Tulip stumbled a half-step as her foot struck a knot of roots, the movement jarring Dreg and eliciting a grunt of pain from the injured ogre.
Like the fishing vessel, the moon itself was stranded. It was slotted into place at permanent midnight and crack appeared down its center—a jagged line of thickening black that Duma knew was blood. Quillton surely suspected it, as well.
Tulip gaped as Surzl’s charred holy symbol struck the ground, bounced once, and came to rest next to the swirling cloud of ash where the flame acolyte had stood. At the foot of the dais, Mags let out an anguished keen that seemed to go on and on.
The man in front of Levi lowered his palm to the flame, then lower still. Less than an inch from the candle wick, flame lapping at his flesh. Slowly, as if it were the most impressive thing in the world, the man extinguished the flame with his palm.
Duma held the spoon as close to his lips as his stomach would allow, on the spoon the slightest string of crab meat glistening with broth. His lower abdomen heaved upwards, resulting in a tightly closed-mouthed grunt. Pushing the chowder away, he cleared his throat, then chased the bile down with the remaining bottle of beer. He belched, followed by asking Quillton, “What do you mean by defeated?”
Reacting on instinct, Surzl’s hand flew to her holy symbol, the words of her incantation whispered in such a rush that the syllables ran together like one long word: “aquiestravaobscura.”
Duma crept into the circular nave, brandishing an oil lamp like a flail. The lamps in the chapel were trimmed, and burned with a clean but low light. It must have been the sexton’s final task before his head was caved in.
Everything happened in a blur, all at once. That horrid click sounded under Isabog’s foot. Mags’ face twisted into a grimace of dread, the puny rogue instinctively flipping back and away.
Gaspard lay on the ground, letting the pain and shame pulse through him. Outside the tent, shouting, uncertainty. People ran this way and that. The noise beat in time with his body.
Duma of St. Ashleigh of The Henge ultimately confronted the banshee in a grove of storm blasted willows that shadowed an otherwise idyllic bend of creek.
Looming over Isabog where she lay on the ground, Surzl glowered at her crumpled form. Stupid warlock. Ruznabiyug’s fury, she’d really done it this time.
The wind was picking up. It wasn’t a constant blowing, but sudden gusts that shoved one aside or threw the dry soil about. Gaspard shielded his eyes. Already his ears and the bottom of his pockets carried a fine layer of dirt.