A continuation of Warlocks Warning – Previous Chapter
I was not present for the events that follow so have attempted to recreate what I can based upon statements of others.
Tobus lay unconscious in a cot in the apothecary. His wound had been cleaned and bandaged. Talish and a younger assistant, Mina, worked nearby cleaning tools. They chatted on idle social matters as they put away the equipment, which mostly consisted of the young Mina sharing harmless gossip news and sharing frustrations with romantic interests.
Before Talish left, she instructed Mina to monitor Tobus and to provide further pain control in the next few hours, a deadline she was not going to meet.
Everything proceeded uneventfully for a while and Mina was alone with Tobus when he awoke. The order of events is unclear, but it is suspected that Tobus was able to procure a blade and surprise Mina, who was later found with her throat sliced. Tobus then made his exit from the apothecary and not without some calamity.
During his escape, he was confronted by 3 healers all of whom he attacked and wounded as he aggressively searched for the way out. The screams drew attention from outside where Talish had been in discussion with local supply merchants. Along with a couple city guards, she hastened to the apothecary just as Tobu appeared in the doorway, a surgical blade in his bloodied left hand. Talish later recalled that his expression was manic and contorted.
He was able to barge his way through the guards and Talish with somewhat surprising strength before charging off into the streets. People in the streets fled from his approach except for two young men who attempted to grab him. One was slashed across the stomach and the other received a deep cut to his shoulder. Talish noticed his heightened instincts and lack of regard for the bleeding wound he had. We moved as if he were unmarked.
Talish and the two guards turned to follow, and Talish began shouting warnings to stay clear. Tobus seemed focused and unaware that Talish and the guards both flanked him and followed behind. His focus was searching and manic. Once he was able to see the Academy, his demeaner changed as, with an evil smile, he headed straight for the steps of the main doors, Talish following at a safe distance, guards on either side. As they walked the streets, other city guards either joined the procession or kept the path clear.
At the base of the steps to the academy, Tobus paused. His eyes seemed to examine the building before him while he completely ignored the crowd that had formed behind him, and the Academy Guards that now stood at the top of the stairs before him, pikes lowered and ready. Tobus placed one foot onto the bottom step and the Academy Guards in unison took one step down.
The way the story was told by many present, Tobus finally noticed the guards before him. Blood was slowly pooling at his feet from his wound, yet he smiled with a twisted glee. His grip tightened about the surgical blade in his left hand as he dropped ever so slightly before launching himself up the stairs.
It was said that his speed was inhuman as he charged up the left side of the stairs. The guards, caught flat footed, recoiled before recovering and closing in, unfortunately too late for the left most defender. Tobus was in their space before he could recover slipping the blade deftly under their helmet. Blood flowed from beneath as the guard collapsed coughing with wet gurgles.
Tobus dropped low and spun away into the next guard slipping under their pike and finding the soft material between metal plates at inside top of their leg. The guard collapsed as blood gushed forth from the several artery. Tobus continued to spin through, collecting the falling pike, and used his momentum to rise strike the third guard across the throat throwing them back, choking and gasping for breath.
The fourth and final guard was already in motion pushing forward with their pike. Tobus continued to spin through using his pike to deflect the other doing a full turn as if travelling along the guard’s pike, to then strike the guard’s helmet with the pommel of his pike. The metal buckled slightly and the guard was sent reeling, dropping their own weapon as their hands instinctively went to their head.
Then it was over. Tobus stood at the top of the stairs four bodies next to him. Two bleeding to death, one choking unable to breath, and the forth moaning on the ground. Silence fell across the crowd. Tobus, bloodied both from his wound and his victims, dropped the pike and surgical blade he held, then approached the large doors and forced them open.
I stood behind the masters among other students, supported by Billtak still feeling weak from the Dream Walk, and watched the doors slowly swing open. The young man that stood in the doorway, head lowered, splattered in red, was unrecognisable to me. He took several steps into the main entrance courtyard before drawing himself up. He cast a look over the assembled students and masters, a broad wide smile, until he saw Toa Freyah. Somehow, he smiled even more, twisting it into something horrific.
“Hello Mother. I’m coming for you.”
With that, his expression dropped and Tobus collapsed.
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