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A one-eyed wolf-man, who appeared to be the one in charge, spoke.

-”Which one?”

-”The male. He took out four, his wizard friend six,” the lycanthrope to his left said.

-”And the woman?” the first one asked, turning his lone eye on Hulda.

-”A healer of sorts. Non-druidic. She keeps repelling us with her magic, and it seems she stabbed our brother with one of his own knock-out arrows, too,” the other said, with a nudge of his head towards the comatose werewolf further down the street.

The lycanthrope leader's gaze remained on Hulda.

-”Kill her then,” he said.

As one, the beasts charged.
Marek, despite his wolfsbane-poisoning, had thrown himself in their path, shield and shoulder leading, before Hulda could react. The sword he brought around with a grunt did little to harm any of them, and he got a swipe of a fist to the head for trying.

Hulda, having stepped up just in time to stand back-to-back with the warrior was the only thing that kept the man from being floored. She narrowly parried a slash from a scimitar, and dodged the second one. Marek roared to get his sword-arm to obey him, but his sluggish thrusts were hardly enough to keep his share of the lycanthropes occupied. Hulda accosted the wolfman on her own left side with a snarl, too – but swung her morningstar a split moment later than she'd announced it. The creature fell for the deceit and got decked.

-”Ah, so it was cunning, and not just mercy that put our archer to sleep,” Hulda's remaining sparring partner said. His single eye glittered when he took a step back and held his weapon trained on her throat. “We'll keep you yet. Lay down your weapon.”

-”Over my dead body,” Hulda defied him, but the wolf-man chided her.

-”Interesting choice of words... Don't you mean, 'his body'?”

Hulda followed his gaze to where Marek lay sprawled on the ground. The lycanthropes had elected to take him out without bloodshed, but now their scimitars hovered over him like executioners' axes.
Hulda's morningstar fell from her hand.

With the tip of the leader's own weapon tickling her back, she was directed to the town square, Zan and Marek being dragged off in that direction already.

-”What's going to happen now?” she asked.

-”First, we find accommodations for you three,” the one-eyed lycanthrope said. “After that: judgement.”


***

The 'accommodations' turned out to be woven cages from the Black Lions' own fur-trappers, and Hulda was made to take place in the smallest of the three, hands tied behind her and her knees nearly up to her chin. Her holy symbol of Selûne and all her stuff were confiscated, down to her cloak and boots, which the lycanthropes discovered were infused with magic. Her two companions were likewise stuffed into a cage and stacked like fowl on a market.

Marek stirred and uttered a tired groan when Zan's cage was put on top of his. The Evoker, too, came back round.

-”What did I miss?” he asked.

-”It seems we've been spared... We're the only ones left alive, of this town,” Hulda said, the horror and sadness of the situation descending on her in full only now.
Wherever they were, the missing virgins were the last of the Black Lion clan... but for how long?

There was fidgeting and a slew of muttered curses when the wizard tried to get on his good side, and found that the cages didn't allow for much wriggling room.

-”Eh,” he said after a while, “good thing the one with pants is on top, aye, Marek?”

The bodyguard offered a morose 'mmm' in answer.

A she-wolf archer passed them by, rattling the cages' wooden spokes with the bottom end of her bow.

-”Feeling comfortable in there? If these were good enough for the animals of the forest, they ought to suffice for the likes of you,” she said, and spat in the dirt.

-”Is it technically still an insult if I call that one a bitch?” Zan asked when she'd left.

-”Look,” Marek pointed as well as he could.

From a side street, more lycanthropes entered the town square, dragging a badly wounded Uthgardt man along. He groaned when he was dropped in front of the werewolf leader.

-”Is this what has become of the fierce and independent Black Lion chieftain? You've fattened up since you developed that taste for coin, you deplorable cretin,” the one-eyed wolf said, and then he, and all the other lycanthropes assembled, abandoned their animal-shapes and assumed humanoid form.

Next to her, Hulda could see Zan blink in confusion.

-”... Is this coincidence, or...?”

Hulda regarded the enemy. They were elves, one and all, and their contemptuous scowls and disgusted looks towards their prisoners spoke volumes.

-”Okay, I was wrong,” Hulda said, “...these aren't the People of the Black Blood.”
(Alternative title: 'Why Pants Are Better Than Fishnet Stockings')

... Unless you're fishing for bass and you need something to put 'm in, but that goes without saying. (Following link is proof I'm not making the stockings up or anything: fav.me/d6bmi32 )

Thanks go out to :iconsushi-troll: for helping me out with BOTH titles! And for being her own adorable self, naturally and elementary and obviously. Praise where due.

A moment aside to reflect on the matter at hand:
We're nine chapters in and neither the necromancer and his aid haven't been sighted yet. It begs the question whether they're at all there, and not a figment of Sushi and mine's conjoined imaginations. (Now that'd be a twist. Take note, M. Night Shyamalan!)
That ill-begotten main vilain's as elusive as a certain shoe: fav.me/d6nyl3h...!

Also, by the end of this chapter, I'm strangely reminded of dorm life. Small quarters (Hulda's lucky hers have lots of fresh air), weirdos galore, and face it - you really suspect that one fellow dorm student to be a bit of a pyromaniac.
And the other one looks intoxicated.

See all the chapters here:
Chapter 1: fav.me/d7dskk8
Chapter 2: fav.me/d7ef2de
Chapter 3: fav.me/d7frrlp
Chapter 4: fav.me/d7ft046
Chapter 5: fav.me/d7gbms4
Chapter 6: fav.me/d7guo6m
Chapter 7: fav.me/d7hhu5t
Chapter 8: fav.me/d7i3w9z
The story continues!
Chapter 10: fav.me/d7jin91
Chapter 11: fav.me/d7mql5a
Chapter 12: fav.me/d7sioax


Preview art by myself.

Can't get enough of Hulda? Read up on her preceding story 'Finding Pinky' overhere: fav.me/d6t4a6x
Exhibit A that Zan is indeed wearing the pants in this relationship: fav.me/d6bsn5f

Disclaimer: Hulda Swanmantle belongs to Sushi-Troll; Zan and Marek belong to yours truly. Forgotten Realms belongs to Wizards of the Coast. Werewolves still belong in a zoo.
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:icony-o-d-h:
Y-O-D-H Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Plot twist! Lythari?
Reply
:iconbattlefairies:
BATTLEFAIRIES Featured By Owner May 26, 2014
Fair guess but no. It gets worse.
Reply
:iconsushi-troll:
Sushi-Troll Featured By Owner May 20, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
"Werewolves still belong in a zoo."

:iconmegustaplz:
Reply
:iconbattlefairies:
BATTLEFAIRIES Featured By Owner May 20, 2014
They do don't they!
Either that or on a t-shirt with a full moon or what have you.

Because wolves are so majestic right?
cdn.arwrath.com/8/86355.jpg
Reply
:iconsushi-troll:
Sushi-Troll Featured By Owner May 20, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Totally. :iconhurrdurrplz:
Reply
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