Feasting on Dreams, Volume Two: Chapter Fifteen

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No one spoke for a while. The dim, fetid chamber was airless, filthy… and, oddly, it felt much smaller than it had when the abomination had been filling it up, towering over us. I didn’t know if we truly had defeated it in the Fade, or if it had just… receded, and might be lying in wait for us somewhere else.

The body the demon had been wearing lay crumpled on the bloody floor, a corrupted mass of swollen flesh, skin split with lesions and torn with foul, oozing wounds. It stank.

Wynne groaned as she got to her feet and I looked to her, tangled up in gratitude for all she’d done—we would surely never have escaped the Fade without her—and fear that I’d asked too much. She looked drawn and bleary-eyed, though the fuzzy edges melted away as she stared at the other bodies piled up in the chamber. To me, those blood-slicked slips of silk and torn robes encased only corpses, sickening in their bloated, blackened appearance and reminders of how hard the Circle had fallen. Yet, to her, they must have been so much more; friends, apprentices… people to whom she’d had obligations, duties of care. I couldn’t begin to imagine how betrayed she must feel, and I searched for something to say, some useless few words to throw to her, even if only so I could let her know she wasn’t alone.

“Wynne, I….”

I trailed off as she knelt stiffly beside Niall’s body—just as lifeless as he’d predicted—and, with efficient precision, rifled through the pockets of his robe. I stared at the pallid, sunken face, trying to reconcile it with the man I’d met—or thought I’d met, or dreamed that… well, with the vision I’d had in the Fade. That seemed like a more acceptable way of thinking about it. Rationalising it, maybe. I didn’t know. Frankly, I didn’t want to think of it ever again. I wanted to get out of this filthy, stinking place, with its dark, cold stone walls and the stench of decomposition, and I… I so wished I’d stayed in the dream.

Next to the world that spooled out around me, huge and complex and terrible, I felt smaller than I ever had before.

Wynne straightened, holding a thick piece of folded parchment in her fingers. For the briefest of moments before she stood, her hand softly skimmed Niall’s hair, and a look of indescribable pain flickered over her face. It hardened as she unfolded and read the parchment, replaced by a tight, angry frown. Her lips moved soundlessly as she committed the Litany to memory, then she snatched it away from her face abruptly, folding it once more and tucking it into a pouch at her belt.

“We must get to the Harrowing Chamber,” she said crisply. “Immediately. Whatever Uldred is doing, it ends. Now.”

With that, the mage limped towards the heavy door on the far side of the chamber. Determination practically sparked off her, the rigidity of her body and the set of her narrow, angular face daring any of us to comment. I glanced at Leliana, who just shook her head. She seemed pale-faced and a little wobbly, and she wasn’t the only one. I hadn’t felt quite so dislocated, so unsure of my own place in the world, since the Joining ritual.

“Let’s just… just go,” Alistair muttered, lurching off after Wynne.

He didn’t look any better than the rest of us: chalk-white, sweaty, and moving like a broken puppet, all odd ends of joints and stiff, unresponsive limbs.

I followed, sniffing the air. Something seemed different. The clamminess, the quality of the shadows… I couldn’t help wondering how long we’d been trapped in the Fade, how much time had passed in the real world. I’d read stories like that as a child; adventurers whose souls were bound into the webs of wraiths and demons, and who returned to their homes centuries after leaving, only to find all was dust and ashes. I’d just never thought it could really happen.

My thoughts turned briefly to Connor, and the castle. Had we been gone too long? Would he have turned again, and forced Morrigan to make the choice I had so churlishly left her with? She wouldn’t hesitate, I imagined. She was a great deal stronger than me. And Sten… well, if the qunari were half as terrible as the Chantry told us, he’d probably have no qualms in beheading a small boy.

They’d have to do it, though, wouldn’t they? And even if we did get out of here alive, we’d have failed. I thought, then, of dying entombed in that tower, never seeing the sky again, and knowing as the last breath left my body that Ferelden would fall to the darkspawn, swept away in a tide of evil. The notion that I could make a difference had never seemed more ridiculous, yet I felt myself respond to the image, resolve toughening around the tiny core of hope that we could—just maybe, somehow—get out of here alive, and get help. Or something, at least. I didn’t know what. I couldn’t think anymore, couldn’t plan or analyse. I just loped after Wynne, and felt the eyeless hulks of the Tower’s walls sneer down at me, ancient carvings crawling through their shadows like cockroaches.

