The Fairy and The Bloodhound

She fiddled silently behind her magicked bars made of Haute’s Den’s marked and cursed tree; branches twisted and bent around her to form her small bird-cage prison. She knew not to make the same mistake as a previous predecessor, considering the remnants glimmered in the same place; there was no body, rather just a puff of glitter-smoke which marked his passing.

A noise passed through her small containment, she was tucked away behind jars and glasses filled with liquids, vampire dust, eagle feathers, dragon claws and so many different variant trophies and apothecary items. The noise came from outside the cupboard, it was faint and slight, almost like a scratch against a window. But the fairy heard it nonetheless. She perked up her small bug-feathered wings, and took a slight breath in, hearing a voice call to her.

A little… butterfly lies trapped…. beneath the man-cave…. of wood,” it said, the voice was faint and muffled as though it was trying to speak through a mug barred by a door, and a rough sound of sniffling and heaving interrupted every other word.

She uttered a slight note, high pitched enough for the creature to hear her, but not loud enough for anyone else to understand or notice. She could peer only barely out of the cabinet and noticed the creature overshadowed her vision from the window as if it looked up and toward her from beyond.

It then quickly darted away, as though something spooked the beast, and she could hear muffled human noises. It sounded like more than one man carrying something hefty down the stairs to the room from which she could but peer into. The doors creaked open, and the men slammed the item onto the floor, then leaving promptly. She tried her hardest to strain forward to see what new had entered and desperately hoped it was not the beast from before. The sting of the branch zinged through her small veins, causing her to seize and collapse with pain. She was gasping as the curse coursed through her.

Suddenly light poured into her containment, blinding the poor thing. A deep snicker haunted its approval as he reached for the prison. Bringing it out from the cabinet, he placed the fairy upon a pedestal. She couldn’t tell what was happening or where she was, but she felt her aura fade as something cold seeped into her enclosure.

When she was able to see again, she noticed she was starting to turn a darker shade of grey due to the curse and could not place where the cold feeling came from, however looking outside of her enclosure she could see a line of a strange red liquid encircling her along with some rat skulls and small candles. The candles were not yet lit, but their strange placement made her shiver. Is she now apart of some strange ritual? Why must this go on for as long as it has?

And as if he could hear her pleas, he answered with the slyness of a snake, and the smile of a devil, “My dear, you have yet to announce to whom you hail, and where they may lie.”—to this he started walking around her, as if recounting his plans aloud to her to ensure the fear sank in,–“I for one must know, as their holiness would be the stepping stone to end my master’s childish charade, and reclaim what he failed to acquire.” At this point he was breathing into her prison, his breath was humid and warm, and smelled like death. His eyes, for a brief moment (and she was not sure if this was due to how affected she was from the curse), looked like that of a snake, then changed quickly back to their normal size and shape. His sly smile soured upon her lack of response.

“You really push me, my dear. I hope you understand, I was trying to let you off easy,” he took a step back, took out a small tinder box, and began to light each candle. He then went to the box she heard other men struggle to get into the room and open the top. When he did so, a bloody scream filled the room and escaped outside. The scream came from the fairy as she realized what was within, it was seeping with blackened ooze and carried the smell of oil and decay. He took the box and placed it squarely before her; her panic escalated as this happened. She started sputtering words; they were incoherent at first, and then their meaning came through as the torturer watched with gleeful sadism.

“Titania, my queen; my majesty; my mother, please forgive me. I cannot live in this mortal world any longer,” she wept, her voice shrill and fading quickly.

“Daughter of the fairy queen—tell me what I want to know,” his voice rose above her slow discontented melody of death. She glanced at him, her eyes filled with red hatred. This was new, he’d never seen a fairy do this before; the last one tried to run out of his cage and ended up inside the cabinet where he decayed alive.

A howling broke his concentration, and suddenly the door splintered with horns protruding from the wood. They receded, the beast readying for another charge, the torturer could anticipate this as he peered through the holes. The next charge caught the beast by surprise as the doors swung inward, causing the ox to crash into the ritual and crumble both the box, and the pedestal with the fairy. She fell to the ground, the cage breaking upon impact, and leaving her injured upon the floor. The ox tried to get up, but the human had already slain the beast, his sword easily sliced through the thick hide, blood staining the blade. The human then gazed toward the door and realized in his fury to attempt to slay the ox, a bloodhound snuck in and snatched the fairy; clutched lightly in his muzzle. The bloodhound gazed at the human, and began to sprint, the fairy fading with the wind.

The human growled, knowing full well he would not be able to catch the dog. He kicked a lit candle out of anger into the slowly creeping ooze which caused a massive explosion of fire and strange gelatin. He however was not caught within the destruction; instead a shadow could be seen leaving the blaze to its demise.

“So long as my name is Nervon, I will find a way to get to Terrasylvae. With or without their precious denizens.”