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Ruffven 'Talon' Galand

Age

61

Gender

Male

Race

Werewolf (7/8)/Human (1/8) Crossbreed

Occupation

Slayer/Merchant

Religion

Zamorakian

Behaviour

Chaotic Neutral... sort of

...?

...!

Ruffven Galand is a 61 year old Werewolf from Canifis. He works part time as a Slayer and also as a Merchant selling old Morytanian antiques to human travelers and blood to Vampyres.

Appearance

Ruffven is roughly 6ft, 1 in tall. He has medium brown hair with grey streaks that occasionally covers the top of his face. He usually wears a set of thick Hard Leather armour and carries a Silvthril mace and a Mithril Kite Shield on his back. He is fairly well built (being a werewolf) though is often considered a runt as he isn't as strong as the other villagers.

In his Wolf form Ruffven appears to be 6ft, 4 in tall but due to the nature of the spine he is actually taller. He has grey fur and all the others parts of the body you'd associate with Werewolves such as a tail.

Personality

Ruffven is a gruff loner who spends most of his current free time either at home or alone at the Slayer Tower. He tries to avoid unnecessary contact with others, especially Vampyres. He bears a resentment towards most humans but those he doesn't resent he shares a strong bond with. Though unwilling to help out someone unless it involves benefiting him or his friends in some way.

Ruffven is prone to fits of rage, particularly when questioning his skill as a werewolf or allegiance to Zamorak. This is rare as it usually involves someone talking to him to begin with. He has a strong allegiance to his friends (no matter the species) and is willing to risk his life in order to save them. He has an especially strong (but uneasy) bond with his 'brother' Ruthven Galand, one of the few people who can make him laugh, either by telling the joke or being the butt of one.

Abilities

Being a Werewolf Ruffven is able to transform into a 'Wolf form', however he now has a hard time doing so following an event involving being tortured by a Saradominist Priest. Attempting to transform in recent years has often lead him to feel sick. However a side effect of this is (Along with countless training and being part human) is that the Salve Barrier has less of an effect on him, a perk he rarely uses to his advantage.

Ruffven is a strong warrior especially with a shield and mace, his strength allowing for strong attacks, something he has to rely on more since the 'event'. His genetics help boost his strength and speed further. He possesses a bit of skill with throwing weapons, particularly Javelins, though as he rarely has a chance to use this its quite rusty.

He has a higher resistance to Alcohol than most humans. He is able to speak common and Canic and possesses a good knowledge in bartering and Morytanian Creatures.

History

Fertility

She swirled the white liquid around in her mug, moonlight mead. It tasted awful but it eased the pain. It was the year 107 of the 5th age, but Romani Galand wasn't really keeping track. Her mother had been taken by the vyres just a month ago to satisfy the tithe, she was old and had lost the ability to produce children a long time ago, so she volunteered. Her father was distraught, he would just get angrier and angrier, she couldn't take it anymore. She'd used an old piece of rope and had attempted to hang herself, the rope snapped, she had banged her head against the floor, and worst of all her father had discovered her. He shouted about how she was being ridiculous, how she was ridiculing her mothers memory, how she had a duty as a fertile werewolf to help keep the village populated. A tear fell off her cheek landing in the mug. Everyone was avoiding her, apart from Roavar who only went over to refill her mug.

A man walked up to her, she looked up, he smiled at her, however she looked down to the ground again. She had never seen him in the village before, he had a strange scent, the smell of a hunter yet she couldn't tell what he hunted. He pulled up a chair and sat beside her. "Hey there, is the snail meat getting to you too, been too long since a human came round." he said with a chuckle. She simply sat there sipping her mead. The man chuckled again. "Come on, how about some conversation, come on I've been out of town for nearly 20 years." he said. She looked up. "Sorry." she replied. He chuckled, "that's a lovely voice" he said with a smile. She looked towards him and gave him a small smile.

They started to talk, she became interested in his stories and he became interested in her charm. He beckoned Roavar over and produced a sack of more coin than she could imagine and asked for a room for the night. They went into the room, they talked some more, he reached over and kissed her. She smiled, they both fell down onto the bed, the full moon shining through the window.

She woke up the next morning, she was at her house, in her room. She looked around, she couldn't see any sign of that man, she grew depressed. Did he exist, did any of last night actually happen or was it a dream. She remembered his smile, she smiled at the thought of it. She would go on, if this was the worst life could throw at her then life would be good, it didn't matter if he existed or not. 9 months later, she realized he had definitely existed.

"Look at that bastard" Rathven said. "Dad..." she said weakly in protest, she was exhausted. "What? That's what he is, his father is some guy who entered the village one day, got you pregnant and left, therefore you two aren't married. Seems I'm going to have to be the one to train him then." he said. She chuckled. "Like you would have let the father train him." she replied. "When your son is bringing home meat by the barrel load every night you'll be glad I trained him." he said with pride. She held the baby in her arms. "Zamorak bless him, you though of what to call him?" Rathven asked. She smiled. "How about Raffven?" she asked. He shook his head furiously. "No way, I'm not having that confusion in my life, call him Ruffven instead." he insisted. She smiled. "Little Ruffven." she said.

Minority

Ruffven had as normal a childhood as a werewolf might have in Canifis, however there was one problem. Ruffven wasn't maturing at the rate the other children were. He was weaker than them, had poor social skills and was poor at hunting. His mother called him a late bloomer, but his grandfather knew he was a runt. His saving grace was his devotion to Zamorak, whom he prayed to every night.

Rathven, though disappointed, was hopeful. He took him hunting most days he was out, he never caught anything but he was improving albeit very slowly, too slow for Rathven. Rathvens confidence in him took a steep dive when a human by the name of Ruthven Galand visited in the year 130. Ruthven was a merchant, barely a warrior and was lucky to be alive having wondered into Morytania. But Ruffven was nervous around him, and backed off when he came near. This was a breaking point for Rathven, who was tempted to make Ruffven butcher the human right there and then, the only thing that stopped him was the fact he had found out they were family.

Ruffven continued to behave this way until 3 years later. 3 years later Ruthven returned, but this time he came with a business proposition, and a child. He proposed an idea to start a business where he would buy Morytanian artefacts cheap over here, ship them over to Varrock, sell them, buy a load of meat, ship it back to Morytania and sell it there for a profit. He made it out such that they would make loads of coin and at the same time provide food for the village. All he asked in return is that they look after his son, as his mother had gone into a coma. Rathven outright refused it but Romani agreed. She said that she would only agree under one condition, that Ruthven take Ruffven with him on his trips to Varrock and back. Ruthven accepted and handed his child over to Romani. Rathven was sitting on a chair, grabbing his head. "What's his name?" she asked Ruthven. "Ruthven Galand Jr" he said, Rathven rolled his eyes at the notice at the name.

Brotherhood

Ruffven started off nervous of his new job, he had never crossed the Salve before, and he knew he would have to cross it countless times more. Ruthven Galand Sr (To avoid confusion he shall be called senior from now on) helped to teach him as much as possible as they went through their job, Ruffven slowly began to learn the common tongue, and became less nervous around humans. At his current age he looked like a 13 year old human, which worked well for Senior and Ruffven. On one occasion Ruffven cut himself against an old knife and began to bleed. Ruffven didn't find this particularly strange but Senior started panicking. He announced that Ruffven had spilt ink everywhere and quickly ushered him into a back room. From this moment on Senior taught Ruffven how to pretend to be a human, including behaviour, biology and speech. Much to his dismay Ruffven was forced to learn a bunch of history about Saradomin as well as one of his prayers, Senior apologized after a dreadful day involving a meeting with several monks in which Ruffven was forced to sit through a 5 hour long lecture on his least favourite god. To make it up to him Senior brought him a wooden mace and shield, suggesting Ruffven learn to practice with one to keep up his disguise.

About 4 years later, Ruthven Galand Jr (To avoid confusion he shall be called Ruthven from now on) joined Ruffven on the trips. Ruthven, unlike Ruffven, wasn't as helpful and could barely be counted on for many of the jobs, so Senior decided to send him and Ruffven off to a combat training building. Ruffven and Ruthven both learnt how to handle their weapons, Ruffven with his mace and Shield and Ruthven with his Dual Rapiers. In their first battle against each other, Ruffven won in about 2 seconds. As the years went on it slowly took Ruffven longer and longer to beat his cousin, mainly due to Ruthven growing up quicker. When Ruffven was 35 and Ruthven was 10, Ruthven actually managed to beat Ruffven. Afterwards Ruffven simply growled and demanded a rematch. Ruffven strength meant that he could usually take down Ruthven in 1 shot, so Ruthven worked on his agility in battle, Ruthven was unbelievably quick on his feet, for a human.

Afterwards they both got their wooden weapons replaced with Silvthril ones and they were both given a set of leather armour. Rathven, though annoyed at the prospect of his son learning to fight with a weapon, was enthusiastic about letting the boys train in the slayer tower. The two spent most of their free time there, usually practicing on Crawling Hands. Their adventures sparked interest from the Slayer Master who began to give them contracts and assignments. Ruthven would often tell stories about how 1 day they would join the Champions Guild, Ruffven always responded by calling him an idiot. But that didn't stop him from having the same dream too.

Inheritance

Ruffven was 40 and Ruthven was 16, this was the time when the 2 of them were at their closest, as both were at a similar age in terms of their species. It was a cloudy morning, as was every morning, in Canifis. Ruthven decided to surprise Ruffven over breakfast. "Hey Ruff! How about we try for the 2nd floor of the tower today." he said. Ruffven chuckled. "I'm not sure your ready for it Ruth." he said. He found talking with others a lot easier now, especially with Ruthven who never seemed to stop smiling. Ruffven hated that about him. Senior walked over to the table concerned. "I'm not sure I want you two going up that high at the tower, that's where all those people disappear." he said with a worrying expression. Rathven came over and laughed. "Don't be so human, they'll be fine. I might actually stop by later to see you two in action." he said with a smile. Ruffven looked up at his grandfather and smiled awkwardly, Rathven frowned. "Of course, a real werewolf wouldn't have to rely on those weapons." he said, disappearing through the door. Ruffven sighed then coughed.

"You ok?" Senior asked. Ruffven smiled awkwardly again. "Its nothing, must be something I ate." he replied. Ruffven had felt this way for about a week now, it was a strange ache inside him yet he couldn't pinpoint where it was. "Yeah, its those words you said earlier. When I beat you to the 2nd floor." Ruthven said with a chuckle. Ruffven growled. "I'm tired of your talk human, lets see some action." he said, Ruthven smiled and rushed out the door, Ruffven chased after him.

A hour later they were at the tower, they climbed up the familiar stairs only to find the portcullis down. "Damn! I hate having to open this thing" Ruthven said. Ruffven crossed his arms. "But you can't open it, I always open it!" Ruffven replied bluntly. Ruthven tried to growl but it sounded like a gurgle, Ruffven tried to suppress the urge to laugh unsuccessfully. Ruthven bent down and grabbed the portcullis, he strained and strained against it, before falling backwards, red in the face. "Fancy *pant* a go pup?" Ruthven asked. Ruffven growled and grabbed the portcullis, he slowly began to let it rise, successfully managing to get it stuck open. Ruffven turned round, not even out of breath. Ruthven got up and entered the tower whispering "Stupid Werewolf Strength" under his breath, knowing full well that Ruffven would've been able to hear him. Ruffven growled.

The mace was quickly brought down onto the hand. It fell flat against the floor unmoving, Ruffven crushed it again for good measure. "Any rings?" Ruthven asked, kicking another bare handed crawling hand. Ruffven shook his head. "Just another pair of gloves." Ruffven replied. It was an old pair of red gloves, there was a stain on it, blood, recent, weak, could find the prey and finish it off... "Ruff!" Ruthven shouted. Ruffven snapped out of whatever trance he was in and gave a cough. "Don't worry about me." Ruffven said. "Of course I worry, I'm going have to carry your body all the way back home if you die." Ruthven said with a smile. Ruffven growled. Ruthven chuckled. "You brought your Earmuffs?" Ruthven said. Ruffven nodded, he pulled the earmuffs up off his neck and over his ears, Ruthven did the same. "Lets not spend too long fighting the banshees." Ruffven said. "What?" Ruthven replied. Ruffven walked to Ruthven and punched him in the arm as he chuckled to himself.

They had beaten back the screaming hordes and had now arrived at the 1st floor. Ruffven was shaking. "Heh seems being a werewolf has its disadvantages" Ruthven chuckled. Ruffven ignored him, it wasn't the banshees screams that had done this to him, he was just feeling ill, he also could smell blood, and it was near. "Humans, the next room. And a lot of blood." Ruffven said. Ruthven smiled. "Probably some more Slayers, we can see if we can't show them up then." Ruthven said. Ruffven shook his head. "Something doesn't feel right." Ruffven said. Ruthven looked concerned. "Are you alright, maybe this is a werewolf thing, I could get Rathv--" Ruthven stared to say. "I DON'T NEED HIM!" Ruffven shouted, he took a deep breath and shuffled awkwardly. "I'm fine really, come on." he said, quickly striding into the next room. He walked into the next room and saw a bunch of men, 5, in red robes chanting in a language he couldn't understand, there was blood on the floor and the body of another man, the strong scent of blood flowed into him, his instincts coming into play, he ignored them and concentrated on the men, who had noticed them and were now charging spells.

Ruffven brought out his shield and walked forwards briskly heading towards the closest mage, the mage shot out a ball of fire, Ruffven held out his shield to defend himself, it blasted against it, however his shield started to burn his hand, Ruffven growled at the pain but it passed. The mage was already charging another spell. Ruffven didn't give him a chance, he quickly put his weight behind his shield and slammed into the mage, who fell to the floor, Ruffven brought down his mace onto the mages head, there was a soft crunch, he pulled the mace up and he saw a disgusting sight. He paused as he saw the mages face, the first human he killed, he thought it would've been different, more exciting like a predator chasing down his prey, but it was over so quickly. Unfortunately this brief pause gave the other mages a chance, and a large ball of earth slammed into him. He was pushed against the wall, pieces of earth falling besides him, he dropped his mace and shield, he growled and spat against the floor. Black, he had bit his tongue as he crashed against the floor, he noticed Ruthven, another mage was injured and bent down against the floor whilst the other 3 went after Ruthven, they charged a spell, they fired a ball of water which Ruthven dodged, however he tripped over the staff of another mage. Ruffven saw him in trouble and reached for his mace when he was suddenly overcome by a painful headache, he growled he was in so much pain, he had to help Ruthven, he had to become stronger. His skin slowly started to turn grey.

He had heard countless stories about a werewolf's first, the thrill, the rush. Ruffven wasn't thinking about any of it, he was thinking only of killing the mages. His limbs twisted and shook as they slowly became bigger, his clothes slowly began to split, his vision blurred and his jaw extended filled with a sharp line of teeth, a layer of dark brown fur grew over his body. It lasted only a few seconds but for Ruffven it was like 10 minutes, once it was over a rage replaced the void left by the pain of the transformation, his senses heightened and he saw his target, they were facing away from him, he could reach him in less than a second, something he immediately proved.

The mage didn't see it coming, he just suddenly found his throat in between 2 jaws. Ruffven dragged him to the floor and ripped at the neck, his senses telling him that the prey would pose no threat, he immediately slashed at the legs of the human next to him, bringing him down to the ground and slashing at his chest again and again, his senses told him to stop but he refused to listen as he carried on, interrupted by a blast of dirt hitting him in the back. Ruffven growled at the pain, his shoulder was bruised but this was unnoticeable, he stood up and turned around, he looked towards the mage that had attacked him. He noticed his face, a look of fear, this look gave Ruffven strength he growled and walked towards him, the mage shaking and dropping some runes from his hand. The fear that came off of the man was like a drug, he could've stood there forever surviving off the fear the man produced, however the mage started to charge a spell, Ruffven struck.

Ruffven admired his handy work, the power he had was phenomenal, he loved it. He felt like Zamorak had blessed him and answered his prayers, however he was still longing. He bent over the corpse of the freshest kill, he brought his head down and started to savour in his victory. It tasted sweet. His meal was interrupted however, the sound of footsteps and a voice. He remember, there were 5 men and he only took care of 4, he brought out his claw turned round quickly and slashed at the torso of the man behind him. He wanted to get a good look at the face of the mage, relish in his fear, but when Ruffven saw the face he saw no fear, only a smile. Ruffven looked, the 5th mage was lying on the floor with a sword wound through the neck, Ruthven was looked straight at him, then he looked down at his chest, his armour slowly started to darken as blood soaked through the now torn leather, Ruthven chuckled and fell backwards, now Ruffven was the one afraid.

Ruffvens instincts as a hunter left him, he quickly grabbed Ruthven before his head hit the ground. "Urghhh.... jerk." Ruthven said, followed by several coughs. Ruffven tried to apologize, but all that came out was growls. He shook his head and lifted Ruthven up, the wound wasn't as bad as Ruffven thought and Ruthven was able to walk, with Ruffvens help. They slowly began to limp back towards the entrance. Ruthven chuckled. Ruffven thought he heard him growl, but he listened and he was actually speaking Canic. "{Come on, Speak!}" Ruthven said, it sounded harsh and aggressive but that's how Canic sounded. Ruffven replied, realizing the human tongue didn't come as easily to him in this new form. "{Shut up!}" he replied. Ruthven chuckled as he tripped over as he walked down the last step. "You ruined my favourite set of armour!" Ruthven said in common tongue, as his knowledge of Canic was limited. Ruffven ignored him and continued to carry him through the tower.

They eventually reached the steps outside, Rathven was there staring at Ruffven, the last thing Ruffven saw was an expression he couldn't determine whether was good or bad, then he along with Ruthven collapsed.

Ruffven woke up, unsure how long he had been unconscious, the memories of the events that had unfolded whizzing around in his head trying to piece together. His mother walked up to him with a smile on her face. "Congratulations, your almost a full werewolf now." she said. Ruffven didn't smile, he was conflicted. "That's what you've wanted isn't it?" she asked. Ruffven forced a smile. "Yes, but Ruth..." he said. She nodded. "That child's stronger than you think, he'll live." she said. Ruffven was glad, he looked at his hands and he could still see some flecks of blood, Ruthven's blood. At that moment Rathven and senior walked through the room arguing, Rathven walked off before giving a quick nod towards Ruffven, then he disappeared out the door.

Senior looked at him, cracking a half smile. "Well this was the day you were training for, only wish it had been under better circumstances." he said. "If it hadn't happened then Ruthven would've been killed by those men!" he shouted, attempting to defend his 1st achievement in the eyes of his grandfather. "You know that's not what I meant! It's what happened afterwards, you know, the one connection I have to..." he stopped suddenly. He sighed. "This isn't going to affect your work, I still need men I can trust." he said. "But Ruthven, the Salve..." Romani interrupted. Senior smiled. "Not a problem, this job got me a certain contact, plus Ruffvens crossed it a hundred times before so that'll make it easier." he said. Ruffven coughed. Senior turned around to him. "Oh right, the 'bloodening'. Not my business, Rathven, I mean grandpa will handle that for you, he went out to make the preparations." he said. Ruffven nodded, he would have to wait a few days longer.

Initiation

Everyone was talking about Ruffven, the werewolf kid everyone had assumed would've been a failure takes out 5 humans in his first transformation, it had raised a number of questions around the village, the added fame meant when Rathven sold the bodies he got a much better price than usual. Everyone talked about him, but few were talking to him. The 3 adults in the house hold were busy making arrangements for a sudden bloodening, Ruffven was starting to feel lonely, however the day before the arranged date, Ruthven woke up and greeted him with a smile.

"Look, Ruth... I--" Ruffven began to say, looking for a way to explain it all. Ruthven nodded. "Look I know what your going to say, that this proves you would win in a fight, but you only beat me because of this dirty surprise attack, if we were to fight for real I would total-- OW!!!" Ruthven was starting to say, suddenly shouting in pain as Ruffven pushed him in the chest out of shear annoyance. Ruthven seethed through his teeth then chuckled. "Sooooo......" he said. Ruffven rolled his eyes, he'd expected this talk to be more emotional. "What?" he replied. "What's it like having a tail?" Ruthven asked. Ruffven growled. "Are you kidding me! You could have asked me any question such as, were you alright, what did it feel like, was I worried about you and you ask me what it was like to have a tail!" he shouted. Ruthven pointed towards a mirror, Ruffven looked at it growling, when he suddenly saw dark patches of skin on his face, he stopped growling and took a deep breath and his skin slowly turned back to normal. Ruffven sighed, "Sorry, I'm getting use to controlling it?" Ruffven said. Ruthven looked confused. "What, your tail?" Ruthven replied. "No not my bloody tail!" Ruffven shouted at him. Ruthven burst out laughing, Ruffven tried to growl but it was slowly replaced with laughter.

"It was certainly something..." Ruffven replied. Ruthven smiled. "You didn't see what you looked like, it was like something out of a nightmare." Ruthven replied. "If it was one of your nightmares it probably wasn't that scary." Ruffven replied with a chuckle. Ruthven shoved him, as he did so the bandages around his chest became loose. Ruffven felt the scent of dried blood enter his nostrils, it wasn't like fresh blood, the smell told him that it should only be eaten if necessary. "Quit it, you know it creeps me out when you do that." Ruthven relied, noting Ruffvens sniffing. Ruffven kept doing it until the smell started to bother him. "So, want to see the damage?" Ruthven asked. Ruffven shrugged. "Not really" he replied, this wasn't really the case, he just knew Ruthven would show him anyway. Ruthven did as predicted and removed the bandages, as they dropped down Ruffven eyed it with curiosity. 3 long deep lightning bolt shaped wounds were dragged along Ruthvens chest, they hadn't healed completely, with some parts emanating a small bit of pus. It certainly looked impressive, especially as Ruthven had survived it. "You know, women love a man with a scar. I guess as a Werewolf that's something you'll never encounter." Ruthven said with a smile.

"It's the bloodening tomorrow" Ruffven said. Ruthven shrugged. "Is that some sort of festival?" he asked. Ruffven shook his head. "Its when I kill and devour an innocent human to pledge my loyalty to Zamorak" he said, looking up. "Does it have to be Zamorak?" Ruthven asked. Ruffven growled. "Yes, he's the one that gave us this power, the one who helps us kill better, run faster, continue to survive." he said, looking up at the sky again. "I feel screwed over, Saradomin hasn't done a thing for me." Ruthven replied. "You should be thankful for Saradomin" Senior said walking in. "Its because of him the Vampyres haven't extended their grasp any further". Ruffven growled. "Don't be mad because your ancestors picked the wrong side" Senior said with a chuckle. Ruffven growled again.

"Enough about religion, the gods only know how many times I've had that argument with Rathven. Rathvens looking after the..... you know what I mean, its going to be ready for you tomorrow." Senior said, followed with a sigh. Ruffven gave a determined look. "I'm ready for it." he said. Ruthven patted him on the back. "I'll be there to support you too." he said with a smile. "No your not" Senior replied strictly. Ruthven gave out a whining noise. "But whyyyyyyyy?" Ruthven said sulking. "Because one, your human, two, your injured, 3, your not an adult, and 4, I doubt a good thing at your age is to see a human get ripped to shreds." Senior replied. Ruthven was still determined. "I don't care about any of that stuff." he said. Senior grunted. "How about no, because I'm your father and I won't let you." Senior finished. Ruthven stormed off downstairs, Senior followed after him whilst Ruffven decided to head back to bed.

Ruffven was up, fresh the next morning. Rathven greeted him with a smile as the little bit of sunlight made its way through the dank mist of the myre. "Ah, to be honest I never thought this day would happen, you were such a scrawny lad, now look at you" he said. Ruffven shuffled awkwardly. "Don't embarrass him dad. Were all proud of you" Romani said. Ruffven gave an awkward smile. Senior walked in. "Ruthvens still sulking, you got the... you know, set up" he asked Rathven. Rathven laughed. "You mean the entertainment, I've gotta hand it to ya, Zamorak would certainly be pleased" he replied. Senior put his hand on Ruffvens shoulder, he stared into the distance remembering when he didn't have to reach upwards to do so, "I'm not doing this for Zamorak" he replied sternly. He nodded to Ruffven, who replied with a nod and they both walked out the door.

"Why are you coming with me?" Ruffven asked. "Well, if I put 16 years work into something I want to see the end result" Senior replied. "Thanks" Ruffven replied. "I can't think how much guilt your human heart must be feeling" Ruffven replied. Senior chuckled. "Guilt's a powerful thing, but the amount I feel tells me I'm doing what's best for you, its something only a father can understand" he said, suddenly turning away from the path so that the wind hit their backs. "Can you smell him?" Senior asked. Ruffven sniffed the air, he could smell Ruthven about 100m behind them. "Your not going to stop him?" Ruffven asked. Senior shook his head. "I already tried, he won't accept no for an answer. Its not going to change anything is it?" Senior asked. Ruffven shook his head. "Good" Senior replied.