~o~O~o~

The Harrowing Chamber occupied the very uppermost reaches of the tower. I didn’t dare ponder what its significance had been back when Kinloch Hold was new—Maker only knew what those Tevinter bastards had got up to in places like this—but the approach to it had obviously been designed to impress. There were more of those huge oaken doors, meant to keep abominations at bay, and the broken remnants of statues and carvings. Shreds of tapestries hung from the walls, reminding me of the state we’d seen Redcliffe Castle in. What manner of creature was it that escaped the Fade and was so intent on glorying in physical destruction? I doubted I’d ever dream again; even sleep would be a battleground.

We found the meeting room, or what was left of it, on the corridor just below the Chamber. Scorch marks, bodies, shattered chairs and upturned, broken tables… it was horrible, and it left us in no doubt that Uldred had planned his coup well in advance.

At the foot of the staircase that led up into the spire, we found the body of a young templar, chestnut-haired and contorted in agony. He had not yet begun to swell or rot, but it might have been better if he had… at least that way I would not have seen the pitted wounds on his face, which looked so unsettlingly as if he’d tried to put out his own eyes before he died.

We bunched closer together, the four of us edging up towards the Harrowing Chamber with weapons drawn and hearts thudding, no real notion of what we might find. Wynne’s whispered words about staying close, not allowing ourselves to be left open to the foul potential of blood magic, were cold comfort.

“Will the Litany really work?” I wanted to know. “I mean, can you—?”

“Well, we shall see, won’t we?” she said darkly, as we approached those massive doors. “We can but hope.”

“Oh,” I murmured. “Good.”

Light flashed from the chamber before we even got there, spilling out on the flagstones from beneath the great doors. Screams, too. My pulse thudded dully, dizziness tugging at me as every instinct urged me to run. I disliked how good I was getting at ignoring those feelings; they were the kind of impulses that could keep a person alive.

Still, nothing prepared me for what we found in the Harrowing Chamber.

There had been more survivors than those who had initially fled. Many of the senior mages were there, and I wondered if that had been Uldred’s intention, or whether perhaps he had hunted them, scouring the corridors for the choicest prizes.

He had them shackled, their hands bound to stop them fighting, their bodies weakened and brutalised. Abominations thronged the chamber, at least half a dozen of them, their fingers pinching and probing, their foul faces pressed close to the chained mages… I knew torture when I saw it, whether it was happening in body or mind.

Against the furthest wall, a large man with a matted grey beard was slumped on the floor, his weight hanging from the manacles that bound him. He raised his head, for a second looking directly at us across the horrific expanse of the chamber, and I heard Wynne’s intake of breath.

“Irving!” she whispered. “Maker, what have they—”

There was little opportunity to ponder, or to fully investigate the grisly scene. As quickly as he’d spotted us, the First Enchanter looked away, trying not to draw attention our way… but it was futile. However busy the creatures were, whatever thriving manufactory this was, our presence was out of place and, as quietly as we’d tried to creep in, we had been detected.

Uldred swept up the length of the chamber towards us, and I had not been expecting a man. Had Niall not said he was… changed? I saw only a human, in mage’s robes, with a great hooked nose and the shiny pate of a bald head—until he drew close enough for me to see his eyes. They were black, soulless… devoid of life but full of a terrible, crackling energy. It made the hair rise on the back of my neck, and gave me the strong urge to peel my skin off and wash it from the inside.

“Intruders!” Uldred barked, as if making a witty joke rather than a dangerous observation. There was a high-pitched, brittle quality to his voice. “Well, now… I bid you all welcome. Care to join in our revels?”

I recognised him, I realised. He’d been at Ostagar, at Cailan’s war council—just one face in a sea that I’d felt I had no place among. Tight lips and murmurs of folly and vapid glory-hunting… how quickly had he raced back here after the battle? Had he been in league with Loghain the whole time?

Possibilities—paranoid assumptions, perhaps—raced in my mind, and filled my blood with the bitter sting of betrayal. It was the same hard fury that I heard in Wynne’s voice as she stepped forwards, raising her hand to the level of her hip, the way I supposed one who could not wield magic might draw a sword.

“Uldred! Look at what you have done here… you…. It….”

