World of Chaos:Chapter 17

Story by HowlingNightWolf on SoFurry

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#17 of World of Chaos

This story series contains adult themes, including violence and sexual relationships. Many of these relationships are between creatures of different species. If such things offend you, or if you are under age, you should not be reading this series. Otherwise, let me know what you think!


I dropped the heavy orc on the ground beside the rocky outcropping. Our flight through the forest led us to the base of the mountain, but the sun was setting in the west.

"We need fire." Ivaylis stated, lowering Aklys to the ground beside the orc.

"So much for light discipline." Ciara stated, moving to the treeline to gather branches.

I quickly moved to help, hearing sounds moving beyond the edge of sight.

A small pile was gathered, and a muttered spell from Ivaylis set it instantly ablaze. I took a moment to marvel at the elf.

"I've never met any so well versed in both swordsmanship and spellcraft." I commented.

"The Royal guard of Rainhaven are all spellswords. Trained in the art of magic and martial arms." She replied.

Ciara turned to the treeline, bow ready. "Perhaps we could question each other later?"

I drew Silvernight, turning to the forest.

A groan behind me caught my attention, and I turned to see Skempta sitting up, massaging her head.

"Fuck happened?" She groaned.

Before I could respond, the twang of a bowstring caught my attention. Ciara had let fly an arrow, which struck into a chest of a corpse as it emerged from the wood-line.

"No time, are you fit for battle?" I asked.

The Orc leapt to her feet, snatching her shield and blade up.

"Always." She grinned, stepping next to me.

Another corpse shambled out from the vegetation, quickly followed by another.

I dove forward, chopping low, sweeping the legs from one of the corpses, before spinning up to drive my blade into it's skull.

Skempta rushed, leading with a shield bash, before driving her own sword into the chest of another.

I saw Ciara drop her bow, realizing that it was proving ineffective against our foe. She drew her small hunting knife.

One of the corpses drew an axe slowly, swinging it at my head. I ducked easily, cleaving it's arm

the axe wielding arm dropped to the forest floor, but the creature leapt for me with it's remaining hand. I chopped, severing it's fingers, following up with another diagonal cleave downwards, tearing it's body asunder.

As soon as I cut one down, it seemed two more took their place.The forest was alive with the dead, all shambling to our location.

Ciara had taken up a flaming branch from the fire, swinging it this way and that, as a fiery club, while her small knife made quick and precise slashes and thrusts in her other hand.

Aklys, meanwhile, remained unconscious, oblivious to the raging battle that went on around her.

The sun disappeared fully beyond the horizon, leaving our camp flickering and dancing with shadows cast by the flames, which too began to burn out.

One corpse was easy enough to face, even two, or three. They were not fast, or overly skilled in the use of weapons. However, the sheer number of them that were pouring out of the forest threatened to overwhelm us.

If their sheer numbers did not kill us, exhaustion would.

Their dying wails filled the night, each chop or thrust from Silvernight sending a chorus of cries into the sky.

Skempta drove her antler into the skull of one corpse, who stuck there, growling gruesomely in her face, She bashed him away with her shield, ducking a swing from a rusty sword, to circle around and chop the attackers head off.

Ciara, branch long since burned out, gripped her tiny knife, thrusting and stabbing viciously, until there was not much left of one of the creatures.

We fell back, all surrounding the cat, beside the rock face.

"I can't keep this up!" The halfling panted. I was breathing heavy, arms feeling like lead from swinging my blade relentlessly.

Skempta had discarded her heavy shield.

"I'm too weary to cast further." Ivaylis stated. She had been launching arrows of light at the oncoming horde, chopping and slashing occasionally. "I'm still recovering from my posession."

For the second time that night, It appeared hopeless. The horde just kept pouring in. I couldn't understand the sheer volume of corpses in the forest. How could there be so many in one location?

A spear launched into the chest of a corpse, just as I was readying to leap forward in assault. It wailed miserably, stumbling backwards in an explosion of light.

The drumming of hooves sounded over the wails of the dead, and a centaur leaped powerfully over the creatures, coming up to our circle. It was Hestross. He was holding aloft a simple oak branch.

"Dagan!" He cried, raising the rod high into the night sky.

A bright flash erupted from the Rods tip. I clamped my eyes shut, blinded by the intensity of the light.

My eyes were already sensitive enough to bright lights.

I heard Skempta growl beside me, clearly blinded as well.

More hooves sounded and I felt a heavy thud land before me.

My vision slowly began to return, adjusting to the bright light, that still radiated from the head of the rod.