As Ruffven arrived at the spot, Rathven was there waiting for him, pride on his face. Senior sighed and walked off towards Romani. Rathven started the speech but Ruffven was distracted, he was more interested in the conversation between Senior and his mother. He was far away but Ruffven could hear them speaking. "Your staying?" She asked. "I have to, what sort of guardian would I be if I turned my back on his true self" he replied. "Your not his father." She replied sternly. "Then where is the father?" Senior asked. She growled. "Forget I asked." he replied. There was silence between them, Ruffven noted there was silence from Rathven as well, who had finished his speech and was now dragging something towards him. Ruffven looked closer, it was a human, a child, Ruffven wasn't sure how old because the only human child he had known was Ruthven. Ruthven was watching this. Ruffven gulped. "[Let the beast show itself]" Rathven shouted in Canic, Ruffven knew what was expected of him, but he had no idea how to even transform, last time it was an accident, but this time it was on purpose. Rathven threw it down to the ground in front of him, it scraped its knees, it looked up at him. They're eyes met, its eyes were whimpering, Ruffven flinched. Suddenly time slowed down, his senses were suddenly focused on Rathven, Ruffven heard it, a grunt, to Ruffven it meant disappointment, to Ruffven it meant anger, the smell of fresh human blood entered his nostrils and the beast broke free.

The child barely had a chance to scream, all it saw was a boy who looked only a few years older than they were, suddenly turn into some monster from a nightmare. Then it saw the jaws open, a row of sharp fangs heading closer and closer, than darkness. To Ruffven however this all happened slowly, he was savouring it. He pitied his human side, missing out on such strength, he praised Zamorak as he began to rip his kill open and feast on his reward. The taste was even better than before, it made him feel stronger, he howled in victory towards the sky. A few minutes later it was over, just a pile of blood bones and gristle was left, and a scary wolf beast. Ruffven stood there, panting the fur around his jaw was sticky with blood, but that was the only downside he could see at that moment. Romani ran over and showered him with praise, Rathven came over to and joined in, Ruffven finally felt accepted. However over in the distance he could see Senior a semi shocked look on his face, however when he noticed Ruffven looking at him he cracked a weak smile.

The day ended with Rathven heading over to the inn to celebrate and Senior stopping Romani from going, citing her problem. Ruffven meanwhile decided to just simply rest. Ruthven joined him in the bed opposite. "Soooo, how'd it go?" Ruthven asked, cracking a smile. Ruffven looked to him, he knew Ruthven had watched the whole thing yet he didn't look at him any differently. "Fine" he replied. "Good, good. So did they have to make you jump through a hoop or something?" Ruthven said with a chuckle. Ruffven growled, how was Ruthven fine with this. "I killed and ate a child!" he shouted. There was a brief silence. "Well anyways, my day was a complete bore, a insect flew in here at one point, but then it flew out again." Ruthven said, looking glum but hiding a small smile. There was more silence. "I decided I need to man up as well." Ruthven said. Ruffven looked surprised. "I'm going to take up an apprenticeship with the slayer master in Varrock, don't worry I'll visit you everytime you cross the river." Ruthven said with a smile. Ruffven was silent. That was 'if' he ever crossed the river.

Independence

Ruthven crossed over the bridge with a smile, twirling his blades. Senior and Ruffven watched from the other side, they both waved Ruthven off. "Try not to get yourself killed!" Senior shouted. Ruthven laughed. "Your the one living in Morytania!" he replied. Ruffven stood there, waving, his mind filled with various thoughts, as Ruthven disappeared into the temple, Ruffven tried to run after him, he suddenly found himself stopped by an unseen force, he didn't know why he just stopped. He shook himself and tried again, something was pushing against him, he tried to push himself forward further, a sudden shock ran through him and he fell backwards. He growled and stood himself up. Senior grabbed him stopping him from pushing further. "You fight against a god, there's no point" Senior said. Ruffven growled then sighed. "I hate him, Saradomin. What harm do I bring to his people yet I'm refused entry." Ruffven replied. Senior sighed. "It was a desperation move, but fortunately for you there might actually be a way for you to cross." he said. Ruffven looked towards him. "How?" he replied. "You have 2 advantages that the other werewolves here don't possess, your part human and you've been across before, many times. It means we might be able to trick Saradomin." Senior replied with a sly chuckle. Ruffven gave a small smile. "You can just disobey your god like that?" Ruffven asked. Senior shrugged. "He never mentioned an occasion like this, should've been more specific." he replied with a wink. "It'll take time though, I'd need to go do some research, you just stay here and enjoy your freedom." he said. Senior crossed over the bridge, Ruffven waved him off.

Ruffven opened the door to his house and went through. Romani was sorting through some artifacts and came away to greet Ruffven. "What's going on pup, I mean Ruffven" she asked. Ruffven sighed. "Senior and Ruthven have left, I have no idea what to do with myself." he replied. "He's been gone 1 hour and you can already see the drop in excitement around here" she said. "You'll probably be expected to start going on hunts soon, dad's out there now." she added. Ruffven sighed. "But what do I do now?" he said. Romani groaned. "Look, don't tell your grandpa I said this, but 'you' have a talent few in the village have" she said. Ruffven was confused. "You can use a weapon. We've lost the need to use those things with the claws Zamorak gave us, but there our enemies out there claws aren't good enough against." she said in a hushed voice. Ruffven nodded. "Anyway, you can't let that human, Ruthven, become a better fighter than you." she replied. Ruffven nodded. "Thanks mum." he replied. He went to grab his mace and shield and went out to find the Slayer Master.

The red skinned slayer master was there as always, he looked bored until he spotted Ruffven walking towards him. "Hullo there, Ruffven wasn't it, you after some new equipment?" he asked. Ruffven shook his head. "No thanks, I'm actually here for a contract" Ruffven replied. The Slayer master laughed, Ruffven frowned. "I don't see what's so funny" he said sternly. The slayer master broke from his laughter and looked him in the eye. "There's a reason for that, your a werewolf. We don't usually give contracts to the creatures we kill." he replied. Ruffven growled. "Your telling me you only give contracts to humans!?!" Ruffven shouted back. The slayer master nodded. Ruffven suddenly found himself chuckling. "When was the last time a human actually accepted a contract from you?" Ruffven asked. The slayer master chuckled. "It doesn't matter, humans only. Unless I'm mistaken and your actually human." he said with a sly wink. Ruffven nodded. "Of course, the werewolf things just a disguise against the villagers" Ruffven nodded slyly. The slayer master chuckled and handed Ruffven a piece of paper, Ruffven looked at it, it took him a while to read the words, it told him to acquire a set of nails from some beast called a Talon Beast. "You'll find it south of here, they have a particular aroma, not that it matters to you since your human" he replied. Ruffven nodded and headed south.

The contract was simple and completed quickly, Ruffven went back to get another one, not satisfied with the challenge. Ruffven was then asked to take care of a pack of bloodvelds in a cavern. "Bloodvelds?" Ruffven asked. "Never heard of bloodvelds, they live in areas with plenty of water, they're tongues are weapons don't let them touch you as they drain you of your life." Ruffven nodded, "Are the tongues valuable then?" Ruffven asked. The slayer master shook his head. "Nah, we only really get them from treasure hunters, cause most of the caverns here are by the swamp, they're often damp, perfect homes for Bloodveld" he replied. Ruffven nodded and headed down into the swamps.

The cavern in question was very cramped and slippery, Ruffven found it hard to keep upright, especially trying to balance his heavy weaponry. As he slid down, the cavern opened up to reveal a large pond, 3 strange pink creatures moved about through the water. Ruffven snuck closer to the water, he crept closer until he was up close to one before swinging his mace down onto the creatures head. It let out a squelch and splashed into the water, a cloud of red appearing where the body once was. Ruffven pulled out the mace and faced the other 2 bloodveld. He stepped backwards to avoid falling in the water. As one stepped out its tongue reached out to attack, Ruffven knocked it out the way with his shield then smashed the mace into the creatures head.

The creature fell down, but the last creature was already coming towards him. Ruffven struggled to pull out the mace and the creature took advantage of this, wrapping its tongue around Ruffvens leg. Ruffven let out a growl, his leg burnt like crazy, he felt himself getting weaker, Ruffven bashed the creature in the head with his shield, it didn't let go, Ruffven bashed it again and again and again. Eventually it let go but Ruffven didn't stop bashing, eventually Ruffven was bashing its head against the rock floor. Eventually the creature stopped moving, Ruffven looked at the creature, its head was mostly mush. Ruffven was satisfied with his job well done, he looked out into the lake and saw a gold shine in the centre. It looked interesting but Ruffven didn't care, however a sudden gust of wind coming from outside did, as did a strange scent, humans.

Without warning a human ran at him followed by 2 others. "I'm afraid now that you've seen the treasure, we can't let you leave" one of them said, obviously the leader of the group. Ruffven was about to explain he wasn't interested in the treasure but suddenly found himself being attacked. He blocked the attack with the shield and attempted to swing at the man with his mace, he missed but Ruffven decided to step forward and bash the man with his shield, the man quickly sidestepped the bash and slashed at Ruffvens wrist, Ruffven growled and dropped the shield, he was then subjected to a series of punches by the man, slowly exhausting Ruffven and knocking him down. The man laughed. "I thought the slayers over here would be a challenge" he said. Ruffven looked at his arm as he lay collapsed on the ground. Dark black blood seeped out of it, it gave Ruffven an idea.

Meanwhile the group of men were arguing about the treasure, a weak looking man in some loose fitting robes had gotten an idea. "How about we sell the slayer off to the werewolf village to the north, I heard a rumour they pay well for fresh meat" he said. Another man in some cheap ranger armour laughed. "Werewolves don't exist you idiot, they're probably just cannibals like in the wilderness" he said. The other man looked peeved but the leader of the group nodded. "I'm starting to think your right, we head all these rumours that going after this treasure would be dangerous, but nothing has happened. It's all rumours, theres nothing to fear he--" the man said, suddenly stopping. He looked at his sword, the tip was covered in a black substance. "That's strange, I'd of thought the tip would be re--" he said, once again suddenly stopping. The robed man was too busy looking at some notes. He noted the ranger was going "W-Weh-Weh", suddenly a splotch of red appeared on the notes, the robed man looked towards the leader, he was choking quietly, his neck bleeding like crazy, attached to the neck was a fur covered claw, which was attached to a fur covered arm, which was attached to a terrifying wolf like monster behind him. The monster smiled and pushed the leader hard to the ground, where the mans head cracked upon a rock. "Welcome to Morytania" it said in a growling voice.

Ruffven picked up the smell of fear from the remaining 2 men, 1 of them had robes which signified a mage, Ruffven attacked him first, he pushed him to the ground and examined the writhing body for the certain thing he was looking for. He found it, the rune pouch. He ripped it off, sending the bag and its contents into the lake below. There was a sharp pain in his back, he reached behind him and found something short and narrow sticking out, he pulled it out causing another sharp pain, it was a bolt, at first he thought it was bronze but on closer inspection it was rusted iron, he threw it to the ground and turned round, the other man was a short distance away, an old crossbow in his hand, Ruffven charged and knocked it out of his hand, breaking into pieces upon contact with the wall, the man simply stared at him shaking and stammering. Ruffven growled, the man let out a high pitched noise and fainted. Ruffven turned round and noticed the robed man getting up and attempting to run away, Ruffven slashed at him, the claw ripped through the cloth and into his legs, he tripped and smashed his head against the floor, he then lay still. Ruffven inspected the body, he was still alive but out cold.

Ruffven stood there taking deep breaths, the smell of blood entered his nose, his stomach rumbled, it had been a while since he had eaten, the thought of revenge still fresh in his mind. He stood over the robed man, something he had said earlier spoke to him. It would soon be winter, the slow season, when there are less creatures to hunt and the villagers starve. A sudden change of heart came over Ruffven, he decided his revenge had been sated and he would take the humans back to the village. His stomach rumbled in protest, Ruffven turned round and saw the leaders corpse on the floor, the ghast's and ravenous would get him if he attempted to bring 'that' back, so he decided to help 'dispose' of it.

Ruffven stayed in his wolf form the whole way back, the men were underweight but still heavy so Ruffven needed all the strength he could get. He stopped at the end of a barely used trail where he reverted to him human form, Ruffven spent a minute readjusting his armour and clothes and headed straight to the Slayer Master at the edge of the village. The slayer master was surprised to see Ruffven lugging around 2 humans, Ruffven dropped them onto the floor next to him. There was a brief silence. "Are you waiting for me to ask?" he said. Ruffven nodded. "I took care of the bloodveld, they had built a nest around a pile of treasure. Then the 3 humans who put out the contract in the first place attacked me, we fought and here we are." Ruffven said. The slayer master gave a curious look. "I notice there's only 2 of them here." he mentioned. Ruffven nodded, "A werewolf killed the leader of the group" he replied. The slayer master chuckled. "I see, so why did you bring them here?" he asked. "I didn't know what the code of conduct was for those who try to kill the slayer they hired, I'm hoping it's 'community service'" Ruffven said, trying to sound more intelligent than he actually was. The slayer master looked confused for a second than suddenly got it. He then chuckled. "Lets see what they have to say in defence" he said, grabbing a vial from his bag and waving the contents under the 2 men's noses" The men woke up slowly and then quickly when they realized what had happened.

"So, you 2 try to get a contract to clear out a cave, so you can get some treasure. Then despite the fact you should have known that our slayers aren't permitted to take treasure that hasn't fallen from the monster, you attempt to kill the one who was so helpful in the first place" the slayer master said calmly. "P-Please, we were just following orders." the ranger said, taking several rapid breaths. "He was paranoid, he thought everyone was out to get his treasure, we were probably going to be next, but he's dead now so it's fine" the mage added. "But it wasn't just the leader who attacked was it?" Ruffven asked. The 2 men suddenly noticed Ruffven, the rangers breathing got faster and the mage gulped. "Your the werewolf!" the mage said. Ruffven growled. The slayer master shook his head. "I'm afraid your mistaken, we don't allow werewolves as slayers" he said. "B-b-buh-but he..." the ranger said. "Now, did you attack this man at all, remembering he and this 'werewolf' are not the same people" the master said. The mage shook his head. "No we only attacked the werewolf" he replied. The slayer master nodded. "Very well then, since it was at the fault of your leader and he is now expired you are free to go" he said. The ranger cracked a huge grin. "Th-thank you" he said. Ruffven was shocked at the news. "But they--" Ruffven started to argue. "Do you disagree with their version of events, did they at any point attack 'you'?" the slayer master asked. Ruffven growled and shook his head. The mage reached into his bag and pulled out 2 tablets, the 2 men smashed them against the ground and disappeared.

"You let them go! After what they did!" Ruffven shouted. The slayer master sighed. "They were your client and they commited nothing wrong, we could not punish them under the code" he said. "But they fired at me!" he shouted. The slayer master shook his head. "They fired at the werewolf, someone who should not have been there in the first place, would you care to explain that?" the master said. Ruffven growled. "I was disarmed, had I-- he not appeared I would have been killed" he replied. The slayer master shook his head. "A slayer should be competent with his weapon... Strength isn't enough to win a battle" the master replied. Ruffven sighed. "Will you teach me?" Ruffven asked. "No." The answer caught Ruffven off guard. "I have my own job that requires most of my time, why not look for someone in the village who can teach you?" he suggested. Ruffven couldn't believe this. "But, Canifis is mostly werewolves, none of them know how to use a weapon properly" Ruffven said. "You know the old house North of here, the one you were told to avoid. Should you be able to persuade them, someone there will teach you" the master said. Ruffven thanked him, though wondered who it might be. He decided to head home first and get some rest.

Generations

Ruffven ate his dinner, he had no idea what it was and it tasted funny but this was the start of the winter season when food became scarce. Once Ruffven had finished a question popped in his head. "Grandpa?" Ruffven asked Rathven. Rathven grunted in acknowledgement, his mouth full of food. "Who lives in that old house in the northern part of the village?" he asked. Rathven swallowed. "Old what'sis face, I think he was a spy for the Vyres. He could hide among humans and integrate into their society for months, then one night, *keesh* the whole community wakes up with blood sporting out their throats. Why, your not planning on doing that for a living, theres not much call for that now since the war ended." Rathven said. Ruffven shook his head. "I hope not" Ruffven said to himself.

The next morning Ruffven paid a visit to the house, he knocked on the door, the door opened on its own. Ruffven couldn't smell anything out of the ordinary. He crept in silently and equipped his mace and shield. He looked around, old weaponry covered in dust adorned the walls, a suit of armour however stood spotless in the corner. Ruffven examined around some more when he heard the sound of metal clinking against the floor, Ruffven quickly turned round, he saw something coming towards him, he stepped backwards and felt the air in front of him be cut. The suit of armour came to life, it had swung a giant sword at him and was now preparing for another strike. Ruffven held out his shield ready for another attack. The sword hit it with a loud clang, Ruffven felt like his arm had almost shattered holding out against the blow. Ruffven rushed forward whilst the armour regained its composure and attempted to bash his shield into the armours face, the helmet fell off but Ruffven felt a shield bash against him knocking him back, the hand holding the sword backhanded him across the face and Ruffven fell down, he felt his face bleeding, he held his shield up do defend against a next attack, the sword came down but it stopped mid air. "Hmmph, that's a surprise" a voice in the armour said, Ruffven looked up at where the helmet had fallen off, there was a face, an old mans, grey hair, short grey beard, considering this was by werewolf standards he must have been at least 1000 years old. "Well, get up then" the old man said.

Ruffven got up, shaking himself off, he wiped his forehead, a black stain rubbing off on his hand. "Black blood, heh. I never thought I'd see the day one of your kind doesn't use their claws in battle" he said. "They do have a few disadvantages" Ruffven replied. The old man grunted. "Yeah, enough with the chit chat, I'm guessing you came here for training" he said. Ruffven nodded. "Forget it" he replied. Ruffven growled, he growled back louder. "Guess your not so great after all" Ruffven said, turning round to leave. Ruffven stood still for a moment. "Nice try pup, I wasn't born yesterday" he said. Ruffven sighed. "Well can you be brought?" Ruffven asked. "Can you turn back time?" he asked, Ruffven shook his head whilst rolling his eyes. "Then you have nothing I want" he said with a gruff. Ruffven was getting desperate. "I'll find someone else then, who taught you?" Ruffven asked. He burst out laughing. "A human, long dead, or undead knowing his luck. I'll tell you what kid you've earned yourself a reward, it's a story, that's all" he said.

"You see just over 1000 years ago, the river Salve was just that, a river. Zamorak was grateful is giving us such long lifespans that I was fortunate enough to be born before all this happened. The swamps were a dangerous place, there was a lot more chaos in these lands in those days. Canifis was non existant, it was just the ruins of an old city back then. All the werewolves lived in packs, I lived in a small pack, or so I'm told. See the thing is bloodenings were dangerous, the smell attracted many creatures each hoping to get a quick meal, worst was the ravenous. I had my bloodening, the smell attracted a huge nest of ravenous. I banged my head across a stone and got knocked out. Next thing I knew, I woke up in a tent and no memory of what had happened. Now here's the important bit, see a human came in to check on me, in a camp full of humans you just assume your human. You still listening?"

"Anyway, it was a human camp, specially trained about 100 men and women. All Silvthril gear, they were going after Vyres, ghasts anything unholy, even werewolves. Fortunately they were new, and their teacher was rubbish. They didn't know werewolves have 2 forms, so they assumed I was human. Anyway I stayed with them for about 2 years, I was looked after by 2 men Rosswell and Orf. They taught me to use a sword, both claimed my unnatural strength and speed was a great advantage and would praise me about it, they never questioned it. I guess when your reduced to adventuring in Morytania you take any chance you get. However Orf was a mace user, he kept suggesting I use one due to my strength. I can remember it well the lesson went like this" he said. As he got to the part about the mace training, he grabbed Ruffven and moved him around a bit. "You see they say maces are holy weapons, but they have a devastating effect. You want to swing like this, again, slightly more power --" he said continuing, teaching Ruffven each move. This continued for almost 3 hours, until the old man got tired. "I think that's enough for today" he said, panting slightly. Ruffven nodded. "That was a good story, I'd love to hear the rest of it tomorrow" Ruffven said. The old man chuckled. "Finally, someone interested in my stories, next time bring a glass of mead from the tavern" he said. Ruffven left, a hidden smile on his face. Senior had taught him everyone has a price, but sometimes the price only they could give, so you had to help them give it.

Ruffven had stayed up the last night practicing the moves he was taught. Apparently the angle and speed of the swing were much more important than he realized. He went back over to the old mans house, a fresh mug of mead in his hand. He knocked, opened the door and found the old man out of his armour, sitting in a chair. "Come on lets hear the rest of the story" Ruffven said, handing over the drink. "Ah, where do I start. Well you see I thought I was a strange human, I could smell danger from miles away, I ate meat raw, my blood was black, that reminds me, our doctor was hilarious. I'm rushed in to the tent by Ross, over the concern that I had cut myself during practice and black stuff was leaking out. The doctor simply said it was a rare genetic disease, apparently he'd met a human with blue blood and another with sparkling gold blood. Now that I think about it, he did love eating the mushrooms from the swamp. However there was one thing that haunted me."

"You see, a werewolf can't stay in his human form forever, you get primal urges to hunt and kill the weak. Once a month on the full moon, when I went to sleep I dreamt I was a monster, a monster with a sudden urge to kill. I thought nothing of it at first, I snuck through the dream camp as a monster and went into the 'ass of the camp's tent, I hated him, we all did. So I let the monster kill him and devour him. The next morning I woke up, everything was normal until a sudden scream resonated through the camp, the head cook had discovered the 'ass' ripped apart by something. I was concerned about it at first, but after a few days I forgot about it. 4 weeks later, I had a similar dream, and the same result happened when I woke up. I told Ross about this and he thought I might actually have a gift, to be able to see whose going to die next using my dreams. We thought it could be fine-tuned so that we could learn about this before the beast strikes. Of course the beast always managed to sneak into the camp, no matter what. Guards took patrols around the camp but still the beast struck. I'm sure its obvious to you what's happening but to us it was scary. I was always scared I'd be next. I always slept with my shield afterwards, speaking of shields Ross was an expert in the use of shields. He taught me how to --- let me just show you." he said, once again heading into teaching mode after the story finished.

And the story continued, each followed up with a training session. The story went like this. "Of course, after 2 years a large group had died. How many exactly? If your good with numbers you might say 26, but the monster got more daring, killing more than 1 person at a time at later dates, I believe it must've been about 40, 45 around that. The last week they got the 5 best eyes to be sentries around the camp, each looking outwards, 4 men died that night, all sentries, the beast wanted to show off. The 5th was lucky, that was me of course, just thought I'd rest my eyes when the dream started, however as the beast feasted on the 4th corpse a sword stabbed him in the back, it was pulled out quickly, but black blood flowed out the wound quickly, next thing I knew I'd woken from the dream, everything suddenly felt more realistic. Ross was standing there, he simply stared at the black blood wiped along the sword. The same as my blood, he recognised instantly. 'Ross...' I said calling out to him, before collapsing. *Deep Breath* Anyway his technique was slightly --"

"Oh yes back to this, I woke up to find myself being dragged into a tent, Ross obviously knew what was happening, he didn't know what to do though, so he dragged my body to Orf. He was confused to start with, then he too was in shock when he realized who I was. They tieds up the tent flaps from the inside and sat me up. 'Kanis, is that you?' Ross asked, I nodded. 'What are you?' he asked, I shrugged my shoulders, 'Why'd you do this?', I shrugged, 'Can you change back?' I shrugged again. Orf told me to take deep breaths, then he gave me some wine. I was calmer, then I turned back into my human self. They asked me to tell them everything I knew, I told them I thought this was all a dream, they believed me, then they talked about what to do with me. They both didn't want to kill me, I didn't want to be killed, so they decided to carry on as normal, I know, crazy. We headed back to Misthalin, Ross and Orf stayed with me, we worked on Ross's Families farm, lovely place, couldn't stand all the vegetables however. They dealt with my bestial side by checking for wanted posters, then I went out to go kill. One of the targets was this huge armoured guy, you ever see a guy like that you should --"

There were many more stories, each accompanied by more lessons, as the Winter ended Kanis became busier, Ruffven didn't know with what, but he stopped seeing Ruffven. Ruffven used this chance to do more Slayer Tasks, they were all much easier, Ruffven didn't go into Wolf Form once during any of the tasks. Ruffven had found his calling in life, though he didn't think about this much after the time he realized 500 years of Slayer might get boring.

