Eigraw lay slumped against a rock holding his abdomen, trying to stop his Royal Elven blood from escaping the knife-wound. He screamed in pain.

“Do you not have anything for this?” Stanton asked.

“Those bandits grabbed my herb-sack. I have nothing left.” he replied.

Stanton wrapped a clean linen cloth around Eigraw’s abdomen and said,

“Apply pressure. Gamohr, do you have any mead? Or anything stronger?”

“Aye.” said a stocky dwarf from ten steps away. “I think I’ve got something that will do the trick. Drink this, elf.” Gamohr pulled out a concealed flask and poured some of the thick liquid into Eigraw’s mouth. It dribbled down the elf’s lips as he swallowed. The liquid was a ghastly brown colour with flakes of silver glistening throughout.

“What is this?” Eigraw asked.

“Mead…” Gamohr replied. “…mostly.” then he glugged some himself and passed the flask to Stanton, their human travel companion.

“Mostly?” Eigraw replied with a concerned inflection.

Stanton drunk from the flask and passed it back to Gamohr, who guzzled an extra mouthful.

“Yeah well, there’s a bit of Silver Liquid in there too. It has some powerful healing properties, and it will get us all through the night.”

Eigraw suddenly became sickened and disgusted.

“Silver Liquid? That’s forbidden in the kingdom.” Eigraw protested.

“Well we ain’t in the kingdom now.” Gamohr replied. “You’re telling me you’ve never imbibed Silver Liquid?”

“Why would I?” Eigraw replied, then suddenly felt his skin fusing over his almost fatal wound, healing. “It does feel better…but…unicorn blood? It’s immoral.”

Eigraw remembered back to his schooling days as a young elf. He had always been taught that unicorns are sacred creatures, and that harming them would invoke a lifelong curse.

“There’s nothing immoral about it.” Gamohr argued as he sat on the floor nearby. “You must’ve eaten horse before surely? You were at the Battle of Crawshon no?”

“In times of desperation yes, but Silver Liquid? It’s a completely different bale of wheat. This is wrong.” Eigraw said. “Unicorns are sacred and their blood is forbidden. How did you even get this?”

“I hunted it in the Sacred Glades. Slaughtered it with my axe, then drained the blood.” Gamorh told him explicitly.

“That’s a crime. To reduce the Elven Kingdom’s unicorn stock.”

“True.” added Stanton, who had been silently staring off into space for some time now. “But the stocks never change. It’s fascinating really, your kingdom has always had precisely five-hundred unicorns. Every time one dies, your Elders simply let a horse run wild in the Sacred Glades. The horse then returns as a unicorn. The unicorn spirit never dies, but it enchants all it touches.”

Gamohr and Eigraw both gave Stanton with a perplexed look.

“How does a human know all this?” Eigraw asked.

“I read a lot.”

“It’s very uncommon for a human commoner to know how to read, is it not?” Eigraw asked with a patronizing tone.

“Well I’m an unusual character.” replied Stanton, before he stood up and walked off. “I will find a vantage point to keep lookout. I have a feeling those bandits will be back.”

Eigraw rested his head on the rock and looked up at the night sky. Thousands of stars on a pitch black sheet began circling in his vision, moving closer. Eigraw’s abdomen was now numb. He breathed deeply, and suddenly became very aware of his surroundings. The shock of being attacked by bandits on the mountain path had faded, but now he feared the repercussions of ingested unicorn blood. His breathing grew heavy and he started to panic. Suddenly, the dirt beneath his feet began to creep up his legs in branch-like patterns. Tiny spiders crawled out from under the dirt and stampeded up his chest.

“What? What’s happening!?” He called out.

“Relax.” Gamohr said. “You just have to ride it out. The more you panic, the worse it will be.”

Eigraw had heard about the bizarre effects Silver Liquid had on those who imbibed, and he knew there was no cure, and nothing could attentuate the visions to come. The word ‘relax’ repeated in his mind, and he closed his eyes. When he reopened them, the stars from the sky had dropped down to his eye level and were flitting to and through like fireflies. The sky looked black.

“Gamohr. I’m…scared.”

“It’s okay my little elfen friend. Just ride it out.”

Eigraw breathed deeply and grabbed some dirt from the ground. He rubbed it into his palms, trying to get a sense of what was real. As he rubbed his hands and stared at them, a voice in his head slowly grew louder. An inner-monologue that narrated everything he was doing, everything he was thinking, like a character in someone’s story.

“Just ride it out.” Gamohr repeated, but this time his voice was drowned out.

Eigraw could see himself visibly fading to translucency. Panic rose once again, he called out,

“Gamohr! Stanton!” but no-one could hear him. He looked to the black sky once again as it fell down on him, encompassing him and all that existed.

“Eigraw. Eigraw. Are you okay?”

Eigraw brushed the dust and dirt from his skin. It was daytime and the sun gave him just enough heat to be comfortable. His wound had healed.

“Looks like you had a fun trip.” Gamohr said, laughing.

Eigraw looked around to find thirty odd dead bodies. It looked like the roadside bandits had returned while he was unconscious.

“What happened here?”

“The bandits returned.”

“Stanton and yourself killed them all?”

“No. We sat and watched. A unicorn spirit appeared and sorted that lot out. Oh you should have seen the colours, like rainbows surrounding us as the unicorn did its thing.”

Seeing evidence of the struggled, Eigraw was astounded.

“Incredible.” he said,

“I know. Unicorns… even when you kill them, they still turn up to save ya.” Gamohr laughed.

“Where’s Stanton?”

“He’s over there rolling about naked and giggling to himself. He had a good trip too.”

 

By Jambo Stewart

(My very first Blog Battle entry)

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