World of Chaos: Chapter 18

Story by HowlingNightWolf on SoFurry

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#18 of World of Chaos

This story series contains scenes of violence and sex, often times between two different species. If you are underage, or offended by such things, please do not read this story. Otherwise, let me know what you think!


Days had passed since our hold out against the hordes of the dead. We had managed to traverse the next valley with little problem, Hestross and Riddaris leading us on a route not heavily patrolled by Manir.

We had one last major obstacle between us and Manir. Southeast of the Manir stretch of the Nordeik mountains, the island leveled off somewhat, into a flat, wooded plain. Our journey to Manir would prove difficult here, for detection was almost certain. There was little chance of us navigating the surrounding lands without being spotted by a patrol, especially since our group was so unique.

"How are we to infiltrate the city, and find out where they are taking people?" Ciara asked, as we huddled around the map she had unrolled and pinned with rocks.

"My kind are known here. We will likely be attacked on sight." Riddaris stated.

"Manir is a human kingdom, though many races call it home. Orcs, and Gnolls for one." Hestross mentioned suddenly, stepping forward. The centaur rarely spoke, seeming more content to listen.

"Gnolls this far north, in the seas?" I asked, surprised.

"Well, what other race has such a negative reputation for slaver, than the gnolls?" Riddaris asked.

"It's not just one single organization involved in the slave trade. The trade of slaves is a lucrative business now. While gnoll's are xenophobic by nature, they are certainly not stupid. If they can strengthen their packs doing something they've been doing for decades, why wouldn't they brave the colder north to do so?" He continued.

I glanced down at the map.

"So, I don't understand. Why are we so afraid to stick out? If gnolls and orcs are frequenting the streets of Manir, why should we fear?" Skempta asked.

"Typically, halflings and elves don't travel with your kind, unless it's against their will." Hestross replied, looking at the orc. She nodded.

Ciara glanced up from the map, eyes meeting with mine.

"I don't mind playing damsel." She said, looking to Riddaris. "You say there are many slavers, both independent and organized, coming to offload their captives here in Manir? What if a lone gnoll or orc mercenary sought out the place to offload a Halfling captive? Could potentially lead us to the proper place?"

I shook my head.

"No, it's too risky. What if we get separated? And I'm no good at lying." I replied. Ciara considered me for a moment.

"What of me? I'm excellent at lying, besides, you definitely don't fit the part of gnoll slaver, Rekkdyr." Skempta said.

"What about the part of it being too risky? You will be awfully alone in there." Ivaylis said.

_I'm afraid it may be the best plan we have._Aklys voice made me jump.

I don't like it either, but Ciara's right, we cannot just walk up to the city gates. Skempta and Ciara should go. If nothing else, they could potentially find where these slaves are being gathered at. From there, we can make a plan.

"I don't like it." I stated.

"Me either. However, this Halfling has proven her capabilities, already. And from what I've witnessed, Skempta is a fine warrior." Riddaris said, considering the two.

"What of the rest of us?" Ivaylis asked.

"We shall remain hidden, here, in the shadow of the mountain. I fear getting any closer will alert the guard to our position." Hestross stated.

Ivaylis nodded.

"I suppose it's settled then. Skempta, here is some rope, bind me, so it looks real." Ciara said, pulling a bundle of hemp rope from her pack.

As the two headed off into the southeast, I gave a low growl, despite myself. I felt useless, sitting here, while friends marched off into danger.

The centaur, Riddaris, though apparently calmer, seemed to share some of my concerns, judging by the look on his face.

I sat by a large boulder drawing Silvernight. I sought to care for the blade, with oils and a whetstone, but there was not much for me to do on the perfect weapon.

Uneasy, I set to work doing what I could, regardless.


"So this is Istas." Fornvarr said with a bow, wide smile on his face. "You look just like your mother."

The silver wolf gazed at him warily.

"You knew my mother?" She asked. "Aatu never said."

"I met her once, when I was just a boy." He replied. "So, Aatu, what's wrong?"

I sat back on my rump, eyes nearly level with the man. I had grown much since we first met.

"The slavers and fur traders. They've left my pack devastated. Killed or captured everyone, but my sister and me." I managed to say, despite anger welling in my gut.

