[Vfw-times] MK Winter Assault part 66

COkane8116 at aol.com COkane8116 at aol.com
Tue Dec 25 13:59:50 CST 2001


"Now trust me, Misha, this is very simple," Rickkter explained, gesturing 
with his small knife for emphasis. The raccoon and fox were in a small store 
room with the Moranasi acolyte strapped to a heavy oak chair in the center. 
Her legs and arms were securely tied to the chair and the bag had been 
removed, through her gag was still in place. She was seated in a circle of 
intense white light in the otherwise pitch black room, watching the two who 
had brought her here where they stood at the edge of the dark deciding her 

    The fox-man crossed his arms and gave the woman a look of distaste. "Um, 
I don't know. Seems barbaric. Not to mention very messy."

    "And that is why it'll work. Truth spells can be circumnavigated, I 
should know. Besides, we would still have to get her to speak on that topic. 
She could just as easily remain silent the whole time."

    "But still, why not use one here? Wouldn't this just enhance the effect?"

    "As I said, they can still be worked around. It would just make *us* 
think that she is telling the truth, and then where would we be? No, I've 
found this way much better, even if it does get a little messy. I'm glad the 
Lightbringer was able to lend us these old clothes for that, though."

    Merai crouched in one darkened corner of the room behind the prisoner, 
listening to the dialogue between the two warriors. David was at her side, 
what little light that filtered into the darkness gleaming occasionally on 
his carapace. Both of them had been in the room since before the prisoner was 
brought in and she was certain they had not been noticed. Merai could 
understand why Raven had insisted that Rickkter be given free rein in the 
interrogation, though she had been rather dubious before hearing the full 
extent of the plan. David had told it to her while setting the spells to the 
room. She had to give the mage credit for ambience; the single intense light 
web he had woven on the ceiling, and the darkness spells cast elsewhere, gave 
the storeroom the perfect atmosphere of a dungeon inquisition chamber. Now 
all she had to do was pay attention to the protective Moranasi spell.

    "Okay, true," the fox eventually conceded. "So where do we start? Knock 
out a few teeth perhaps?"

    "No, the best place to start is the hands. Not only are they not vital, 
and the person can still watch and hear everything that is going on, but the 
pain is tremendous! If done right, one doesn't even have to go beyond that!"

    "She can still lie to us, you know. And I've broken fingers before, it's 
not that bad."

    "Who said anything about breaking? No, we're going to cut them clean off. 
What did you think this was for?" he asked, brandishing the knife.

    Merai fidgeted a little, trying to keep her mind off Rickkter's rather 
graphic instructions for physical torture and on the mind of the Moranasi 
acolyte before her. It was her job to use her aura-sight to gently probe the 
prisoner while Rickkter and Misha distracted her, waiting until the right 
thoughts floated to the surface before breaking the Moranasi shield and 
telling David to trigger the telepathy spell to snatch those thoughts right 
from the prisoner's mind.

    Rickkter held up his little finger and held the knife blade against the 
underside of his bottom knuckle. "First, you cut off the little finger, like 
so." He pulled the knife across in a mock cutting motion. "Now that hurts. A 
LOT. Far, far more than simply breaking the bone. The fingers are very 
sensitive, Misha. After that--" he turned to the seated woman, "I hope you're 
paying attention to this part- we skip all the other fingers and threaten to 
move right to the thumb."

    Merai and David could hear the woman pull in a sharp breath through her 
nose. The entire room reeked with the smell of sweat and fear. At least the 
prisoner had not soiled herself, though by the way Rickkter and Misha were 
going she wouldn't be that far away.

    The fox shook his head again, his bushy tail lashing around his legs. "I 
STILL don't think that will work, Rick."

"Just wait! I've done this before, and I know that it will. A person will 
sell out their own mother rather than face the pain of having their thumb cut 
off. And if not, we still have three other fingers to work with and the whole 
other hand. And then the rest. Trust me."

    "Trust me, he says." Misha looked at the panic-stricken woman in the 
wooden chair, jerking against the ropes. His steely, gray eyes catching the 
harsh white illumination and boring into the Moranasi. "Okay, you're on. I 
want to see this in action."


    Rickkter stepped into the center of the circle and took the woman's hand 
in his paw. She tried to fight him, trashing about harder in the chair. But 
the knots that Misha had tied her down with were too good, too confining, and 
she wasn't able to do anything. She tried to scratch the raccoon's hand with 
her nails, but he just used his own leverage to bend her fingers back to near 
the breaking point.

    "Shouldn't we take the gag off now? In case she wants to tell us 

    "With hearing like yours, and in a room like this, you want to listen to 
her scream when I cut this off?"

    "Good point."

    The prisoner's thoughts were coming hard and fast to Merai, boiling right 
through the Moranasi mind shield. Most of them centered around doing anything 
to avoid the pain that was to come. She was on the verge of telling Rickkter 
or Misha anything they wanted, and truthfully telling it as well. Merai 
placed her paw on one of David's arms, leaning in close to whisper. The time 
to act would be soon.

    Rickkter placed the needle point of his knife against the webbing of her 
left little finger and the ring finger, pressing her hand against the arm of 
the chair to control its shaking. He leaned the edge against the flesh, 
drawing a fine trickle of blood. When he looked into her eyes, he could 
clearly see the utter panic there, and hear her breath rushing in through her 
dilated nostrils. She in turn looked into the madness of those brown eyes. 
And then the raccoon smiled.

    "It's nothing personal, you know. We just want the truth about where your 
masters are hiding." He bent back to the task at hand. "But we have to do 

    The spells practically crumbled before the poor girl's frantic mind, much 
to Merai's own relief. "Now," she whispered to the crouched ant beside her.