Awakening

It had been almost a year since Ruthven had left, Ruffven was getting on fine. Whilst Senior was low on funds Ruffven helped support with his Slayer. Ruffven woke up early one morning to find Senior staring at him. "I've done it" he said. Ruffven yawned. "Done what?" he said. "I found a way for you to cross the Salve" he said. Ruffven scratched his head. "Huh?" "Come on I'll show you, help me bring the cart to the bridge, we have work to do." he said. Ruffven yawned again and got up.

Nostalgia flooded back as Ruffven brought the artefacts with him to the river, he was curious how exactly Senior managed to defy a god. Senior smiled, he pulled out a tablet and passed it to Ruffven. Ruffven shrugged. "What is it?" Ruffven asked. Senior smiled. "Smash it on the ground" he said. Ruffven was even more confused, if it took so long to acquire why would he break it. Ruffven smashed it against the ground anyway and suddenly felt weird, the world was changing around him, Ruffven was getting dizzy. He then found himself falling and he hit the ground with a thud. Ruffven stood up, span around a bit then threw up on to the ground. He then collapsed.

"Ruffven, get up!" Senior said, kicking Ruffven in the back. Ruffven groaned and got up. "What... was that?" he said. "You teleported, got a dark mage friend of mine to set it up, anyway welcome back to Misthalin" he said. Ruffven got up and looked around, he was indeed across the river, the Silvarea valley surrounded him. "Well come on, Varrocks waiting for us, grab the cart and we'll go" Senior said. Ruffven groaned but got up and grabbed the cart. They both headed towards Varrock.

Varrock was the same as usual, crowded masses, various stalls selling goods, Ruffven dragged the cart to the collector they usually sell the artifacts to. Ruffven stood outside the house, guarding the goods as per usual. He examined every one, most avoided eye contact with him, but a few nodded and 1 or 2 even waved and smiled, to think none of them realized what he really was, one was even coming up to him completely unaware. "Are you Ruthven Galands son?" he asked. Ruffven was caught slightly off guard by the question, then realizing he meant senior not Ruthven. "Errr yeah, he's just inside if you want him" Ruffven said, the man disappearing inside. A minute later Senior burst out, "Ruffven, leave the cart, come with me" he said. Ruffven did as he asked and followed him.

They disappeared away from the rich district towards a fairly large building. Ruffven recognised it from the smell, it was a hospital. Senior pushed open the doors and ran down a hall, Ruffven followed quickly behind him. Senior then entered a small room, a priest and 2 doctors stood around a bed with a woman lying in. Senior walked in and stopped suddenly. "What's happening exactly?" he asked. The doctor looked serious. "Her body's resisting the effects of the potion, the disease is spreading to the heart. We don't have the resources required to treat it at this stage, she has about a hour left" He said bluntly, without emotion. Senior stood there speechless. "She is waking up however, you can talk to her and then the priest will read last rites" the doctor said. "I understand, can you give me some time with her, alone" Senior asked. The doctors nodded, leaving and taking the priest with them. Ruffven was now alone with Senior and the woman on the bed. Ruffven had a feeling who she was, she was around Seniors age, brown curled hair going grey in parts, a soft warm face, but she smelt of death. It was Ruthvens mother.

Senior walked over, stroking the womans face and hair. He leant in closer, her eyelids shuddered then opened slowly, weak they winced slightly at the sight of the light. She looked up at Senior. "Darling, I'm sorry" she said softly. Senior coughed then regained his composure. "I failed you, the best doctors, the most potent potions, and it only delays it. Serenity I've missed you." he said. She smiled. "It wasn't your fault, don't hurt yourself. Just tell me everything's all right, little Ruthvens alright" she said. Senior nodded. "Everything's great, were finally making more money than we could possibly need, and Ruthvens no longer little he ---" he stopped suddenly, bursting into tears. "Dear, I know you've been waiting for me for so long, but I'm sorry to disappoint you" she said. Senior was on his knees, crying into his hands. "Little Ruthven, you've grown up without me" she said, noticing Ruffven. Ruffven shuffled awkwardly, he didn't know what to do, he took a deep breath and gave a small smile like Ruthvens. "Err... hi mum" he said.

She smiled. "Come closer, let me look at you" she said. Ruffven shuffled forward and knelt beside her. "You look just like your father, only much taller, and with different eyes" she said. Ruffven felt slightly concerned that he looked like someone he wasn't related to. "Thanks" he said awkwardly. "I know it must've been hard, I can see it in your eyes. They aren't normal, they show more conflict and death than an experienced soldier." she took a deep breath and smiled. "They're either the eyes of a hero or a Serial Killer, which one are you son?" she asked. Ruffven had a sudden flashback of himself tearing out a childs throat, a lump formed in his throat. Finally he thought of something. "I'm a Slayer" he said. She smiled. "That's great, you know I think your great great great grandfather was a Slayer, on your dads side. He was a good one at that to, he helped so many people, however he crossed the Salve and never returned, I think his Silvthril Rapier is still out there" she said. Ruffven gulped again, he suddenly realized that she was talking about his great grandfather, Rathvens human father, the reason he's not fully Werewolf. "Make sure to help plenty of people, and remember. You may have to do bad things but your still a good person inside" she said. She hugged Ruffven, who smiled back awkwardly. She grabbed Seniors hand. "You shouldn't have to watch this son, go and send in the priest. Saradomin will see me safely out of this world" she said. Ruffven nodded and left, he could hear the sounds of sobbing behind him. He exited the door and sent in the priest, he rubbed his eye as he left the building, his finger slightly moist.

Ruffven decided to head back to the place he and Ruthven spent most of their time at, the Combat Training Centre. Ruffven entered, all the dummies were taken by young boys all practicing with wooden swords. A tall man approached him. "Looking to do some sparring, its been a while since I practiced against a mace swinger" he said. Ruffven nodded. The man nodded back, pointing towards the area where the equipment was stored, Ruffven grabbed a wooden mace and shield. He faced the man in the small arena near the centre of the room. The man stepped forward, obviously thinking Ruffven was a novice, he attacked with a few inaccurate strikes which Ruffven easily deflected. Ruffven went along with the deception, remembering his training. When the man went to launch another strike at him Ruffven stepped forward quickly and bashed hard against the mans hand with his shield, the man grunted and as expected he dropped the sword, Ruffven however was already striking hard against the base of the mans shield, it hit and the man struggled to keep hold of it Ruffven was already bringing it back and swung it at the mans chest, it caught the tip of the shield but carried on and struck the man in the chest, the man was winded and bent over, kneeling on the floor. He took a few seconds to catch his breath. "I was an idiot and you played on it. Your stronger than you look, I'll remember this next time." he said. Ruffven nodded. "I was hoping to have a round 2" he said. The man chuckled, then you shouldn't have swung so hard, the last guy I faced, he'll be a challenge for you. I'll set the match up for you right now." he said. He walked over slowly off to get the next opponent. Ruffven smiled to himself, this was the first time he'd beaten someone in combat who wasn't Ruthven, and that was years ago. "You ready, alright lets make it 3 rounds, first to 2 wins, wins the whole thing" the man said. Ruffven realized the match was starting, he couldn't see who he was facing clearly, but he saw his opponent throw a cloak into the audience, which ended up blinding a little kid. Ruffven stepped into the arena spun his mace, and gave a determined look when he saw his opponent. His opponent smiled. "I was hoping for a bit of a challenge, brother" he said. Ruthven.

"I'm worried, I don't want to break your rib cage" Ruffven said. Ruthven laughed. Ruffven remained expressionless. "Right then lets do this" Ruthven said. He drew both swords, he ran forward and swung both at the same time, Ruffven pushed upwards with his shield, Ruthvens swords were both pushed up, his chest was defenceless, Ruffven swung the mace into his chest. Ruthven fell backwards on to the floor. There was a cheer from the crowd. "Round 1 to me.... are you ok?" Ruffven said. Ruthven was still lying on the ground. "*Cough* I'm fine. *Cough* Just warming up" Ruthven replied.

After a minute or so Ruthven got up and dusted himself off. Ruthven spun both blades around in his hands. "Why don't you make the first move brother?" Ruthven asked. Ruffven shook his head. "Scared?" he said. Ruthven chuckled. He quickly rushed forward, he then swung 1 sword towards him, Ruffven deflected the blow and attempted to push forward with his shield. Ruthven stepped backwards and then side stepped around the shield. Ruffven went to turn around but was too slow, he suddenly felt cold steel pressed against his throat. Ruffven sighed, he had let his guard down. Ruthven chuckled again.

"Final round brother, I'll try to--" Ruthven started to say, Ruffven wasn't going to let him as he went to go on the offensive. He swung the mace hard towards Ruthven, who attempted to deflect it and found his sword flying out of his hands, though he quickly managed to get out the way afterwards. Ruffven wasn't going to let him get away, he chased after him, Ruffven feigned swinging his mace to get Ruthven to run to the left of his shield, which he responded by knocking Ruthven on to the floor. Ruffven quickly swung the mace towards Ruthven, who rolled out the way and quickly got up. He then slashed at Ruffvens chests, Ruffven quickly responded by pushing the sword up with his shield, the blow was deflected and Ruffven felt the blade brush against his cheek. Ruffven dropped his mace and punched Ruthven in the ribs, Ruthven responded by bending towards the ground. Ruffven quickly slammed his shield against Ruthven who fell to the floor once again. Ruffven grabbed the shield and attempted to slam it on to Ruthven on the ground, suddenly Ruthven pushed himself out the way, moved to the back of Ruffven and pressed his sword against the back of Ruffvens head. Ruffven dropped his shield. "I can't believe it..." he said. Ruthven chuckled, a cheer erupted from the crowd. Ruffven was dumbfounded, how could his brother move that fast, suddenly he smelt blood, but not human blood. A drop of black blood fell on to the floor.

Ruffven had a cut on his face, not a deep one but enough to bleed. Ruffven started to worry, then remembered the plan senior had taught him. "Hey Ruth, dad asked me to get some ink off you" Ruffven said. "What for?" Ruthven replied. Ruffven performed a hand gesture at Ruthven. "Oh, oh, sure here you go, woops" he said, pulling out a ink bottle than tripping up, spilling ink all over Ruffvens face. "You idiot!" Ruffven shouted, grabbing Ruthvens cloak to wipe it off with, the ink hiding the blood on his face. The man came over. "You were always a klutz Ruthven, but you sure are quick. Your brother is good with a mace too." he said. Ruffven went to leave when he saw Senior, marks where tears had fallen still stained his face. "Thanks" he said. Ruffven nodded.

Retirement

Whilst Ruthven was off who knows where killing demons and saving women, Ruffven was spending his days the same way each time, either completing contracts or helping Senior out with his business. Occasionally there would be a break in the repetitiveness when Ruffven would have a day off, which he would spend practicing combat at the tower. It was a boring as training Slayer without high enough combat for a good master. Ruffven was bored, he realized just how dull it was in Canifis without Ruthven with him. 3 years he put up with this, until he had another day off, which he decided to spend by revisiting his old teacher.

Ruffven knocked and entered the room, inside was Kanis staring at old relics. "Master?" Ruffven asked. Kanis jumped and turned round, he scowled. "What do ya want? Can't you see I'm busy?" he replied. "With what?" Ruffven asked, curious to see what kept his master occupied. "Remembring, about how my life went to sh**" he said. Ruffven passed him a mug of mead, hoping to get him to talk about it, Kanis smacked it out of his hand, angry. "What you want me to talk about it, you no why I stopped seeing you, because my stories no longer have happy endings after the last one, I've exhausted everything happy from my life now" he shouted. Ruffven nodded. "I don't care about the endings" he said. "Of course you bloody don't, but I do! Look if it'll make you go away I'll start on them" he said, slammed down into a chair.

"You see Lord Drakan, glorious though he is, decided Morytania was too small, Misthalin was nearby plenty of healthy humans etc. Anyway raiding parties started, Paterdomus was quickly taken and all the villages along Silvarea were taken as well. Of course Misthalin didn't stand for it, so they declared war. Conscription was introduced. Me, Orf and Ross were called up. Orf was moved into another battalion but Ross managed to persuade people to let me and him be together, due to his experience he became a Captain and I was his 2nd in command. We had a small group, mostly farmers that were suddenly trained to be warriors. There were all these drills you see, we had to swing like this, it was pathetic but there was one useful thing I learnt..." he said, reminiscing. Ruffven looked at him expectedly. "What?" Kanis asked. "Are you going to show me the thing you learnt?" Ruffven asked. Kanis got really angry. "No I'm bloody not, you wanted me to tell a story with a bad ending, does that sound like a bad ending, no! Forget it, your only interested in the lessons." he said. Kanis said, sulking. Ruffven left briefly and came back with another mug of mead. Kanis stared at him angrily for a few seconds before taking it out of Ruffvens hand and drinking it.

"Now you see, if you know your history of Misthalin you'll know it was those 7 priests who finally helped Misthalin win. Unfortunately for them, they weren't part of the army yet. That left guys like us to defend it, we had a few victories in battles, of course that changed when we got to the vyres. You see vampyres are naturally lazy creatures, they're born powerful and rarely bother to learn to fight seeing as they're resistant to practically every weapon, but when they 'do' learn to fight, they're terrifying. We were only against juvinates and some undead but they were slaughtering us, waves upon waves of them. I took out about 500 undead and maybe 10 juvie's. However not everyone in our group was lucky, actually only me, Ross and a few others were lucky, if you could call it that. Unfortunately we were forced to surrender, and only because of 1 vyre. He was a vyrewatch 'and' he knew how to fight, which meant he effortlessly slaughtered us. Of course he took particular interest with me, mainly cause a wound on my face was bleeding.

'"This is definitely a surprise, one of Zamoraks loyal dogs fighting his own kind." he said. "Shove it, kill me now bat brains" I replied. Unfortunately I regretted that, those spells hurt like the abbys. "Now this is a great idea, we could use a spy" the vyre said afterwards. "Urghh... Forget it, nothing you can do to me will make me work for a vyre" I replied. Maybe if I had agreed then he wouldn't have had the idea then. He grabbed Ross and started torturing him in front of me, it lasted 5 minutes before I broke. "Good doggy, remember do what I say then I won't have to turn your friend into a zombie, it can become a painful process if done properly. Now first test, I don't need the rest of your sorry group, kill them" he replied.' Kanis suddenly made a deep sigh. "It felt so good when my claws ripped through their flesh, but deep down I hated it, I hated him, I hated myself. Perhaps if I... Ah just shut up and follow my lead" Kanis said, suddenly grabbing his sword ready to teach more tricks.

And so the lessons went on, each one accompanied by ever depressing stories of moving into patrols, making friends, then butchering them when they least expect it, ending with him finding out he had to do it all over again. Ruffven forced himself to listen, thinking there would be some tip, or that something would work out for Kanis, it didn't. A few months later the stories were obviously drawing to a climax, and that Climax hit hard. Ruffven walked in with 3 glasses, knowing he'd probably have to make a few trips between the inn and the house, Kanis was there waiting for him.

"So as I was saying those damn priests arrived, the vyres weren't expecting that, thousands of years of knowledge and they didn't see this coming. You see humans have 1 thing going for them, they have short lifespans so they're more resourceful, more determined. They sent the watch after them but the vyres were inexperienced, relying on primal skills. It was a huge blow to the vyre's morale, they pushed up to Paterdomus then held out getting ready for something big. I was on the east side of the river, fighting back undead, tired of working for the vyres. However they weren't through tormenting me. Orf was on the other side of the river, he had been ordered to stay there and was just throwing various projectiles at the undead horde, then it cleared one of the undead attacked me, nothing unusual about it, until I turned round and stabbed it, it wasn't an undead, it was Ross. He fell to the ground, dead, Orf saw it too, he shouted. I grabbed his body, overcome by grief I decided to carry it over the river back to Orf. I stepped in, carrying him above the water, then it hit me, Saradomin had struck me."

"The Salve had just been blessed that moment, pain like no other swept through me and I dropped Ross, his corpse flowing downstream. I forced myself over to the bank, the east bank. I collapsed onto the ground, last thing I saw was Orf looking at me, a mixture of anger, confusion and disappointment. The last thing I heard was that damn vyre laughing" Kanis said, taking a deep breath. There was a slight pause in the story. "After the battle I simply joined another pack, the packs merged together and eventually Canifis was created, I met a female, we had 2 kids. The vyres took her for blood after a bad year, just to spite us. Then the incident at the bloodening, I lost both kids, and I've spent the rest of my life here, surviving off of mead and what I can hunt at night" he said. Ruffven was silent.

"And after?" Ruffven asked. Kanis looked towards him. "After that some kid showed up wanting training and I told him my life story, and I had to relive all the sadness I've been trying to forget. Eventually he passed on everything he knew about combat to the kid and knowledge on even more. Then I decided my life is complete" Kanis said. Ruffven looked confused. "What do you mean?" Ruffven asked. Kanis went over to a corner of the room, picked up the armour on the floor and put it on, he grabbed his sword and shield. "I'm carrying on the offensive, I'm gonna march up to Darkmeyer, find that damn vyre and kill him. Anything that gets in my way will get run through" he said, proceeding to walk towards the door. Ruffven stepped up suddenly. "What, are you crazy? You'll be--" Ruffven started to say. "Anything includes you, kid." he said, shoving Ruffven out of the way with his shield. He kicked open the door and walked out, Ruffven never saw or heard from him again.

Returning

Another year passed, Ruffven hadn't heard anything about Kanis and it slightly worried him. His house hadn't been moved into, nobody realised he had left, so everyone assumed he was still there. One day on a trip to Varrock, Ruffven smelt blood in the air. This wasn't strange but around the area Ruffven could also detect Ruthvens scent. He followed the scent where he came across Ruthven battling some kind of Rock Monster, below the Dwarven Village. Ruffven helped his brother defeat it, afterwards finding out his brother was on assignment for the Heroes Guild Entrance Exam. Ruffven helped his brother out and found out that Ruthven was planning on moving back to Canifis in order to take on quests sent over there.

Ruffven returned to Canifis, meeting his brother the next day. They got up to a variety of adventures that can be read about on Ruthven Galand's page. 5 or so years later, Ruthven got invited to his friends birthday party, and decided to bring along Ruffven. Ruffven was slightly confused and Ruthven was slightly intoxicated at the time, but Ruthven mentioned his dream was to start a questing team to do quests in Morytania, that would consist of him, his friends and his brother. Ruffven wanted to make Ruthven happy, and Slayer was quickly getting boring, so he decided to agree and come along with him.

Ruffven unfortunately did not realise what he had gotten into. Ruthven also had to grab his friend Charron Armen for the party as well. Unfortunately Charron was located on an island called Aminishi, that was a very long boat ride away. Which was an unfortunate day for Ruffven to discover he suffered from sea sickness. After a long unpleasant journey they reached the island where Charron got on, as well as his 'friend' Dagger, who happened to be a creature called a Dagganoth. Ruffven didn't think this was strange for Gielinor but Ruthven was disturbed by it. They arrived back at Port Sarim and walked all the way to Burthorpe.

The next day they arrived in Burthorpe. Ruthven was freezing, he'd forgotten to bring any winter clothing with him. At least he had the satisfaction that with a lack of fur, Ruffven was also unprepared. Charron, despite only wearing 1 layer, didn't seem affected. He and that creature seemed accustomed to the weather. "So where are we headed?" Charron asked. "Jacobs house, his family own a Smithy around here somewhere." Ruthven said. They eventually wandered into a street that had 3 blacksmiths. "Which one is it?" Charron asked. Ruthven looked at all 3 'John, Simon and Brian' Ruthven was hoping one would say South... whatever Jacobs surname was. "Look we'll start at John, that was Jacobs middle name." he said, trying to sound intelligent. "So was Brian..." Charron muttered. As they entered John's Smithy they encountered a man with a big black beard and slightly balding. "Can I help you?" he asked. Ruthven smiled. "Yes, were Jacobs friends." Ruthven said. "Oh, I'm just finishing these trims, Jaks! Jake's friends are here!" he said. Suddenly a woman walked down the stairs, immediately grabbing his attention. She had long blond hair and blue eyes and an amazing smile. Dressed in white, pure as snow. "Oh Welcome!" she said. Then promptly kissing Ruthven twice on both cheeks. Ruthvens went still, it had been so long since a girl had kissed him. He almost fainted. She kissed everyone but Ruthven didn't really pay attention. He saw her lips move, the words "I love you." seemed to come out. "Huh?" Ruthven said. "I said were setting up the party downstairs, Jacobs expected to arrive soon." she said, shoving everyone downstairs. "Wow is that a dagganoth, I thought they never left Kandarin." she said excitedly. Ruthven left Charron and 'Jaks' talking about the creature. Ruffven followed, nervously examining the place.

Ruthven and Ruffven chatted for a bit, Charron came to join them, but Dagger wasn't with him. "Where's Daggers?" Ruthven asked. Charron sighed. "Jacob's mum is with him, you know what her job is?" Charron said. Ruthven shrugged. "Wasn't it something medical, like a nurse?" he asked. Charron shook his head. "She's a dangerous creature veterinarian, she travels round helping heal the dangerous pets of the rich and stupid." Ruthven shook his head in disbelief. Charron nodded. "She's examining Dagger now, never had a chance to examine a live one." he said. At that moment, 'Dagger' walked slowly down the stairs and up to Charron. It simply stared straight ahead, Charron tried waving his hand in front of its face but to no avail. "Is he ok?" Ruffven asked. Charron rubbed his head. "He'll be fine." he said. Suddenly the sound of the front door opening could be heard. Ruthven thought it might be Jacob but 2 old men came down instead. Ruthven recognized them as Centauri and Jacobs other grandparent. "Jacobs coming. Everyone quieten down." Centauri shouted. As the 2 of them rushed downstairs. 20 seconds passed. The front door opened. "Mum! Dad! I'm home!" Jacob shouted. Ruthven recognized the voice, he wanted to see the surprise on his face. "Hey son." Jacobs dad said. "Could you help your mother downstairs quickly" "sure." Jacob said. *Step* *Step* *Step* Ruthven could see his foot. *Step* Step* "Surprise!" shouted Jaks, this was followed by a few late murmurs of 'prise...' "What's going on?" Jacob asked. Jaks jumped up and down in excitement. "Happy Birthday Jakey, look we even invited your friends." Jacob turned to look at Ruthven. He hadn't changed much except his hair had gone darker. Ruthven smiled at him, Jacob walked over to greet him. "Happy Birthday Jac-- *Oof*" Ruthven exclaimed, suddenly punched in the gut by Jacob.

Jacob talked to Charron, whilst Ruthven writhed in agony. He slowly got up. "Urghh.. what was that for?" he asked whilst clutching his stomach. "Abandoning me so you could get a vacation back home!" Jacob shouted. Jacob chose to ignore Ruthven for the time being. "Huh, has mum been bringing home patients again?" Jacob said, noting the Daggermouth. Charron was smiling for once, probably brought on by Ruthven being in pain. "No, he's mine. This is Dagger." Charron said. Jacob bent down and said "Hello Dagger.", there was no response. "Is he ok?" Jacob asked. "I think your mum did something to him." Charron said. Jacob smiled as if he understood something. He turned to face Ruffven. "Do I know you?" Jacob asked. "I'm Ruthvens brother, Ruffven." Jacob looked suspicious. "Your not anything like your brother are you?" Jacob asked. Ruffven shook his head. "Then your welcome at this party, help yourself to some food or whatever." Jacob said. He and Charron went off to speak with Centauri. Ruthven looked towards Ruffven, he was acting shy. "So, what do you think of Jacob?" Ruffven shrugged. "He seems friendly enough, though I can't see how he's any good in a fight either." Ruffven said. Before Ruthven could respond, Ruffven had headed off to get something to eat. Ruthven was left alone with the Daggermouth.

Time passed, eventually Jacob forgave Ruthven and the two of them got talking again. Ruthven was enjoying it, however he could see Ruffven sitting near the creature and talking to it. It was nice to see Ruffven wasn't completely alone, but it could have been better if he actually talked to some human companions. Whenever the conversation turned to Ruthvens 'vacation' he would try to avoid mentioning Ruffven. He presented his sword to Jacob, Jacobs reaction wasn't what he was expecting but Ruthven smiled anyway. His dad got Jacob an awesome shield, it looked like an 'X' and it could be rotated. Ruthven's heart skipped a beat though when he saw Jacob try the Mead from Ruthvens keg, he knew at once it was Moonlight Mead, which Jacob probably knew where it came from. Jacob tried it, he didn't seem to recognize it, but he enjoyed it. Ruthven couldn't believe it. Eventually the party died down, Jacobs parents and his grandparent went upstairs, leaving Jacob, Charron, Ruthven, Ruffven, Centauri and the Daggermouth downstairs.