He looked off into the distance, far across the tundra. We sat on a rocky outcropping outside Drifa. The late summer winds blew gently from the north, bringing with it the memory of snow.

"Their activity has been worse than ever. Even the elves of Rainhaven have suffered. Word is, they captured the princess there. Haven't seen the elves take up arms against anyone for a very long time." He said at length.

"Istas and I seek to track these men. I learned from one of them that they are bringing them to an Island across the sea, Manir?" I said.

Fornvarr frowned.

"Manir is a long way from home, Aatu." He stated.

"Our pack is gone human. We need to find our kin." Istas growled.

I nudged her.

"Watch, yourself, sister." I said calmly. "Fornvarr has proven a true friend. He does not speak out of disinterest, but concern."

Her silver eyes met mine.

"I apologize." She stated, though it didn't seem all that sincere.

"What do you need of me?" Fornvarr asked.

"Knowledge. I don't know the way to Manir." I replied.

"What of passage? You cannot hope to swim the open sea." He asked.

"Hadn't thought of that. Planned on flying, perhaps?"

Understanding came to his face, followed quickly with a smile.

"You changed your form." He smiled.

I nodded, a wolfish grin coming to my face, despite myself.

"What of me, Aatu? I cannot fly." Istas stated.

"I'm not sure many ship captains would grant passage to a pair of winter wolves, no matter how much I vouched for them." Fornvarr stated. "And to Manir, for that matter."

"Time is a factor. I fear our kin's time is not long." I stated.

Istas sighed, glancing out over the tundra.

"How is it you can take the form of an elf, but not wear the skins of other beasts?" I asked.

"The magic that allows for shapeshifting is a strange thing. You are both creatures of magic, born from a naturally powerful druidess, and a legendary winter wolf. It comes naturally to you, though in different ways." Fornvarr said.

"I cannot go with you, Aatu." Istas stated suddenly. "Go."

"What of you? It's dangerous in the world, especially for a lone wolf." I gazed at her.

"Perhaps I shall seek out the wolves of the Ironclaw pack. They cannot turn away a breeding age female." She stated.

"You could always remain with the Circle of Autumn." Fornvarr offered.

Istas considered the human for a moment.

"I'm sorry, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable among men." She replied at length, doubt in her tone.

"Learn of your mother, of your heritage. " He replied.

"Fornvarr is a good human, you'll be safe with him, besides, nobody has to know your anything more than a Snow Elf." I reminded her.

"I'll think about it. For now, let us talk about getting you to Manir." Istas growled.

"Come, We have maps in the Library of Drifa. Nobody shall give you issues while you remain in my company." Fornvarr said, standing from the boulder.

I nodded moving to follow. Istas lingered for a moment, before she too stepped behind.


Skempta lead me forward, gently tugging on her tether that bound my wrists. My small bow and quiver were all wrapped in her bear-hide mantle, tied in a sling about her back.

We found the main road without issue, and walked in silence, making our way toward the city of Manir. I was not comfortable with being bound in such dangerous territory.

It took us the better part of a day to make it to the main gates. We had seen a few mounted patrols pass, but if they found any curiosity in the orc towing her slave behind, they did not show.

The gates of Manir now stood before us, simple, roughly hewn wooden things. They lacked all of the finesse and grace that the architecture of Rainhaven possessed.

A large, blonde headed man, with a matching beard met our approach, axe in hand, shield on his back. He was accompanied by the strangest of creatures I had ever seen. Similar to a centaur in structure, it was a massive orc, though with the lower body of what appeared to be a warg or wolf.

He gripped a large, lethal looking spear in hand, and was bare, save for a large steel breastplate on his orc torso.

"Another slave for the breeder?" the man asked, a wicked grin on his face.

"Aye. I heard somebody here is buying up all sorts of folk. Don't know where, or why, but I figure instead of just killing this thing, may be able to get in on the gold." Skempta said, tugging roughly on my bindings. I stumbled forward.

He grinned, looking to his unusual companion.

"Up the hill, there, is the Great Hall of Manir. They handle all transactions." The orc-wolf thing said, pointing with his spear.

