be the assassin. While Scar is occupied with him, you and your associates can despatch him handily."

"What about you? Don't you want a slice of this dog?"

"Not this time. I will feign surprise and will kill Malikai myself. When I see the odds stacked against us, I will run away. He may or may not believe it, but it will give me what I need and you what you want - revenge."

Suka smiled evilly. "You make a good plotter, Torak. I like how your mind works. Send him the word. I will be ready. I want to do this myself."

* * *

Scar sniffed but detected nothing unusual. There were too many odors in the air, mainly from the swarms of animals roaming about the front gates but also from multiple human scents one of which he knew well. Torak was here for sure.

He entered the gates keeping one hand on his kryss. Had he been carrying it, the blade would appear glistening from the parasitic poison coating. If Torak were deceitful, he would not live through it.

There he was! He stood near a tree near the bank and an animal pen. He was dressed in his usual finery and there were no weapons to be seen except a sheathed dagger. Harmless enough, Scar thought. He moved toward him, stopping a few steps distant, out of arm's length. "Show me the items. Prove your word to me is true. I am prepared to forego any further vengeance if you fulfill your word," he stated calmly yet firmly.

Torak produced a pack and dropped it at his feet. "There, as promised. I have seen the error of my ways..." He stopped in mid sentence.

Scar sensed danger and drew his blade but not before glaring at Torak. Torak looked beyond Scar to the bank door as it flung open. A hooded man wielding a sword came rushing out toward his intended victim. "Time to die, you murdering monster!" the man cried as he lifted his sword into the air. Scar was quicker and wheeled about. He heard the swoosh of a dagger flying as it imbedded deeply into the man's chest, felling him instantly. Scar looked back to see Torak's arm fall - he threw it! Confusion reigned momentarily but it was enough.

Suka, pretending to be a surprised onlooker, made a dash toward Scar who turned quickly to face her. Torak shouted and fled, disappearing behind the corner of a building. "What he said," she cried, nodding toward Malikai, badly wounded, lying on the ground semi-conscious.

It would not have mattered if Scar had not been surprised. His foe was quite experienced and immediately rocked him backwards with a devastating blow, nearly knocking the weapon out of his hand. He barely recovered in time to block a few blows but her raging fury and quickness deflected all of his own. She laughed, amazed at how easy this was...

And then his whole body shook, a low ascending shriek escaped his lips, and he dropped his blade. His bizarre convulsions puzzled her and she stepped back, unsure of what to do at first but then regained her composure and slid her blade deep into his chest for the killing strike.

He fell, but did not die. Now it was her turn to reel in shock. The transformation complete, what now stood upright mere steps aways was the largest wolf she had ever seen. Its red eyes glared with murderous fury as it lunged at her with bared fangs and raking claws. She dodged the bite but the claws sliced into her armor, leaving multiple bleeding lacerations. She howled in pain but the adrenalin rush dissipated her fears and she fought back with even more determination, hitting him multiple times. Howling in agony and bleeding profusely, the wolf turned and fled toward the gate, leaving a trail of blood behind him.

"You should take better care of who you run with... because now none of you are safe!" she cried, hoping the creature would understand. She disappeared into the crowd who had gathered.

Torak watched the entire scene from a safe vantage point. He had forgotten to warn Suka about Scar's lycanthropy, believing he had been cured of it. Likely she would carve her initials into him for his important oversight. No matter now; he had to get back home. His next project was to kidnap some noble elf to hand over to the drow. Surely that would be easier than this had been. He would grovel to Suka later if need be and take his punishment dutifully.

Vengeance had its price. Scar Transformation.jpg
 
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