I've thoroughly enjoyed reading all snippets, they're all very well written


Maleidolon
I Hear The Voices
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The ground was slick with blood and crushed ice. Slashing wounds upon the earth and mangled forms bore silent testimony to the struggle that played out here.

An armoured body heaved with exertion - aching arms barely managing to grip a pitted sword. Each breath drew shards of hoar-frost into lungs, stabbing like too sharp daggers.

It was sprawled there, mewing pitifully like a newborn lamb. Stupefied and affixed to the earth by a mindblast, its left arm hung uselessly at its side - a thin strip of muscle the only bridge between shoulder and forearm.

Shaira raised a gauntled fist for the coup de grace; her face contorted by battle lust. Madness, fleeting yet present, roiled behind auburn lens.

Like lightning, the naked blade hewed off the creature's head. A face, animalistic yet unnatural with great unblinking eyes stared from a tiger's visage.
It was a rakshasa.

Shaira remembered it well, it who chose to devour innocents and consume their forms. She had being hunting this particular quarry for an age, and time had not been kind to her. Once hale, her red hair had turned a wan silver, and though her figure was still trim, muscle had been replaced by fat.

Dark circles bespoke of the fatigue gripping her then, and she longed to hug her daughter, left in the local inn and lower her aching body in a bath of hot water.

Wiping her sword upon the body of the dead rakshasa, she drew flint and stone, intent on purging the mortal form of the creature with cleansing fire. Fire was the great purifier, and with its spark, this village would be re-consecrated.

Unnaturally flammable, the creature's body soon sent putrid fumes skyward, choking Shaira. Yet, she gritted her teeth and steeled her resolve. Once began, she would see a quest to the very end.

As the flames sputtered out, she stalked upon the squelching mud to the tavern at the edge of the village. A sudden gust of chilling wind threw her tattered cloak like great, sullen wings behind her.

Something was not right. The tavern was too silent. Too dark. She kicked open the door, calling her daughter's name. The sudden adrenaline giving her vitality and energy.

She raced upon the stairs - heedless of the silence - boots thudding against the oak-wood, its rhythm matching the pounding of her heart.

Shaira hesitated at the portal to her room. Anxiety warring with courtesy stayed her hand. The silence could mean that everyone in the tavern was fast asleep, she did wish not to disturb her daughter or the other guests. It would be poor form.

Finally, Shaira opened the door. Maternal instinct won. Her daughter still lay in the bed as she left her. Angelic, Shaira's daughter was the only light in a room cowled with shadows and darkness.

Some noise startled her daughter, who sat bolt upright upon the bed and looked in the direction of Shaira. Shaira's daughter did not reach up to wipe the sleep and drowsiness from her eyes. In fact, she did not appear to blink at all.

"Creature", Shaira's daughter spoke in a volume far too low and sonorous to have come from a child, "why do you wear my mother's form?"