"Most people gather in the church. It doesn't touch the church, but it'll circle it several times if if hears a woman inside." Raven told him, now just repeating what she heard. She had observed it before. Remembered time during her transformation of being around it. But she hadn't been out in this particular town. She'd been around it in another town, which was now totally abandoned and in ruins.
(As the beast, that night, but as a human, not for a while. I was thinking as a general plan, Henrie and his men observe the beaast two or three nights then make a plan. Then somehow for some reason Raven gets loose and shows up, accidentally ruining their plans and allerting them that there's another beast out there.)
((Okay, sounds good. I won't be on a lot today because today is a busy day. I'l post when I can, but it wont't be as often as yesterday. Also appologies for any typos I am making because I am on my phone and sometimes it is stupid :P)) HENRIE Henrie looked over at the church. "Why does it avoid the church?" "Perhaps it can't touch it?" Lark asked. "Because it is holy ground?" Henrie looked at him in alarm. "Are you suggesting this monster is a devil?" Lark shrugged, "I am not sugesting anything, my prince. I am only giving you things to think about." Henrie turned to Raven. "You've seen the beast. Do you think it is a demon?"
She bit her lip, trying to think about it. "Well...some evidence suggests yes...but other evidence no...I don't think it's a demon. I think...it's just dark magic or something. Something that would be broken or clash harmfully with the holiness." She could enter the church unharmed, but then she had never tried while in her beast form.
"Witchcraft?" Henrie's grip tightened on his sword. "If that is the case then this is worse of a situation than the king feared."
Henrie had encountered witchcraft only once before and he had nearly been killed by it. He saw it as an even more dangerous enemy than a dragon.
Grover grunted, "Then is there a witch nearby?"
"There is a history of a family of witches living in the woods." Raven told them. "But the last of them were either killed or born unable to perform magics and therefore spared." She was quite obviously nervous now, trying hard not to tremble. She was of that family, but the ability to use magic had long since passed before she was born. That didn't mean she didn't fear being accused of something, or found out because they wanted to watch her to make sure she wasn't the one causing all this.
(I got an idea: if Raven is inside the church, she won't turn into the monster.)
((That sounds good to me))
Henrie nodded. "Can you show us where they used to live? It might give us some ideas or clues."
He looked at Lark and Grover. They nodded in agreement.
Henrie noticed the girl grew very nervous with the talk of witches too. He didn't blame her. He too found them scary. "Don't worry about anything getting you. We will protect you."
Raven grimaced, shaking her head. "It's a little far from here. I refuse to ride horses," For horses could sense something wrong about her, "And it's too long a walk to even get there before nightfall. It'll have to wait until tomorrow." She informed them. "In the meantime, I'd really prefer to go ahead and get somewhere safe and indoors."
He glance back at the sky and nodded. "All right. I need to prepare for tonight anyway. Thank you for your time."
He turned and started to walk back to the duke's home. Lark and Grover trailed behind him. Henrie could see the townsfolk begin to put away their things and start to prepare for the night.
Henrie reached the duke's just as his other three men were returning. They bowed to him and then said, "The people just told us the beast appears at night and vanishes durning the day. many men have tried to go after it, but they were all killed by the beast."
"Eaten whole," the youngest said.
"Did anyone mention any demonic powers? Or thee posssiblity of witchcraft?" Henrie asked them.
"Witchcraft was brought up mulitple times."
Henrie nodded. "Perhaps the king should have sent a priest with me."
"We'll be able to take care of it," Grover said.
Henrie nodded firmly, but he wasn't a certain about this as he appeared.
After helping get the children inside, Raven slipped off toward her cave. She hated knowing she was a monster that would do just as much damage as the other one if she wasn't trapped at night. She hated not knowing for sure what was causing this. As she curled up on her cave floor, she felt tears welling up in her eyes.
Soon the sun set, and she turned into the beast, She stood and started pacing, growling and scratching at the small opening of the cave.
(I'm gonna call the other one Lupin for now.)
Meanwhile, Lupin padded through the forest, his head low to avoid branches of the trees. He let out a slow growl when he caught the scent of new men. He paused in a clearing and raised his head, letting out a loud and long howl.
Henrie and the rest of the town was inside the church. The sun was just about to set. The little children cuddled close to their mothers and the men protectively stood closest to the doors and windows. Luckily the church was kind of large so the townsfolk weren't pressed tightly together. They had even made beds for everyone on the floors.
Henrie looked out the open chaple door. He squinted into the dusk at the trees. The air felt suddenly very dangerous.
The people cowered in fear as the sound of Lupin's howl penetrated the air.
