[cw: lil bit o’ gore]
Well. He’s done it now.
Fiel was panting heavily, his ass in the dirt, the steam from the cooling bodies around him slowly rolling in the gelid breeze.
He had thought that the two armed soldiers flanking the supply runner had been the reinforcement. Logical: after the seventh dead runner, the Dominion would send the next one with more protection. The norn had thought, a bit foolishly, that they would keep the bulk of their troops for the advancing forces of Tyria.
Oh, how wrong he was.
They had jumped out of the bushes the moment he dropped on them. They must have figured out Fiel was attacking from the sky, and hid in that clearing for hours. The charr were upon him in an instant.
It had been a harrowing fight, probably the worst he’d been in to date. He barely won. Barely. He would have probably died, if it wasn’t for the aerial support of his undead dragon –and its caustic breath.
The latter was “recharging” by ripping bits of flesh off the corpses to fill its stomach for the next batch of acid spray, and to close up the holes the snipers left in its body.
If only it was that easy for the norn.
Fiel unbuckled and removed his caved-in gauntlet slowly, gritting his teeth to not vocalize his pain. He already knew what was wrong, but he had to see it.
And there it was: the pale ivory of his bone, piercing through the mahogany of his skin like a fang, tinted with the crimson of his own blood. The norn whined at the sight.
It’s never fun when that kind of shit happens to you.
That charr warrior really did a number on him. She was determined to win, and kept coming at him with her giant hammer, swinging and snarling like a rabid beast. Had he not worn protection, she would have ripped his arm clean off. He got lucky.
She was hard to put down, but then again Fiel has always been a hardy fucker himself.
He wasn’t worried about the open fracture. He was used to bodily trauma by now, both inflicted and received. But he was still dreading it, and what was coming next.
First, put the bone back in place.
He got lucky on that front too: only one bone broken, and cleanly. He wouldn’t have to worry about stray shards.
He clenched his jaw and pulled. Pain flashed hot and white as the bone was set back into his flesh. Next, healing.
This worked better when there were living victims around. He would have to make do with his own body.
Fiel drew upon his own life force, cannibalizing his own strength to reattach his bone and mend his flesh.
He had to scream this time. Necromancy is not a gentle magic. Somewhere in the equation, somebody has to suffer. And if there is nothing else around to suffer for you…
The necromancer could feel his body withering as nutrients and energy were robbed from his blood and organs to repair what was mangled. He felt himself fall backwards to the ground, his vision swimming and the howling wind in his ears muffling to a faint ringing.
As the world grew dark around him, he had a thought: he probably shouldn’t have done that out in the open.
* * *
The world was white and cold around him. A maelstrom of wind and snow. Fiel was standing in the middle of it all, unmoving.
He knew what was coming. No need to go running to it.
Finally it appeared, a shadow among the blizzard. It regarded him with cold, piercing eyes.
You know there is no escape.
“Jormag”, the norn spat in mock greeting.
Was he hallucinating? Was the dragon really there?
Did it matter at this point?
Why do you keep on fighting?
“Save it, wyrm,” he hissed. “Nothing you can say or show will convince me to give up. I already know I’m a piece of shit who doesn’t deserve to live. And I will still be fighting you!”
The apparition did something Fiel wasn’t expecting: it laughed.
No gentle coaxing, no whispering suggestion.
Its laughter rolled through the blizzard like the cracking of ice.
No need. You will be mine soon enough. If you do not join me while you still draw breath, your corpse will still be mine to take.
The shadow roared as it descended upon him, an avalanche that swept him away, piercing his skin with a thousand icy spears, freezing the air in his lungs and his eyes in their sockets.
The world went dark once more.
* * *
When Fiel came to, he was still laying in the dirt. A light flurry had begun to fall, covering his body with a thin layer of white.
His golem was standing over him, its dead, unblinking stare fixated upon him, his caustic maw hovering close to his face.
Fiel shuddered. Both from the cold, and from the realization that he was inches away from death… and at his own hand, no less.
That undead construct of his was not just for fighting and transportation. When he went to Drizzlewood, the norn went fully expecting that he might never return. The golem had one command implemented in its rotted brain upon its creation: should Fiel fall, it would do everything in its power to destroy his body, use all its caustic breath to make sure no exploitable piece of him would remain.
And like an obedient servant, it was patiently waiting for the norn to die to perform its task.
Fiel raised a numb hand and weakly pushed the golem’s face away.
“Not yet…” he croaked.
He was weakened. Hypothermia was settling in. He had to move.
Fiel slowly sat up, and looked at his arm. There was some scarring upon his skin where it had been broken, but otherwise everything was healed.
He heaved himself upon his feet and saddled up, shivering and chattering all the while.
“Back to the camp,” he whispered haltingly. “I think… I think it’s time for a break.”