"I thought I'd give you my presents for you now Jacob." Centauri said. He presented the lizard mask which Ruthven recognized. "This is a Jadinko Horus Mask, it goes to the ultimate killer of Mutated Jadinko's." he said. Jacob thanked him and decided to put it on. Jacob grunted and clutched the back of his head for a few moments before standing up straight again. Jacob looked up, the mask looked remarkably lifelike, then it blinked. Ruthven jumped at the sight of the mask coming to life. "What isss it?" Jacob asked, Ruthven noticed his s's were slurring as the mask moved its lips when Jacob talked. "The mask... its A-Alive!" Ruthven said. Centauri chuckled. This is a Horus mask, they were created by a spectacular mage and craftsmen, they replicate the movements of your face to match the movement of the mask. However it only works on the people who have actually learnt to kill the beasts effectively." Centauri said. Ruthven was amazed by it. "It must be worth a fortune!" Ruthven exclaimed. Centauri shook his head. "Only to the right person, anyone who hasn't trained for it will find it useless." he explained. Charron stared at it intently. "And that's not all. Here." Centauri handed Jacob a letter. Jacob opened it and read it. He looked up at Centauri who started smiling. "Well! What does it say?" Ruthven asked, curious. "Itsss from the guild. Itsss an invite to do the Legendsss Guild Entrance Exam." Jacob said, his lizard face smiling. Ruthven couldn't believe it. First he was annoyed that Jacob had been inducted before him, but then he was excited. "That's amazing!" Ruthven shouted. "Its Incredible." Charron said, astonished. "We can head off tomorrow, us 4!" Ruthven exclaimed. "4?" Jacob asked. "Well Charrons got to come obviously..." Ruthven said. "Oh your brothersss coming, that's fine." Jacob said. "Is it though?" Centauri asked.

"Look this may come as a shock to you Jacob but Ruffven is..." Centauri started to explain. "A werewolf." Jacob said. Ruthven gulped. Ruffven looked slightly awkward. However Charron still seemed confused. "Wait... how could you possibly know that?" Charron asked. Jacob looked proud as he got to show his reasoning. "Hisss sssize, awkwardnesss around people, hisss age, the mead and the fact Ruthven repeatedly mentioned they were from Canifisss. It wasss quite likely he wasss one." Jacob explained. Ruffven huffed. "So why didn't you have a problem with it?" Ruffven asked. Jacob shrugged. "Ssshould I?" he asked. Ruffven was about to open his mouth but Ruthven shushed him. "Well seeing as you already knew, I guess its fine for you 4 to go together." Centauri said. Ruthven cheered silently. The 3 of them were back together again and going on another quest, but this time he had Ruffven with him as well.

Acquaintance

It was official. Ruffven hated boats. He hated everything about sailing, the rocking of the boat, the drunken shenanigans of the sailors, the way the cabin boy kept making faces at him. But worst of all was the smells, the constant smell of fish was driving Ruffven mad, he use to like fish before he went sailing but he couldn't go anywhere without smelling it, the smell made him sick, which he occasionally demonstrated by throwing up over the side of the ship. They had decided to take a boat from Catherby to Ardougne as it was the quickest route there, as Charron had ran out of law runes.

Ruffven decided to take his mind off things by talking with his new companions. Jacob was constantly reading so he decided to chat with Charron. They never really talked together since they met and Ruffven was getting tired of his brothers stories. Charron was a mage and he had the grey beard and staff to match it, however one thing Ruffven noticed about him was that his build was more of that of a warrior, and instead of robes he wore animal hide. Ruffven wasn't sure of the animal but it had scales like a snake, it was green and had a jaw with a long row of sharp teeth that had been made into a sleeve. It looked much tougher than the cow Ruthvens armour was probably made from.

Ruffven walked over and greeted Charron. "Hey" Charron replied. There was an awkward silence between the 2 of them. Charron coughed. "So, your a werewolf?" Charron asked. Ruffven took a deep breath, it looked like the conversation was going down this route. "Yes, And your a human?" Ruffven replied. "Yeah" Charron said. More silence. "What's a Dagganoth?" Ruffven asked. Charron gave him a weird look. "You've seen Dagger, he's a Dagganoth" Charron replied. "Then why is Ruthven so concerned about them?" Ruffven asked. "Because Ruthven doesn't think you can be friends with one!" Charron replied angrily. "Why?" Ruffven asked, finally realizing he could get a conversation out of this. "Because he's close minded!" Charron replied getting slightly louder. "Close minded?" Ruffven asked, not understanding the term. Charron took a few deep breaths. "Dagganoth live in the North Sea, they mainly live on fish, crabs and humans. That's why Ruthven is concerned, but Daggers different..." Charron said, quietening down. Ruffven could see Charron wasn't the talkative type so said goodbye and left him.

Ruffven finally started to feel better as they pulled into port. Ruthven disembarked first, a smile on his face. "I havn't been to Kandarin in years!" Ruthven declared. A hooded Jacob walked past him, the mask he had received had been a great present however Jacob couldn't remove it, his grandfather had said it would come off eventually but he hadn't specified how long, the hood covered the mask fortunately and Jacob had learnt to speak without slurring the 's' sounds. "Well were not staying long, it's to the legends guild then we might head to my house for supplies, depending on the location" Jacob said. Ruffven departed next, restraining himself from kissing the ground in celebration. Charron shortly followed after. The 4 of them waited for everyone to get ready and headed north to the legends guild.

Along the way they chatted, Charron was much more comfortable talking in a group Ruffven noticed. "So legend is the rank above Hero, correct?" Ruffven asked. Ruthven nodded. "I can't believe out of all of us, they picked Jacob" he replied, smirking at Jacob. "That's because some of us were working while the rest of you took a break from the main story to go on a holiday" Jacob replied. Ruthven laughed. "Holiday, in Morytania. Where the mosquito's are much bigger, stronger and bat like. And the locals turn all furry when you get them mad, yeah of course I was relaxing." Ruthven said, chuckling to himself. Charron grunted. "How many girls did you attempt to go out with?" he asked. Ruthven smirked. "None actually, I was to busy working" Ruthven replied smugly. "What about that dinner date with--" Ruffven started to say but Ruthven quickly interrupted. "Yeah, that was an information gathering mission" Ruthven replied nervously.

They arrived at the legends guild, it certainly looked legendary. A huge building surrounded by a long Mithril fence, in front a huge shield bearing the names of all the guilds members. Jacob went in whilst Ruffven, Charron and Ruthven analyzed the names. "I would've thought they wouldn't talk much about legendary humans where you come from?" Charron suggested. Ruffven nodded. "The only ones I know of come from my time in Varrock, I can't see Arrav on this list though" Ruffven replied, struggling to read the tiny writing. Ruthven smiled. "There's a statue of him in the Heroes Guild, alongside Camorra. Look, right at the top. That's Raddimus, the Grand Vizier. Dad told me about him" Ruthven said. Charron nodded. "Didn't Jacob's Grandfather become a legend?" he asked. "HIM, I don't think so, you saw how old he was" Ruthven replied with a chuckle. "I'm older than him" Ruffven said, attempting to prove age doesn't matter. "But for a human he didn't seem at all scared about entering Canifis" he stated. Ruthven nodded. "Don't you find it strange that all Jacob's family live so long? I mean his great grandfather is still moving about and --" Ruthven started to say, however Jacob came out with a list of tasks.

"So, where are we going?" Ruthven asked. Jacob chuckled. "Sorry, no other questing guild members can help." he said. Ruthven sighed, Charron looked disappointed too. "Anyway, apparently its a standard exam, find an area, chart it, meet the locals, help them, bring back a gift for the guild." Jacob said. Ruthven got excited. "Well come on, what are me and Charron missing out on" he asked. Jacob showed them a map, Ruffven examined it. There was a lot of yellow and In the corner there was a tiny dark green area surrounded by a dark brown area. "It's the wet part of Kharidia, the swamp lands in the far South East." Charron suddenly became interested. "I stopped there once, only briefly but we got attacked by a massive crocodile. I have a feeling if that was the first thing we saw there'd be a lot worse thing in there" Charron said. Ruffven noted the name crocodile and imagined a beast like that coming towards him. "What's all the yellow surrounding it?" Ruffven asked. Jacob looked towards him, Ruffven probably imagined he looked like an idiot. "It's sand." Jacob said. "Sand? You mean the like on a beach, the whole area is sand!" Ruffven said, unable to believe a place like that existed, which made him want to see it. Jacob chuckled. "Yep, come on we'll need to prepare and I have some desert gear back at my place" Jacob said. Ruthven groaned. "But we just came from Burthorpe!" he said. Jacob smiled, but no one could see. "The pages don't stop turning in one place only, come on to Yanille" he said.

Ruffven was glad the trip to 'Yanille' didn't involve a boat, it was about a days walk south of Ardougne, Ruffven wondered what it would look like. Yanille looked similar to Ardougne, Ruffven was hoping for a change in scenery from the standard human settlements he had seen. They all followed Jacob to his house, located in the Western part of Yanille, it was bigger than the surrounding houses and a lot of it had scaffolding around it. "Heroes Guild contracts pay well, I imagine Legends Guild ones pay even better" Jacob said. Jacob showed them into a living room, a few chairs and many books scattered around the place. "This is a nice place" Ruthven said, "Who looks after it while your gone" he asked. "I've hired a gardener and 2 guards to look after the place, a few people know my story around here and help out when they can" Jacob said. Ruffven was amazed that questing paid so well.

They headed down some stairs into a basement area, Jacob lit a lantern and showed them around. "I had the underground work done first, last place theives would expect to look, the gear is down here. Jacob showed them to a large room that contained questing trophies, weapons, armour and other things. It looked like a more organized version of the shop back in Canifis. "Hey Jacob can I borrow some stuff" Ruthven asked. Jacob nodded. "I assume you'll all at least be coming to the desert to see me off, you can carry on your stories in a different part" Jacob said. Ruthven grabbed Ruffven and pulled him over to the section with all the clothing. "Come on Ruff, you've never been to the desert before so you'll need plenty of equipment." he said. "What's the desert like?" Ruffven asked. "Hot!" Ruthven replied with a smile, "Here pass me your bag, you'll want to get changed into these" Ruthven said passing him a set of dust coloured robes. Ruffven took off his armour and clothes and got changed there, they were very loose fitting and Ruffven could feel a slight chill as he wore them.

"Ruth, I'm going to freeze to death in these" he said to Ruthven. Ruthven chuckled as he sported his own set of white robes. "Just you wait, for once I'm right about this, Wow, he certainly spent a long time collecting these" Ruthven said, handing Ruffven a few light leathery bags of some sort of liquid. "What are these, and what's in them?" Ruffven asked. "It's water, you'll need lots of it. Don't go all fluffy in the desert or you'll sweat to you drop" Ruthven said. "Go fluffy?" Ruffven said, later followed with a growl. "Come on, over here, you'll need a knife, rope, sleeping bag, tinderbox... actually Jacob will probably bring that." Ruthven was saying shoving more things into Ruffvens bag. "I'd probably suggest filling the rest with food, no Ghasts in the desert but food will rot quickly. Look theres some jerky over there, that'll do" Ruthven said, starting to fill Ruffvens bag with the strange meat substance. "Jerky?" Ruffven asked, dreading to find out what he'd be surviving on. "It's meat, with all the moisture taken out of it. It's been cooked beforehand though, so you'll have to deal with that" Ruthven said. Ruffven nodded, hoping Ruthven was exaggerating about the desert. He lifted his bag up, it wasn't that heavy, but he was a werewolf so it would probably be a lot heavier for the humans of the group.

Charron hadn't changed his outfit at all, and had just taken a load of runes and provisions with him. Jacob meanwhile had a much larger backpack on him, though he had some lighter less thick armour on, he was still wearing the hood however. Attached around Jacob's chest, waist and back were his crossbow, his shield, some sort of spear and several knives and axes. "I'm ready, lets start the next chapter" Jacob said. Charron nodded. "Now that I have the runes I can take us all to Al Kharid, that's the closest I can get us though" Charron said. Upon hearing the word 'teleported' Ruffven began to panic, however it was too late as the world was already melting around him and he found himself faceplanting a dusty road that was about to be covered in sick.

Recruitment

Ruffven got up and found himself in a whole different world. He was in a crowded street, market stalls everywhere, people pushing past each other, most of them dark skinned. There was sand everywhere, Ruffven couldn't believe it. Ruthven came past and patted him on the back. "You okay Ruff?" Ruthven asked. "It's so crowded, and hot..." Ruffven said, shielding his eyes from the sweltering sun, no wonder the Vyres didn't like it. Jacob walked over. "Must be a whole new setting for you, better get use to it, we might be here a while" Jacob said, taking a drink of water. Charron joined them. "Better watch out, you know what it's like here, thieves everywhere..." he said. Ruthven laughed. "Don't be so stereotypical Charron, Al Kharids an amazing place with a diverse-- *oof*" Ruthven said, being knocked out the way by a young man running off. "Stop! Thief!" a man shouted in the distance. Charron rolled his eyes. "Well go on then, you lot are the fast ones. I'll stay here and wait..." Charron said, but Ruthven and Jacob were already chasing after him. Ruffven didn't want to be left behind so he followed after them.

Ruthven should've been able to catch him, however he kept crashing into people as the thief darted through the crowded marketplace. Jacob was dodging everything quite well but was still lagging behind, Ruffven was starting to catch up to them, mainly because he had the strength to barge people out of the way. The thief reached a tall wall, unfortunately there was a ladder which the thief quickly climbed, knocking it over as he reached the top. The ladder fell on top of Ruthven, shortly after Jacob and Ruffven reached the wall. Ruffven was ready to give up but Jacob tapped him. "Give me a boost" he said. Ruffven saw what he was planning to do and grabbed Jacob by the boots and threw him up, his strength allowed him to propel Jacob to the top of the wall just about. Jacob continued to run after the thief, Ruffven grabbed the ladder and put it up against the wall. "Come on Ruth!" he said, climbing up the ladder quickly. Ruthven got up and decided to chase the thief from the ground level.

Ruffven got up and found himself glad he didn't have a fear of heights. He looked round and saw the thief slowly climbing up the side of a building closely followed by Jacob, Ruffven though he could catch up and so he ran towards him. Ruffven got to the building and managed to climb up, he was closer to them, Jacob only a few feet away. Ruffven jumped to the next building, then to the next eventually he passed Jacob who stood there "Get ready to catch him" Jacob said. Ruffven nodded and continued to run. He was a few feet away from the thief, he could smell the fear on him. The thief jumped onto a kind of cloth roof held up by 2 planks, however it was too high up for Ruffven. Suddenly something shot past Ruffven quickly and hit the plank holding the roof up, it snapped bringing the roof and the thief down over the side. Ruffven knew what he meant by 'catch him', he took a deep breath and jumped over the side of the building. He caught the criminal and they crashed to the ground. Fortunately Ruffven wasn't badly hurt, the same couldn't be said for the thief.

Ruthven caught up with them, out of breath and helped bring the thief over to the victim, they handed him to the guards shortly after. "Thank you, Thank you" the victim said. "It's no problem at all" Ruthven said smiling. "You have no idea how valuable this work is to me, how can I repay you?" he asked. Ruffven had a few ideas but Jacob came up and interrupted. "Any information on a guide for the swamps in the South Eastern Kharidia or any places of interest to a few adventurers?" he asked. The victim shook his head. "Sorry, I don't know the area East of the Elid, you might have better luck in Pollivneach though, best place to look for guides since the events in Sophanem, however I do know an area of interest. Theres a large tower past the Shanty Pass and keep heading East, I'm sure it would be of great interest to adventurers like you" he said. Jacob thanked him. Ruffven assumed the Elid was a river like the Salve, hopefully it didn't have the same properties. The victim left and Ruthven smiled. "Right then that's a plan, you two head to Pollivneach and me and Charron will head to the tower" Ruthven said. "Huh" Ruffven replied, believing he misheard Ruthven. "You want Ruffven to come with me?" Jacob asked. "Why not? Ruffven isn't a guild member, and the more help the better. Plus it'll give you a chance to get to know each other" Ruthven said, smiling. Jacob though about it and agreed. "I say we head to the inn for now, rest up for tomorrow" Charron suggested. Everyone else agreed.

Ruffven slept well that night, he had feasted on something called a Kebab, the meat was very spicy but it was quite filling. The next morning Ruffven and Jacob left early. The 2 of them headed south, through a pass and eventually reached the desert. Ruffven couldn't believe it, it was like the sea only with sand instead of water, he couldn't see anything else other then a few green things sticking up into the sky. "Amazing isn't it, I can't imagine what it's like from your point of view, to see a land you couldn't possibly imagine existed" Jacob said. Ruffven grunted in response, he couldn't think of what to say. "We'll head South East until we get to the Elid, the water level is higher this time of year so we'll be able to catch a ferry to Pollivneach, that's when the next chapter begins" Jacob said. The 2 of them headed off towards the river.

"So Ruffven, I'm not sure if lycanthropy is different to what I read, but how is Ruthven your brother?" he asked. Ruffven was surprised to find they were talking about him, well they'd have to talk about something along the way. "It's like the human saying 'brother's in arms', we lived together in Canifis, were actually distant cousins" Ruffven replied, taking a drink from his waterskin. "So, is Ruthven part Werewolf or are you part human?" Jacob asked. "I'm 1 part human, 7 parts Werewolf if that makes sense, my great grandfather was human, I never met him and nobody really talks about him" Ruffven replied. Jacob nodded. "So I'm guessing Ruthvens family moved in when you were still a kid" Jacob said. Ruffven nodded. "I'm guessing you now know where his dad gets all the artefacts from, mum looked after Ruthven in exchange for..." Ruffven said, stopping suddenly. "It doesn't matter, how did you meet Ruthven?" Ruffven asked. "Hmmm, I met your brother during the Champions Guild exam, that's where the 3 of us met each other. I'll tell you about it, it should pass the time." Jacob suggested, telling Ruffven about the exam, which Ruffven listened to closely.

By the time Jacob had finished they had reached the ferry port, it was a small area, the structures looking weak, probably temporary if the water level changes. Ruffven hadn't realised how hot it was and took a large drink from the river, he also topped up his water skins as well. "Thirsty?" Jacob asked. Ruffven rubbed the sweat off his forehead. Jacob paid the man at the port and beckoned Ruffven to get in the canoe. Ruffven stepped in, it was a tight fit, Jacob jumped in behind him. The man pushed the canoe off, Ruffven looked back towards the man, he'd assumed he was coming with them. "The flow of the river will take us to Pollivneach, we'll arrive a few hours into the afternoon." Jacob said. Ruffven decided to relax, he lay back in the canoe and watched the sky, the sun got into his eyes so he covered his face with a hat. Ruffven got out some of the dried meat, he ate it, it tasted really salty but it was still nourishing, he washed it down with a whole waterskin. "You don't mind if I rest do you?" Ruffven asked. "Not at all" Jacob said, "I'll keep watch for crocs" he added. Ruffven closed his eyes.

Ruffven wasn't sure how long they had been floating for but Jacob nudged him awake as they came into Pollivneach. "It was similar enough to Al Kharid, busy streets, bright white buildings, except it looked like there were more guards. "They have problems with bandits, they basically control the whole town" Jacob said, seemingly answering a question Ruffven was yet to ask. They pulled up to a port that was just a minutes walk from the pub. Ruffven knew it was a minute exactly 1 minute later, as he pulled up a stool next to the bar. "What's on the menu?" Ruffven asked. The barman turned round. "You two are slayers right? We get you lot down here quite a bit, if you got the coin I can get you a respite." the barman said. Jacob put down a load of coins on to the table. The barman nodded and grabbed a bottle from the cabinet, filling 2 glasses with the dark liquid within" Jacob thanked him. "Official drink of the Slayers Ruffven, can't call yourself a slayer if you havn't had at least one" Jacob said, taking a sip of his. Ruffven took a sip, it was cool and refreshing, it seemed to calm the beast inside him as well, the same feeling he got after a kill. "So, you two after them Dust Devils then, nasty little things" the barman said. Jacob shook his head. "'fraid not, our story heads in a different direction, do you know of the swamps to the South East?" Jacob asked. "Ah, the survivor of the great war. Can't say you'll find anyone here who -- ahah, wait a moment there was a man just the other day, a mercenary came just the other day, he said he had been around the parts you mentioned, he might me just what your looking for" the barman said. Ruffven thought he could track him, if that was the case he'd be able to detect the smell of swamp decay in the air, he just needed a general direction. "Do you happen to know the direction he went?" he asked the barman. The barman gave a sly smile. "Funny you should mention that, see he was under a contract to help cull the bandits on the north side of town, unfortunately they had heard about it and captured him. The recent northern control is putting the balance at rest, were the mercenary to escape somehow, I'm sure he'd be willing to take your job for a price, as a barman I don't know these things but the old Jail is probably where they would hold a prisoner" the barman said with a sly smile. Jacob finished off his drink and thanked the barman. Ruffven did the same. They both headed north, not even needing to speak to each other to know what they must do.

It was evening when they reached the supposed jail, it was quiet in this part of town, Ruffven could detect the fear that came from behind locked doors. Jacob and Ruffven looked at the area, there were 2 guards at the front standing guard, above there was a man patrolling the roof and another in a tower. "I'll get the ones on the roof, you just need to deal with the ones below, wait until I've dealt with the one in the tower, if I'm spotted, rush them." Jacob said. Ruffven nodded. "Understood" he said, bringing out his mace. Jacob noticed it. "Could you do me a favour, try not kill them if you can avoid it" Jacob said. Ruffven looked at him, confused. "But they're bandits" he said. "They're still people, I trained as a doctor, I took an oath that I wouldn't kill a human, come on, as a friend" Jacob said. Ruffven growled, however he nodded. Jacob disappeared round the side of the building whilst Ruffven stayed where he was. He watched the guard on the roof, suddenly he fell over, he saw the figure of a man bending over him, Jacob dragged the body over to the tower, placing it out of the guard aboves view. He then saw Jacob climb up the tower and grab the man up there, he placed a rag over the mans face. The man then slowly collapsed to the floor. This was Ruffvens chance. He got up and walked slowly towards the two men, they noticed him and walked over. As they walked over Ruffven sheathed the mace to appear to not be a threat. "'cuse me, I'm a slayer. I'm on assignment to clear some Dust Devils, do you happen to know anything about it?" he asked. The bandits chuckled. "Look mate, you better clear off before we --" the bandit on the left said, he was suddenly interrupted when Ruffven bashed his shield into his head, he fell back into a wall, then on to the floor, unconscious or possibly dead but Ruffven had tried not to kill him. The other man was about to shout but Ruffven grabbed him by the neck with his free hand and lifted him into the air. Ruffven was slowly strangling him, taking pleasure in the bandits life leaving him. His eyes caught Jacob jumping down the wall. Ruffven sighed, letting go of the mans throat, the man fell to the floor going on one knee. Ruffven brought up his knee to the mans head, the man fell back and to the floor, unconscious. Ruffven growled. Jacob came over. "Thank you" he said. "Don't mention it" Ruffven replied grudgingly.

They hid the two guards bodies and entered the building. It had a similar layout to a normal towns prison, fortunately Jacob knew the layout of a normal town prison and lead Ruffven to where he assumed the holding cells would be. They turned a corner and saw a bandit talking to a man inside the prison. Jacob tapped Ruffvens shoulder and pointed to a pile of crates near the cell, Ruffven understood and quickly ran to behind the crates. Jacob ran down the hall, not too far, close enough to be hidden by the shadows. "Quickly outside, they're coming!" Jacob said, before turning round and heading back. The guard, curious, followed Jacob, sword drawn. He walked past Ruffven, who pushed the guards head forcefully into a wall. Jacob came back and nodded towards him. Ruffven walked over to the cell, inside was a man in a dark set of armour, it was made of a material Ruffven didn't recognise, it wasn't metal. He wore a helmet that covered his entire face. "Who are you guys?" the mercenary asked. "Hopefully, we're your next clients" Jacob said. The mercenary grunted. "My fee is high, breaking me out of here will lower it but not completely remove it" he said. Jacob nodded. "Wheres the key?" Jacob asked. Suddenly a man burst through the door with a scimitar heading towards Jacob, Ruffvens reactions kicked in. He stepped in front of Jacob shield at the ready and bashed his shield into the man. The man crashed against the bars of the cell, and was about to get up and retaliate when suddenly his head turned in a direction Ruffven didn't think possible. There was a click and the mercenary let go of him. "They're right here" the mercenary said, picking up a set of keys from the mans corpse, he unlocked the door and stepped out. "Just so you know, the names Black Scarab. Your getting the best money can buy on your side" Scarab said. Ruffven didn't trust him, but he knew they needed him.

