View Full Version : Prophecy of the Fates: Revelation

21 July 2003, 06:03 AM
The group broke from the underbrush at the edge of a large field. They had no more than stepped onto the dirt path leading to the village when an acrid stench hit them, causing A’sok and Chance to pull up their shirts, covering their nose. Baal felt revulsion grow in his throat while Vic began to hack. “What the frell...” he asked from beside him. Before Baal could answer, Lauren’s voice emerged as a whisper from behind them, “It’s decay. These crops are rotting,” she said, her gaze lingering across the fields.
As far as they could see, rotting vegetables lay among slick darkened leaves. The odor overpowered them; a sickly sweet stench that smelled like nothing Baal had ever encountered before. Digging into her bag, Lauren produced thin disposable surgical masks and doused them with a disinfectant. “Here,” she passed them among the group, “put these on, they will help mask the smell.”
Trotting up beside him, Vic strapped on the white mask. “Whats going on here partner?” he asked, gesturing to the field.
“I don’t know, but they,” Baal nodded towards the retreating Protectors, “don’t seem to be affected. Which means this isn’t a recent development.”

Shaffel Vag wasn’t any better. Upon exiting the field several small Trianni children scurried from nearby huts, scampering among the feet of Shava and Vabane, laughing and pointing to the masked outsiders. A few curiosity seekers darted among the group, tugging at Baal’s tail and pulling at his long robes. Maintaining a healthy distance from the others, they regarded them with stares of uncertainty, and in some cases, distrust. Smiling, he bore long white fangs in mock rage and playfully tapped a few on the backside, sending them gently tumbling along the lush grass.
His humor dropped away as they entered the outer ring of huts. Sick and dying were stretched on blankets in front of the thatched homes. A few lay retching onto he ground, while others cleaned them, tossing diseased rags into small fires that burned nearby. He counted over a dozen Trianni in various stages of illness. “Baal, I need to go and see if I can help these people,” Lauren said from beside him, worry dancing in her blue eyes. He looked down and nodded, unable to speak.
Vabane appeared beside him a moment later as Baal watched her work on an older Trianni female with mottled black and silver markings; a small pile of fur lay on the ground, pulled out in clumps. “We need to keep moving Balthazar,” he said, “The High Priestess is waiting.”

“What is happening here?” Ball asked, pulling on the Force to block out the noxious odor that followed them from the field into the village. It was worse now, the stench of death and decay not restricted to just vegetables.

“Come, the High Prie...” Vabane began, turning away, but Baal clamped a hand on the Protector and spun him back around. “I asked YOU a question Vabane, not the High Priestess.” Ahead, Shava turned his attention back to Baal and dropped a hand to his weapon; Vabane stopped him with a gesture and Shavaa let his hand drop harmlessly to his side. Turning a crooked smile back towards Baal he emitted a humorless chuckle. “Balthazar...the years away from Fibuli have changed you. No more are you a timid little Trianni with a wet nose and curious nature. No, you have grown into a powerful warrior of stature. But…I see the curiosity remains.”
Letting his hand fall away from Vabane’s shoulder, Baal lowered his voice. “I simply need to know Vabane. I know what Grismar will tell me, but I need to know what is really happening...from a friend.”
Looking to the sky, Vabane drew a deep breath of the putrid air, letting it flow from his mouth. For the first time Baal noticed his gums were a sickening purple. “Isn’t it obvious Baal? We’re dying.”

The entire story can be found at www.Raptorsquad.Net (of course with brand spanking new artwork)...as always, we welcome your thoughts and opinions!

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