Horizon Adventures

In the Lycan's Den

Year 2450.5

Scene 1: In the woods of Carinthia—outside the city of Anjou

  The crew of the Horizon work through the night, trying to find enough Wolf’s Bane/Monk’s Hood/Aconitum to fulfill their needs. Their minds are full of frantic thoughts—What just happened? What do we do? The night passes slowly, and frightfully. The distant winds occasionally carry the howl of a wolf, but they are left to work alone.

  About an hour before dawn while the sky is still black, they load Drydar up with the 18lbs of flowers, leaves, and stems of the desperately needed plant they had collected. He takes alight and begins to fly at full speed back to the Horizon, docked in the harbor. He quickly realizes that for his type of wings flying at night is difficult. Without the sun to warm the ground there are no warm up-drafts on which to glide. He has trouble staying aloft as he must flap his wings the entire way. More than once he almost crashes into the ground as painful spasms wrack his body.

Scene 2: The Horizon’s Deck

  Exhausted and drenched in sweat he eventually makes it to the ship. Fine muscle control taxed beyond use: he crashes into the deck of the ship with a resounding ‘thump!’ Within moments, Crasher and Dulgier, both wearning only bed clothes, blink in to flank him with their swords drawn. The two quickly relax as their recognize their friend. “What the fuck!” Dulgier curses at Drydar. Crasher chastises the piled lump of limbs and feathers that lay before him: “Drydar, have you been drinking again? We have been
over this before; you have a problem…” Dulgier cuts of his uncle’s patronization: “We thought we were under attack. I was having a good dream! You are such an ass.”

  His breathing labored, Drydar tries to respond, “Attacked… got to… get… away… need.. Shyern. need… to.. get ship… outta… here.” Crasher leans in and takes a whiff of Drydar’s breath. Not detecting any alcohol, his soldier’s resolve returns. “Dulgier, go down and get the spook.” Crasher commands his nephew. He continues, “after put your armor on, then go get Ciz. You know how much he likes to be woken up.” Still wearing only his pajamas he blinks to the dock and unhooks the anchorage, then blinks to the mast to start preparing the sails.

  In pain, but fully aware, the Horizon senses the familiar disembarking procedure and rouses a chorus of ship spirits to help the process. Having been taught discipline by Sumiko the little spirits work quickly. The blinking and spirits maintain a record pace and within 15 minutes the Horizon begins to push back from the dock.

Scene 3: Below Deck

  Dulgier blinks below deck, just before the door to Shyvern’s lab. A strong chemical odor wafts from the crack under the door. He bangs on the door, “sensei Shyvern?” he shouts and continues, “We’ve got a situation on deck.” The door clicks and swings open. Gregory appears from behind the door and gives the young blinking a sleepy, quizzical look. Dulgier shouts into the room “with all due respect. this matter requires urgency!”

  Dulgier jumps as he hears a voice behind him saying “Then why are you still standing there?” He turns and sees Shyvern directly behind him. As quickly as he sees him, Shyvern begins to disappear. From where he stood tracers of light begin to drift upward through the deck.

  Dulgier blinks to the cabin he shares with Amut. “Get up!” he shots at the small golem resting on an adamant dias. “What?” Amut asks. There is a slight hum as his internal power stones begin to pump the power needed to raise into full awareness. “I don’t have time to explain, go to the deck!” Dulgier tells him while hastily stripping out of his pajamas and quickly pulling on his shirt, pants, and lacing on his leather armor.

  Still lacing the last loop on his chest armor, he blinks in front of Ciz’s door. He bangs loudly on the door. “Ciz, get up!” he shouts. There is a loud ‘thonk!’ as something impacts the back of the door. “Bugger off, the kitchen is closed!” The blinkling shouts back “It’s important, something is wrong with Drydar. I think we are in danger,”

  The door opens. Ciz stands 6’5 with a large muscular frame. He has a shock of red hair kept in a pony tail. His red hair and beard contrast vibrantly with his eyes—solid white, containing neither pupil nor iris. Wearing only sleeping trousers he glares down at blinkling.

  Dulgier’s tail droops as he catches Ciz’s eyes. They remind him of the solid, featureless eyes of a shark. Something about the tall man triggers a sensation of menace inside the little blinkling. Ciz is often cranky but is equally very friendly and amiable; however, Ciz still scares Dulgier.

  Ciz opens the door more. A ‘thunk’ can be heard as he pulls something out of the back of hit. Stepping past the bulkhead Dulgier can see that Ciz carries a large butcher’s cleaver. “Aye pup, let’s go,” Ciz says as he begins to walk past him.

Dulgier thinks to himself “did he really just throw that thing at me?”

  Shyvern is the first to make it up to Drydar. “You’re a mess aren’t you?” he asks rhetorically, observing his panting. With a quick hand sign he casts a restorative spell and Drydar’s breath becomes more normal. He can feel his overtaxed muscles begin to relax.

  Finally able to speak without gasping, Drydar begins to rant: “They are werewolves! They are all god’damn werewolves! Why did you send us for that stuff? They think we are criminals and murders!” He continues,
“the others are going to run, or something. They have to do something, it looks like we killed a family in cold blood.”

  With another quick set of hand signs and a few arcane words Shyvern levels his eyes at Drydar. A small, but useful, spell resolves. When Shyvern detects neither deception nor intoxication from Drydar the sensation of a heavy weight forms in Shyvern’s stomach.

  “This is most unfortunate” Shyvern says. He pauses, then continues, “it would seem that the gods have a really warped sense of humor.” Standing, Drydar mimics the ‘duh’ look he saw the little girl give him in the cafe.

  “Drydar, I requested the components for two individual spells.” He pauses to take a breath. He thinks for a moment of how to explain arcane concepts to a non-caster. He speaks, “One of the spells is to stall the decay of the ship. The other is to help heal it.”

Confused for a moment, Drydar asks “heal it?—I thought you said that is out of your hands?”

  “I can’t help the ship heal itself… but I can give it some new life.” Shyvern responds. Drydar’s look of confusion deepens. Becoming exasperated “I know a, forbidden, way to transfer life. The ritual involves poisoning someone to the point of near termination. In that state, parts of the soul can be sliced off and shared with others. It is a dark way to… prolong life.” Shyvern tries to explain.

  Drydar still has no clue about what Shyvern is talking about. He is grateful for a moment’s pause when Gregory, Amut, Ciz, and Dulgier come up the stairs from below deck. The ship now leaving the harbor, Crasher also blinks down to join them.

  The entire cast assembled, Shyern decides to tell the whole truth: “Horizon is like my son. Wocani, my grandson. For better or worse, I raised them both. It is my fault that their lives have turned out the way they have. If I perform the ritual on myself, I could give them a chance at life. I don’t want an existence where I cause them any more pain.”

At saying this, everyone looks confused…

  Deciding it easier to show his hand than try to dictate an explanation, Shyvern does something he hasn’t in years. From his ethereal vantage, he takes a deep breath. He forces himself to become more tangible; more visible; more ‘real.’

  The crew is used to only seeing bits and pieces of Shyvern’s ethereal form… Now, standing before them now is another tall muscular male.He wears open kimono style robes, and his left eye socket is empty. However, this form does not last long. With a grimace of pain he starts his transformation. Everyone can hear bones crunching as his body’s silhouette recontours. Hair grows all over him, his hands turn to claws and his face elongates into a muzzle.

  "Like I said, I sent you for those components to poison myself,” the clearly lycanthropic Shyvern growls, “If I can transfer my spiritual pressure into Horizon, then it has a chance. For that I must push myself close to oblivion, this
this is why I need those components.”



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