This was no way to live. I looked around the camp at the peasantry in their ragged coats. The thin cotton garments could not be holding out this miserable cold very well. I pulled my mink coat about myself. In deference to the weather and job I wore a set of men’s clothes I had tailored to fit me years ago. The others stared with contempt and lust. Such clothes were not appropriate for my status, or any proper lady, in fact.
I growled as I remembered what brought be to this god forsaken hell hole. I had been invited to mayor Adams home in the gentrified center of Ornby. I was very wealthy, but even I couldn’t afford the homes in this part of town. Th opulent homes with their marbles walls that sucked in the cold and gold filigree decoration didn’t appeal to me in any case.
We sat together in a private room drinking tea, an expensive exotic blend that appealed to me. I reminded myself to get the name of the blend before I left. In an unusual move he had dismissed all his servants and sycophants. Whatever was going on it was enigmatic.
Setting my cup on the expensive mahogany table, I looked over at the mayor and gave my best polite smile. “I know you are an extremely busy man. Would you care to skip the pleasantries and get straight to the heart of the matter?”
Most people are offended when I cut off the latest gossip, but mayor Adams nodded gratefully. “I would appreciate that Mistress Bitten. There are grave matters that must be attended to. Your help would be most beneficial,” he glanced at me and I nodded to show I was listening so he continued. ”As you may have heard there have been some issues with the flocks in the fields nearby. The unfortunate situation is harming the city elite with unreasonable prices.”
“I had wondered what was happening,” in truth I despised buying clothes so had in fact not seen the issue first hand. Other clients had mentioned it in annoyance. Woolen dresses were a necessity in the bitter cold of February.
“I’m sure, well the facts are..well, unbelievable. My overseers are telling me a large creature is ripping sheep to shreds. A creature is decimating the flocks,” he shook his head. “The shepherds are claiming a lycanthrope is loose in Ornby,” his face look doubtful even as he said it.
“How do they know it isn’t the usual pack of wild dogs?” I inquired.
“The beasts are ripped apart, sometimes found in several pieces spread over a 200 meter area. Supposedly, the bites are far larger than even a mastiff could do.”
I placed my hands over my lips pretending to deep in thought, which I suppose I was. I was was straining to avoid what was about to happen, but found no way out. “So you need me to go out into the open fields in the dead of February to assure the shepherds things are safe?”
He smiled with approval “I am glad you understand the situation. My manservant has all the details of where to go and who to speak with. I suppose all that is left is the discussion of your fee…” he said with distaste.
I steepled my fingers in front of my face and leaned in close. “This is going to cost you a great deal, I’m afraid,” I smiled like the manwolf we would be hunting.
I growled. This was the third day of the hunt and while we had found mangled sheep, no sign of the creature had yet been found. I knew if the creature was out there it would attack the hunting party soon. We are invaders in its territory after all. Despite my warnings the men were armed with pistols with silver slugs, and basic spears. I had told them they needed silver tipped boar spears. They laughed at the “hysterical” woman. They were doomed fools, and I looked forward to seeing it.
I had my own such spear, and was currently using the tip to draw complex runes in two circles. One around myself and about 2 feet away from the other. I could practically smell the creature, all my senses shouted danger. The peasants again ignored my warning. Instead they sat around the fire laughing and drinking whiskey. Why the mayor sent me with these fools I’ll never know. At least I would have the pleasure of watching them die.
The expected attack was sudden and vicious. The silver wolfman burst from the underbrush onto the sentry. The man did his job in the end. The bloke let forth bloodcurdling scream as the creature tore him in half . I stared as it swallowed a great hunk of his bloody innards.
The men jumped and yelled, grabbing spears and pistols to fight the creature. They formed up in rough ranks and awaited the creature. The fools should be attacking now, not waiting. Granted their weapons would prove useless, but they could at least try.