The centaur Riddaris stood before me, gripping his spear tightly.

He was facing the darkness, away from me.

I saw that any of the creatures caught in the burst of light from the centaurs rod were immediately destroyed. Those on the border of light were quickly on the retreat.

I dropped to a knee, leaning on my blade.


It was the longest night of my life. Not a single person got sleep, despite our exhaustion.

The moans of the dead sounded throughout the night, off in the distance.

Riddaris and Hestross had decided to follow us, keeping tabs on our movements, not fully trusting our intentions. They knew the dead were in the forest, but claimed ignorance that our actions would awaken their wrath.

"Had we known your companion was Naettura, we would have immediately warned you away from this route." Riddaris spoke, glancing over at the unconscious animal.

The sun was just barely cresting over the eastern mountains.

"We should be fine in the daylight. I suggest we travel far from this valley." Hestross commented. It had been the first words I'd heard the centaur speak, other than the words to the spell.

"We?" I asked, eyeing the large creature.

"You've awoken the wrath of the dead in this valley here. There is no returning to our homeland, not while the dead walk." Riddaris replied.

"Besides, you seek the Breeder in Manir? That was also our destination, before our paths crossed. They have our sister. Perhaps, we can combine our strengths?"

I considered the centaur for a moment, seeing his broad, strong humanoid chest, well defined muscles and sun bronzed skin. The strength of his equine body, it's muscles flexing and rolling under his fur with the slightest of movements. My eyes followed his sleek flank down to his rear, falling on the massive testicles that hung freely there.

I quickly averted my gaze, catching a grin from the horse man.

"Well?" He grinned, clearly noting my gaze.

I glanced at Rekkdyr and Skempta. Rekkdyr nodded, clearly won over by their timely rescue.

Skempta was a bit more hesitant, though she too added her approval. "Rekkdyr, looks like you're no longer the only guy. Guess your dreams of a crazy orgy are ended." she said with a grin, regardless.

The gnoll glared at her, clearly offended by her comment, though I could almost see his skin redden beneath the fur.

"The company is already peculiar as it is. Not like we will stick out any less with a couple of centaurs in our midst." Ivaylis smiled in agreement.

"Then it is decided." I said, blushing.

Our travel out of the valley proved quick, with the help of the centaurs. While I was an excellent tracker and outdoorsman, or woman, I was unfamiliar with the local terrain. Experience and educated guesswork could only get you so far in this particular field, and the help of some natives was very welcome.

Aklys was still unconscious when we set out, but we managed to lift her onto Hestross back, and he bared her weight with no complaint. I was growing concerned that the damage was more severe than originally determined.

I walked near the front of the column with Riddaris, as he explained the route we were to take to enter into the southern fields of the island.

Behind us, Rekkdyr walked, eyes constantly scanning the surrounding ledges and trees. Hestross behind him, alongside Ivaylis, who was speaking with the centaur.

Behind them, Skempta, eyeing the centaur before her suspiciously. She seemed to be reluctant with accepting the two like the rest of us had been.

"So, that spell you cast, that wasn't in elvish. It's magic seemed different, too." Ivaylis voice carried up to me.

"Nature Magic." The centaur grunted in reply.

"Like that of the druids?" She asked, clearly interested.

I blocked their conversation from my mind, focusing on what Riddaris was saying.

"We could be in the southern fields in two days, if the spirits are kind." He said, gazing upward, to the far ridge of mountains, and the final pass beyond.

"Anything we should know about this new valley? Undead, or possibly evil trees?" I asked.

I was almost jogging to keep up with the large horse man. He gave me a grin, reaching down to lift me up onto his back.

"Thanks." I said.

"Normally, I would say our biggest danger would be the patrols from Manir itself. That valley is close enough to their influence that they send patrols regularly. However, the dead rising is a new phenomenon, within the past few months. I am unsure what may await us below." he replied.

We were beginning our descent, into this new valley in the range. I was growing weary of these mountains already. They were much smaller than the Sutvalds I was familiar with, yet I had been here for only a few days, and they had already come closer to killing me than my home ever had.

We continued in silence for a while, me riding on the centaurs back, gripping at the harness that held an axe to his side.

Finally, I broke the silence.

"So, I've always heard centaurs are private creatures. Don't like associating with other species." I stated, as much as asked.

"And fewer races have a reputation for xenophobia than gnolls." He replied, nodding back to Rekkdyr.

"I have found that if you consider the individual, rather than the group, you will discover any species have those that deviate from their stereotypes." He continued.

I nodded, falling silent again. Once I stopped and thought on the question I asked, it seemed rather rude. I shook my head at myself.

