In this episode of “Secrets in Sulsut”, Malric battles to escape the seaside stronghold of the Scavengers.
There is a passage two ledges above, Malric. The voice was almost a whisper. The owl was lying on its side, mortally wounded. Malric removed his tunic and bundled the creature up, tying it securely to his belt. Its breath rasped slowly from its hooked beak.
Malric slashed at two tentacles that probed the ledge, spilling ochre blood over the rocks. He quickly found a foothold and began his ascent. The climbing would have been easy, but the owl threw off Malric’s balance, and his knuckles were white as he clutched the rocks.
Malric pulled himself over the ledge by the tunnel. The pungent smell of the Scavengers wafted through the entrance.
The Scavengers . . . they are mostly blind . . . eyes accustomed to the murky waters of the sea . . . but their sense of smell is great, Malric . . . cloak yourself in their smell.. . The voice fell off into silence.
“Sol!” pleaded Malric. “Sol!” Quickly Malric unwrapped the owl and placed it on the floor. Malric knelt beside the dying animal. Its eyes were almost completely closed.
No time, rattled the brittle voice, no time . . . remember, Malric, they can smell their dead . . .
Malric held back the hot flood of tears and set his teeth, drawing strength from the steely reserves of his soul that had been honed to a fine point during his service with the Thieves’ Guild. He held his breath and thrust his body against the slick wall of the passage, shutting out the stench that invaded the pores of his skin with wraith-like fingers.
He removed Sliver and crawled forward; his loss submerged in the greedy tides of hate.
Malric continued forward for what seemed like hours, passing many adjoining corridors but staying in the one he had originally entered because it had begun to slope noticeably upwards. He stole past Scavenger women with yellow, sagging breasts and Scavenger young playing in shallow pools. He witnessed them fight, frolic, and breed within the cool darkness.
Malric walked right into an ambush. Slashing downwards with its trident, a Scavenger cut a shallow wound from Malric’s shoulder to his ribs. Malric sprang backwards, his heart racing from the fiery bite of the Scavenger’s blade.
Malric retreated into the passage, scouring the walls for the natural fissure he had passed just moments before. He expertly slid his wiry frame into the niche and waited.
To be continued…