Exploration

Scarab got his things back from the evidence locker and 'kindly' followed Jacob and Ruffven back to the bar. They sat down at the table and discussed business. "The swamps, nothing but crocs and giant insects over there, what's your interest in it?" Scarab said. "I'm part of the newly formed Cartographers Coalition, its one of the few parts of the world we don't yet have --" Jacob started to say, Scarab interrupted by holding up his hand. "Fine fine, now about my payment?" he asked. Ruffven watched as Jacob pulled out a bag filled with fine gemstones, he slowly started pouring them onto the table, 1 by 1, then suddenly stopped, putting them back away, a small but valuable pile now on the table. Scarab looked up at him, unimpressed. "and the rest?" he asked. Ruffven wanted to smack him. Jacob pulled out a slip of paper, Ruffven recognised the insignia of the bank of Varrock on there. Jacob wrote down a figure, Ruffven rarely saw transactions with that many zeroes, Jacob showed it to Scarab, he nodded and went to grab it before Jacob pulled it back, folded it up and put it in his pocket. "Your down payment is on the table, this nice slip of paper stays with me until the job is done" Jacob said. Scarab looked up in contemplation, Ruffven suddenly felt something touch his knee, he looked towards Jacob, Jacob motioned towards the knee with his eyes, Ruffven put his hand on his knee a felt a piece of paper, he casually slipped it into his own pocket. "Just this once, I'll accept your terms. We leave early in the morning tomorrow." Scarab said, pulling the gems into a small bag. He headed upstairs immediately afterwards. Ruffven looked towards Jacob. "You paid him way too much, I trained as a merchant and I know when were getting ripped off!" he said in a loud whisper. Jacob turned to him. "It's psychology, if he thinks were wealthy then he'll protect us. He knows he can't try anything because theres 2 of us and he knows were skilled fighters. Trust me, the journey would've been a lot more eventful should we have offered less" Jacob said. Ruffven took a deep breath.

The 2 of them were up early next morning, the sun was still not up yet but it was light outside, at least to Ruffven. Scarab was standing next to two canoes, he beckoned them over. "Alright, it's a roughly 4 hour boat ride down to Menaphos, we're going to ride them down and get off, just before we reach the city. Hop on." he said, pushing off the front canoe and getting in. Jacob got in the front of the 2nd one and Ruffven squeezed in behind. They set off down the river. Ruffven yawned, he was loving it at the moment. "Relaxing, the temperature not too hot, a gentle breeze keeping them cool. The boat barely rocked at all, relaxing was 2nd only to fighting in Ruffvens opinion. Jacob laid back and stared at the sky. "So, we got 4 hours." Jacob pointed out. Ruffven nodded. "What do you think of Scarab?" Ruffven asked. "Prick. That's a useful word to describe him. But he's only a side character in this story." Jacob said. "What's his armour made of?" Ruffven asked. "Chitin. Insect skin. To make armour out of it makes me concerned about the insects in this swamp" Jacob said. "It's nothing we can't handle" Ruffven replied. There was an awkward silence. "What are you thinking about?" Jacob asked. "Huh?" Ruffven asked. "well?" Jacob asked. "I'm thinking this is getting weird" Ruffven replied, smiling to himself. "So, seems the book was wrong" Jacob said to himself. "What book was this?" Ruffven asked. "Slayer book, it said when a werewolf sees a human, lunch is always on its mind" Jacob said. Ruffven suddenly had lunch on his mind.

Jacob and Ruffven continued to talk until they heard a shout in front of them. "Alright, Bail!" Scarab shouted, jumping out of the boat and onto the bank. Jacob nodded to Ruffven who jumped out, Jacob shortly followed once the boat had stopped shaking. "I'm guessing we go East" Jacob mentioned to Scarab. Scarab nodded. "Keep South, it's cooler along the coastline and the entrance to the swamps is located along there, follow me" Scarab said, already setting off. Jacob and Ruffven followed, distancing themselves from the mercenary. They continued to walk until they reached a shipwreck along the coast, Jacob suggested gathering some wood to make a fire later, in case they weren't able to reach the swamps until the next day. Ruffven agreed whereas Scarab grunted. After gathering some wood they continued on their way.

Eventually they reached a large wall of rock, twilight had fallen and Scarab put down his belongings. "We camp here tonight, tomorrow I'll show you round the swamps" he said. Jacob set about making a fire whilst Ruffven got the tents set up. Scarab left to go scout out a route across the cliff, Jacob and Ruffven were left alone by the fire, eating dry salty meat. "The story starts tomorrow" Jacob said. "Then what was all the stuff we did today and yesterday?" Ruffven asked. "The prelude and introduction, it sets the scene for the adventure we'll have in the swamps" Jacob replied. "One of us should keep watch" Ruffven suggested. "You've got the better eyesight, I'll head to bed for a few hours, wake me and I'll take my shift" Jacob said. Ruffven nodded and kept by the fire, he looked round, he heard round, he smelt round. All was quiet and peaceful, for now.

The hours past, the fire starting to die down, Ruffven hadn't had any experience with tending fires so he decided this would be a good time to switch with Jacob. At least he could get the smell of smoke out of his nostrils, he sniffed the fresh air, it smelt of salt and... humans, humans that are coming closer. Ruffven looked out towards the direction of the smell, he could see figures off in the distance approaching the camp, Ruffven was sure they couldn't see him, he quickly ran over to Jacobs tent. Jacob was asleep, Ruffven shook him awake and found him in his armour. "Bandits?" Jacob asked with a yawn. "You knew this was going to happen!" Ruffven shouted. Jacob nodded, "Come on get behind the tent, we can use it as cover." he said. Ruffven did as he was told, if slightly angry at the time. "You can see better, how many are there?" Jacob asked. Ruffven looked out into the desert, he could see the humans much more clearly now. "4, 3 of them have curved swords, 1 has a bow, they're about 30 seconds of walking away from the camp" Ruffven said quietly. Jacob swore quietly under his breath. "I wasn't expecting a bowman, you able to handle 3 swordsman, be careful the scimitars are quick" Jacob said. Ruffven chuckled quietly. "Not as quick as Ruth, and I've beaten him before" Ruffven said. He turned to Jacob who had disappeared. Ruffven knew he would have to get the surprise element to stand the best chance. He listened out, he heard footsteps coming closer, he could picture precisely where all 4 of them were just from the sound, one of them walked over to the tent Ruffven was hiding behind, Ruffven quickly emerged and swung his mace.

Ruffven remembering Jacobs wish of not to kill had aimed specifically at where he assumed the hand would be, it was. The mace smashed into it, Ruffven heard the sound of cracking, then swearing, fortunately the bandit was left handed so he dropped the sword he was holding. Ruffven pulled back the mace from the ongoing swing and then pushed upwards, hard with his shield. The shield contacted with the face and the man fell backwards into the sand, even if he was still conscious he wouldn't be getting up easily. Ruffven had been spotted by the other 3, he knew the archer would be drawn on him but his instincts told him to ignore him. Ruffven ran up to the next bandit, who was already preparing a swing, Ruffven quickly pushed forward with his shield, deflecting the blow then followed with a swing to the chest, the mace impacted cracking a few ribs and the man fell to the ground. Ruffven heard someone running towards him and he quickly held up his shield in defence. The scimitar impacted, a loud clang, but the weapon was already pulling back. Ruffven kept his shield up and facing the man, deflecting several slashes. He suddenly heard the *Twang* of a bow and the sound of flesh being pierced followed by a scream, Ruffven was distracted for a moment and a slash suddenly into his arm, Ruffven swore under his breath and with all his force bashed his shield forward, it contacted the man in the chest, knocking him to the floor, the scimitar falling beside him. Ruffvens arm hurt bad, he couldn't swing the mace without it hurting. He saw the man groan and quickly try to reach the scimitar, he grabbed it when suddenly there was a *twang* and a bolt entering the mans shin. The man groaned. Jacob was walking towards him, the bowman was lying face forward in the sand, the string on his bow cut off. "Start talking!" Jacob said.

Ruffven sheathed his equipment and walked forward, he could smell the fear on the man. "Who told you about us!" Jacob said in a rough voice. The man replied with a local swear word. Jacob sighed. "That's not the answer we were looking for, well I'm afraid this is the part where we have to 'persuade' you. Now as a doctor it would be unethical for me to torture you, so I'll simply advise looking at your weapon" Jacob said. Ruffven looked at the weapon in question, it was perfectly normal except for the splodge of black blood that lay there on the blade, the man looked at it and suddenly looked confused, then he looked towards Ruffven with a look of fear on his face. Ruffven walked closer and growled, breathing deeply and slowly. "I assume your smart enough to know, my partner is unique, unfortunately that's bad for you. Say partner, that wound looks bad, I for one wouldn't want to be the guy who cause that." Jacob said, egging Ruffven on. Ruffven was loving the fear, he growled and licked his lips. "Please! Keep that 'monster' away from me!" the man said, Jacob ignored him. Ruffven was tempted to transform at this point, but he knew he could get the job done without it, he reached over the man and grabbed him by the throat, lifting him into the air. "Who Sent You." Ruffven said, putting emphasis on each word. He growled and threw the man onto the ground. "Please I'll tell you!" he said, backing away from Ruffven quickly. Ruffven gave an evil grin, suddenly it was wiped off his face when a large sword wooshed past and cleaved into the mans chest, the man choked and coughed. The sword made its way out and the body collapsed to the floor.

Black Scarab was the one holding the sword. It was long and reminded Ruffven of the one Kanis wielded but this one was made of a greenish metal. Ruffven was furious. "Why did you do that! The information could have helped us!" he shouted. Scarab placed the sword back on his back, and faced Ruffven. "They're scum, you wouldn't have been able to trust anything he said, any of them. Only thing to do with them was let the devourer consume them" he said. Ruffven looked around, the other men weren't moving at all, they were all dead. Jacob walked back to the tent, Ruffven followed with a growl. Scarab grunted, poking at the fire with the dead mans sword, he noticed the dark stain and looked towards Ruffven. He chuckled.

The next day they entered the swamps, Ruffven was back in somewhat familiar territory, the environment similar to that of Mort Myre, except it was much hotter. Ruffven walked over to some reeds when something giant jumped out, Ruffven responded by drawing his mace and smashing the creature. Ruffven looked at the remains, it looked somewhat like a grasshopper but much bigger. Scarab laughed in the background, he pointed to a slight hill in the landscape. "If you wanted to draw a map I'd suggest starting from there" he said. Jacob thanked him and headed to the top of the hill, he set himself up with various tools and materials then started to draw on to a piece of papyrus. Ruffven was left at the bottom of the hill with Scarab. "Your face when the locust jumped out!" Scarab said forcing a chuckle. "Shut up!" Ruffven quickly responded. "Who are you two really?" Scarab asked. "As he said before, were from the Cartographers guild" Ruffven replied. "Your a bit young aren't you?" Scarab asked. "Excuse me?" Ruffven replied. "Nothing" Scarab replied. Ruffven growled quietly. "So you and hoodboy over there, you planning on visiting the cliffs to the north?" Scarab asked. Ruffven looked north, just on the horizon he could see a long jagged brown outline. "It's part of the area, so yes we probably are" Ruffven replied. "Is the beasty going on his own?" Scarab said in a mocking tone. Ruffven was getting annoyed with him but resisted the urge to start any conflict. "Of course not, I'll be going with Jacob" he replied. Scarab stood to attention, he then followed with a slight chuckle. "What's so funny?" Ruffven asked. "Either this is coincidence or the gods are playing one of their little games again" he replied. Ruffven was about to question further when Jacob walked up. "All done?" Scarab asked. Jacob nodded. "What's the next step in the journey?" Scarab pointed to another hill further along the coast. "With the terrain it's about a 2 hour journey" Scarab said. Jacob nodded, "We best set off now then, lead the way" he said. Scarab starting pushing through the reeds with Jacob and Ruffven following from behind.

"So? Can I have a look?" Ruffven said, curious of what the map would look like. Jacob a few sheets of papyrus, they were poorly drawn and features lots of numbers, labeling and calculations. "Were just gathering notes, the measurements will help me draw a much more accurate version of the map, I'm also adding the path were currently taking in case it proves useful" Jacob said. He put the papers into a binder and placed it in his bag. "You know I was talking to Scarab at the bottom of the hill" Ruffven said. Jacob made an inquisitive sound. "We were just talking when he suddenly looked surprised, then he started laughing" Ruffven said. Jacob hummed. "What did you talk about?" he asked. "He just wanted to know if we were planning on going to the caves to the north" Ruffven replied. Jacob nodded and didn't speak for a few minutes. He later changed the subject and he and Ruffven talked about more things.

The day passed the same way, they'd travel to a site, Jacob would stay at the top sketching, Ruffven joined him after a while, not wanting to talk to Scarab anymore, it was boring work and a lot of the time involved looking through some kind of telescope and reading off the numbers from the side. 2 more days followed the same way, Ruffven encountered more strange creatures and eventually found one of the 'crocodiles' Charrons armour was made from, they didn't seem to move at all, at first Ruffven thought they were statues, until he got close to won and it suddenly attacked him. That night they had crocodile for dinner and Ruffven thought it tasted like chicken. On the 4th day they finally reached the north cliffs.

"I believe this is the last spot, I better make a quick sketch of the face before we climb up" Jacob said. Ruffven yawned, he was slowly getting tired of the same routine. "What's the matter, Cartography not as interesting as you thought?" Scarab said. Ruffven used his finger to show how interested he was in Scarab. Eventually Scarab showed them the easiest route up the cliff face, as they reached the top Jacob gulped, Ruffven simply watched with great interest. There were many warriors walking about, decaying flesh and bandages wrapped round them. "What are they?" Ruffven asked. "Mummies, they're like zombies wrapped up in bandages, but were avoiding that area, nothing over there other than some old ruins" Scarab said. Jacob started writing down more notes. "Shouldn't we examine the ruins for the map?" Ruffven asked. "That's not our assignment, our job is to simply mark that they're there, so that others in the future can research them" Jacob said. Scarab agreed and lead them to an area where water was trickling out of a wall. "A spring" Jacob mentioned. They rested there for a bit whilst Jacob organized his notes and added extra details he could see from atop the cliff. "According to my notes on the map so far, we only need to go to 1 more spot and were finished, the far east part of the cliffs." Jacob said. Ruffven said a silent prayer to thank that it was nearly over. "I know the spot your looking for, it's just a few 100 metres that way" Scarab said.

Scarab lead them to an old ruin that looked like a doorway. "Wait a minute." Scarab said, walking closer to the doorway. Jacob and Ruffven both walked further to inspect it. Scarab suddenly punched a round indentation on the doorway, there was a rumbling. Jacob quickly grabbed Ruffven and pulled him back, suddenly the rumbling subsided. Scarab stared at the doorway. "That wasn't suppose to happen" he said. "What were you trying to do!?!" Ruffven shouted. Scarab ignored him, he ferociously kicked a second part of the doorway. Suddenly the ground gave way beneath all 3 of them, Ruffven and Jacob fell, both hitting a slope that slid them down into tunnels underground, after about 10 panic inducing seconds, the slopes gradient decreased, but not before they both hit a wall.

Dungeoneering

Ruffvens head hurt, he felt as if he'd just been smacked in the head by a gargoyle, something was resting on his legs, but his eyes hadn't adjusted to the darkness yet. It took only a few seconds later and found some kind of reptile looking back at him, Ruffven pushed it off and it groaned. Ruffven realised it was just Jacob wearing his mask. "Are you hurt?" Ruffven asked. "Not seriously I don't think" Jacob replied. Jacob went to stand up but suddenly grabbed hold of Ruffvens leg. "What was that for?" Ruffven asked. "Have you seen the ground?" Jacob asked. Ruffven looked towards the ground where Jacob was sitting only to realise there was none, below them was a huge chasm leading deep into the ground. "Hmm" Ruffven said. "Talk about a cliffhanger" Jacob added, chuckling to himself.

Jacob and Ruffven slowly got up and edged themselves along the edge of the cliff. "You sure can see well in the dark for a human" Ruffven said, taking another careful step. "I think it's the mask, a lot of Jadinko's live underground, I wisssh I could take it off, dammit!" Jacob said, his s's starting to slur again. Eventually they made it across into a tunnel of some kind. "Do you think there's anything down there?" Ruffven asked. Jacob suddenly pointed to the ceiling of the tunnel, Ruffven looked and saw a stone beam going across supported by 2 pillars. "Supports, this is probably an old mine" Jacob said. "Or an ancient civilization" Ruffven suggested. Jacob suddenly stopped. "Damn, we don't know what kind of creatures are down there?" Jacob said. "Nothing we can't handle" Ruffven said confidently, walking down into the tunnel, Jacob took a deep breath and followed afterwards.

Eventually they saw a light in the distance, as they walked towards it they heard voices. Jacob and Ruffven pressed themselves against the wall and listened. "Look, I'm telling you, there are currently 2 humans down here and they might be coming for the settlement" a voice said, Ruffven recognised it as Scarab, this was then confirmed by the other voice, which spoke in a raspy tongue and added a click or two every few syllables. "You better not have lead them here Scarab, your on a slippery slope as it is already" it said. Ruffven looked to Jacob in the hope he could make sense of this, Jacob simply shrugged. "Look bugs, I risked my life to tell you this information, grab your lances and get after them" Scarab said, the sound of footprints getting fainter and fainter. "I hate him, I don't know why Thorn lets him stay here" the voice said. "Just pray to Scabaras the humans haven't found us, I wish Scarab was one, then the punishment would be a treat" a similar voice said, the voices getting fainter. Ruffven turned to Jacob. "What now?" he whispered. Jacob didn't respond, he was thinking. Ruffven left him to it, knowing that Jacob would probably think of something. "I've though of something" Jacob said.

"What?" Ruffven asked. "I'm guessing the creatures are insectoids, based solely on the clicking and them worshiping Scabaras" Jacob said. "Scabaras?" "He's not very well revered in Kharidia, despite being part of the Pantheon, I believe he's known as the god of deceit and cowardice, though I've only read texts by people who don't like him" Jacob said. "So, what does this have to do with us right now?" Ruffven said. "It doesn't, what really mattered from the conversation was the gossip about Scarab afterwards, they hate humans, but with his armour they can't tell he's human, they don't care what species he is because he isn't human" Jacob suggested. "Well, I'm safe then. What about you?" Ruffven said. "Unfortunately for you, they probably won't know what a werewolf is, they see your human form they'll assume your human" Jacob said. Ruffven understood. "How long can you stay in your other form?" Jacob asked. "As long as I need to, the only reason were all not constantly in Wolf Form is the lack of thumbs" Ruffven said, giving a slight chuckle as if he made a joke, Jacob didn't laugh, but he did smile. "Lucky for me this mask is still stuck on my head, look prepare to transform, do whatever you normally do, and remember you'll probably be like that for a while" Jacob said, disappearing behind a wall. Ruffven had never transformed apart from for combat before, he quickly sorted out his armour and weapons so they wouldn't get in his way, then he concentrated.

Ruffven felt like his power was being wasted, he desperately wanted to kill something, however he knew he had surpress those instincts, especially if they were going to get out of here, he pictured in his mind ripping Scarab apart, this seemed to calm his instincts down, he'd heard that during the god wars Werewolves were constantly in this form, Ruffven thought he couldn't enjoy a life like that. Suddenly he smelt someone behind him, he knew it was Jacob, however when he turned around he saw some kind of Lizard humanoid, it had a scaley hide and coloured decorations along it, it had claws and in one of its hands was a exotic spear looking weapon Ruffven recognised from before. Jacob looked equally surprised by Ruffvens appearance. "Never actually thought I'd see a real one outside of a book" Jacob said. "Can you speak in that form Ruffven?" Ruffven gave a soft growl followed by "Yes, but it takes a lot more effort" he replied. "How did you transform?" Ruffven asked. Jacob was confused at first but then realised Ruffven meant the armour. "It's my secondary set of armour, I usually only wear it on Karamja, makes the Jadinko's trust me more, also helps combat the heat. It's snakehide that's been dyed in several places, the weapon here is a Sagaie, it's made from the vines of one of the plants on Karamja" Jacob said. Ruffven nodded. "So none of us look human anymore, what now?" Ruffven asked. Suddenly 2 insect like creatures burst out of holes in the ceiling.

They simply stared at Ruffven and Jacob making strange clicking sounds, Ruffven examined them, they smelt of dung and rotten meat, however they looked like insects that stood about on 2 legs, however they had 4 arms. "What are you two?" one of them asked. Jacob stepped forward, pointing the tip of his spear behind him. "I'm Jacob, I'm a Jadinko from Karamja, this is my friend Ruffven from Morytania, he's a werewolf" Jacob said. One of them went up closer to Ruffven to inspect him, Ruffven growled and it backed off quickly. "So, what are you two doing here?" the insectoid asked. "Escaping from 2 humans, they had us cornered but we managed to kill them, they fell down into the chasm back there. Were just looking for a place to hide for a bit." Jacob said. The insectoid stared at him, making a few clicking sounds. "Well, we must be grateful that you disposed of the human pests, Thorn will want to see you, follow me" it said, the two of them walked down into the tunnels, Ruffven looked to Jacob and made a grin, it seemed to disturb Jacob.

The cavern extended into several underground hallways, some containing beds, some odd contraptions, some strange creatures, all looked after by these insect like things. "So then, what are 'you' exactly?" Jacob asked. One of the insectoids turned round towards Jacob. "We are the loyal servants of Scabaras" he said. "So that makes you Scabarites then?" Jacob asked. "To the other surface beings, that is what we are known as, I am pi'lek'a'tik the best fighter in the colony, that's dik'a'tak, 3rd best in the colony." he said. Ruffven couldn't get his head round the names, Jacob also looked confused. Suddenly the 2 Scabarites started to chuckle. "Sorry, bit of humour. It's one of the few things we have left down here. My names Pikat, this is my brother Dik" he said. Ruffven coughed when he heard the brothers name, Jacob rolled his eyes. "How long have you been down here?" Jacob asked. Pikat clicked at him. "Millennia, I've been told, it was long before I hatched, our colony split off from the main colony and we couldn't find them again, Thorn helped us survive with his Magiks, now we are indebted to him" he said. Jacob chuckled slightly to himself. "Sorry, It's just that I thought you said Thorn helped you survive yet you've been down here for millennia" Jacob said. Ruffven being a werewolf hadn't found this strange, his species could live at least 1000 years if enough effort was put in to it, well they could've before the vyres. Dik clicked at Jacob. "Right." he replied, Jacob suddenly became deep in thought.

They arrived to a set of curtains, Pikat walked in first and had a conversation with 'Thorn' behind. Pikat came out of the curtains and instructed the 2 of them to go in, the 2 of them walked inside to find a dome shaped room, with an assortment of artifacts and books scattered about, however when they saw Thorn sitting in the chair, they were surprised. Facing them was undoubtedly a human, he had grey hair and a bandage covering half his face but he was certainly human. "Well, Well. Imagine my surprise when I hear that 2 creatures killed and escaped from 2 humans, I must say you two certainly are clever" he said. Jacob and Ruffven remained silent. "Now Werewolves I remember, I've never actually seen one, but I know they have two forms, as for you I recognize a Hor'is mask when I see one, as well as the stitching in your hide" Thorn said, chuckling to himself. Jacob crossed his arms. "How did you get so lucky?" Jacob asked. "Your obviously human" Jacob said. Thorn chuckled and removed his bandage from his face, his face was a reflective blue on the part covered by the bandage, Ruffven recognised the material as Chitin, Thorn stood up revealing 2 more arms, insect like in experience. "Formerly Human, a spell went wrong and I became like this" Thorn said. Jacob stared at Thorn, thinking deeply. Ruffven was thinking about food.

"Enough about me, what are you doing here?" Thorn said, rebandaging his face again. Jacob stepped forward. "I'm an adventurer, applying for a guild that houses some the best adventurers in the world. To join I needed to create a map of a certain area, then get a gift from the locals to return to the guild. We arrived in the tunnels by accident, overheard the 2 guards mentioning they hate humans and disguised ourselves." Jacob said, he took a deep breath. "And this is my friend Ruffven, he's here to help, to make the story more lively" Jacob added. Thorn smiled. "So then, that means you'll be wanting a gift, I suppose that means I should give you a quest" he said. Jacob nodded but it followed with a yawn. Ruffven yawned as well. "However your tired, and hungry I assume? I'll come up with something for you to do in the meanwhile" Thorn said, he lead them out of the room and towards a table that had been set out for them, 'table' was being generous, it was more like a raised platform of dirt, but there were seats that appeared to be made from leather and straw.