"Sorry if I was offensive." I apologized. He just chuckled.

"No offense was taken. May I ask you a possibly offensive question?" He asked, humor in his voice.

"Well, it would only be fair." I replied with a grin.

"A halfling huntress? That's definitely something not encountered regularly." he commented.

"We are more common than you may think." I replied, blushing.

"From this, Northmeadow?" he asked.

"The common halfling is the one that most encounter. They travel in their trade caravans, or live among humans. Northmeadow is a strictly halfling settlement, and as such, we have professions that span the spectrum. From blacksmiths to hunters and farmers. Even halflings are in need of horseshoes and leathers." I explained. I instantly cursed myself for the mention of horseshoes. I don't know why, but I felt that could be offensive.

"I see. Well, from what I could judge as my brother and I watched you, you seemed to know your chosen profession well, especially considering you are unfamiliar with the local terrain." he complimented.

I could feel my face turning scarlet as ever. Centaurs have a reputation for being extremely well versed survivalists, and such a remark from one was an honor.

"You are too kind." I replied.

We traveled further, down into the valley. Riddaris and Hestross led us through the forest, trying to keep far from the patrolled roads and pathways used by Manir.

Aklys had finally regained consciousness by about midday, though she was still groggy and weak. Hestross insisted he still carry the animal as she rest up and regain her strength. I had a million questions, but felt it best if they wait. I was just relieved that she was awake, with no apparent lasting harm.

By nightfall, we were camped alongside a small river, cascading it's way down the valley toward the south.

As we prepared the camp, Hestross trotted about, chanting in a strange language. He was burning a bundle of what appeared to be cedar and sage, dowsing the area in it's fragrant smoke.

"It should shield us from view, as well as repel any dead who may seek us out." Riddaris whispered to me.

Aklys lay by the fire that Ivaylis had built using magic. She was truly a sight, fur matted and haggard, muscles drooping. I sat by the creature, carefully running my hand over her side.

Her blue eyes glanced up at me.

"How are you?" I asked.

Better. Not great, but better. She replied.

"What happened back there?"

Back, long ago, when the hordes of the dead marched on Ryze, The Naettura helped to fight them back. We managed to separate the different planes using seals known as the Silverfire Runes. This put an end to the dead coming to the mortal realm. I fear one of the seals have been broken. She explained, laying her head back down on her paws, eyes staring into the fire.

"I thought that is why you came." Riddaris said, trotting up to the two of us. "Once I found out you where Naettura, my brother and I assumed you were already aware of the dead."

I felt a strange despair, though nothing that alerted me to the destruction of a seal. She replied. I truly came to rescue Camden, Ciara's brother.

"A small goal for a Naettura." Hestross stated, finishing up his ritual.

Perhaps, though I'm sure my being here is more than coincidence. I fear, though, that whatever got through the seal was right. My kind are few, and my powers are not what they once were.

"You should rest, Aklys. We would not have gotten out of there without you. We will deal with whatever the future holds when it comes." I stated, running my fingers through her fur.

I sat back, realizing just how filthy I had become over the course of the last few days. I decided it best to clean up while I had the opportunity.

I stood by the river, shedding my clothing without any fear or concern for modesty, despite my traveling companions. Half of them were nude to begin with.

I climbed down into the cool water, washing away grime and sweat.

Dunking under the water, I resurfaced, wiping my eyes clear. I opened them, and they fell instantly on Riddaris, his sleek equine side catching the last rays of sunlight that fell through the canopy. My eyes followed it down, once again to his massive sheath, large horse-like testicles bouncing around behind.

I dunked under water again, before he could notice.

Resurfacing, I shook myself, forcing me to look anywhere but the centaur. I wasn't sure if it was some strange attraction, or mere fascination with his pure size, but I just couldn't stop thinking about him. His physique was impressive, his humanoid chest ripped and sculpted like a statue of a god.

I cursed at myself again. My brother was missing, and all I could think about was some centaur? What about the hordes of the dead that could possibly mean something far worse than a bunch of mere slavers?

Finishing my bath, I crawled onto the shore, pulled on my clothes, and returned to the fire with the group.

I glanced up at Riddaris as I sat beside Aklys once more. His eye met mine, and he had what looked like amusement on his face. Had he caught me eyeing him again?

_Dammit!_I cursed mentally once again.

Joining in the conversation, I tried to act like nothing had happened.

As the sun set over the camp, Hestross and Riddaris offered to keep watch, taking shifts that night. The rest of us, though cautious, still getting used to our new traveling companions, were too exhausted to do anything but accept their offer.


