Averoigne PBEM II:35, or the Den of the Wolf

Being midnight, Sunday, the fifteenth day of February, Anno Domini One Thousand Two Hundred and Seventy-Six, atop the belfry of the Cathedral of Vyones…

To interject the words of Bruyant’s player:
Bruyant will act slowly, out of shock, deep thought, and of course, stalling until his friends can show up. He’ll slowly take the chalice from Breschau, and holding it before him, stare meditatively into its depths. He’ll speak:

“Breschau, I cannot begin to understand what thou art, what thou hast seen, what thou dost believe, or what thou hast done. But thou hast come here not to slay me, but offer me a gift. For that, I thank thee. I realize that a gift refused is often viewed as an insult, and likely to provoke anger. I hope, even as I do not drink, that thou dost not feel insulted. To drink this would change, fundamentally, who I am. I am not ready to make such a transition.”

He’ll hold out the cup, to hand it back to Breschau. If the man does not take the cup, Bruyant will gently set it down where he is able.

“Breschau, I fear thee. Thou obviously hast the power to take my life. I pray that thou decidest not to. But I am not a coward. I will not drink out of fear. Instead, I would seek to help thee. Thou seemest in earnest about being what thou art, and what thou doest. I fear that the path thou treadest leads only into shadow, Breschau, no matter how powerful or exhillerating thou feelest thyself to be. Breschau, seek the path of forgiveness. I am not thy enemy. Let’s together help thee back to that state which God intended…a man. Thou hast sins to atone for, to be sure, but I am not thy judge. That can be for God alone.”

Breschau listens silently to Bruyant’s words. He nods, but does not accept the cup in return.

“Very well, Father. Thou speakest with wisdom and honesty, and I return thy gracious thanks for thy own offer. I regret that man of thy character will not survive this night.”

The odour of the protective balm wafts into the room as Pierre and Marcel appear, panting, at the top of the stairs. Marcel leans on his staff, while Pierre brandishes his dagger. Breschau wrinkles his nose and takes two steps back, standing near a shuttered window. He sizes them up, and chuckles.

“Cyon the unction-maker should have been early victim. Yet I see not thy brave friend with a sword…”

A shutter next to him crashes open, and Julien breaks into the room with a shout. Breschau, knocked across the room into a corner, rolls with the impact and rises to his feet.

Julien brushes a lock of rain-soaked hair from his eyes. “Men are full of surprises, eh, Breschau?”

The spymaster draws himself up to his full height. “Indeed, sir. Yet some have more surprises than others…”

He mutters something under his breath, and then shouts, an untterance that grows louder and higher in pitch. Though they had suspected the man’s nature, the suddenness and violence of the metamorphosis is stunning. Claws stab through his fingertips, drawing beads of blood. His torso undulates as bones shatter under the stress, resetting in shapes not recognizable as the human form. Soon, the black lips of the beast are bared at the companions.

Bruyant glances at the clerk. “Julien -”

Julien stands transfixed, in the grip of some powerful emotion.

With a snarl, Breschau, the wolf of God, lunges.

Published in: on December 28, 2008 at 11:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

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