He set off at a run then, heading straight for the town. He wanted another woman to take with him, but the people were being stubborn and hiding in the church where he couldn't go. He came into the town, his growl echoing to be heard all over as he padded about, searching for a human that hadn't fled to the safety of the church.
Henrie couldn't help but swear and take a step back as the giant wolf loped into the town. The girl had not been underplaying its size.
His men all gripped their weapons tightly and watched as the beast began to sniff around the buildings. It was hunting for something.
It soon realized that there were no humans or animals in the village and turned it's glowing eyes upon the small church. It bared its teeth and growled at Henrie as their eyes locked.
"Can you tell if it is withcraft?" Henrie murmered to Grover.
"Nay, Sire." Grover shook his head. "Prehaps we should throw some garlic at?"
"That only works on vampires," Lark whispered.
They all fell silent as the wolf came closer. Henrie readied his bow and took aim. The men in the building held their weapons tight and watched the monster.
the wolf crept closer, but once it reached the edge of the church's grounds it stopped moving forward. It growled in frustration and began to pace back and forth.
Henrie lowered his bow slightly. "At least these grounds hold it at bay."
"Aye," Lark nodded.
Lupin growled angrily, still pacing. Finally, his frustration reached its high point. He turned his frustrations on the buildings, destroying them. Ripping through them. He growled and roared, wanting to strike fear into the heart of the village still. He really wanted the people to leave this village, so that they'd leave the church. For there were no other churches near there with truly holy ground that could hold him at bay.
Henrie watched in a sicked aw at the power of the beast. "How are we going to beat this creature?"
Grover sighed heavily. "WIth heaven's aid, by the looks of it."
Henrie turned to the duke. "How far is it to the next town?"
"Three days travel, Sire." the duke said.
"We can't risk leavin' with the creature. You've seen the road here. Those are the remains of the people who tried to flee this place. They can't make it to another place before it is dark and the beast finds them on the road and devors them," one old man said.
Henrie nodded. He remembered all of the bones.
"So our only hope is to kill it then."
He finished his little tantrum as the hours passed, and about an hour before sunrise, after circling around the church a few times again, Lupin padded away into the forest. One last howl sounded, and then he was gone.
She heard the howls and knew better than to howl back, as the echo would be deafening. She paced and continued to scratch. Really, the cave wouldn't hold up forever. She would be able to get out eventually.
The townspeople all hesitantly exited the church as the sun's first rays began to descend on the town. They all quietly and solemnly walked toward their ruined houses and began to take in the damage. The children relased the animals from their pens on the church grounds..
Henrie picked up broken hammer from the ground and tossed it down in disgust. His father had known that this job had been impossible when he had sent him here. Just like all of the missions he had sent him on. He was beginning to think his father was trying to kill him.
"What are we going to do?" Henrie whispered to Grover. "THese people are expecting us to save them from this monster."
Grover sighed. "I no not, SIre."
Henrie sratched at his chin. "We need someone who is familiar with darkarts. What we need is a witch."
"Isn't that kind of like using fire to fight fire?" Lark asked.
"Yeah," Henrie nodded, "But do you have a better idea?"
Lark shook his head and the rest of his men were silent.
"You two, John and Oaken," Henrie pointed to the two best riders of his company. "You must return to the capital and go to the library and bring back...the book. Do you understand?"
Grover shot him a sharp look. "Is this wise your majesty?"
"Probably not," Henrie agreed. "Hopefully we won't need it, but if we don't do something I fear this beast will spred is domain." He turned back to the chosen riders, "Ride hard and fast. You can probably make it back with in the month if you make all haste."
They nodded and raced off to get their supplies and horses.
"Now, the rest of you follow me. We need to find that girl."
"The girl is a witch, you know." An older man said, having listened in. "The magic has left her, and that has allowed her to be spared, but I doubt the knowledge has left her as well." He silenced and quickly walked away when he spotted Raven walking up, looking like she'd gotten no sleep.
Henrie raised an eyebrow at Grover, but wasn't able to press the matter becuase. Raven was getting closer.
Henrie studied her. He wasn't exactly sure what a witch was supposed to look like, but she did seem to make the cut. Her dark hair and clothes and those stragne eyes.
Henrie began to question why she had been willing to show him the ways of the beast if she was the one responcible for it.
Raven saw immediately something was up. She grew slightly pale and worried as she came up to him, stopping and fidgetting nervously. "Any helpful observations tonight?" She asked, although to herself she greatly hoped he took no notice of her absence the night before. She really had no explaination that wouldn't sound suspicious.
Henrie felt his men watching him. He didn't want to make her think he was on to her if she did have something to do with the monster.
So instead of blaming her or questioning her he only said, "Show me the witches' place. It is dawn. We have all day to get there and back again."