What has come before: Intro, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13


~~~ Kiven, reaver ~~~

Near the Isonian Encampment, Nightfall

Kiven sniffed at the air, his heightened sense of smell picking out the distinctive scent of man-flesh nearby. Behind him a pack of fifty reavers was assembled, milling about impatiently, thirsting carnage. “This way,” he growled tossing his head forward, the words grating from his short muzzle unnaturally, harsh and abrasive. Yipping and snarling their assent, the pack moved forward, picking their way through the blasted hills carefully, their craving for blood tempered only by the knowledge that if their prey heard them, they would face a much harder battle. Best to use surprise to their advantage.

“Too long have we been penned up like slaves,” Kiven thought, his green eyes flashing dangerously, “besieged and harried. Tonight we will pay them back tenfold.” As he crested the hill light from dozens of campfires spread out before him like a sea of flickering fireflies. A mental command froze his brethren in their tracks, a skill that felt instinctive although he had never before used it.

In silence he surveyed the encampment, his eyesight keener than it had ever been before he had been transformed. Figured moved about the fires, but there were no sentries posted, the Isonians having grown lax during the long siege. Kiven’s men had been so decimated that forays away from the cave mouth would have been suicidal. Until now.

Slinking forward, oily black skin the perfect camouflage for a night skirmish, he again telepathically spurred his troops into action, great beasts fanning out into a long line, staggered two deep. With the stealth of expert predators they crept up until the stench of humanity hung in the air like a plague, and the sound of raucous voices drowned out the incessant chirping of the crickets.

“Kill!” he growled, vocalizing the mental command, whipping the reavers into a frenzy. Snarls and howls went up as the fifty demonic killers charged forward, slamming into the surprised humans with murderous glee. Screams of terror replace the arrogant boasting and mirthful laughter, sleek black monsters leaving a path of crimson gore in their wake.

Kiven reveled in the power that flowed through his veins as his claws tore through flesh and bone with equal ease, destroying those who had sought to destroy him only short hours before. The taste of blood was thick in his throat, sweet and rich, leaving him lusting more. Scraps of loose flesh lodged about his razor claws, morsels for later, after the main killing was complete.

~~~

It took less than an hour to route the defenders; although the later camps had warning of the attack, none were prepared to deal with the demonic beasts that they faced. As his pack fed on the carrion, Kiven threw back his head and howled, a long bloodcurdling wail promising further death and destruction. “Justice has been served,” he growled.

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