The creature leapt among the men, ignoring the painful pistol but ineffectual slugs. The spears glanced off its magical pelt as I has said they would . The air was filled with screams and the spattering of blood and gore. The smell of torn bowels brought forth a horrid stench. Once it would have raised my gorge, but I now found a familiar friend. The hulking creature was distracted devouring the dismembered men. I took the distraction to perform my summoning.
I activated my first circle with quiet chant while lewdly thrusting my hips. I ran my questing hands over and into my body, eliciting quiet moans that would tempt the beast I called. I had to struggle to maintain my focus over the sound of tearing flesh and crunching bone.
My focus held and my perverse dance had its effect and the runes sprang forth with a crimson light. A 10 foot tall humanoid beast with the legs of a goat and massive black horns appeared. It spewed flames as it spoke “I must say I enjoy your your summonings. You are so young and supple, it burns my loins to watch. What is your command?” he stared at me, arms crossed.
“I need you to fight the silver creature over yonder and destroy it,” I stated.
“What are you offering in exchange for this?” his tongue lolled, making it obvious what he preferred.
“I will not be offering myself,” I warned. “I offer the remaining evening to roam in the fields and nearby hamlet until dawn. I’m sure you can find a maiden that will suit your fancy in that time.”
“Indeed. I accept your terms. The deal is struck. Free me and I’ll destroy your monster,” it twisted its neck to look at the horror and bared it’s vicious teeth. It’s black fingernails grew into 6 inch serrated claws.
Before I could open the circle I saw a blur of silver flying towards me. I spun, planting the end of the spear in the ground, setting it against the coming strike. The force and weight slamming onto my spear crushed against me. However, through practice and magic I was far stronger than I looked. Still the creature was powerful, and my arms shook with effort as it flailed on my spear. There was no way I could hold off the beast for long.
Straining, I slid a foot over and brushed away a portion of the circle. The demon slid through the hole like smoke while somehow remaining huge and menacing. I dropped to my knees as the pressure was pulled off my arms. I glanced up and saw the demon had hurled the werewolf a full 30 feet away, while ripping a huge gash in its side.
As the two monsters squared off I double checked and repaired the lines on my second circle. I chanted in a dark tongue that burned my lips with its profanity. The sigils lit around me in a shining silver. I sat on the log I had been resting on before the creature’s arrival and sipped at my sludgy coffee, watching the fun.
The wolf howled, piercing the night. It charged the demon, who caught it in a clawed hand, while taking a slash from the lycanthrope’s claws. The wound smoked as green ichor flowed forth. The demon twisted its grip, sliding serrated claws into the silver beast’s throat. Its black eyes widened and it flailed at the demon. In response, the hellspawn laughed at the smoking wounds.
The wolf screamed with a human voice and attempted to disembowel the demon. The fiend chuckled at the effort, easily holding the monster back. Finally it grew bored of its game and wrapped a hand around the the lycanthrope’s neck. It’s head popped free with a wet scrunch. The lifeless head rolled into the brush, spurting gore from its neck. The Infernal creature then belched flames onto the corpse. A great orange light filled the forest. The smell of singed hair and burning meat added another layer of stench to the already abhorrent smell of the camp.
The demon spun on me. “You promised me free reign of the land. You didn’t mention yourself in the deal,” he grinned. The fiend approached, but the glowing sigils flared, sending the crimson beast sprawling.
“If I had you would never had agreed. I think you’ll find yourself quite unable to break my seal,” I smiled conspiratorially. “I’m sure the nearby village is filled with young milkmaids that will more than fulfill your desires.”
The creature growled, and his skin began to smoke. “I will have you one day, mark my words. When I do you will know true pleasure and pain. Don’t forget I own a piece of your soul. There is no escaping my carnal desires.”
My smile faded. I tried not to think of the afterlife, but he was correct. He would have his way with me for centuries. The creature laughed and loped away, seeking easier prey. I settled back, trying to decide how I would carry the huge silver head to the mayor as proof of my success.