I took a deep breath, seeing the road open up into town ahead. Humans were moving about their business, oblivious to the two wolves that crouched in the distance.

"I'm not sure you could just walk in like an elf." I stated, glancing over at Istas.

"Elves and men are on friendly enough terms." She said.

"Yes, but I'm afraid naked elves would create quite a stir. Men and elves alike don cloth and hides." I pointed out.

"Well, would you suggest just walking up as a wolf? We'd be killed on sight!" She shot back.

I thought for a moment. According to Fornvarr, this town still followed older religions, similar to that of the druids of Autumn. It was for that reason that his circle chose it as it's connection to the "civilized" world.

"Maybe. I can speak the human tongue. Perhaps I can communicate with them?"

The silver she-wolf gave me a skeptical look.

"Our kind doesn't exactly have a history of good relations with these men." She reminded.

"It's worth a shot. If I run into trouble, I can always use magic. They wont expect it from a wolf."

She glanced at the town, then back to me.

"Very well. I shall remain here. If you run into trouble, Howl." she said. I nodded.

I slowly approached the large gates, which stood open. A man was carrying a bundle of wood on his back.

"Hail, friend!" I called to him.

He turned with a large grin on his face, eyes falling on me. It immediately was replaced with a frown.

"Back, wolf!" He said, dropping his bundle and stumbling backwards.

"Wait! Please, I seek no conflict.!" I called as he ran to the gates.

I slowly trotted up the path, glancing around. Two humans, armed with spears and shields, came from the guard hut by the gate, each dressed in coats of steel rings.

"Halt, wolf!" one roared, taking a defensive stance before the gate.

"State your business!" the other growled.

I tried to speak as calmly as possible, keeping aggression from my body language.

"I seek out the Circle of Autumn. A member there, his name is Fornvarr. A human. I need to speak with him." I stated.

The guards looked at each other, exchanged glances of shock, and confusion.

"Aye, we know of the druid. Why should we believe you?" They asked, glaring.

"Ask Fornvarr who I am. Tell him that Aatu needs to see him, and that it is urgent." I pleaded.

"And what of you? You expect us to just let a winter wolf roam free in Drifa?" one asked.

"Bind me, if it give you peace of mind. I understand my word may not be enough to convince you. I mean no harm here, and hope to find none." I studied their faces, trying to determine their thoughts.

"Very well. We have a detention cell in the hut here. As a show of good faith, we ask you to step inside, while we send word for Fornvarr to come."

I nodded, cautiously stepping forward. I was confident that if their words were less than truthful, I would be able to escape with a quick transformation to a cat or rodent.

They stepped behind me, spears lowered to my back. I was much more nervous now, realizing that they could easily end my life with a simple thrust.

The men guided me to the cell, closing the door behind me. One sat on a stool beside a wooden desk in the hut, watching me. His comrade quickly took off.

The mans eyes narrowed. I just sat in the cell.

"Thank you," I told him. He glared at me.

"Yeah." he muttered, eyes never leaving mine, face stern.

I waited, patiently in the cell, trying my best to not feel afraid, or betrayed. A while later, the other guard returned, followed shortly by a familiar face.

"Fornvarr!" I said, rising to my feet. My tail wagged in excitement.

"Aatu!" He beamed to me, "I hadn't expected to see you again so soon."

He frowned, seeing me in the cell.

"Has he proven threatening or violent?" He asked.

"Well, no, but we felt it better to be safe than--" he began.

"If an elf or dwarf came asking for me by name, saying it was urgent, would you have locked them in here?" he asked.

The guard quickly unlocked the cell.

"Elves and dwarves don't usually eat our kind." he replied.

"I've never tasted of human flesh, sir." I said, giving the best wolfish grin I could, trotting out beside him.

He gave me a wary look, but allowed me to pass.

"How have you been, friend? You said it was urgent?" Fornvarr asked.

"Not well, Fornvarr. I will explain, but first, My sister is probably worried. She awaits me on the outskirts. Care to hear what I have to say there?" I asked.

He nodded, much to the disgust of the guards beside us.

"Lead the way, Aatu." he gestured for the door of the hut.

He turned for the guards, considering them for a moment.

"Thank you, for not attacking my friend. Many would just attack at the first sign of a wolf." he stated.

The guard nodded. Fornvarr held the door open for me, and I trotted out into the daylight. I'm sure the passerby's were surprised to see a horse-sized wolf trotting out from the tiny shack.

Fornvarr stepped out behind me, and we proceeded to head off into the tundra to find Istas.