Jacob sat down, Ruffven sat down too but found it awkward in his current form. Fortunately the food arrived, it appeared to be the one of the insects that Ruffven had seen around the swamp. Ruffven quickly bit into the insect, it was cooked but it tasted delicious. Ruffven finished his meal and looked towards Jacob, he was staring at a piece of organ in his hand which he had dug out of the insect. "Come on, you don't want to insult their hospitality" Ruffven said mockingly. Jacob took a deep breath and swallowed it, he looked like he was having trouble swallowing it, but once he did he gave a weak smile. Jacob slowly dug into the insect so Ruffven looked around the table, it was small and they were joined by the 2 Scabarite guards, who clicked at him as he noticed them, they were also joined by Thorn and an empty chair, suddenly a familiar person came and sat down in it. Ruffven growled, it was Scarab.

Scarab noted the werewolf and the lizard man at the table. "Thorn, who are those 2?" Scarab asked. Ruffven stared at him with an aggressive look, which Scarab met with equal aggression. "They're our guests, they took care of those 2 humans you warned about and have come looking for a place to hide" Thorn said. Scarab appeared to shake with a sudden anger. "You seem displeased Scarab?" Thorn noted. Scarab stopped and began to eat his meal. "You two can stay in my guest room tonight" Thorn said to Jacob and Ruffven. "Thank you, your most generous" Jacob said, Scarab eyed him with anger. Pikat clicked towards Jacob. "So what's your homeland like?" he asked Jacob. Jacob gladly finished off his insect. "Similar to this place, but all the walls and ceiling are covered in plant life, we live in 1 big colony and help provide Food, protection and 'entertainment' to our queen, unfortunately some of our group mutated, then the humans came and through a series of events I wound up here. It's all one exciting story." Jacob said. Pikat clicked twice. "Sounds tough? What about you Ruffven?" Pikat asked. Ruffven couldn't think of what to say. "Similar to the Swamps on the surface, but wetter, darker. Ruled by invulnerable creatures that demand blood, all squeezed together in 1 village because the rest of the land is uninhabitable." Ruffven said, staring towards the ground. Nobody spoke.

Eventually everyone left, Ruffven and Jacob followed Thorn who showed them to a small room, there were 3 mounds of dirt, 2 of which had been fitted with pillows and sheets. "Nobody will enter here so you don't have to worry about looking human" Thorn said. Ruffven breathed a sigh of relief and reverted back to his human form. The sudden change seemed to surprise Thorn, Jacob didn't bother and went to get into bed. "Why don't you take the mask off Jacob?" Thorn asked. Jacob shrugged. "It won't come off" Jacob said with a slight hint of annoyance. Thorn nodded. "I understand, perhaps you'd like to follow me" he said. Jacob followed Thorn out of the room, Ruffven wasn't interested about what they had to say so he decided to head to sleep.

Jacob followed Thorn into the next room, Thorn produced an old worn book. "I take it you know what this is?" Thorn said. Jacob shook his head. "I love books, but I can't say I know that one" Jacob replied. Thorn looked surprised. "You recognize it though right?" he asked. Jacob thought for a moment, he had seen a similar book before, Charron had one. Jacob nodded. "I created 50 of these books countless years ago, today there's probably only 5 left. The inventor of that mask was one of the contributors as well, if it's stuck I'd suggest activating the spell to make it work" Thorn said. "Spell?" Jacob asked. Thorn's mouth fell open. "Your telling me you weren't part of the Dimexius ritual, but the mask only works for those who formed a strong bond with the creature" Thorn said. "I go there on my days off, help destroy the mutations, any bond I have with them wasn't formed through a spell" Jacob said. Thorn sighed. "Look, I will tell you something. This book is evil, it creates monsters out of men, on the inside and the outside, now that you've seen it your cursed, cursed to have your life affected by it" Thorn said, slowly losing sense. Jacob listened to him.

"I look this way because of that ritual. It seemed like a good idea at the time, you see the spell creates a bond, both physically and mentally, however it requires cooperation. Seems the insect didn't want to cooperate, it filled my mind with so much hatred, I tried to destroy it and it's power went to me, that power is waiting to come out, I won't be able to suppress it forever, you can see what it's doing to me." Thorn said. "Why are you telling me this?" Jacob asked. Thorn was silent. "I'll see you tomorrow" Thorn said, Jacob watched Thorn leave the room, so Jacob walked back to the guest room, lots of ideas swirling around in his head.

Questing

Ruffven woke up the next morning, he got up and was about to walk through the curtains when he remembered he needed to change form. He did so and walked out. Everybody was at the table eating 'breakfast'. Scarab was nowhere to be seen fortunately. "Morning Ruffven" Jacob said. Ruffven shrugged. "How can you tell? You can't see the moon or sun." Ruffven said. Jacob smiled. "If it's not morning I guess you don't want breakfast then" Jacob said. Ruffven growled. He sat down and started to eat. Thorn joined them later. "So then, you two were looking for a job. What do you know about Kalphites?" Thorn asked. Ruffven shrugged, Jacob had a think. "Insect, big, lives underground, lives in a hive" Jacob said. Thorn nodded. "Well they broke into one of our cave networks further underground, most of our miners managed to escape but we still lost 2. For some reason they are being much more aggressive than usual" Thorn said. Jacob nodded. "So let me get this straight, you want us to go down there, clear out the Kalphites, block the entrance and if possible recover anything from the 2 missing Kalphites to be used for remembrance" Jacob said. Thorn chuckled and nodded. "Well that saves me a long talk, I'll just need to find someone to guide you" Thorn said. He looked round. "Pikat, Dik you can escort them" Thorn suggested. The 2 of them clicked. "But who will protect you?" Dik asked, followed with a few frantic clicks. Thorn smiled. "You know I can look after myself" he said. The 2 scabarites nodded towards Jacob and Ruffven, they both nodded back.

Jacob was helping quickly create a set of bands to go over Ruffvens claws. "You underestimate the power of my claws?" Ruffven said, a slight growl in his tone. Jacob secured a loop through the bands. "You must know the phrase 'Crush you like a bug', trust me a mace will be a big help here, these bands will help you swing it in Wolf Form. You won't be able to do anything fancy, but your not fencing here so you should do fine, at least in this part of the story" Jacob said. Ruffven growled, but lifted the mace up and fit it in the bands, it was awkward but he got it in, allowing the mace to be swung without it flying from his hands. "It'll do, I didn't know you were much of a craftsmen" Ruffven said. Jacob shrugged. "I know enough to get by, my father is a smith after all, however he taught most of his knowledge to my brother" Jacob said. "Brother?" Ruffven asked, wondering if it was anything like the relationship between him and Ruthven. Jacob shook his head. "I'm not willing to go through that part of my life again" Jacob said, a sudden change in tone. Ruffven decided not to pursue it.

Jacob put on a belt containing throwing weapons and other items and the 2 of them set off to meet the others. They walked through the settlement keeping an eye out for them. "I don't mean to sound offensive, but they all look the same" Jacob said, not sure which Scabarites were them. Ruffven found this weird, all of them had a unique scent and Ruffven recognized Pikat and Dik's. "This way" he said, showing Jacob the way to go. The 4 of them eventually met up and they set off down the caves. Pikat and Dik were equipped with lances. "Your an archer than Jacob?" Dik asked, noting the variety of weapons he had. Jacob nodded. "The further away the enemies the better" Jacob said. "Unlike Ruffven then, look at that thing, it could so some damage" Dik said, noting the mace. Ruffven nodded. "Up close you can taste your opponents fear" Ruffven said. The 2 Scabarites looked towards Ruffven. "Trust me, you wouldn't want to meet a werewolf in a confined space" Jacob said. Ruffven growled in response.

They came to a large open area, it looked almost like an arena, on the ground crawled dozens of insects, Jacob stopped just outside the area. "Why is it so big, shouldn't this place look like a tunnel?" Jacob asked. Dik poked the rock with his lance. "The walls and ceiling are made of a harder rock, the softer rock must've been removed by the Kalphites." he said, followed by a click. "Over there" Ruffven said, pointing at the opening the Kalphites were coming from. It was very small, allowing only 1 insect to go through at a time, above it though there was an old structural support, the hard rock above it contained several joints. "If we take out that support the whole thing will block the entrance." Jacob said. Pikat clicked. "How are we going to get it down though?" he said. Jacob pulled out a vial, there was a strange stop at the top of it. "Thorn gave it to me, we just need someone to throw it at the point, problem is as soon as those bugs see us more will come, so I suggest Ruffven goes as he's the fastest." Jacob said. Ruffven nodded and took the vial. He looked towards his target and ran.

In his wolf form Ruffven could sprint almost as fast as Ruthven, however it was a long distance to travel. Ruffven heard a click to the side of him and a few moments later he could hear the sound of a whole nest of bugs attempting to come through the hole in the wall. Ruffven neared the supports and threw it just above them, a Kalphite had already gotten through the hole. Suddenly the cavern shook, the supports gave way almost immediately, more cracks began to appear in the rock. Suddenly a large piece crashed to the ground, followed by another and another, eventually the whole entrance was blocked, Ruffven was about to cheer when suddenly a large Kalphite knocked him to the ground, it jumped on top of him, Ruffven dug his claws upwards into where he assumed the neck was, fortunately the underside was softer than the shell on top, Ruffven pulled upwards with great strength and the head came off, green blood flowing down into Ruffvens faces, Ruffven tasted it, it was different but still produced the desired effect. He jumped up and roared, quickly slamming down his mace onto a smaller Kalphite nearby, there was a squelch and it stopped moving. Ruffven quickly turned around when he saw another Kalphite coming towards him. Suddenly a spear shot through the air and through the head of the bug, Ruffven turned round to see Jacob, who was now busy throwing axes at more insects. "I could really use that Sagaie back Ruffven!" Jacob shouted. Ruffven grabbed the spear and noticing all the Kalphites were near Jacob and the others, he ran towards them.

Ruffven quickly passed Jacob the spear, and quickly turned round to squish another bug. The fighting continued for another 5 minutes, the cavern was full of them, but fortunately they began to stop coming, Pikat and Dik were the most efficient at killing them, but that didn't stop Ruffven from having to save them on a number of occasions. Eventually Ruffven crushed the last one, upon seeing they were all dead he roared towards the ceiling, he then feasted on the insect he'd just killed. Jacob looked away disgusted.

The 4 of them wandered round, checking for any survivors. "So why didn't Thorn come with us?" Ruffven asked. Pikat clicked. "I shouldn't say this, but Thorn didn't look like he does now before he came down here, something inside him is stopping him" he said. Suddenly Ruffven heard a thud, he looked round and saw Thorn lying down in the floor. Above him stood Black Scarab, laughing to himself. "So you patched up the hole then, good job" he said. Pikat and Dik rushed towards Scarab but he simply pointed his sword down towards Thorn, the 2 of them suddenly stopped and clicked furiously. "What do you think you doing!?!" Dik shouted. "Initiating plan B, you see Thorn here doesn't have long left" he said, kicking Thorn in the legs. "What do you mean?" Pikat asked. Thorn coughed. "I can't keep it in control, there's an angry spirit inside of me trying to break out, quickly kill me now before it's too Urghh..." Thorn said, shortly before being kicked again. "Now there, nobody's going to kill you, were going to let the process run smoothly" Scarab said. "Dik, Pikat he's human! Kill him quickly!" Thorn shouted. Dik and Pikat gasped, though this was no surprise for Jacob and Ruffven. Scarab laughed. "Well I can take this off then, it ruined Visibility anyway" Scarab said. He took off his helmet and a human face stared back, he had short black hair and a goatee. He also appeared to be wearing a large necklace that stretched underneath his armour. He chuckled.

"Traitorous Scum!" Pikat shouted. "Why, why are you trying to wipe out the settlement!" Jacob shouted. Thorn coughed. "The Book!" he said, before falling to the ground once again. "So much for keeping it a secret, you won't believe how much money people will pay for that book. Anyway I'm going to go collect it, and how is this for irony. Thorn here is going to become the monster the destroys the settlement he's spent so long helping survive, but he'll take care of you lot first" Scarab said, quickly drawing out a silver dagger and stabbing it into Thorns back. Thorn yelled out in pain but Scarab quickly ran up the tunnel towards the settlement. Pikat and Dik rushed towards Thorn, quickly pulling the Dagger out. "Thorn! Get up!" Pikat shouted. Thorn was able to get up strength seemingly returning to him. "It's too late for me, Go after Scarab and don't let him get the book!" Thorn shouted. The 2 Scabarites were reluctant but quickly chased after Scarab. Thorn walked over to Jacob and pulled out a wand. "Your going to have to fight me and Kill me" Thorn said. "I can't do that, I only kill monsters!" Jacob said. "Trust me I'm going to become one, the mask your wearing has a soul trapped inside it, I'm going to give you your only chance by releasing it" Thorn said. "I don't understand?" Jacob said. Thorn quickly charged a spell and cast it at Jacobs head, Jacob fell back towards the floor unconscious. "What did you do?" Ruffven asked. "He'll be fine I hope." Thorn replied. Thorn coughed and began to shake. "I had to use the last of my mental control to use that spell, Ruffven I'm going to teach you something. Everyone has a monster inside them, sometimes more than 1. Some are born with them, some acquire them as they get older, you can never truly vanquish the monster inside of you. Werewolves are unique in that people can see the monsters they are on the inside, or at least one of them. As your about to see, you are not unique in these tunnels. Now Kill me!" Thorn said, he suddenly started shaking violently and a light enveloped him. Suddenly Ruffven saw what he had meant.

Monsters

Standing in front of him was a giant Kalphite like beast, it was bright blue and green and had a tough shell. It stood on 4 legs and had 2 arm like claws in front of it. It's mandible were huge and clicking, facing Ruffven. The beast was about 8ft tall, and this was accounting for the fact most of it's body was close to the ground, Ruffven suddenly found himself feeling something he'd never felt outside of Morytania, fear. The beast snapped forward with it's mandibles, leaving Ruffven a very narrow opportunity to escape, he quickly turned round to face the creatures back and slashed with his claws, all it did was leave a scratch, it was like armour, Ruffven was suddenly knocked backwards, he knew he'd have to attack underneath the armoured back. Ruffven quickly held out his shield to deflect another attack and then quickly went underneath and slashed with his claws. This time his claws cut through the flesh, drenching his hands in green blood, the beast clicked in pain and quickly pressed down towards the ground. Ruffven was crushed against the floor, he couldn't move, the beast moved back slightly pressing Ruffvens arms down and bringing his mandibles over Ruffvens head. Ruffven reached forward and grabbed one of them in his Jaws, he pulled and part of it broke of. The beast clicked furiously and bent down to bite through Ruffvens neck.

Suddenly the beast was knocked over onto its side, Ruffven quickly stood up and caught his breath. The insect had righted itself and looked towards Ruffven, it suddenly rolled itself into a ball and began rolling towards Ruffven. Ruffven ran, he kept running but ended up at a dead end. Ruffven turned round and quickly held up his shield and closed his eyes preparing to brace. A few seconds passed, nothing happened. Ruffven opened his eyes and saw there was something green and purple in front of him. It was a giant lizard like thing, it was covered in plant like appendages and was between the same height as Ruffven and the Kalphite beast. It was holding the Kalphite beast back, stopping it from Rolling. The lizard thing then pushed it over onto it's side and slashed at the centre. The beast opened up clicking in pain, the lizard slashed at it's chest and the insect rolled back towards the ground, protecting it's chest. It quickly charged at the lizard knocking it to the ground. To Ruffven this was beginning to feel like a bad dream.

The lizard pushed upwards from the ground revealing the beasts chest, the lizard made a noise towards Ruffven. Ruffven believed it wanted him to hit it. The lizard was using all its strength to keep the insects chest revealed. Ruffven decided to smash it with his mace. To his sudden surprise the Mace cut through it easily, it got right into the flesh of the beast, as Ruffven pulled it out a torrent of green blood flowed out. The beast screamed out in pain and Ruffven realised it did a lot of damage. However the insect suddenly pushed down, knocking the lizard to the ground, it then picked the lizard up and smashed it against the wall, knocking out the lizard. It then went to finish it off, Ruffven quickly ran towards the beast. As it moved its head down Ruffven swung his mace upwards, it went into the beasts 'neck' and carried on upwards through the head before poking out the top of the skull, the beast froze, it gave a soft click. Ruffven quickly pulled out the mace and the beast crashed towards the floor. Ruffven cracked a smile, if only Ruthven could see him now, having taken on that. It would put him to shame and shut him up. Ruffven looked at the lizard that was now unconscious, it reminded Ruffven of something. Suddenly the word Jadinko sprung to mind, Ruffven immediately recognised it from Jacobs mask, he quickly looked round to try find Jacob, but he couldn't see him anywhere, Suddenly there was a bright light from behind Ruffven, standing where the Jadinko was, was Jacob, slightly battered but slowly getting up.

"I appear to have left a few pages blank, what happened?" Jacob said, getting up to suddenly find a giant insect corpse in front of him. Ruffven was speechless. "How did you do that?" he asked. Jacob looked confused. "Do what?" Jacob replied. "The Lizard, Jadinko, you just helped me defeat it" Ruffven said frantically. "Are you alright Ruffven, your starting to sound like your brother" Jacob replied. Ruffven shook his head. "Forget it, anyway the creature is dead" Ruffven said. Jacob looked at it, he picked up his Sagaie from the floor. "What did Thorn become?" Jacob said to himself. Ruffven suddenly realised he had killed Thorn. "Oh, by the flaming nostrils..." Ruffven said to himself. "We'll let the others know, they'll probably want to bury him or burn him or whatever the tradition--" Jacob said, suddenly stopping. "The others!" Jacob shouted. Ruffven quickly realised what Jacob was on about. "Quickly!" he shouted. The 2 of them rushed up the tunnels back towards the settlement.

As they reached outside the settlement they saw a dead Scabarite lying on the ground, Ruffven checked it, fortunately it wasn't Pikat or Dik. Ruffven detected their scent back at Thorns house. The 2 of them rushed over, they passed 2 more corpses before finally seeing Pikat and Dik trying to break down a door. "You two made it?" Dik said clicking. "Wheres Thorn?" he asked. Jacob looked solemn. Dik and Pikat were silent. "We can deal with this later!" Ruffven shouted. Quickly grabbing his mace and smashing it against the door. Splinters began to fly out and the door gave way, the 4 of them put all their weight behind themselves and pushed it open into Thorns study. Scarab was there 2 books in his hand, 1 was the book he was after, the other was Jacobs journal. Scarab had a almost distressed look on his face, he quickly bent down and grabbed a heavily bruised Scabarite. "One move and I run her through" Scarab said. The 4 of them groaned but stood still.

"You've got what you want, just leave with the book and go" Jacob said. Scarab chuckled. "Normally I would but I thought I might get some revenge" he said. "What are you talking about!" Pikat shouted. Scarab punched the Scabarite he was holding. "You two bugs, shut up and watch!" he said. Scarab chuckled again. "Now if you want the bug to live you will do what I say, Jacob and Ruffven. Ruffven why don't you show all of us the other side of yourself" Ruffven growled, stepping forwards, the Scabarite let out a small scream and Ruffven stopped. "Just do it." Jacob said. Ruffven took a deep breath, he changed form right in front of everyone. There was a quiet murmur from Pikat and Dik. Scarab chuckled. "Seems I was right, that means if you would so kindly take off your mask, Jacob..." Scarab said. Jacob sighed, he slowly began to remove the mask, a sense of surprise striking Jacob as he found he was able to remove it. Jacob threw it towards the floor, Ruffven had almost forgotten what Jacob had looked like without it. "Well Well, look here. It's you two from the 'Cartographers Guild'" Scarab said. Pikat and Dik looked towards them. "You two are humans..." Dik said. "Technically Ruffven is actually a werewolf, but yes." Jacob replied. "Are you working with Scarab?" Pikat asked. Ruffven shook his head. "I'd kill him given the chance" Ruffven replied, prompting another chuckle from Scarab. "Then I don't care what you are, this whole death to humans thing was brought on my Scarab anyway!" he replied. Jacob smiled. Scarab didn't. "Didn't expect this, well then" he said, suddenly running his sword through the Scabarite.

"You monster! I'll kill you, you, you Bas****!" Jacob shouted. Ruffven couldn't believe Jacob said that but didn't have time, he immediately ran towards Scarab. Scarab threw the corpse at Ruffven, knocking him down. Jacob only had his Sagaie on him, so went to help Ruffven up. Pikat and Dik ran towards Scarab and began to fight. Despite it being 2 v 1, Scarab was managing to hold his own. However Dik managed to dive under the blade and impale Scarab through the chest with his lance. Scarab swore. There was no coming back from an injury like that, Scarab was almost dead, suddenly there was a flash of light from Scarab chest, he quickly pulled out a white dagger and brought it up into Diks neck. The blade went through and Dik collapsed. There was a shout from Pikat but he was knocked back by Scarab and had the dagger stabbed into his chest. Suddenly a Sagaie flew through the air and through Scarabs arm, he let go of the dagger and his chest lit up again, he swore, pushed Pikat on to the ground, he then broke the lance he was impaled with and quickly ripped out both bits, he then quickly ran past and barged through Ruffven before diving out a window. Ruffven ran over to Dik, whilst Jacob ran over to Pikat. Fortunately Jacobs bag was next to him and he was able to quickly retrieve medical supplies. Jacob pulled out the Dagger and placed it on his belt. Pikat clicked weakly. "What about Dik?" he asked. Ruffven shook his head. Pikat was silent. Jacob finished bandaging him up and had poured potions into Pikats mouth. Pikat coughed and clicked weakly again. "He had a bloody Keris, he has taken too many lives today, he'll have taken the quickest route to the surface, head out the city and take a right, then press the Scarab on the door, its a shortcut. You need to kill him!" Pikat shouted, shortly before passing out.

Ruffven caught his breath whilst Jacob got his stuff, his Sagaie had snapped in the centre, Jacob sighed. "I'm out of throwing knives and axes, I'll have to rely on the crossbow and this dagger" Jacob said, loading up with bolts. "If you need another Spear why not use Pikats?" Ruffven suggested. "It's not really designed for throwing, but it might work" Jacob said, picking up Pikats lance. Ruffven and Jacob ran out following the directions Pikat gave them. "How did he survive that wound through the chest?" Ruffven asked. "You saw the chain around his neck, he must have a phoenix necklace, or probably 10." Jacob said. Ruffven was about to ask about the necklace when they reached the door, Jacob pressed the Scarab and it opened Ruffven rushed through but Jacob quickly stopped him, the floor in front had caved in, they were at the spot where they had fallen through, as they stepped out the sun blinded them and Ruffven was reminded just how hot the desert was. Jacob stepped around carefully, followed by Ruffven. They stood overlooking the cliff, another lower cliff where they had camped lay below them, and below that the swamps, Ruffven could just see the tiny silhouettes of crocodiles at the bottom. Suddenly he heard running and turned round, Scarab was there, the book in one hand, sword in the other. He swore when he saw them. "Why don't you two just give up, your damn guild doesn't need you to stop me!" he shouted.

Jacob pointed the crossbow towards Scarab, Ruffven brought out his mace and spun it around. Scarab panted, out of breath. "Drop the book, your story ends now" Jacob said. Scarab suddenly got angry. "Shut up! You always ruin everything for me, I travel halfway across Gielinor to get away from you and here you are, ruining my life with your bloody book talk!" he shouted. Jacob's face grunted. "That sword, I thought I recognised the handiwork... why Joe?" Jacob said with sadness and confusion. "Don't call me that!" Scarab shouted back. "What is going on!?!" Ruffven shouted. "Scarab's real name is Joseph Sou..., he's my brother... he disappeared about 15 years ago on some wild mercenary dream" Jacob said. Scarab suddenly chuckled. "You have no idea the power I found, there are certain people in the world who reward skill like mine, now I am unbeatable, living on the edge but coming back from every blow, this book will grant me life eternal as a reward as well" Scarab said. Jacob was silent. "Your insane!" Ruffven shouted back. "Well this will be easy, my own brother certainly won't fire that crossbow, so I'll just be killing you then 'Wolfboy'." Scarab said, suddenly drinking from a black vial, he shook and his chest briefly flashed afterwards. Ruffven growled. "I am a Slayer, my job is to take down monsters like you" Ruffven said. Scarab smiled, he then attached the book to his back and rushed forward.

