A note from CM Georgiev
Alright everyone, shorter than usual chapter but I felt this was a good stopping point. Plus something knocked me on my ass this week so writing has been slow.
The crumbling spires of Fort Valogne broke over the little hill. Vivienne and Milo both let out a small whoop as they cleared the forest line. A lone figure sat crouched on the old battlement, waving as soon as they were in sight.
"Vicious! She's okay!" Relief flooded Vivienne. My girl is okay!
Rounding the decrepit doorway, Vivienne quickened her steps. Vicious was nearly vibrating. She jumped into Vivienne's arms for a crushing hug. Burying her nose in Vivienne's shoulder, Vicious laughed.
"I missed you down there, watching my back." Vivienne held tighter.
"Hey! I didn't do a half bad job. You didn't die, did you?" Milo huffed. Vicious released Vivienne and hugged Milo as tight as she could. "Th-thank you f-for bringing Vivi back." Vicious sniffled and scrubbed at her face. Vivienne stared at her, mouth hanging a gape. Vicious' eyes bubbled over, small, squeaky sobs wracking her still emaciated body.
Vivienne choked back her own tears, pulling the girl into another tight hug and guiding their bodies to the courtyard floor. "I'm here, I won't leave you again." Vicious looked up, her enormous amber eyes still leaking. "You promise?" Kissing the top of her head, Vivienne said, "Yes, little one, I promise."
Anya and Gergei said their timid goodbyes. Their sights set on the Darachen, and the Adrift. "Remember the suppression potion!" Milo called at their retreating backs.
Yawning, Vivienne rolled out her blankets. The felted wolf toy fell out of the bundle. "Oh, I completely forgot to give this to you, Vee! I hope you like it." Vicious hugged the toy to her chest and stretched out next to Vivienne. "Good night Vee, good night Milo."
Milo woke with a hacking cough, a foul smell in the air. Clouds of green fog had settled over the Fort and the field outside. "Vivienne, Vicious, wake up. Something's wrong." The pair woke with a start, joining into the cacophony of hacking.
A voice boomed through the mist. "Saint Florence! Our Mistress calls for you! Return to your cloister and make peace with your place!" Vivienne's body shook. "Are those the Exemplars?" Her eyes wide with fear, she stared into Milo, searching for answers.
"No, I have no idea what all this is." Milo quickly broke the camp, Vivienne and Vicious balling their blankets up and retrieving their packs. "C'mon, let's try to get back to the forest, I can get us out of here." The group snuck down the hill toward the forest. The field sat in silence, with not a soul in sight.
"My girls are over here." Milo grabbed Vivienne's and Vicious' hands, pulling them deeper into the forest. Vivienne's heart skipped a beat, her face reddening at the touch. Her hand tingled and buzzed.
They broke through brambles into a clearing where "the girls" stood re-harnessed to the massive black carriage Vicious had sabotaged. "I guess you found your horses then." Vicious said with an impish grin.
"Yes, a good try, but Ginny and Gertie are exceedingly well trained. They didn't go far. I had to get out the spare harnesses though." Milo flashed the girl a wink. "Alright everyone hop in the back."
"Wait, where are we going though?" Vivienne called to the front of the carriage. "We need to go back to my clan. They can keep you both safe. You need to stay hidden too Vicious. The Exemplars think you are dead." Milo and Vicious looked at each other knowingly.
Why would they care if a little Vurkolak girl lived or died?
The carriage bounced and swayed back through the forest that had given Vivienne and Vicious so much grief. Swaying on her feet, Vivienne explored the carriage interior. Toward the front of the carriage lay an enormous feather bed, taking up the first third of the space. At the foot sat a pair of built-in bookshelves.
To the back stood a stove with cooking items hanging and clanging from the ceiling with several cupboards surrounding the little potbelly. Vicious sat at the table, its bench seats bolted to the floor.
"This is nice, like a little house on wheels." She pulled on the handles of a large cabinet next to the diminutive kitchen. Holy shit! Top to bottom, the armoire held weapon after weapon. Arbalists, bows, arrows, fire bombs, throwing knives, and a few weapons that Vivienne couldn't place.
They stopped for the night just west of Caerncana, praying that the talking mist was far behind.
"How far away is your clan, anyway?" Vicious asked, bouncing excitedly. "Here, let's grab a map and I'll show you." Milo went to one of the tiny bookshelves built into the carriage, pulling out an atlas. Another larger, leather bound tome fell to the floor in a puff of dust. Golden lettering on the spine read "Etiofath: A History - Adalsindis" Brother Rognan.
Vivienne tilted her head sideways. "Brother Rognan, I think the inn at Caerncana is named after him." She reached down and picked up the huge tome. The spine cracked as the book opened. Flicking through the pages, one cut into her finger, a drop of blood falling on the yellowed paper. Light filled the carriage, the book dropping to the floor.
"Out, out, get out now!" Milo pushed the pair out the door. They ducked down beside the carriage, heads poking out, staring at the open door.
As the light receded, Vivienne peeked through the door. Standing next to the book was a greying man, his head nearly brushing the ceiling. Thick brown robes cloaked his body, a line of light connecting his feet to the book.
Vivienne dropped back down into a crouch. "Who the fuck is that? Did he pop out of that book?" Vivienne said, the color draining out of her cheeks.
Milo's mouth flapped silently. He composed himself. "I- I've had that beat up copy in here since before the carriage was even mine! It was Dad's first, but he never mentioned a possessed book!"
"I have pretty sharp hearing for an old man, I'll have you know." The monk stepped out of the carriage, book in hand. "I am bound to the book, I do not possess it." His sharp teeth flashed in the lantern light.
The group of three backed away from the man in synchrony. He's a vampire! A ghost vampire? What the hell is going on?
"You can stop looking so scared. I won't hurt you. I can't, I'm not even solid, see?" The man passed a hand through his abdomen and back. "I can only touch my book." He caressed the cover lovingly.
Vivienne plucked up her courage. "Who are you?" Her voice quavering.
"I'm Brother Rognan, one of the first Saints." With the snap of his fingers, the wood piled for their nightly fire roared to life.
A note from CM Georgiev

Thank you all for reading! This chapter may have been difficult for me this week but the next one will be easier as I am on the mend. I am taking part in Writeathon but I am not sure I will be posting everything right when it is done.

Support "Saints and Sinews: Wrynn Legacy Book One"

About the author

CM Georgiev

  • Montana, USA

Bio: I've dreamed of writing Fantasy novels since I read the first Eragon novel at 12. 16 years later I am making that happen!

I write from a semi-rural homestead in Montana. My desk always has at least one of my pets under it vying for the prime seat of being on my feet.

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