Hero’s Tale VYA – Part 20

Shorter entry to the series this time around. Doesn’t mean any less trouble, in fact… Well, I’ll let you read about it. Voting will be up till the end of Saturday, January 25, 2014. As usual, all entries are linked above for your reading pleasure. Now, onto the adventure.

“Who’s blood is this?” Bardulf asked as he took the vial of red liquid from Thom.

“Calyn’s. We have some from Erol as well, just in case.”

Bardulf nodded slowly. “If we wait Leonard and Calyn will overpower us, and we loose our chance.” He walked towards the mouth of the giant serpent head. The tongue was curved, creating a small trough that flowed into the mouth. He gently pulled the glass stopper from the vial, and poured the blood onto the tongue. “We finish this without them.” It left a red streak on the stone as it flowed into the awaiting mouth.

“Now what about my blood?” He looked at Thom. “Does it matter if I’m human, or…” Bardulf couldn’t finish, the thought terrified him.

“We took the blood from them as quetzal,” Thom answered. “So it should be that way.”

Bardulf sighed, he had been afraid of that. “Do you know how they change?”

“No. I do know it took a little while to get used to it. Probably like a muscle that isn’t used much”. Thom paused. “You should remove your clothes, as well. The change will shred them.”

“Great,” Bardulf grumbled. The clothes were folded, and set on the floor. Since they were the only comfortable spot in a stone chamber, Bardulf sat on them and closed his eyes.

He focused on changing, willing it to happen. As he did so, he felt another presence in his mind. Momentarily distracted, he focused on it, and felt a ripple like a shiver come over him.

“Wow… I don’t think Erol got it that fast. And he had Calyn helping.”

Bardulf opened his eyes and was surprised to see that not only was he looking down at Thom, but his vision was altered. It was like looking through a foggy window. Thom and the torches looked reddish-orange, but it was like he was sensing, not seeing, them. Then there was the statue. He saw it similar to Thom, but blue and brighter.

“Ssssss…” Speaking must take more practice. Bardulf slithered over to the mouth of the statue, and moved part of his body so blood would drip into the mouth. He focused on making his serpentine jaws form words. “Sss cutsss meeesssss…”

“Aright.” Thom took out a knife as he walked underneath. Bardulf winced as the small blade bit through his scales.

After a few moments, Thom stepped back. “It’s done, Bardulf. Your blood went down into the statue’s mouth.” Thom stepped closer to the wound as Bardulf moved out of the mouth. “Try licking the wound. Calyn healed a wound that way.”

Bardulf slithered back, and licked the wound. If anything happened, it was forgotten as the cavern began to tremble.

Thom looked around, surprise evident in his eyes. Bardulf’s gaze was caught by the stone serpent’s eyes, which were glowing even brighter than before. A gasp of stale air emanated from the mouth, and turned into a strong breeze. Was the statue breathing?

Bardulf heard a clatter and spun to see Thom turn and run, his knife now on the floor.

Rock crumbled around him, so Bardulf coiled up to protect himself. He turned his eyes back to the serpent’s head, and watched as the stone cracked and began falling off. He idly wondered why the stone underneath looked like green scales and then realized with horror that this was no statue. It was a giant serpent.

Inventory: (all on floor) fang dagger, flint & steel, heart necklace
Health: healthy

While he can, should Bardulf try and escape, or stay?
A) Run
B) Stay

2 thoughts on “Hero’s Tale VYA – Part 20

  1. I have to say, I like the descriptions of how unusual senses “feel”. Kudos! Though do note that ‘loose’ should be ‘lose’.

    To the question at hand, another high-stakes call, whee! I’m getting into intuition and extrapolation, but here’s my thoughts. Yes, it’s a giant serpent, but Bardulf is something of a giant serpent himself at the moment, which raises the chances that it would see him as summoner/invoker and not immediately as a foe. Leonard+Calyn have a plan to control it, and we can presume it’s more likely that this is possible than not. It might not hinge on being-quetzal, but rather some specialized knowledge, but there’s a risk. Staying gives us leverage over the situation (maybe he can talk to it, maybe it’ll be friendly because his blood empowered it), at the risk of getting attacked if that’s its way. If we leave and it rampages, either there’s a lot of devastation and a nasty serpent thing loosed upon the world, or L+C manage to control it and gain power, or whatever it is guarding, or suchlike. So I’m not seeing so much to gain by fleeing comparing to staying, so voting (B) Stay.

    But the ‘well, except for our life, maybe’ aspect makes me anxious about it!

Leave a Reply to Matt Ender Cancel reply