We are pulling into the station on this bit of fun. Sure there is a bit more to go but with this bit here, we have made it into fourth and final section of the story. If you are new, you can find the rest of the story through the links below. Each section link leads to the first part and you can find links to their contents in their respective sections.
“Did you hear that?” She stopped arranging the crystal pattern. “Something’s not right.”
He took a deep breath to calm himself. On its release he opened his senses, extended them beyond their room. It was there, just outside the door to their room. “Get ready,” he whispered as he helped Jillian to her feet.
Something crashed against the door. Tisdan had jammed it closed with the power of the aether. The door shook in its frame something battered against a second time. On the third strike against the door, a beast crashed through the ceiling into their room.
Tisdan pushed Jillian behind him, to stand between the interloper and her. The hunched creature barely stood more than four foot. Though it wore clothes it had the visage of a beast, a snout with jagged teeth and tufts of fur grew in patches across its gnarled flesh. It growled from deep within its belly.
Tisdan pulled twin daggers from sheathes at the small of his back. A blue screen of energy formed in front of him. The air crackled in fits around the mass.
The creature’s spring toward them stopped short by the shield of energy. It bounced off and spun in the air to land several feet away again. Another crash into the door rocked the frame and cracked its connection to the wall.
He glanced at the door and adjusted the energy shield’s position. Tisdan pulled back, then threw a dagger at the beast with one fluid movement. The creature side stepped as the dagger whizzed by its head. “Any thoughts?” Tisdan asked.
“Close your eyes,” Jillian said.
The crystal landed in front of the creature just as he clamped his eyes shut. A blinding flash burst around them, then plunged the room into darkness. Tisdan’s eyes adjusted to the return to natural light as the creature flailed its arms, blinded by the flash.
Tisdan slipped behind the creature and drew his blade across its neck. It fell to the floor as the door suffered another slam. It wouldn’t take another attack.
Tisdan retrieved his thrown dagger. He noticed a spot on the floor, cold sludge. The remains of the crystal, burned out in the blast of light.
“Bastads,” she said. “They actually did it.”
Her words brought him back. Tisdan called up the fog, a doorway into the aether and their escape from the other beasts outside their door.
“I can’t believe they did it,” Jillian said. She leaned against the window, her eyes unfocused on the world outside.
“What was that thing?” he said. After several quick trips, they had settled in a new location in midtown. Exhaustion had claimed them before they could consider another trip through the aether. So far, nothing had approached them.
She turned to face him, though she focused past him. “I heard rumors,” she said. “I never believed them though. The whole thing is just… Well, it’s wrong.”
“Someone found a way to twist an animal with a person. I mean, what else could it be? You saw that thing, a beast twined, sculpted through crystals and aether into the form of a man.” She shuddered and fell back against the wall. “I never thought they could, no, would do such a thing.”
“I never saw it. But this isn’t the first time I ran across one of these things,” he said. “It was after I found the medallion, they had broken into my home. The claws, they ripped through metal and wood to get in.”
Jillian paused as she focused on him, her gaze locked with his. “They aren’t going to ask for it again. They intend to get it the same way you did.”
“This thing leaves a trail of death in its wake.” His gaze had fallen to the runes etched along the outer edge of the medallion.
Without warning a loud crash followed by an unearthly howl resounded from the floor below. They looked at each other and then for something to shore up their position.
A voice boomed into the darkness, wormed its way into their hiding space. “There is no where left to run.”
“My father,” Jillian said. “But how?”
No time for words, as a wolflike beast crashed through the door into their room.
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