She stopped, the sheer weight of her anger choking the words, and I wasn’t sure if I imagined the faint glow of blue that seemed to outline her hand.

Uldred simply smiled or, at least, slid his lips back over his teeth.

“Ah, Wynne… I should have known you wouldn’t understand. I am freeing our brothers and sisters, can’t you see? Showing them how to shed their larval form, and embrace the pleasure of becoming something greater… something glorious!”

He raised his arms and loosed a high, glittering laugh that reeked of insanity. Behind him, the abominations were drawing closer, gliding across the blood-spattered stones and tilting their over-sized, flesh-welted heads with birdlike curiosity. I shifted my grip on my sword, eyes darting to take in every shadow and open expanse of the chamber’s curved walls and vaulted architecture. There was little to use to our advantage. Nothing to hide behind… no way out.

“There is nothing glorious about this!” Wynne spat. “You’re mad, Uldred. You’re—”

“Oh, now, Wynne…. I could give you this gift. You and all mages. It would be so much easier if you just accepted it.”

“Never! You will release the mages, Uldred. Release them, and—”

“I don’t think so,” he said levelly, affecting bored nonchalance. “Now, are you really going to make this tedious?”

That black, fire-glazed gaze passed briefly over me, then Leliana and Alistair. Uldred’s smile became a sneer, and he sighed.

“Really? Not one of you has the intelligence to see the beauty of what we’ve uncovered here?”

I found my voice as I stepped forwards to stand at Wynne’s shoulder. The mage was shaking with fury, her face deathly pale and her eyes blazing. My ill-fitting boots, one sole parting company from the worn leather, scuffed on the stone floor.

“All I see is filth, mage,” I said, and the words echoed slightly, reinforcing how quiet the chamber had grown. “And it will stop.”

The weight of years and habit got the better of me, and I spat on the flagstones. Uldred watched the action, and a light shiver of revulsion appeared to chase across his skin. If there was anything human left inside him, we both knew what the gesture meant.

The abominations pressed closer in and Uldred glared, his sneer turning to a true snarl.

“How… unfortunate,” he said, and I didn’t even see his hands move.

Wynne shouted, pushed me back. Light flared—white, blue, like blades to my eyes, flames echoing in my head—and it blanked out everything around me. I could hear yelling, and the wordless roars the abominations made… or that I assumed they did, because no human or elven mouth could possibly shape those sounds. I felt the shapes of bodies pushing through the blinding light, but even as it faded I couldn’t see for the streaks of blue smeared across my vision. Something tore through the air ahead of me, less than ten inches from my gut, and I swayed backwards on instinct, aware that it looked like a huge claw, a hand malformed in ugly, cruel viciousness.

I looked up, and up… and Uldred was definitely no longer Uldred.

Where the mage had stood, an abomination towered, but it wasn’t like the others. This mass of corrupt, weltering flesh had a form all its own; great, hideous limbs made of twined and corded muscle, joints shelled with spiny growths and arms tipped with massive, clawed hands. Its thick, bullish neck raised up a head in proportion with the bulky, enormous body—yet it bore none of the resemblance the other abominations did to their previous forms. A dozen shiny, black oval eyes, like those of a spider, winked at us from the folds of a horrific face split by mandibles and I knew, whatever demon Uldred had given himself to—whatever trade he had made in his lust for power—it was a damn sight worse than a simple confederacy with Teyrn Loghain.

The mandibles split open, revealing the cavernous, ribbed interior of a mouth like a hole torn through flesh, and the creature roared. It certainly had an impact. I think the whole chamber turned still, silent… and it felt as if we could have stood there, just staring in terror, until the monster wiped us out.

Wynne flung a bolt of energy straight up, and it caught the beetle-back eyes, singeing straight into one. Uldred gave a croaking shriek, and I shook my head, keenly aware of how poorly this could end.

He went for Wynne and I lashed out, dagger lancing into that enormous palm as it scythed towards us. It took more force than I thought I had to drive the blade in, and I was weak and exhausted. We hadn’t come here expecting more violence… we’d wanted help. And… and it wasn’t fair. I heard the soft hum of an arrow ripping through the air, and the howl as it took out another of the Uldred-demon’s eyes. Ten more and he’d be fighting blind, I thought, not that it seemed like much of a comfort.

