Howl of the Carrion King – Chapter Thirty-seven

Chapter Thirty-seven
Intruders

Xulthos smiled. Someone had entered his territory. His little town of Kelmarane.

For over a week he had been restless. He could sense that the key to his prison was close, but couldn’t locate it. He couldn’t even pinpoint it’s direction. But always, always he could sense it. Taste it. His freedom was so close and yet he had been unable to do anything about it. Whoever had the key had stayed tantalizingly out of his range.

His puppet had done its job admirably. It had gathered others to his service, rebuilt portions of the ruined town above and spread word of its exploits. Slowly, others trickled into Kelmarane. Merchants and Slavers. Outcasts and the insane. Thugs and criminals.

As the town above grew, Xulthos’ puppet’s power grew. Its influence grew. But, most importantly, word of its deeds spread. Through the darkest corners of Katapesh its legend had crept. Finally, it had reached its intended ears: Xulthos’ captors.

The true owners of Kelmarane had heard of the interlopers upon their land. And, as Xulthos had hoped, their insatiable greed had drawn them across the country, back home. Right into Xulthos’ clutches.

From the earthen crypts below Kelmarane, Xulthos sent his senses out into the world above. These new intruders were not here for trade. They did not hold the key to his prison.

There were two of them. Both human. They stunk of good intentions and righteous anger. They sought to destroy his minions. To break his puppet’s hold on the pitiful town above. They served the Keeper of the Key. He was certain of it.

He reached out his mind, following the mental chains that connected him to his puppet. He seared the intruder’s image into its brain.

Find them. He ordered. Capture them. Question them personally. Wring their allies’ location from their loose, fleshy lips.

Amid dreams of revenge and freedom, Xulthos laughed. His time was coming. Soon. So soon. He would be ready.

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