"Thanks." Skempta grunted, pulling me past the two guards. We entered the streets of Manir, seeing perhaps the strangest sight.

Humans milled about, and slaves also. Orcs and goblins were plenty. But there were more of those orc wolf centaurs, and small bat-like creatures that looked somewhat goblinoid.

A large humanoid with fur, tusks, and a feral, hyena-like face walked past.

Skempta paused as a large humanoid crocodile lumbered past.

"What is it?" I whispered, sensing her tense.

"Nothing." She said continuing to walk.

A large Minotaur crossed the street, leading a bunch of rat-folk on chains.

A half-dragon left an inn to our left.

"What is this?" Skempta asked, glancing at the creatures around.

Something clicked in my head.

"They call him the breeder." I whispered. "You don't suppose they are, perhaps making hybrid species?"

Skempta glanced back at the crocodile, who was making it's way down the street.

She didn't respond. Just then, a large humanoid lion approached. By large, I mean, massive, easily standing ten feet tall, with a mane as red as fire. It was nude, save for a loincloth.

"You looking for the markets?" It growled, eyeing Skempta.

She nodded, too shocked to speak.

"Up that way." The lion said, pointing.

"T-thanks." The orc replied, moving around him. I stumbled behind, quickly jogging to keep up with the orcs large steps.

Walking the hill, we tried to pick our way through the large crowd of creatures, some pulling large caged wagons, other towing behind them creatures bound similar to me. We saw bears and lions, chimera's, sphinx, elves, and men. All approaching the large keep on the hill.

"This is serious security." Skempta said, noting more of the tusked hyena-men, all patrolling the walls alongside the orc-wargs.

Desks were set out front, men sitting at them, parchments and writing supplies before them. It seemed that it was here that gold exchanged hands, as I noted slaves being passed off, and brought away, slavers walking away with heavy pouches and purses of gold.

An orc was arguing with one of the men. He wore a close cut beard, of a strange greenish blue color, and long, wild hair to match. He was missing an eye, and had horrible scars tearing across his face and neck.

Skempta's eyes widened when she saw him, and I knew then she recognized the massive orc.

"Perhaps it's time to return to the others?" she pleaded.

"No, I want to find a way in." I replied.

She quickly pulled me away from the group before the keep, into an alley.

"Don't be stupid. You see the creatures walking around here? We can't possibly hope to stage a rescue alone. We need to plan." She growled.

"My brother is in there somewhere. I'm not going to get this close, and not find a way to him!" I snapped. "Why are you so frightened of that orc?"

She gave a sigh, glancing out from the alleyway.

"His name is Drangis, Chieftain of the Bloodspear clan." She whispered harshly. "Not exactly a nice orc, and he knows who I am. If given the chance, he will rape and murder anybody and everybody I've ever associated with."

I glanced around at the orc, who was scanning the crowed now with his one eye.

A few of the hyena-men came out next to him. One started talking with him.

I turned back to Skempta.

"What do you suppose we do, then?" I asked.

"We need to get out of here. I'm sure he won't pass up the opportunity to seek vengeance for me putting out his eye. Besides, we should inform the others of what we've seen here." She replied.

I sighed, glancing back once again at the keep.

"Very well, we should try to find our way out of this city, without arising suspicion.

"It's too late for that." A deep, feral voice sounded from behind Skempta.

She whipped around, drawing her longsword.

A massive gnoll-woman stood there, heavily scarred, bone fragment piercings adorning her entire nude body.

"Grekris!" Skempta growled, taking a step back.

Standing beside the gnoll was a smaller woman, leathery wings sprouting from her back, and she stood on the legs of a goat. She had clawed hands, and horns sprouting from her head. A succubus.

A quick chop from Skempta's sword severed the robe binding my hands. The bundle holding my bow and arrows dropped from her shoulders, as she readied to face the two creatures.

I scrambled to grab my weapons, tugging them free from the bear-skin mantle.

"Don't be foolish, orc. You are surrounded." The gnoll cackled demonically.

A mixture of gnolls and hyena-like humanoids stepped from the mouth of the alleyway, all wielding weapons.

Gripping my bow, a nocked an arrow.