Scarab swung his sword quickly, Ruffven only just managed to raise his shield to deflect it, pain rang through his arm as the 2 pieces of metal contacted, it was like he was fighting Kanis. Ruffven growled and pushed the shield up, swinging his mace towards Scarab. Scarab moved backwards quickly and followed it up with another slash. The fighting lasted almost 10 minutes, Ruffven was noticing that Scarab was losing strength and getting slower, Ruffven took a chance, he managed to duck under one of Scarabs slashes and swing his mace as hard as he could into Scarabs chest, his armour cracked as the mace contacted and Scarab fell back onto the ground. Ruffven began to smile and let his guard down when suddenly there was a flash from Scarabs chest, Scarab suddenly jumped up and swung hard at Ruffven. Ruffven didn't have time and the side of the sword smashed into Ruffvens right arm, there was a cracking sound Ruffven had never heard before and an intense pain shot through his arm. Ruffven dropped the mace and fell to the ground, he looked at his arm, it was wonky and black blood was pouring out. Scarab chuckled. "You werewolves need to learn, humans aren't easy prey, feigning a loss of strength, allowing 1 hit to retaliate harder, were not all prey like rabbits, in fact some like me are predators, so now I'm going to chop your head off and have it stuffed on my mantle" Scarab said. Scarab lifted his sword up to cleave Ruffven when a bolt flew through the air and through the hole in the armour produced by Diks lance, Scarab shouted in pain and stepped back, leaving Ruffven to moan and watch.

"Brother, what about your oath? You swore to never kill a man." Scarab said. Jacob shouted out a word but Ruffven didn't hear. "I won't, but when you face justice every single bone in your body will be broken" Jacob replied. "It is how this story will end" Jacob added. Scarab seemingly growled and charged towards Jacob. Jacob had already reloaded his crossbow, Scarab was charging Jacob fired at his leg, the bolt became stuck in the armour, Scarab tripped and Jacob slammed the stock of his crossbow into Scarabs head, Scarab stumbled but his chest flashed and he quickly retaliated with a slash of his sword, Jacob quickly avoided it, before bringing out the silver dagger and stabbing it into Scarabs leg, Jacob quickly backed off afterwards. "Nice of you to leave the perfect weapon against your armour behind" Jacob said. Ruffven looked at his arm, Jacob looked like he could handle himself so Ruffven looked to see if he could mend his arm. It was twisted in the wrong direction, Ruffven knew this was a bad thing so he quickly twisted it back into place. Ruffven had never felt anything so painful before that day, Ruffven shouted out in pain, Suddenly he heard Jacob shout in pain, Ruffven looked, Scarab had landed a punch on Jacob and he continued to throw punches at him. Ruffven knew he had to help quickly so he ran over, he used the anger from the pain to his advantage, he transformed while running and knocked Scarab to the ground, just before he could get a slash in.

Ruffven slashed repeatedly with his good arm at Scarab, Scarab tried to block the blows but he just caused more of his blood to spurt out, there was another flash but Ruffven ignored it and kept attacking, Suddenly a fist hit the side of his face, he thought he heard his jaw crack, the punched knocked him back off of Scarab. Scarab grabbed his sword and launched a slash at Ruffven, the slash cut across Ruffvens chest, Ruffven growled in pain, however he ducked under the next slash and grabbed Scarabs sword arm in his jaws, he bit down on them and tore at it with his teeth, blood entered his mouth making Ruffven bite harder, suddenly something unexpected happened, there was a flash and the sword stabbed through Ruffvens chest, Ruffven let go, Scarab swore very loudly. "Oh! Now I'll have to kill you with my weak swordarm" Scarab said, he raised the sword ready to stab Ruffven once more when suddenly Jacob tackled him, the 2 of them rolled along the ground and over the cliff.

Ruffven quickly ignored the pain and looked over, the Jacob had landed on top of Scarab but Scarabs necklace meant he didn't feel as much pain as he should have. He saw Scarab get up, a bolt ending up in his chest before Jacobs crossbow was knocked from his grasp. Ruffven didn't know what to do, but he knew he couldn't risk jumping down, he transformed back to a human hoping to think more clearly when suddenly he saw Pikats spear lying on the ground, Ruffven picked it up. He suddenly thought, a well thrown shot to the head would kill Scarab once and for all. Ruffven picked it up, he saw Jacob attempting to dodge every attack thrown at him, Ruffven prayed to Zamorak that the spear would hit its target and Ruffven threw it. It soared through the air and miraculously it looked like the spear was on target. However the spear began to spin, horizontally. The spear did hit Scarab but only the shaft hit him. Scarab brushed it off easily and continued to fight, Ruffven swore. He watched Jacob however pick it up, Jacob knew his weapon was longer so he stayed back from Scarab, Ruffven could do nothing but watch the fight.

Jacob was hot, tired, bruised, bleeding, but he refused to give in. He was backing away from Scarab trying to come up with a plan, Suddenly Jacob stopped, he was right at the edge of the cliff. "Talk about a cliffhanger, hey brother" Scarab said. "This story of yours couldn't carry on forever, this chapter was beginning to get too long in the first place. You better pray to Guthix that you die before you hit the ground. Jacob sighed, however he came up with a plan, it was risky but it might work. "I think I prefer a twist ending" Jacob said. Scarab roared and pulled back his sword, Jacob quickly threw the lance into the air, this move distracted Scarab who was off with his swing, Jacob quickly rolled under, grabbed the lance spun round and drove it forward. There was a flash, however Scarab dropped his sword. The lance was poking all the way through Scarab and out the other side. Scarab appeared to be alright though. "Well that was surprising, but my necklace still has plenty of charges, your not going to kill me. So I can just pull myself out and beat you and kill you" Scarab said. Jacob looked down over the cliff, he then looked towards his brother. "I'm sorry but your part in my story ends here." Jacob said, he then kicked Scarab who slid out of the lance and over the cliff. There was a long scream as he fell down towards the swamp. Ruffven came over and joined him, the 2 watched over the edge and there was a loud thud as he reached the bottom. There was a flash shortly afterwards and Jacob saw Scarab get up. "Ha! Nice try! Now I'm gonna be off now, why don't you--" he shouted up suddenly stopping. He screamed. A crocodile had bit into his leg, there was a flash but the flash seemed to attract more of the crocodiles, they crowded round Scarab each trying to take a part for themselves, however there were still flashes from the necklace down below, imbetween each flash followed screams of pain and torment, only ending when one croc bit through Scarabs neck, breaking the chain of the necklace, and destroying his voicebox.

Ruffven looked over the edge and cracked a smile, Jacob meanwhile looked over a neutral look on his face. Jacob said nothing, went to collect his stuff and then went back to the tunnels. Ruffven quietly followed.

Legendary

Ruffven growled as Jacob rubbed some sort of salve into his wounds, it burnt just like the river of the same name. Jacob bandaged over it and created a sling. "How long do I have to wear this thing?" Ruffven asked. "Well a human with your injuries would have it for 6 weeks, but with your regeneration it shortens that down to about 3 days" Jacob said. "3 days!" Ruffven shouted. Jacob laughed. Jacob was also bandaged and was covered with bruises. Pikat was also in the room with them, he had 3 of his arms in slings and one of his mandibles bandaged, his clicks sounded soft and mumbled. "So, Scarab is dead, but at what cost?" Pikat asked. "It would've been much higher were he still alive. I'm only sorry to add it was Crondis's followers who finished him off" Jacob added. Pikat nodded and chuckled slightly. "Her teeth are stonger than Scabaras's mandibles. Dik was a brave soldier, I'd spent almost 80 years serving with him and protecting Thorn. And Thorn, he is the only reason this settlement is still here." Pikat added. The 3 of them were silent. "I did find Thorns last message, it appears to be a will. He wants to be buried the official way of our settlement. He also wants me to take over as leader." he said. Jacob nodded along with the speech. "And finally we are to make you two honorary citizens and grant you a trophy to show our good faith to the 'Legends Guild'" he added. Ruffven nodded, he had completely forgotten about the guild. "We will host the funerals tonight, you can leave in the morning after, we'll show you a shortcut out of the tunnels. Jacob nodded, as did Ruffven.

The funeral involved throwing the bodies into a vast quicksand sinkhole type structure. It helped represent isolation by sending the body further underground away from the living, Ruffven didn't really understand it. Ruffven was back in wolf form, Jacob wearing his Jadinok get up, they were advised against revealing their deception, as humans weren't exactly trustworthy after it was revealed Scarab was one. The first few bodies were sent over, then came Dik's, his broken lance laid upon his chest, he slowly disappeared under the sand. Finally it was Thorns turn, there was a great sadness that overcame the whole ceremony. Though the body was of a giant Kalphite thing, everyone knew who it really was. It took almost 10 minutes for Thorns gigantic body to disappear beneath the sand. After the burial there were drinks passed around, Ruffven and Jacob had about 10 between them, Ruffven later stopped after the 10th after he found out one of the ingredients was water squeezed out of year old dung. Jacob grabbed a 11th. "Ruffven, can I speak to you?" Jacob asked. Ruffven nodded and the two wandered off to a quiet area and sat down.

Jacob sighed and was silent for a bit. "What did you want to talk about?" Ruffven asked. "You and Ruthven got on so well together, even though you two were so different. I mean look..." Jacob said, stroking Ruffvens fur as an explanation. "You two even crossed a species barrier and your still good friends" Jacob said. "But Scarab can't have been your brother, something must have changed him surely" Ruffven said, trying to console Jacob. Jacob grunted and took a sip of his drink. "The only thing that changed about him was the armour and the hair, he was always trying to outdo me, then he tried to outdo all the other kids. He trained everyday, he'd start fights with people, threaten to kill anyone who got in his way, one day he just left, not even a goodbye" Jacob said, he wobbled slightly from the drink and fell against Ruffvens shoulder. Ruffven ignored it, Ruthven had acted the same way before on nights out. "I'd always assumed some mercenary killed him, turns out *yawn* it would be me..." Jacob said, he then started to fall asleep. Ruffven picked him up and carried him back to Thorns house, he pushed him into a bed and Ruffven went into his own one. Ruffven didn't think of anything afterwards, he just fell asleep.

The next morning Jacob had a hangover, but that didn't stop the 2 of them meeting Pikat to say goodbye. "I must thank you 1 more time for stopping Scarab. It is my great honour to make you both honorary citizens of our settlement." Pikat said followed by a few clicks. "Thank you" Jacob replied. "Thanks" Ruffven added. "Now as a reward we grant you a trophy to take back to your guild, should one of your members find themselves in our tunnels, you can be sure we won't kill them" he replied. He handed his own lance over to them, it was still stained with Scarabs blood along the tip and shaft. Jacob graciously accepted it. "Thank you, I'm guessing this is goodbye then, the last pages of a great chapter" Jacob said. Pikat clicked. "Hopefully it is actually 'see you again', running this settlement will be hard work" Pikat said. Ruffven simply nodded. "So long" Ruffven said.

The 2 of them left the caves and were back out on the cliffs, Scarabs sword still lay on the rocks. Jacob picked it up, struggling to lift it, Ruffven sighed and picked it up for him. "Thanks, I need to put that sword somewhere" Jacob said. Ruffven looked at it, it was stained with green, black and red blood, Scarab obviously didn't clean it much. The 2 of them followed the directions they were given and carefully navigated down the north side of the cliffs, they walked for a few hours and ended up in a town called Nardah. They each brought a choc ice and rested for a bit. "Are we staying here tonight?" Ruffven asked. Jacob shook his head. "We really need to start heading back, Ruthven and Charron are probably waiting" Jacob said. "Are we going by boat then?" Ruffven asked. Jacob chuckled. "Rivers only flow one way, were gonna take a magic Carpet" Jacob said. "A what?" Ruffven asked. Jacob got up and headed towards the outskirts of the city, he paid a man and stood on top of a carpet, suddenly the carpet lifted into the air and carried Jacob off into the desert. Ruffven sighed and stepped on the next one, he was lifted off and ended up following Jacob. Fortunately Ruffven wasn't throwing up, for once. Ruffven just sat back and relaxed.

They arrived back at Al Kharid just before evening struck, they both headed towards the nearest inn hoping to find Ruthven and Charron, who were waiting for them. "Hey! So you two aren't dead after all" Ruthven said. He quickly ran up to them. "You'll never guess what happened at the tower, me and Charron... woah what happened to your arm Ruff" he added. Ruthven poked it and Ruffven growled in response. Charron walked up to them. "So, I'm guessing it went well. Are you going to become a legend then?" Charron asked. Jacob was quiet and simply sighed. "Sorry, Charron do you have the runes to take us to Yanille?" Jacob asked. Charron nodded. Ruffven grew worried. Charron didn't give a chance for Ruffven to run and quickly teleported them. Ruffven promptly threw up in the bushes afterwards. "I hadn't finished my drink Charron!" Ruthven shouted. Jacob quickly said to Ruthven and Charron to head to the house, he then asked Ruffven to follow him. Ruffven got up and nodded.

Jacob lead him out into the countryside, the whole area was forest and grassland, eventually after about a hour they arrived at a rundown graveyard. "Come on, it's time to finish Josephs story" Jacob said. Ruffven was confused but the name seemed familiar. "What is this place?" Ruffven asked. "It's a graveyard, the place where books are closed and left to gather dust, these graves date back to the mid 4th age" Jacob said. Ruffven looked around, most of them were crumbling or moss covered. They passed a rather impressive looking one, Ruffven inspected it closer, the text was written in runic symbols but the name was in the common tongue 'Arxen Southmage'. Jacob beckoned Ruffven over. There was a clear patch located just under a yew tree. "Pass me the sword Ruffven" Jacob asked. Ruffven handed it over, Jacob suddenly bent towards the ground as he grabbed it, Ruffven went to help but Jacob shook his head. Jacob bent with his knees and managed to lift it up, he then stabbed it into the ground in front of him. "I owe him nothing now" Jacob said. Jacob walked off. Ruffven looked towards the sword, moonlight reflected off the hilt and towards Ruffven. "Aren't you afraid something like that will get stolen?" Ruffven said, calling after Jacob. "Not my problem!" Jacob replied. Ruffven turned around and headed back with Jacob, they arrived back at the house, they all had a drink and then Ruthven, Charron and Ruffven went to bed, while Jacob retired to his study. Ruthven continued to tell Ruffven about his amazing combat exploits but Ruffven just nodded every so often.

The next morning Ruffven woke up to find Jacob missing, he went back to the Jacobs study. There were even more books in here, they littered the floor and almost every space on the wall, there was a desk however, a large sheet of Papyrus covering it along with several papers with writing and a black haired man resting his head against it. Ruthven and Charron joined Ruffven deciding whether or not to wake Jacob. "Come on, while he's asleep lets raid his trophy room" Ruthven said. Charron grunted and shook his head. "Oy Jacob!" Charron shouted. Jacob lifted his head from off the table. "It's done" he said. "What is?" Ruthven asked. Jacob beckoned them over to his desk. On the large sheet of papyrus was a detailed map of the swamp area, it also showed the cliffs and pointed out areas of danger and interest. Charron seemed to recognize it. "There's where I stopped off on the way to Wushanko" he said pointing at a point along the coastline. "So, that's it then?" Ruthven asked. Jacob nodded. He rolled it up and picked up the lance beside him. "Now Charron, if you would be so kind?" Jacob asked.

A short walk from Ardougne later and they arrived at the Legends Guild. Jacob disappeared through the gates with a smile, Charron, Ruthven and Ruffven waited anxiously. Eventually Jacob came out again, a white cape around his shoulders, he walked up to the gates and the guards announced "Legends Guild member coming through!". Jacob walked out and gave the cape a twirl. "Puts all your capes to shame doesn't it Ruthven" Charron said. "Yeah just you wait, I'm going to be next in line for that cape" Ruthven added. Ruffven just smiled. "So do we get to have a drink to celebrate?" Ruffven asked. Jacob nodded. "That's right, how about The Hair of the Dog?" Jacob asked. Ruthven gave a look of surprise. "You want to go 'there', you know that's in Canifis right?" Ruthven added. "I don't care if it's on Infernus, a drinks a drink, lets just stop via Burthorpe first so I can pick up Dagger" Charron said. Ruffven gave a smile too, he was tired of being on boats and being teleported and just wanted to go back home. "Right I'll teleport--" Charron started to say. Jacob quickly stopped Charron. "Wait! Lets walk back, we miss out on too much by teleporting" Jacob said, looking towards Ruffven and smiling. Ruffven gave a sigh of relief. Charron put away his staff but simply smiled. Ruthven smiled as well. "How about we stop by Hemenster, oh wait we can't because of someone and their grief with the rangers guild" Ruthven said, starting to walk off. Jacob chuckled. "Who gives a damn what they think, I'm in a much more exclusive guild" Jacob said. "Rangers guild?" Ruffven asked. Jacob chuckled. "Oh go on then Ruthven, you know you want to tell it" Jacob said. Ruthven smiled. "Very well, you see Jacob is an expert with a crossbow, but his skill with a bow --" Ruthven said. Ruffven looked towards the group and smiled, eagerly listening. For once he actually had friends, and he wanted to spend as much time with them as possible.

Adventure

The following details adventures undertaken by the 4 questers that have been left out of the Ruthven Galand page. This mainly details the time between 5, 164 - 5, 167.

Brief Summary

Ruffven and the others went on a number of adventures detailed in the Ruthven Galand article. In summary they took on a vyre and his associates, Ruffven learnt who his father was and Ruffvens mother was cured of her depression. However on their last adventure Ruffven was subject to a brutal torture involving Salve water, Wolfbane daggers and other holy magics, as a result he lost the ability to turn back into wolf form, it is unknown if the effects are permanent. I'll write this up better at some point in the future.

Resolutions

The 4 chinked their glasses together, the new year was coming around and they had a lot to celebrate. Julius had been defeated and it was also almost exactly 1 year since the group was formed. Their cash stack had also increased significantly. Ruffven smiled as he drunk his Slayers Respite, he rarely smiled but before the group formed the smiles would occur about once every 6 months, now it was almost daily. "Here's to the end of year 163, anyone got the time?" Ruthven asked. Jacob took another big sip. "It struck midnight while you were busy chatting up that werewolf" he said before getting back to his book. Ruthven banged his head against his hands. "You didn't think to tell me?" he said. Charron smirked. "You looked like you were having fun, we counted down together without you" he said, a slight hint of malice in his tone. Ruthven simply sighed. "What a great start..." he said.

"Alright then, anyone got any new years resolutions?" Ruthven asked. "You actually do those?" Charron replied. "He does... every year the same one..." Ruffven added. Ruthven gave a huge grin. "I can't help it if I'm that good" he said smirking. "Maybe you could complete one without paying someone else for the privilege" Ruffven replied. Ruthven grunted. "Anyway, this time is different, you know your mask Jacob" Ruthven said. Jacob nodded, turning a page. "Julius had that abyssal demon one, so I was hoping to become a master at killing them so I can wear it" Ruthven said, determined. Jacob chuckled. "What's so funny?" Ruthven asked, laughing with him. "You know it took me about 4 years to master Jadinko's. The Abbies are much more difficult as well." Jacob mentioned. "Were you even paying attention to the mask when it fell off the roof, you don't even know where it landed" Charron added. Ruthven chuckled. "Small details, anyway the resolution isn't to get the mask it's to be able to wear one. Anyway if we get a perfect spine from one we'll be set for life" Ruthven added.

Jacob and Charron continued to laugh. Ruthven chuckled as well. "All right then, you've had your fun. What are your resolutions?" Charron shook his head. "As I said before, I don't do those" he said sharply. Jacob and Ruffven both shook their heads as well. "How about we make a wager of it, the losers have to be the slaves to the winners for a month?" Ruthven said. All 3 immediately agreed. Ruthven suddenly regretted his course of action. "Lets make it fair on Wolf, better not pick a short story." Jacob said. He thought about for a bit. "I want to learn how to sail" Jacob said. Charron nodded. "Good call, it doesn't take long to learn the ropes for a small boat." he said. "I don't think Jacob has the strength for it really" Ruthven said with a smile. "That's rich coming from you..." Ruffven added. Ruthven took a large sip of his drink. "What about you Charron?" Ruffven asked. "I want to go a year without... that spell" Charron said. Ruthven looked confused. Jacob nodded. "It's for the best" Jacob added. Ruthven gave up on trying to understand what they were talking about. "Come on brother, what's yours?" Ruthven asked.

Ruffven gave a deep breath. "I want to overcome one of my weaknesses, that's the purpose of this thing isn't it" Ruffven said. Ruthven chuckled. "Which one, there's so many... Silver, the Salve, fear of Vampyres, Sea Sickness, Teleportation sickness, never having a girl--" Ruthven began, not finishing his list as a sudden strong force impacted against his head and he fell to the floor. Ruffven shook his fist and sighed. Jacob chuckled. "It's barely half as long as Ruthvens own list" he said trying to cheer Ruffven up. Ruffven nodded. Ruffven turned to Charron. "It's addictive isn't it? The sudden power. It feels great doesn't it?" Ruffven said. Charron sighed. "I hate it... until it happens, then I don't want to stop. But I'm scared, as Dagger is becoming more human in his behavior I'm slowly becoming more like a monster... and one day I may end up choosing that way of life if I'm not careful... Urghh what am I doing? I'm heading back to the base." Charron muttered, suddenly becoming angry. He headed off. Jacob looked down. "You remember Thorn, he and Charron are the same. He told me that spell ruins lives." Jacob muttered. Ruffven hadn't made the connection between the two. "I hadn't realised... we better head back to the base as well" Ruffven said. Jacob nodded and the 2 headed back. Ruthven meanwhile was still lying on the floor of the bar.

Here be Ghosts

This story takes place soon after the Daggers of Fate story from the Ruthven Galand page Charron lay against the back of the wall thinking, his head in his arms. Dagger looked towards him. "What's wrong Charron?" he asked. Charron sighed, his armour sat in front of him, recently repaired and sent to him. "You've been like that all day, why do you feel so depressed?" Dagger asked, moving closer to him. "My humanity is leaving me..." Charron replied. "And what is that supposed to mean?" Dagger questioned. "I told myself I wouldn't let myself fall to that curse, only 2 weeks later and I'm using it again..." Charron moped. Dagger sat next to him. "That wasn't your fault. You need to stop thinking it as a curse, we are both alive because of it you can't argue with that." Charron turned suddenly towards Dagger, red in the face. "Because that spell will make me a monster!!" he shouted. "Hah, you lost!" a voice from behind the door said. Charron stormed towards the door, someone was going to get punched. "Wuh-oh" the voice said.

Centauri, Jacobs Grandfather, walked down at that point, he and Jaks had decided to stay for a few weeks, he happened to walk past Ruthven getting his face punched repeatedly by Charron, and over towards Jacob, Ruffven and Dagger who were watching. "Not thinking of intervening at all?" Centauri said, all 3 of them shook their heads simultaneously. "Well the Slayer Master wants to have a word with you lot, asap" he said. Jacob nodded. "Did you hear that Ruthven?" he asked with a smile. Ruthven responded with a weak nod.

All of them had been asked to come, so they had gotten ready and headed over to the master. The master nodded. "I believe this is the first time we've all met" the master said a curious look on his face. Ruffven nodded. "I'm Talon, you know Wolf, the rangers Raptor, the mage is Croc and the Dagannoth is Dagger" Ruffven said with a friendly tone. The master chuckled. "Talon is it now? Your first contract I remember, though as a Slayer I'm not too sure about that Daggermouth though" he said with concern. "He's a familiar" Croc said. The slayer master nodded and chuckled. "That's fine then, Talon you should start slaying again, we don't have a lot of experienced Slayers out here and they pay well" he said. Ruffven nodded. "We're questers now, we've got enough jobs as it is" Ruffven replied. The master chuckled once more. "Damn, questing. Well I suppose some people like it, that's why I called you lot here anyway, follow me" he said. The group followed him.