I found myself clinging to the great, fetid, purplish limb as the creature raised its arm, and I did what damage I could while I was there. The abominations that had flanked him were thronging around Wynne and she was doing what she could do to hold them off, with Alistair fighting his way across to her. Leliana had shouldered her bow in favour of those small, sharp, clever daggers she used so well, and as the demon tried to shake me off, I heard the death scream of the first abomination. A few moments later, and the world blurred as I fell, scudding along the flagstones on my back, winded and tasting blood on my tongue.

“Unchain me!” A voice appeared to be shouting at me, and I shook my head blearily. “Quickly, unchain me, girl!”

I blinked, and realised I was lying at the feet of one of the shackled mages. Blood crusted the side of his face, and it occurred to me somewhere through the jumble of things making it so hard to think that, if Uldred had been trying to corrupt the survivors, then any one of them might have been a blood mage.

The human flexed impatiently against his bonds, his thin face contorting in frustration.

“Come on, quickly! We can help.”

There were others… of course. I pulled myself up to my knees, blades clanging on the stones and breath burning in my lungs. Three… four mages, their robes bloodied and their faces the taut, wide-eyed masks of those who have seen true horror. Clumsy and breathless, I glanced at the manacles that bound the men. They were on lengths of chain looped through a central pulley, then bolted to the wall. Easy enough to keep their hands cinched up, I supposed, and their powers confined. The metal glowed faintly blue, too… enchanted? It seemed probable. Tackling the bonds of the mage nearest to me, I went for the manacles’ hinge, and jammed my dagger against the join. It didn’t work. Behind me, in the heat of the melee, I heard Alistair yell amid the almighty collision of flesh and steel. I didn’t dare look, and a thwarted sob broke from me as, yet again, I failed to unclasp the cuffs. I moved instead to the point where the chain was bolted to the cold stone wall and, bracing my foot against the carved blocks, used my sword to try and lever the plate free. It groaned… these bindings were old, I realised. Did they chain the apprentices for their Harrowing rites? It didn’t matter. My back and shoulders screamed but, with one last heave, the scrape and ping of metal met with the crack of protesting mortar, and the plate broke away from the stone, shooting the chain forwards and slackening the mages’ bonds.

My sweaty, shaking hands struggled clumsily with my weapons, and I exchanged sword for dagger once more, trying again to wrest the pins from the manacles. The prisoners were better able to help with their hands no longer stretched above their heads and, with a fair amount of effort, I managed to get the first man unbound. He yelled ‘look out’ instead of ‘thank you’, however, and I didn’t really know why until I turned to find myself almost face-to-face with one of Uldred’s abominations.

It stared at me with those bulbous, milky eyes, the great fleshy polyps and bubbling masses of its deformed head almost making me long for the simplicity of the darkspawn. The thing lunged, and I yelled, blade up in defence and—before I even knew it—sinking into the mass of corded skin and sinew at its neck. They could bleed, that was sure enough. But, beyond that, what vestiges of humanity were left in the things? I couldn’t tell, and I didn’t think of it… I thought of nothing, just blindly hacking and stabbing as the creature flailed at me. Fingers like dry twigs scratched my face, and a bolt of crackling electrical energy seared across my shoulder, signalling that the mages I’d tried to help were at last free. They felled the abomination—the creature that must, until so very recently, have been one of their own—and we rounded on Uldred.

Wynne was facing him down, yelling what I assumed must be the words of the Litany as twin, opposing waves of magical force met each other in the air. Everything tasted greasy and metallic, the magnitude of the power in the chamber causing sparks to dance on the stones. I ducked down, ran through the demon’s great, towering legs, and stuck my blade into the nearest thing I could find that approximated the back of a knee. Blood spurted from the gash I’d torn. The creature roared, its concentration broken enough for it to reach down and claw at me and, I gathered, for whatever Wynne had been trying to do to work. The death holler of another of the abominations sounded, and I made out the shape of Alistair, blood-streaked shield sagging from his slack left arm, limping towards Uldred. Magical fire and ice, tempests and bolts of energy clashed and boomed all around us. It disorientated me, left me unsure of everything and lost on the teetering razor of fear. I darted out from under the monster and made for Alistair, skidding in behind him on the bloody floor as we pulled back to flank Uldred.

The mages’ sustained violence was driving him against the wall and, with the last of his servile abominations lying in messy heaps on the flagstones, he had no other line of defence left. Unfortunately, as with all cornered animals, desperation only made him more determined.

