- Author’s Note
- Prologue Part I – Loss of Innocence
- Prologue Part II – Return of a Mage
- Prologue Part III – Questions and Answers
- Prologue Part IV – Hunting
- Prologue Part V – Celebrations
- Chapter 1 – Rolling Greens
- Chapter 2 – The Little Girl
- Chapter 3 – The Stranger
- Chapter 4 – Berenice
- Chapter 5 (part 1) – The Front Line
- Chapter 5 (part 2) – The Front Line
- Chapter 5 (part 3) – The Front Line
- Chapter 6 – Gregory Victor
- Chapter 7 – The Fall
Within minutes Berenice had bandaged his wounds and reattached his left arm to his body. She then used the gnome’s sharp sword to slice the little dead body into two halves and handed him the top half.
“What do you want me to do with this?” he asked, pointing at the gnomes upper torso in disgust.
“Oh, you’re not a fan of the head? Here then, you can have the legs.”
Berenice tossed the little gnome legs at him and quickly grabbed the upper body. To his disgust, she began savagely munching down on the fresh gnome flesh with what seemed like an uncontrollable appetite.
“Are you… eating her?” He asked.
“Yes,” Berenice answered, answering between bites.
He felt dizzy. A gnome’s upper torso was being devoured right before him, and Berenice did not leave much to the imagination. His stomach turned, or at least it would have, were it not shriveled up like a dry prune.
After several minutes, all that was left were pieces of bone Berenice had discarded. She stood up, a large bloody smile on her face, and looked at him, somewhat stunned.
“You should get on those legs before they get cold,” she said.
“Are you kidding?” he shouted. “I’m not going to eat a gnome, I’m not a monster!”
“Hun, have you looked at yourself lately?” she asked. “You’re missing an eye, your left arm is being held to you body by bandages and I can pretty much see right through you.”
“So you are a monster,” Berenice continued, trying to sound as sincere as possible. “And you need to gather your strength. Heck, your rigimortis is so far advanced I’m surprised you can still move!”
“And to do this, I need to eat that gnome?” he asked.
“Yes,” She replied. “Humans are the best tasting, but this gnome is still better than nothing.”
He crouched down before the two small, child-size legs. The blood that had spilled when Berenice had separated the legs from the rest of the little body had already begun to coagulate, and its fresh smell filled his senses. His body shivered as it remembered what it was like to smell, and to his surprise, his salivary glands began to fill his mouth with warm drool as they anticipated the taste of this little body.
“Go ahead,” Berenice tried to reasure him.
He slowly reached forward and grabbed the right leg, bringing it back close to his face. The smell of blood was even stronger now, and he couldn’t resist taking a bite from the top of the leg.
This is disgusting, he thought to himself, putting the leg back on the ground and standing up. I am not a cannibal, I am better than this.
To his surprise, however, he was still chewing on a fresh piece of flesh, and when he finally swallowed it, a blood-eating frenzy filled his body. He quickly crouched back down, grabbed the leg once again, and began ferociously gnawing at the gnome’s knee.
As he consumed more and more of the gnome’s flesh, he felt his body grow in strength. His left arm became stronger, the cuts on his chest healed themselves and his left eye’s vision came back, although still not perfect. Before he knew it, all that was left was one small toeless foot.
“Feeling better?” Berenice asked.
“Very much so, yes,” he answered, swallowing the little gnome foot in one quick bite.
As he licked his fingers, he was suddenly filled with a rush of emotion. Ever since the plague had come he had been alone: chased from place to place and rejected by all living beings. This solitude had forced him to flee and fend for himself, and he had slowly become a shadow of his former self.
Now, for the first time in almost four years, someone had come by that was not trying to kill him. Instead, she had helped him and healed him, and all he wanted to do now was thank her, something he had not done in a very long time.
As he gathered the courage to offer his thanks, a large rumble shook the ground beneath them, and then a large bang was heard in the distance.
“What was that?” he asked, somewhat shaken.
“That sounded like an explosion,” Berenice said.
Birds all around them took flight as another rumble was felt, accompanied by another loud bang.
“Are you strong enough to fight?” Berenice asked, this time with urgency in her voice.
“I guess so,” he responded, “but I don’t have any weapons…”
Berenice crouched down, grabbed the Gnome’s dagger and gave it to her new found friend.
“Here,” she said, “now lets go.”
“Where are we going?” He asked, running after her.
“To find out where that explosion came from,” she answered.
As they moved out from under the trees, Berenice saw large columns of smoke rising into the eastern sky.
“They’re attacking Tarren Mill,” she shouted. “Hurry!”