Descent into Madness
“Shall we slay the Council tonight?” Ouchilicious asked, peering around the corner with her frosty eyes. “They’ll keep,” our leader replied with a shake of his massive, ursine head. Even in bear form, with his mouth perpetually agape, he was a portrait of Tauren stoicism.
* * *
“Don’t let the infernal wailing fool you,” Keaton growled, addressing the twenty-four of us but staring fiercely at the duplicitous Sara. “‘She’ is imprisoned here for a reason.”
The druid’s temporarily feline eyes narrowed to mere slits as he studied his prey. Beneath his tawny pelt, his muscles trembled in anticipation of the battle to come. In a matter of moments, we knew — with the world-weary certainty of veterans — our leader would throw his iron self-control to the stale wind of the Old God’s prison chamber. His barely contained energy would explode into rage, and he would lead us once more unto greatness … or death.
“She will likely summon minions to her protection,” he continued, tail lashing. “We must use them against her.”
“We know,” I whispered in Tauraje, so softly that only he could hear. “We know.”
He glanced at me, and his amber eyes flickered in the leonine equivalent of smile: feral fervor and lazy affection, all at once.
I tightened my grip on my mace, my Guiding Star, and fixed my gaze firmly ahead.
“Let’s get this show on the road, shall we?” came a voice from our left, light and almost cheerful. Lupius was nothing if not an optimist. “I have a good feeling about this one.”
“Just watch your pet.” Another voice, this one low and rough — like silk on gravel. It could only be Korev. “I don’t trust that Light-damned cat.”
“Are you allowed to take the Light’s name in vain?” The query came from a Sin’dorei rogue I tended to think of as Mazzranache. ‘Stepsindark’ was a vain and curiously charismatic creature — far too preoccupied with preening to skulk in the shadows with the rest of his ilk. “Surely it’s against some stuffy paladin code …”
I snorted. “Of course he is. His kind doesn’t worship the Light; they merely enslaved it for a time.”
Keaton’s snarl cut through the anxious chatter. “Let’s go.”
And because I know my mate — and was listening for it — the last thing I heard before all hell broke loose was the faintest ghost of a prayer. Not to the Earthmother, but to Elune.
(To be continued. Maybe.)