We pushed, pressed with steel where the magi struck with magic; Leliana’s well-aimed arrows and Alistair’s bloody, weighted charges to my frenzied swings. The Uldred-abomination was weakening, but he could still pack a punch. Those great clawed hands swung and scythed… I ducked, rolled, stabbed—and wasn’t fast enough. An explosion of searing, incandescent light filled my vision, and I thought yet another magical bolt had burst above me, until I felt the pain. It was in everything; every muscle and tendon I possessed, pressing in on me from all around, like bars of iron. I couldn’t see, couldn’t breathe… there was just a crackling surge of energy, like white fire, holding me at its core and trying to consume me, crush me until I was nothing but dust, floating in the static-sharp field of whatever magic this was.

I was aware of my feet scraping the floor as I was drawn up on my toes like a dancer, then up again, blades loose in my weakened grasp as the sheer strength of the agony impaled me upon it. My mouth was open but I couldn’t scream, couldn’t even draw breath. My skin crackled and everything tasted like hot leather, and then… then I couldn’t see or taste anything at all. There was just a cold blackness that started to fill me, a numbing chill pooling in the places that felt crushed and ruined. I fought it, fought hard, but I couldn’t win.

It was sheer luck that I lasted longer Uldred’s spell did and—as whatever he’d done to me wore off—I hit the flagstones, winded and dizzy, my eyes burning with the flashes of light and my body swooping and twitching with the leftover echoes of pain.

I scrabbled for my weapons, clenched them in slick, shaking hands, and tried to suck breath into my screaming lungs. Magical flames seared the air above me, and Uldred howled, forced that little bit further backwards. We had the creature pinned at the far end of the chamber now and—as another burst of that eye-scraping light flashed, purple-toned and bruised with blue—I heard Wynne intoning the words of Litany again, shouting over the noise that echoed off the chamber’s imposing walls. The Uldred-creature flung back its head and loosed a terrible roar, swiping with one massive hand at Alistair as he charged once more. He ducked, wove, and brought his sword around in a great slash, cutting a brutal swathe through the corrupted cloak of flesh that the abomination clung to. Its other fist came flying, catching him off-balance, but I was already running—or at least limping at speed—clutching close to myself the best piece of advice I’d ever heard on fighting.

Stick them with your sword enough, and they go down.

Back in the warm, far-off days of my childhood, Mother had probably thought she was teaching me what I needed to know to guard my honour, and nothing more. Everything she showed me was about balance, poise, and cunning; the poetry of a well-placed knee in the groin and the wisdom of carrying a small, sharp knife in one’s boot. It wasn’t until I got to Ostagar—and listened so hard to everything that hard-bitten army sergeant had said—that I’d really started to handle blades forged for the grubby, bitter business of killing. My technique remained clumsy, but the steel sang to me. It called for an end to this, and that was all I was thinking of when I leapt.

The air seemed to part around me like wet silk. The stink of the creature, the unimaginable corruption and vileness of its mutated form, loomed bigger and bigger as I flung myself towards the broad bulk of its body. I drove my sword in somewhere at the top of its gut—did it even have a gut, I wondered, or just the pretence of one?—and let my bodyweight hang from the blade, opening the creature up as my feet kicked for purchase against ragged, bloody flesh. My dagger carved another wound into its side and I shut my eyes against the blood and the flesh and Maker knew what else that poured out. Whatever had been keeping the abomination’s flesh-cloak together, it was finally ruptured… or perhaps the demon just couldn’t be bothered to maintain the act anymore.

What had once been Uldred keeled backwards with a long, drawn-out scream of anger, and bore me with it. White light burst around me, split by the hiss of arrows, and I knew Wynne, Leliana, and the other mages were still keeping up a ranged attack, no one prepared to let up until the creature was thoroughly dead and, for preference, in pieces.

It—I, or we—hit the stone floor with a jaw-cracking smash, sending me rolling free of what I fervently hoped was the corpse… and then, at last, it was over. Not that I realised it. There was still a deafening roar in my ears, still the echoes of all that blinding, crackling light flashing across my vision, leaving streaks of blue behind it, as disorientating as the moment of coming indoors on a bright summer’s day. I knew I was still breathing, because every breath hurt, but that gave me something to focus on; the ebb and flow of tainted, bloody air, foul like offal and copper.

