Mild Content Warning: Horrific imagery

 

The woods were dark, and the mist was thick.

 

Looking for these hags was difficult, even with his enhanced vision. For some reason, everyone had split up. Then the mist had rolled in, and he’d any hope of tracking the team without some kind of noise or aid.

 

Cover more ground, then let out three hoots like an owl, then two more a moment later, if they found one of the hags. The response could be a single, short hoot… or, you know. Yelling. 

 

It went unsaid that if one of the hags found them first, there’d be screaming, and they’d deal with that, later.

 

He checked the ground, following the tracks he had found earlier. Large footprints, fresh ones in soft dirt and grass. He couldn’t tell how large the hag must have been, but the stride was… well. It was a long stride.

 

Then he heard the sound of meat tearing, and a satisfied sigh. Must have been a hag, finding prey. Good chance. He let out a hoot, three times… then two more. He waited a moment, listening for a response. Nothing. Hopefully they had started moving towards his position, quietly. The hags might be drawn towards too much movement.

 

He drank one of his extracts, the invisibility spell, which luckily tasted like nothing, and pushed through the bushes, to try and see what the hag had found.

 

Instead he came into a small clearing… a fire. Tents. Bedrolls. How had he gotten turned around? He was at their campsite. The wind shifted abruptly, and the smell of blood was overpowering.

 

The coming closer, the bedrolls and tents were a bloody, slashed nightmare. Larch’s cart was overturned, the moose fled or somewhere further away.

 

His party was torn apart, gore and viscera spread across the campground like they had been set upon by a blender.

 

He felt his bile rise in his mouth, and lifted his mask to wipe away any possible chance of him vomiting. 

 

Except he didn’t have his mask on, and he wiped away blood. So much blood, smearing over his invisible hand. The spell abruptly failed, and he felt his face. Why was it uncovered?! Why was there blood on his mouth? The smell was so strong he… he… he could taste it.

 

A voice rang out, quietly sinister. “Gluttony is a sin, you know.”

 

“Wh-what?” He recognized that voice, and his blood turned to ice water in his veins.

 

“You killed them all, Doc. They trusted you. How funny. And then you turned on them, because you needed to work. Don’t worry, though. I understand the need.”

 

He looks at his hands, they’re… covered in blood. His trust number 13 scalpel is dripping in gore, the blade nicked and scratched from what he recognized as catching on bone. 

 

“It’s okay… it is okay, Doc. This doesn’t need to happen, right?” The voice soothed, placating. “We’ll take care of it. Just another bump in our road, right? You, me, and Dwayne. We’ll figure it out. Trust me.”

 

“How!? How can we fix this?!” His mind felt like it was tearing itself apart. The problem with connections. Now they were gone. He’d cared about them. It hurt, the worst sort of hurt. The problem with caring.

 

A huge, clawed hand wrapped around his face and mouth, dragging him back into the darkness, away from the horrible sight, away from his dead friends.

 

A voice, thick with the stench of blood and meat, whispered in his ears. “We’ve got some ideas, don’t we?”

 

Doc awoke in a cold sweat, shivering. Just a nightmare. Just a nightmare. 

 

Problem was… he did have ideas.

Author Razas
Published
Game: Pathfinder
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