The Genemage Archives: Book One, The Eternal King-Chapter Four

 

You can read Chapters one through three at the links below.

Legends Of The Genemage: The Eternal Sovereign, Chapter One

Legends Of The Genemage: The Eternal King, Chapter Two

Legends Of The Genemage: The Eternal King, Chapter Three

     Prince Vikryn stood in the entranceway to Woodhole prison and watched his houndsmen as they performed their duties.  Each houndsmen slowly walked around the dungeon, smelling the air, touching every surface they could, and focusing their minds on their surroundings.  At first, Vikryn had been convinced that the houndsmen were leading him around in circles, but it was soon evident that the circles were not the work of the houndsmen at all.

       Using their heightened senses combined with their mental abilities, the houndsmen had easily picked up the trail of the escaped prisoner.  The trail had first led the prince and his hunters to a small, quiet hillside village of farmers.   After searching the village, the houndsmen sniffed out the prisoner’s trail, which led to a small hut at the edge of the village.  The hut had been abandoned days before the arrival of the hunting party, left empty and barren by its previous occupants.

     To the dismay and disbelief of the prince, the houndsmen then followed the trail back to Woodhole prison.  At first, the prince thought the houndsmen were playing some type of joke on the prince, a jest they would surely pay dearly for.  When they arrived at the prison, it was immediately obvious that there was no jest when the prince learned that another prisoner had been freed.

   “What have you learned from your investigation,” Vikryn asked as the four houndsmen approached him.

     “This break-in was different than the first,” Kretch said, his eyes glazed over as though he were focusing on something beyond his prince.  “There was no stealth or caution this time.  Instead, they barged right in and took the guards by surprise.  The prisoner was joined by a dwarf and an ogre.  It was the ogre that did the most damage, fighting the guards as the prisoner and the dwarf rushed to the cell and freed the prisoner.  The attack was quick and brutal, and they managed to escape before reinforcements could arrive.”

     “I see,” Vikryn said, glancing around the room at the bloodstains and broken bodies littering the floor.  And what can you tell me of this second prisoner?”

     “A woman named Leighta Anhoam,” Kaishu continued.  “A researcher and educator imprisoned for attempting to spread the forbidden knowledge to the lesser classes.”

      “An educator,” the prince repeated, shaking his head as his mind put the puzzle pieces together.  “This is even worse than we had realized.”

     “What does this mean my liege,” Kretch asked.  “Why is this woman so important?”

     “Because she teaches,” Vikryn replied, letting out an exasperated sigh.  “They plan to use her to teach them the magic of science so that they can try to fight my father again.  It is now more important than ever that we find and kill this madman before he can rebuild any kind of army.”

     “Leave that to us,” Kretch said turning to face the other houndsmen.  “We will find them.”

     The four houndsmen gathered in a circle opposite each other, closed their eyes, and grew quiet as they focused their minds on finding the trail of the prisoners.  Vikryn watched impatiently as the houndsmen silently focused their minds, reaching out with their mental abilities for any evidence they could discover.

     “I found something,” Mooris whispered after a time, his voice cutting through the silence.

     “Disseminate,” Kretch ordered, turning his head slightly to face Mooris.  A moment later, each of the houndsmen began to slowly nod their head, seeming to all come to a simultaneous realization.

     “Yes,” Kaishu said.  “I see it too.  I am getting another vision link from that.”

     “Yes, yes,” Kretch said, clenching his hands into fists.  “The picture is forming.”

     “What do you see,” the prince asked, his impatience growing.

     “A town,” Kretch replied, lifting his head while keeping his eyes closed.  “To the north.  Several days journey.  Our prey is headed there.”

     “A town,” the prince repeated with a sigh.

“Yes,” Kretch replied, nodding slowly.  A town that is both bright, yet dirty at the same time.  A town full of noise and debauchery.  A town-”

“Iniquity,” Vikryn exclaimed, interrupting Kretch.  “The town you are describing is called Iniquity.”

“You know this town,” Daan asked.

“Oh yes,” the prince replied with a smirk.  “I know Iniquity very well.  You could say it is practically my second home.  I have had many, many hours in the town of Iniquity.  Hours filled with very interesting experiences.”  Vikryn paused for a moment, staring off into the distance as memories filled his brain.  The prince then put his hands together in a clap of excitement, and let out a laugh dripping with mischief.  “It has been a bit since I have visited Iniquity.  I get to hunt my prey and have a little fun while I am at it.  I like it.”

“Sire,” Kretch asked in confusion.

“Pack up and get ready to move out,” Vikryn ordered.  “We are heading north for a bit of hunting and debauchery.”

“As you command sire,” Kretch said, bowing to his prince and then turning to face the other houndsmen.  “Houndsmen, prepare to move out.”

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