Ties That Bind (Chapter Twelve)

by Len

Giant Otter

Ties That Bind

Chapter Twelve

Silkwood Falls

“So, what is in the bag of food the one-armed guy threw you?” Calidorn, the elephant man, asked. The group had stopped by the riverside when they were certain that the lion groundling was no longer in pursuit.  Bynn tossed the bag to Calidorn. Qari rushed over as well, hoping to find something to drive away the intense hunger that had come over him. There were all kinds of fruits and even some relatively fresh bread pulled from the bag. Calidorn used his thick fingers to pull off a piece of the bread and tossed it to Rolo.

Qari laughed a good-natured laugh. “He won’t eat any of that, I am afraid.” The small man, covered in his bird skull helm, trotted over and grabbed the bread. While he was up, he kicked a rotting tree and knocked off a large portion. This exposed the termites within, and Rolo bounded over to enjoy the feast.

“Only bugs?” Calidorn asked. He had never really given much thought to what anteaters may eat other than ants. Qari just gave a big nod; his mouth was full of Kaa’s bread.

Bynn and Vaidon were too upset to eat anything really. They decided to go a bit farther down the river and wash themselves. Perhaps things would seem less dreary after a nice bath.

*****

Morgath, the blood demon monkey, clambered down the cave tree among the abyssal plants. His long fingers wrapped around a large stone and his made way over to the catatonic forms who sat lazily under the tree. The sight of the engorged oozes and fat leeches dangling from the skin of the humans and elves made the monkey scream. Morgath raised the stone over his head and smashed the skulls of his blood harvesters. His minions were starting to gather above and in the tops of the cave tree. One by one, the monkey mercifully killed the drug addled victims. By the time he was finished, Morgath was soaked in blood.

The demon monkey fell to his knees and grabbed his head. Morgath was perfectly still for many moments, and his monkey followers edged ever closer. Then, in a fit, he came unfurled and started ripping the blood caked hair from his body in huge patches.

“LEAVE ME ALONE,” Morgath screamed over and over. All of the monkeys scrambled as far as they could from the the crazed demon monkey.

*****

Tira Al Lung called together an audience of the Silkwood elves. She described the horrors of the blood monkeys and reminded them of the impending revenge of the trolls. When she had successfully instilled the proper amount of fear, she changed her from into the dragon Tiranis. She vowed that she would protect the elves, and help to create landscape changes that would add further defense to the city. Magic lended credibility to her words and the Heart of Carinth allowed her to display her power to move earth. The elves were still skeptical, but they had not taken up arms against Tiranis either. She had nothing but time, and had no doubt that she would continue to win them over.

*****

Bynn watched over Vaidon as she bathed in the river, but her elven lover was not the only creature watching her. A giant otter was lying on an old log and staring at the naked female. Bynn couldn’t blame the otter; the view was very nice. So nice, in fact, that Bynn swam out to meet with her. They had not been physical with each other in quite some time, and he wanted her.

After the two elves had enjoyed the spoils of each other’s bodies, the otter popped his head out of the water right beside them. They were caught off guard and Bynn grabbed the creature by shoving his fingers in its nostrils.

“Hey,” the otter wailed, “that hurts.”

Bynn yanked his hand back from the talking otter. Vaidon laughed so hard that her eyes started to water. Bynn looked over at the log where the otter had been lying earlier. “You were looking at Vaidon,” the elf said with a sudden surge of anger. For some reason, knowing that the otter knew what it was doing made Bynn mad.

“I always watched Vaidon,” the otter stated cryptically, “Even before you started coming around.”

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