Metagore, The Battle For

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: House of Ghosts


Moll'ar enjoys a hunt, while the Alberian warriors return home

Chapter 53 (v.2) - The Beast Inside

Submitted: May 28, 2017

Reads: 100

Comments: 2

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Submitted: May 28, 2017

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Winter had started to fall upon Alberon, and Lord Moll'ar decided to go to the fields and enjoy one of his many passions---hunting. Though it was winter, snow rarely fell upon the city or even the majority of the kingdom; but in some of the northern regions---Fairflank, Kiden Hill, and the edges of Willowgate and Redthorn---snow had already started to fall, sprinkling the amber colored grass with a faint layer of white powder.

Moll'ar crept through the wild fields of Redthorn---the partially frozen grass crunched under his thick boots made of baku leather and fur. Tied around his back, hanging by its antlers, was a small jackalope that he had killed earlier in the day. Around his waist was a belt---on one side hung a knife in its sheath and a small hatchet hung from the other, and from the back hung a rope bundled up tightly.

He inhaled deeply through his nose---the chill in the air seeming to rejuvenate him as his green eyes gleamed with excitement. The morling could almost feel his animal spirit awake within him as it could sense the hunt upon them. It was an energizing feeling that made his adrenaline start to rush.

He followed the complicated trail before him. The partially divided grass, faintly pressed down in some places as a herd of achlises slowly moved through the field. Prints of hooves---along with lines of something being drug---were noticeable on the snowy ground. To a new hunter unaccustomed to hunting achlises, they might follow the trail incorrectly, thinking they should treat the tracks like they would with a catoblepas or a heardbeast. Unlike most game, achlises tracks always go in both directions, because they can't graze like other animals---they have to walk backward while they eat as their anatomy makes it impossible to feed moving forward.

Moll'ar looked over the cluster of tracks---estimating about ten in the herd. He knelt down by some of the lines that were made by the dragging of one of the achlises' stiff back legs. He noticed how the snow parted away from the track---the ridges getting bigger as his eyes followed them to his right. A smile grew on the lord's face as he knew that was the direction the herd was moving. He stood to his feet and slowly walked along the trail---slightly crouched, trying to stay hidden in some of the remaining weeds.

After following the tracks for about a hundred meters, Moll'ar could see the herd off in the distance grazing on some of the grass poking through the thin layer of snow. His animal spirit inside of him seemed to become ecstatic at the observation as his heart rate ramped up in his excitement. He paused with his approachment and unstrapped the jackalope from his back, then laid it on the ground.

Moll'ar looked back up at the herd of caramel-colored achlises as a grin grew upon his face. He started to prowl towards them, and his animal spirit took over as he morphed into his canine form. As he approached, he picked up speed to a full sprint until he was right on top of the herd.

The herd of achlises was startled by the foo dog approaching them. They tried to flee, but without having any joints in their back legs, it made the task very difficult. Moll'ar pounced onto the closest equine, sinking his sharp fangs into its neck, while he dug his claws into its hide---trying to hang onto the unfortunate creature as it collapsed to the ground. The canine jerked his head to the side, ripping a chunk of the achlis' neck from its body---the warm blood dripped from Moll'ar's mouth as he spat the meat out and changed back to his elven form.

He grabbed the achlis by the antlers and drug it towards a nearby tree. He grabbed the rope from his belt and unraveled it, then tied it around the achlis' throat. He tossed the line over a large limb of the tree, then hoisted the dead carcass up until its hind hooves dangle just off of the ground. He tied the other end of the rope around the base of the tree.

He grabbed his hatchet and hacked into the achlis, just above the groin. He pulled the weapon from the hide, then flipped it upside down---digging it back into the previous gouge. He pulled the blade up, cutting from the groin up to the sternum---penetrating the hide and the membrane beneath it.

Moll'ar laid the hatchet in the snow, then grabbed his knife from its sheath. He reached inside the carcass and removed the guts---cutting them away from the spine with the knife. After removing its innards, he wiped the blade of the knife off in the snow, returned it back to its sheath, and picked up his hatchet. He hacked it into the creature's pelvic bone and cut around the hindquarters---removing them from the creature's body.

He cleaned off the blood on the hatchet and untied the carcass from the tree. He wrapped the rope around the achlis' body a few times---making sure that its opening was closed to prevent grass and dirt getting inside the body. He drug the creature back to where he had previously laid the jackalope and attached the two ropes together. With the remaining slack in the rope, Moll'ar made a body harness for himself to drag the animals behind him. He morphed back into his foo dog form and sprinted back towards the city---bringing with him his kills of the day.

***

After returning back to his manor the next day, Moll'ar was in the larder skinning the achlis of its hide as it hung from a hook in the ceiling. As he peeled the skin off from the neck, his lovely wife waltzed into the cool underground room.

"I see that you made a kill," Laurelin spoke as she looked over the achlis.

"Aye, I also managed to kill a jackalope for Onnan," Moll'ar stated as he pointed his knife towards a stone table where he had laid the small hare. "He loves collectin’ their feet."

"That he does," she smiled. "’Tis makes him feel like some o’ the elders who keep trophies o’ their kills."

Moll'ar gave off a small chuckle as he worked on removing the hide from the body of the achlis. "He wants to grow up too fast."

Laurelin leaned against one of the stone walls and smiled. "Marquess Terus came by while you were out. He said they finished the moat last night. They just need the barriers to be removed so the water can flow through."

"I shall go and do that first thing in the mornin’," he said as he finished removing the achlis' hide. "And all-the-while here is some hide for you to start tannin’."

Laurelin's hazel eyes narrowed as her nose scrunched. "You better clean the fur before you bring it to me."

"Aye, I will," Moll'ar stated as a satyr walked into the chilled room.

"My Lord---my lady---our warriors have returned from BrightHelm, but Sir Ixin did not return with them."

Lord Moll'ar laid the hide onto the stone table beside the jackalope. "Where are they gathered?"

"The casemate, my Lord," Duke Pol responded.

***

Moll'ar had made his way out to a large room with a vaulted ceiling, built into the wall around the city---the casemate. As he entered the room, he quickly noticed that just a quarter of his warriors had returned from their journey. He grew saddened with the loss of close friends. "I can see that the battle was a tough one," he spoke, scanning his eyes over the group to see who all had been lost to the battle.

"Lord Azreal is a traitor!" a large group of the warriors echoed out.

"A traitor?" he asked shocked. "What happened out in the North?"

"We attacked the city of BrightHelm from the West, while Lord Azreal led an attack from the East," Tera spoke up. "After we had taken the capital together, the Taleanics turned and started to kill our men. After we had gained knowledge of their betrayal, we stood our ground and defended ourselves against them, and sieged control over the city ourselves. Lord Azreal, though, fled while his men were being butchered."

"So we have BrightHelm?" Moll'ar questioned.

"Aye, my Lord. Sir Ixin stayed behind with two thousand of our men to keep control of the city."

"Good," their lord commented. "I have yet received word on the state of the other kingdoms. But if we hold BrightHelm, then we hold the crown."

The group of warriors all cheered. "Until the sun sets in the East, we will defend and serve the West!"


© Copyright 2018 D. L. Stewart. All rights reserved.

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