Narrator – OOG Northward 05

(As Tyvian walks toward the ladder to the upper deck of the Thryd Son, a single scream – chilling and alarmingly familiar – pierces though the planks from the mid deck below. In an instant he is on his way down to the aft end that houses their cabins. He takes two steps at a time. He is aware of a body moving quickly on the stairs behind him, but doesnʻt stop to see who it might be. He reaches the mid deck just as a massive form drops through the wide opening in the main deck above, landing with a resonant ‘thunk’ as it strikes the planks. Tyvian hurriedly turns the corner toward the aft cabins as another scream splits the air.)

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!”

(Passing through the narrow door and into the short hallway, Tyvian recognizes the sleek form of K’ain mere inches behind and the stranger szaath after him. The first cabin door on the right is closed, but the next – the door to Dauengard’s cabin is wide open with light shining from within. Tyvian calls out to his friend, knowing in his heart that the scream belongs to the Migdin warrior.)

“Rogan! What the…”

(As he turns the corner, the sight is too shocking to comprehend. Tyvian’s eyes try to take in the entirety of the cabin, but can only focus on his friend…awash in a sea of the reddest blood he’s ever seen. Rogan is on the bed positioned behind his mother. A wide and angry cut runs from just under her chin to her lower torso. From what he can see, the incision must have been made in one violent slice. Rogan embraces his mother from behind, holding his arms with a failing but desperate embrace, trying with all his might to prevent her guts from spilling onto the wooden deck. His face is smeared with his mother’s hot blood, his tears cutting rivulets in the ruby stain. There is nothing in Rogan’s eyes but chaos, horror and the kind of fear that destroys a man’s will.)

“SAVE HER, TYVIAN!! PLEASE SAVE HER!”

(Tyvian begins to move, then is frozen in his stride by another horrifying site. To the left side of the cabin, leaning against the wall is K’laan. His hair is slicked and dripping, but it is obviously not from water or spilled ale. The ears on either side of his head are bloody masses of wrecked tissue. The left, cleanly cut at an almost precision angle to remove the points born of his Cóng Manii ancestry. The right ear is a mangled mess of flesh, evidence of an almost mad combination of hacking and a series of quick, violent slashes. In his right hand K’laan still holds a common, curved fish knife probably taken from the galley. The sleeve of his tunic is soaked with so much blood it appears to have been dipped in black oil. The rest of the tunic is striped in a chaotic pattern of spurts and splatters. Through gurgled cries, Rogan screams a condemning question at the fallen Jasai, spittle flying out as if dripping from the very words themselves.)

“WHY K’LAAN!? OF ALL PEOPLE…WHAT HAS SHE DONE TO YOU!? WHY KILL MY MOTHER?”

(From his position against the wall, K’laan straightness his body slightly, cocks his head and smiles at Tyvian. The next words he utters are clearly meant – not only for Rogan – but for Tyvian and the others just arriving at the door.)

“Oh…it is not about killing. No, no, no, no, no….”

(His smile grows even wider, showing teeth stained red where Dauengard’s arterial spurt washed across his grin.)

“It’s all about the pain.”