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Recuperation and Reminiscence


The guard's eyes widened as he watched the huge wolf lope past him and out Delucia's front gate that ever remained open. His keen vision also noted the trail of blood that followed, and had darkened its grey fur. "Did you see that?!" he asked his fellow standing a few steps off to his left. The man shook his head but his own visage telegraphed that he lied.

Scar the werewolf ran as fast as breath and pain would allow. Without thinking, he ran to the east, past beasts, creatures and assorted fauna until he came to a large open clearing where he stopped. Before lying down he gave out a long, low, howl.

From a copse of tangled trees a figure approached, one familiar to him - his distant cousin Ryder, a gypsy hermit. Many times they had visited and talked. Ryder was content to live out his life in the wilds, even beyond the backwater towns of Papua and Delucia in the Lost Lands. Ryder knew of Scar's condition and would, with necessary caution, help him. Scar gathered his wits and transformed once more, into the human that he was. Once complete he rolled over clutching his chest, crying out loudly in pain from the gaping wound which had sealed itself and begun healing slowly.

"Ah my kinsman, what have you gotten yourself into?" Ryder asked, helping him up from the ground, leading him to the shadows of the trees nearby. "Come home to heal? Ryder is your man. Always will be my brother."

* * *​

A few days later Lord Chanticleer and the stalwart heroes of the Emeral Fist found them. One of them, a healer, examined his wound and gave further assistance. They led him back to the Fist stronghold where he gave a brief report and lay down. The deadly wound Suka had given him was not going to heal quickly. Had he not been a lycanthrope, able to heal quickly and not die by ordinary steel, his life would have ended on that dusty street of Delucia. It would take time but he had plenty of that, time aplenty to consider what had transpired.

For one thing, he was confused about Torak's involvement. He did bring the items he promised to bring. Lord Chanticleer had gotten them from the man who had attacked him first - Malikai. That man had survived, using the pack containing the items to staunch the blood flow from Torak's thrown dagger into him. They had discovered him alive in the Inn in Delucia and paid him a visit. The man confessed everything; that Torak had used him as a distraction. He had taken the pack with him and examined the contents. Finding only personal effects, Malikai gave the pack to Chanticleer who gave it to him. But could Malikai's version of the event be the truth? Probably, but he could not be sure.

As for Suka, whom it was surmised that had attacked and nearly killed him, well, he probably deserved her ire. He had, after all, been with the Fist when they raided her dwelling, setting fire to it. Although he did not toss fire bombs, he likely would have had he had any. He held no ill will toward her, other than what he had heard of her from others.

But he was back to the beginning, and the memorabilia did not help. The two golden rings, one etched "Deminatza" and the other "Scar," the necklace of 300 emeralds, a card declaring his love, and, of all things, the book. Ah, the book, a last memento of a time when it seemed they would be parted forever by fate. Scar had sacrificed himself to effect a banishing spell against his nemesis, his own father:

"For Deminatza, My Love, My Life," it began.

"My dearest Demi, I know ye shall never be able to forgive me for what I now tell thee, but I pray, in time, ye shall understand why it had to be done. Until I met thee, my world was a place of darkness, evil, and hatred. I had enemies seeking my life at every turn. My hands are stained with the blood of many who did not deserve to die by them. I killed to survive, but also for revenge, and yes, for the pleasure of revenge. I knew such ways, and ways to live.

Thee and thy friends led me to believe in better things - and by thy trust and love for me, that such things did exist, and were far better. While I can never be fully changed, I followed thy ways, and I learned of trust and the glorious virtue that is love. I have enjoyed a taste of what life and love really are, and I have lived a thousand lifetimes in the sunlight of it, thanks to thee and the short time we have had together.

So I will not feel cheated by what I know will happen... what ye now suspect has happened to me. I know the Elder will cast the spell of Soulforce upon me even while I attempt to cast the Banishing spell upon him. At the very least, we shall complete both spells at the same time. While his soul migrates into my body and forces mine into a bond with his, the Spell of Banishing will not differentiate between the two, and both our souls will be cast into the abyss together. There we will be forever, fighting one another and the horrors that lurk there for all time.

I know the horror ye feel in reading this. I feel it in the writing. Even now, with tears streaming down my face, I tell thee this... I would die a thousand such deaths as this to save thee and thy loved ones from his evil clutches, and to atone for my countless sins.

I would not have us live in a world ruled by him and his kind, nor would we ever find true happiness with him in our midst, tormenting us, and our loved ones. Better that one die, so that others may live.

Demi live. Live on. Brighten the world around ye as ye have brightened mine. Give thy truest love to one more deserved than I, or one like me. Do not turn from this life into solitude, for if ye do, thy world will be a darker place, and I will have died in vain.

I love thee more than life, and may this final thing I do prove it to all who doubt.

Farewell my love, my life. Remember me.

~ Scaramandine II"

The dried rose he had placed in it was still there on the last page, as were the dried circles of her tears...
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