Slowly—so very, very slowly—the dust seemed to settle. I stared up at the great, vaulted stone dome of the Harrowing chamber, the floor hard and uncomfortable beneath me, and I was aware of time coming back to itself, snapping into place around me and the people I was with… people who I wanted to look at, wanted to be sure were all still standing, still all right. The mages, and the First Enchanter… we needed them. Needed them to be alive, unharmed….

With difficulty, I stumbled to my feet and turned in a clumsy circle, my legs water-weak, and the tip of my sword dragging on the stone floor. Wynne was leaning over the First Enchanter; the other magi were working on freeing their cohorts. There were injuries, perhaps even a couple of the shackled prisoners who were past helping. I couldn’t tell. Leliana was staring at the mess on the flagstones, her lips moving in what I gathered to be a stream of prayer, though whether it was soundless or I was just still deaf, I didn’t know.

I completed the circle I was turning in, the raw, burning breaths slowing as I saw Alistair. He’d pulled his helmet off, and blood was running down the side of his face from a great gash on one temple. He shook his head as he looked at me, as if trying to clear blurred vision, and came unsteadily towards me. I stared blearily at him, able to see his lips moving, but not hearing the words. Eventually, as he got closer, they collapsed in on me, and the world echoed as if I’d ducked up from under the weight of murky water.

“…think it would have been.” Alistair frowned at me. “Are you all right?”

It was hard to formulate a reply. I could taste the words, but they were loose and unconnected, dancing around me and always just out of reach. I watched the blood trickling down the side of his head, and gradually grew aware of the furrows on his dirty, sweat-streaked face. He looked me up and down and, without taking his eyes from me, called out to Wynne.

She hurried over, though I could see she was in pain—had she been wounded?—and those quick, sharp blue eyes worked briskly over my frame. She nodded, put her hand on my shoulder, and spoke to me in a loud, clear voice, with the kind of exaggerated patience usually reserved for the very young, very old, or not especially sane.

“Where does it hurt most?”

I stared woozily at her. What a stupid question. Everything hurt. Still, I frowned, concentrated, and realised that not everything was well in the region of my ribs. I tried to raise my hand and point there because, for some reason, my tongue didn’t work anymore. Also, lifting my arm made the odd-coloured lights burst in front of my eyes again, and turned everything a semi-transparent shade of blackish grey.

Wynne knew, though. I remember thinking how clever that was. She placed her palm on the outside of my bloodied leather armour, just at the spot that was causing so much trouble, and bowed her head.

“Hold her,” she said, and I didn’t know why.

Alistair dropped his sword, came round behind me and—just as I was about to protest—the pain started. I went rigid, then sagged like a wrung-out cloth, and he caught me when I fell back, kneeling on the bloody stones, bracing me with a knee in the back and his arms locked under my armpits, pinning my shoulders and stopping me either from shying away or fighting back.

Only the second time in my life I’d received magical healing, and the first time that I’d been awake for it. Somehow, I hadn’t imagined it would hurt quite so much. It did, though. I felt every fibre of the muscle and every splinter of the bone knitting back together as Wynne’s magic pulled my broken ribs back into shape, and healed the damage they’d caused in their breaking. I screamed. Screamed, swore and… as the light faded, breathed. Properly, which was a surprising relief.

“In ideal circumstances,” Wynne said, removing her hand from my now slightly singed armour, “we would have some pain relief for that procedure. My apologies.”

I’d slithered to the ground once Alistair had let go of me, and was eyeing the chamber for somewhere I could slink off to and throw up—not that there was anything in my stomach to make it worthwhile.

“S’fine. ’nk’you,” I managed, trying to stand up again. “M’fine.”

I made it to my feet on the second go, swaying gently, and blinked at the assembled mages, wishing I hadn’t given them such a melodramatic display.

First Enchanter Irving had been helped to his feet, and was saying something rather grand about a debt that could never be repaid. I meant to listen. I meant to say something important about the templars, and… and about Connor… because, if Uldred had willingly given himself to a demon the way the boy had, then it seemed reasonable to me that Connor could turn into something as bloody awful as the pile of putrid flesh currently leaking all over the flagstones, and we should get back to Redcliffe as soon as possible.

It didn’t quite work out like that, somehow.

“Whzzfftmnng,” I said, shortly before the world turned dark, and I slithered to an extremely undignified rest on the ground.

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Volume 2: Chapter Sixteen
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