    The woman was screaming through her gag at Rickkter when, all of a 
sudden, her back bowed and her whole body went rigid. Merai could imagine her 
eyes rolling back in her head as she saw the aura of David's magic envelop 
her. After a few seconds the prisoner went limp.

    The raccoon looked over the woman's shoulder to where he knew the cleric 
and the other mage were waiting. "You got it?"

    "We got it," David called back.

    "Oh, good." He straightened up and wiped off the little blood on his 
knife on the Moranasi's cloak and patted her shoulder. "No offense, dear, but 
I've already gotten bloody enough recently, and I really don't look forward 
to cleaning it out of my fur any more."

    The woman in the chair gaped at him and then started looking around the 
room, wildly twisting her head as she tried to spot the other two in the 
darkness. She was yelling something also, and Misha stepped forward to remove 
her gag.

    "Bah! A trick?!" she shouted. "This was all a trick?!"

    "Yup," Misha proudly proclaimed as the Lightbringer and mage came to 
stand with him and Rick, all four gathered just within the range of the light 
web. "We had David here use a telepathy spell to steal the information from 
your mind while Rickkter and I distracted you. We figured that you couldn't 
hide from a telepathy spell behind your own shields if one, you weren't 
expecting it, and two, you had something else to focus on. I think it all 
worked pretty well, considering." 

   The four started out of the room to find someone to untie the prisoner and 
move her to a more acceptable cell.

   "Considering? Considering what?!" she shouted at their backs.

   "Considering that we both wanted to do it for real." The fox paused. "And 
if that trick hadn't of worked we would have. God forgive me, but we would 



Divine Intervention

    With just a hint of hesitation, Raven lit the incense offering and sat 
back on her heels before the altar, softly speaking the final words of the 
ancient prayer. She had never performed this particular summoning before -- 
had never seen _Him_ before -- and she was just a little uneasy about the 
whole matter. Still, under the circumstances she had little choice.

    In the apse on the far side of the altar, a thick gray fog began spilling 
through the semicircular window. It rolled across the floor of the hall with 
a quiet whisper of wind, until Raven was surrounded by it on all sides. 
Respectfully, she lowered her head.

    Moments later, a deep, strong voice echoed through the room. "You 
summoned me, Raven hin'Elric?" 

    "Lord Dokorath," Raven said quietly. "You honor me with your presence."
    "That," the voice said sternly, "was not an answer."

    The priestess swallowed. "Aye, my lord. It was I who summoned you."

    "To what purpose?"

    "To ask for your assistance in our battle. The Wizard's forces are 
attempting to paralyze the Lady Kyia."

    A pause. "And why should I care what befalls that little will o'wisp?"

    Raven's ear twitched, as something unpleasant flickered through the 
Keep's aura around her. "Because, my lord," she said, "the mages doing the 
deed are Moranasi."

    Another pause, this one far longer. "Lift up your head, Raven."

    The wolf-woman did so -- and for the first time, beheld the God of War in 
person. She was quite surprised at what she saw. While his appearance was 
largely just as the books described him -- tall, broad-shouldered, and 
dressed in full battle armor and a helm that obscured his face -- he looked 
as if he had been through all nine hells and back again. His armor was 
blackened, dented and scarred in dozens of places from head to toe, and the 
broadsword he wore at his side was marred by nicks all along its length.

    "My lord?" Raven breathed. "What happened?"

    "It is none of your concern," Dokorath said, waving his hand 
dismissively. "Despite my appearance, I am nearly recovered from that ... 
incident. You say that the Moranasi are here?"

    "Aye, my lord. A full circle of them," the priestess said, nodding. "They 
have cast a spell to freeze the structure of Metamor, and are slowly 
expanding it by placing relays throughout the Keep. We know where they plan 
to cast their next spell, and we intend to strike before they complete it -- 
but we cannot win without your help, my lord."

    The war-god grinned, his perfect teeth glistening white within the 
shadows cast by his helmet. "To wipe six Moranasi from the face of this 
planet, I will gladly provide it," he said. "But they must be completely 
destroyed, and any of their possessions which you recover must be burned in 
sacrifice to me."

    "It shall be done, my lord."

    "Very good." Coming down from the pedestal to stand beside the altar, 
Dokorath placed a gauntleted hand on its polished granite surface. It flared 
with a sudden white light, then faded.

    "For the next twenty-four hours, any weapon you place on the altar and 
bless in my name will be filled with a measure of my power," he said. "They 
will protect your warriors from the Moranasi's spells, though only in part. 
The blades themselves will cut like mithril until they are broken or the 
Moranasi have been destroyed."

    Approaching Raven more closely, the armored being placed two fingers to 
her forehead. Instantly, she felt divine power flow into her. She closed her 
eyes, reveling in the sensation as the energy filled her being.

    "Share this blessing with your comrades in arms," Dokorath said soberly. 
"If they will not accept it, it will return to you."

    "Aye, my lord," she murmured. "It shall be done."

    "Fight well, Raven hin'Elric."

    There was another rush of wind, and Raven opened her eyes to see that 
both the fog and the war-god had vanished. Turning her aura-sight upon the 
altar, she could see Dokorath's energy crawling over it like a living thing. 
Smiling, she extinguished the incense and rose to her feet. The time to 
strike was coming, and there was still much to be done.

End part 66
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.integral.org/archives/vfw-times/attachments/20011225/78d83ab5/attachment.htm

More information about the VFW-Times mailing list