The master lead them to a shack north of the village, inside was a ragged looking man, with short red hair and an eyepatch. The man looked towards the slayer master and thanked him, the master quickly turned away and walked back to the village. The man turned towards the group. "Thank you for coming, I'm Captain Phileas McDragon and I'm in need of assistance" he said. The group nodded. "What did you want?" Ruthven asked. The captain brushed back his hair and sat down. "I'm in need of an escort" he explained. "I wanna go ba' home, I make me living on an island south of Harmless" he said. Ruthven smiled. "Well did you have a particular one of us in mind to escort you?" Ruthven asked. "Aye, all of you." he said. "A certain group is after me, and I need crew for my ship and I thought I could trust you" he said. Ruffvens face turned to shock upon the word ship, but Ruthven smiled. "Of course, Croc here has good experience with boats, it's just the matter of payment" Ruthven said. The man nodded and produced a bank note for 10 gold bars. Ruthvens smile widened as he took in the note. "When do we leave?" he asked. Phileas got up. "Now"

The captain wasn't much of a talker and was slightly paranoid so the journey East was filled with little talk. "What do we do when we get to Phasymystas?" Jacob asked. Ruthven shrugged. "I've never been" he replied. "Really?" Jacob asked. Ruffven suddenly gained a huge smile on his face. "How could I forget, he's scared of ghosts" Ruffven said. Ruthven laughed it off. "Yeah right, I kill undead all the time" Ruthven said with a forced smile. "Oh I guess that incident at the Ectofunctus never happened" Ruffven replied. Ruthven scratched his head. "I think Ja... Raptor wants to know how the functus works..." Ruthven said nervously. "We'll figure it out eventually" Charron said. "Dad took us there back when we were younger, Wolf broke a vase by the altar and a load of ghosts went up to him and started shouting, I helped pull him back and I could suddenly smell uri--" Ruffven started saying before being interrupted. "Yeah... great story, look were at the functus now" Ruthven pointed out, sweating slightly.

The group walked into the temple, inside was a giant fountain that spewed out some sort of green liquid. The captain offered to stay put while the rest of them explored. Ruthven huddled up close to Ruffven, shielding his gaze from the ghostly figures moving about. "What are we doing here?" Charron asked. Ruffven pointed to the fountain. We have to pay a toll in order to pass, but it's not gold" he said. Ruthven suddenly lit up. "Your right Talon, we need to grab some bones don't we? I'll be right back." he said rushing out quickly. Ruffven growled quietly. "Croc, Dagger you two go help him. We need bones, you should know how to get them." Ruffven said. Charron nodded and left with Dagger. Ruffven looked to Jacob and beckoned him to follow, he led them to a trapdoor and a pile of buckets. "Grab two" he said, Jacob immediately complying. They both descended down into the door.

They were in a large cavern like area, a pool of slime lay at the bottom. Ruffven pointed at the slime. Jacob sighed. "Really? But the route there, it's ridiculous why are the stairs on each floor on the opposite side of the room, it's like some jerk put it like that to be cruel, the journey could fill several pages..." he said. Ruffven shrugged. "Well we better get a move on --" he said, but stopped when Jacob jumped down onto the next floor. He looked up at Ruffven. "You coming?" he asked. Ruffven growled, he hadn't ever thought of doing that before. They jumped down again and found themselves overlooking the pool, they attached the buckets to a rope and filled them up that way, they managed to get the buckets up without spilling anything.

They went to the fountain and found Charron with a bunch of pots of white powder. Dagger curiously had a white snout. "Were you eating it?" Jacob asked. Dagger coughed and a cloud of white dust came out of his mouth in response. "It tastes horrible" he said. Charron was hiding a smirk behind his staff. They poured in the contents of the pots and buckets into the fountain and a ghost came over and gave them some strange pieces of paper. "This should be enough to get us in" Ruffven said. They met back up with the captain and found Ruthven behind some bushes and they entered the town. They didn't have long to stay however and they found themselves on a medium sized boat. The ' S. East rn Snak ', "Some o' the letters fell off" the Captain said.

That night they went out to sea, Charron had volunteered to keep watch while the others slept. He walked around with Dagger patrolling the deck. "Like the old days" Charron said. "Old? It was just over a year ago" Dagger said, confused. "It's an expression" Charron replied, the atmosphere having lost its appeal. He heard running behind him and quickly turned round, it turned out to be Ruffven, heading for the side again. He threw up into the ocean. The site of it disturbed him and he threw up some more. Charron joined him, having felt sorry for him. "I hate the sea" he said, before falling down against the floor. Charron picked him up. "You'll get over it" Charron said, wondering whether that was true or not. "Not all of us are part Dagannoth" he said, breathing deeply. Charron had no response, his earlier depression had come back and he stared out to sea.

Ruffven joined him in staring at the sea, feeling better. "Why don't you like it?" Ruffven asked. Charron sighed. "I don't feel comfortable discussing this with you" Charron replied sternly. Dagger stretched to look over the railings on the boat, Ruffven grabbed him and placed him onto his back. "Do you enjoy it Dagger?" Ruffven asked. Charron grunted. "Yes" Dagger replied. "Please don't..." Charron muttered. "What do you enjoy about it most?" Ruffven asked. Charron grunted louder. "The fact that Charron is with me the whole time and that it's because of that, that I got to know him" he said. Charron punched the railing. Ruffven looked over, a drop of water fell from Charrons face to the sea. "I just want to avoid the spell and any other giant monsters" he said. He looked down into the sea and saw a Dark Shadow. Suddenly something jumped out of the water and pulled Charron and Ruffven in.

Shadows from the Depth

The shock of cold water splashing into Charrons face briefly confused him, he couldn't tell what was happening. He tried to stay calm, another wave splashed him in the face. "Dagger!?!" Charron shouted. Charron heard a sound but he couldn't make it out. He shouted again and heard the same response. Charron swore but suddenly he heard a voice in his head. "What's happening?" it said. Charron forgot he could do that. "Why are we in the ocean?" Charron thought. "Something's dragging us, Ruffven isn't moving either" the voice said. "He must be unconscious, just make sure he's facing out of the water" "Oh." "What?" "It's fine he was only there for about 3 minutes" Charron bit his lip. "Dagger please tell me he isn't..." "He has a pulse, that means he's alive doesn't it?" Charron made a sigh of relief. He suddenly remembered something was dragging him. "What is dragging us?" he asked. "I can't see, it's too dark. But it's big and smells like a shark. Should we kill it?" "We couldn't win, not easily anyway, and if we did we'd be stuck in the middle of the ocean, I say we wait for the right moment then we attack" Charron suggested. Dagger agreed.

Charron suddenly found the sun in his eyes, he must have just fallen asleep. He had woken up because he heard shouting, Ruffven was awake. "Cha-Charron!" Ruffven shouted. "What?" Charron shouted back. "What's happening!?!" he shouted. "Just ignore it and wait for it to end" Charron shouted back. "Cha-Cha-Charron I need to get out!" Ruffven shouted. "Shut up!" Charron shouted back. "Charron please, I can't swim!" Ruffven shouted. Charron sighed, Ruthven had threated to speak of Ruffvens fear back on the ship, he was afraid of water, of drowning. "Then hang on, Dagger will help you if you fall off" Charron replied. Ruffven stopped talking afterwards. "Were here" a voice from the front said. "Where?" Charron asked, no reply came. He looked in front of him and saw a large island, they passed by a variety of sharp rocks that obviously deterred ships.

They arrived at the shore, Charron and Ruffven crawled along the sand unable to stand, Ruffven practically collapsed. Dagger walked up to Charron seemingly unfazed and nudged him. "meh-friggin-plah" Charron said in response. "Hard to believe it was you who killed Akiri" a voice behind him said. Charron suddenly got the strength to stand and quickly turned around. It was some sort of Giant shark humanoid, there was a lightning bolt shaped scar along his chest that Charron instantly recognized. He quickly drew his sword and held it in front of him, he barely knew how to swing it but the material would do most of the work for him. "If I wanted you dead you would have died back at that factory" the creature spoke. Charron suddenly remembered, the creature must be the witch who had cured Charad of the spell. "Why am I here?" Charron asked. "The Jai family is not through with you just yet" it said.

"Where was that boat headed!" Charron shouted, remembering Jacob and Ruthven. "One of the Death Lotus's bases" it said. Charron swore. "We will get to them eventually, meanwhile I'm here to get you to help us" it said. "Us?" a voice from below said. Ruffven managed to stand up and brush the sand off him. "There's more of you?" Ruffven reiterated. The creature nodded. "A pure one... this is a haven for those who have suffered from the ritual. The survivors of Akiri's conquest are the largest 'demographic' here. Follow" it said. The creature walked forward towards the centre of the isle. Ruffven looked towards Charron, then turned and moved to follow. Charron and Dagger followed closely behind.

The sun dried them off as they walked through the jungle. Charron caught up with the creature and decided to get some questions answered. "How are you on land, and much larger than Charad was?" he asked. "I know more about the spell than anyone else, except maybe 1 if he's still alive. My father was one of the people who devised the ritual, he saw his mistake when his former colleague used it for power, ruining lives with the spell. My father spent decades working to find a cure, he succeeded but was killed shortly after, he recorded all his secrets in his copy of the book, which he passed on to me" it said. "Then why not cure yourself?" Dagger asked. "It isn't easy, the spell is permanent it can't be destroyed without killing the host, so you have to pass it on to a new host, but there's a catch. The host must willingly accept it, and so must the creatures used in the spell. Your Sea orphan friend is 1 of only 3 that have successfully been cured" it said. "And the strength?" Charron asked. "My skill alone, I may as well have power if I can't be cured." it said followed by a menacing growl. Ruffven grunted.

"You are unique" it said. "How?" Charron asked. "Most of us are 'Feral', we lost our humanoid form forever, forced to wander as beasts. "You are a 'Tamed one'. How were you cursed?" it asked. Ruffven turned to Charron as well. Charron sighed. "I was born cursed, my father attempted to use it and my pregnant mother was nearby. My father suddenly had a change of heart, so the spell went to me, whilst unborn..." Charron muttered loudly, taking long pauses after each few words. "Interesting. It's just up this hill" it replied. Charron looked up, the hill was actually what was probably an extinct volcano, there was a shear cliff face overlooking the island with a shallower hill extending up the side, on the ground there was a disturbing sight, a broken looking crocodile humanoid, its eyes looked up from the ground towards Charron. "The recently 'Feral' sometime can't handle the change. Suicide is common." it said coldly. Charron turned away from the corpse and continued up the hill.

At the top of the hill they reached the volcanic crater. It had filled in with water over a time, and there was an old stone building in the centre of the 'lake', a series of stepping stones acted as a walkway to the building. "Stay close and don't fall in" it said. Charron nodded and carefully stepped from each stone to the centre. Ruffven carefully followed him. At last they reached the building. "I cannot guarantee any of you 3's safety in here, especially you as the Alpha" it said towards Charron. "Alpha?" Charron asked. "Your blood was the force that made a lot of them monsters, they're children of a monster and they are certainly angry enough to try something" it said. Charron huffed and crossed his arms. "Times wasting... Let's just go in"

It was like a scene from a nightmare, there were in a round room which consisted of a large stone floor suspended within an indoor lake. In the lake you could see fins popping out of the water with dark shadows beneath them, on the floor itself stood about 10 of the crocodile humanoids, enemies Charron remembered well. Charron kept his sword close to him and walked towards them. They all turned to look towards Charron, various growls emanated from them. "What's a human doing here?" one said. "That creature beside him looks familiar" "Is it him...?" "The Alpha!" there conversation was becoming more and more aggressive. One of the croc's charged Charron, Charron was unprepared and went to do a swing with his sword, but the croc suddenly fell against the floor and slid towards the water. Ruffven was standing with his shield out in front, a dark stain now darkened it. Ruffven growled.

There was a murmur and out from the crowd stepped a large creature, it looked like a giant bear humanoid. He stepped forward and let out a low growl. "Has 'she' brought you here?" it asked. Charron nodded. The bear roared out loud, echoing through the caverns. "They will not be harmed, for now" it said. The bear beckoned them to follow, so Charron did. The atmosphere was tense as Charron walked in front of the people whose lives he had helped ruin, within killing distance. As Charron left the room he could feel their reluctance.

They were brought to another cavern, there were 2 piles of straw on each side of the room, on one sat another creature, this one part scorpion. It walked forward and stared at him with large red eyes. "This is the alpha? And he is tamed as she said." "'He' has a name" Charron mentioned. The bear growled. The scorpion silenced him. "I am Scorpius, that is Ursa. Our real names were lost to us" it said. "Why do we need his help? He doesn't seem strong" Ursa said. "He has faced and killed more than all of our kills combined" a voice said from behind. The witch had arrived, it was obvious the shark was the strongest of the lot. "What of the other one?" Ursa asked. "He is pure. He hitched a ride here. He is a nobody." the witch said. Ruffven growled. "I'm the one who killed Thorn" he replied. There was no visible reaction from anyone except the witch. "He's dead. One of the spells creators." it said, deep in thought. "And you don't even come close to his power so watch your tongue" Ruffven said to Ursa. Ursa looked like he was about to rip a throat out but he held it back. The witch beckoned Charron to another chamber. "You and your 'pet' come with me, the pure one stays here" it said. Dagger growled, all the growling was starting to get on Charrons nerves, he looked towards Ruffven. "Go." he said, nodding. Charron nodded back and followed the witch.

They were in a large chamber with a large pool of water taking up half the space, the rest was filled with magical equipment. "You still haven't explained properly why you brought us here" Charron mentioned. "You're going to help us launch an attack on the Death Lotus base, I've said before" it mentioned with a sneer. "But why do you need me, you practically have a fighting force that could easily take them down" Charron protested. The witch punch the wall, despite being stone cracks had begun to appear. "Only 2 of us are prepared to fight, those children of yours, once I gave their intelligence back they became scared, they were slaves not use to fighting and they didn't want to become monsters, a lot of them struggle to go hunting." it said angrily. Charron couldn't believe this. "So me and Dagger are supposed to go in their place then and get ourselves killed then!" Charron shouted. "Exactly, you are capable of great feats when released, you have more power than the rest of those imbeciles combined" it said. Charron shook his head. "Well I refuse" Charron said. The witch punched Charron against the floor.

Charron ached everywhere, however he felt the strength to get back up again. He picked up his sword and pointed it at the witch. The witch stood there breathing deeply in and out. "Whose going to save your friends then?" it asked. "Me, Dagger and Ruffven will, we don't need your help" he said confidently. "And how will you reach them, let alone leave this island?" it asked. Charron suddenly realised, he had been kidnapped. He had no idea where he was and Ruffven couldn't swim either. "Time to start the tests then" the witch said. Dagger looked at Charron sympathetically, Charron sighed.

"I want you to describe each of the monsters that you share the bond with, and details" the witch said. Charron sat in a chair, chair was a loose description of what was actually just a pile of straw. "Caedis is a crocodile, he was the original creature in the spell. He never joined during the ritual so grew up --" Charron started to say. "I just want the powers of the creatures" the witch interrupted. Charron gave a dirty look. "I don't know Crocodiles well enough to determine if there was improved strength or agility, but his intelligence increased a lot" he said. The witch nodded. "There's Dagger, my closest companion. He's a Dagannoth which are a kind of amphibious reptile creature that live in the Fremmenik Sea. His soul and blood were used in the ritual, not his body. His soul was later placed in another body. He is more powerful than another Dagannoth his size but grows at a slower rate. He also has increased intelligence." Charron said, looking towards Dagger. Dagger walked over to him. "I'm stronger than you make me out to be you know" he said. Charron briefly smiled. "I forgot to mention you were also full of yourself" he said. Dagger moved to bite him but Charron had gotten use to this and pulled his arm back. "Very amusing, you keep a relationship with what are essentially tools to you" it said. Charron stood up. "You ever thought that might be why I'm so powerful in the first place?" he said angrily. The witch growled. "So the 3 of you together--" it began to say. Charron coughed. "There's another..." he said. The witch looked interested. "I don't believe there's a limit to how many creatures you can use, however I don't recall a 4th creature when we met" it said. "I stole him, Diahara. He was a reanimated wyvern used in another's ritual. He's vain and discarded his previous host for me in the hopes of more power. I don't use him however, and his power and soul are locked up". Charron said. "Why would you do that?" it replied. "To protect my friends, he is aggressive and dangerous" he said. The witch stared at him. "Your serious aren't you, you are not on an equal level with these creatures, they are tools to give you strength, you take their power and you remain in control..." it said. Charron stood there. "Where am I sleeping?" Charron asked. "Here, you can bring the pure one as well, there's straw over there" it said, walking out.

Ruffven walked in later. "Hmmm it's strange, I'm a werewolf and I'm the most normal one here" he said. Charron sighed. "Do you like me, Charron?" Ruffven asked. The question threw Charron. "Of course, we're partners." Charron said. "Yes, but are we friends?" Ruffven asked. Charron shrugged. "What do you mean, we've gotten drinks together before" Charron replied. "With Ruthven and Jacob yes, and I think the reason is you don't like me" he said. Charron struggled to come up with a reply. "Fine then, I'm not a sociable person, the last friend I made is a Dagannoth..." he said. "Are you my friend Ruffven?" Dagger asked. Ruffven smiled. "If you want me to be then that's fine. Our chats are interesting" he said. "Chats?" Charron asked. "Friends only" Dagger said chuckling. Charron frowned. "Do you want to talk?" Charron asked Ruffven. Ruffven pointed to the water. "Teach me how to swim." he said. "Fine! If you'll shut up about not being friends afterwards" Charron said. He took his armour off and dived into the pool, Dagger dived in afterwards. Ruffven took his armour off and stared at the water. "Your not gonna learn from up there idiot" Charron said. "Maybe we can start with the doggy paddle..." he added snidely. Ruffven suddenly dived towards Charron and knocked him under with a splash.

Later that night Ruffven was sleeping face down in the straw. Charron found he was a quick learner, but they had only learnt to tread water at the moment. Charron laid awake staring up at the ceiling. He was concerned about Jacob and Ruthven. He decided not to think about it and went to sleep.

Isle of Assassins

"Wake up!" someone shouted kicking him. Ruthven groaned, a bunch of men who looked like assassins were staring down at him. "5 more minutes" Ruthven groaned. The man kicked him again and Ruthven rolled on to his back. "I'm warning you, get up or you'll be killed" the man shouted. Ruthven quickly jumped up and punched the man in the jaw, then drew his rapiers. He managed to get in some slashes before he was knocked down to the floor. "You'll regret that" one of them said. Suddenly he was kicked in the head and everything went dark.

Ruthven woke up to find himself being dragged, his legs scraping against the floor. He was being lead to a large fancy looking room. He was pushed against the floor and forced to kneel. He turned around to see Jacob in the same position. He smiled towards him, Jacob tutted and nodded his head towards the back of the room. An oldish looking man, who appeared to be from the Eastern Isles was sitting on a Throne looking towards them. "Who are these two?" he asked. As he bent forward closer, Ruthven saw him better. Short Dark hair, leather armour that bore a peculiar symbol, one Ruthven couldn't place. "I'm Wolf, this is my partner Raptor" Ruthven said with a smile. The man ignored him. "Well?" he asked. There was no reply.

"Look were just a couple of adventurers, you don't need to worry about us" Ruthven said. The man didn't pay him any attention. "I asked you to get 1 person, and these 2 aren't him!" the man shouted. "Does that mean we can go now?" Ruthven asked. The man walked past Ruthven and stood facing down at Jacob. "I'm looking for a man who can also become a beast" he asked. "Other than the residents of Canifis, I can't say I know anyone else" Jacob replied. The old man stared at him for a while. "Lock them up with the captain" he said. Jacob and Ruthven were then suddenly dragged back again, they carried on being dragged until they were thrown into a small room. The door locked behind them.

"You know, the reason I liked Canifis is because they didn't have prisons, we could just fight our way out" Ruthven said, pushing against the door. "Who do you think they were after? A man who could become a beast" Jacob wondered. "I thought you were smart, it's obvious isn't it" Ruthven said, kicking against the door. Jacob gave a fake sounding chuckle. "Of course... You think that captain had a hidden agenda, a plot hidden between the lines" Jacob said. "You could say that..." a voice behind him said. The captain moved out of the shadows and smiled.

"You!" Ruthven shouted and sped towards him. He pushed the captain against the wall. "You lied to us!" he shouted. The captain lost his smile. "I admit I did lie, but not for the reason you think, let me go and I'll explain everything" he said. Ruthven, though still angry let him down. "What's your story?" Jacob asked. "Captain Phileas McDragon is currently in Port Sarim trying to inquire about his stolen ship, I assumed his identity to infiltrate the Death Lotus and preventing them from finding our settlement" he explained. "'Our' settlement?" Jacob asked. "We make up a group of individuals inflicted by a certain curse, unable to live in normal society" he said. "And you needed one of us with a similar curse to help. How did you find us?" Jacob asked. "The man you saw, Zehga Jai. His families one of the most ruthless in the Eastern Isles. Their power has diminished following the death of the 2 youngest members though they are seeking retribution for the one who killed him. They had spies who saw him in Kandarin, so they knew he was alive. They tracked him to Canifis a few months later, I was commissioned to retrieve him" he said. "So I'm guessing Croc and Talon are at this settlement and they've commissioned their help to kill Zehga. I'm guessing he's attempting to purge all affected by this spell so that's why you want him dead, the only question remaining is why are you helping them in the first place?" Jacob asked. The captain chuckled. His face turned as dark as shadow, the shadows then dispersed and a reptilian looking face stared back. "Our kind shouldn't be subjugated" he said.

Teaching

Charron stood on the cold rocky floor, he could taste the salt in the wind as it blew towards his face, next to him stood Dagger and in front of them stood a blood red wyvern. "Dagger... you let him go..." Charron said, concerned that this thing was free to roam around their minds. "He's not aggressive now, anyway I needed his help because mother took control of you" Dagger said in an angry response. "You need not concern yourself with your safety at this moment, for I shall attempt to destroy you only once I have the advantage" it said. "Dagger!" Charron shouted. Dagger started to sulk. Charron walked up to Diahara, it growled at him as he neared it.

"Why do I not just kill you now?" Charron asked. It gave an aggressive chuckle. "You'd be willing to risk the after effects, I also don't plan to go quietly" it said. Charron cursed. "It was your idea to take my power, you just don't want to accept you crave this, you want more and more power, whilst you descend into the feral beasts you are destined to become then I shall take control, and you will want it..." it said. Charron stood there, simply staring at Diahara. "You sure we can't kill it?" Dagger asked. It growled in response. "Will you help if we call on you?" Dagger asked. "I must lest the body perish and me with it, you have my full support if only temporarily" it said. Charron nodded. "One of those creatures comes now, you should probably wake now" it said. Charron closed his eyes.

Charron opened his eyes, getting up and drawing his sword. In front of him stood one of the crocodile humanoids, it was one of the smaller ones however. "Are you here to try and kill me?" Charron asked. It stood there watching him. "You don't look that scary" it said. "Did you come in for a reason" he replied. "I was in the mine when you attacked, I couldn't see you but I could hear you. Are you here to kill us all?" it asked. "Not currently" Charron responded. It stared at him a while longer before leaving. "What did it want?" Dagger asked. "Curious probably. To see the monster who took away their life and reduced them to beasts." Charron said. "How depressing" Ruffven said, standing up. Charron grunted. "You're awake then" Charron said. "Look, as someone who had to deal with another side to them I can suggest walking it off" Ruffven said. Charron reluctantly agreed and the 3 of them left.

The 3 of them walked down to the coastline and along the coast. "Feeling better?" Ruffven asked. "Shut up." Charron responded. "You want go for a swim instead?" Ruffven asked. Charron thought about it and agreed. The sun was just coming up and the sea was calm so Charron went back to teaching Ruffven. Ruffven mastered the doggy paddle fairly quickly though he didn't see the irony in this. Charron continued with the training for a few hours until he heard a voice in his head. "Charron? Dagger?" it went. Charron looked to Dagger who looked as confused as he did. Charron simply felt a familiar presence that was slowly growing stronger. "It's Caedis" Dagger said. Charron was even more confused, Caedis was miles away. Charron looked towards the ocean and saw something speeding towards him. The witch burst out of the ocean and threw a large crocodile onto the beach. "Charron. What is happening?" a voice in Charrons head spoke. The witch stood on the beach, "Now your all here you can start the transformation" it said.

"You dragged Caedis here without telling me!" Charron shouted. "Your transformation needs to occur as soon as possible" the witch replied. "I said I would help, but not transform. I've given it up" Charron said growing madder. "You won't survive against them in your current form" it replied. "We can handle a few assassins, outside of stealth their pathetic in combat" Ruffven stepped in. "Really? The Death Lotus' signature weapon is a dart that can knock out an adult male easily, and they tend to be accurate. 1 hit and you are out for the count, if you are transformed it will take much fewer" it replied. Ruffven growled. "He doesn't want to do it" Ruffven replied. "You can do it yourself or I make you do it" it replied. Charron looked at his equipment, it was behind the witch. "I have no choice Ruffven, just keep away from me as it happens" he replied. Ruffven growled but nodded. Charron beckoned Dagger over as they walked towards Caedis. "What have you gotten yourself into?" Caedis communicated. "The curse will never leave us alone" Charron replied. "We're with you all the way Charron" Dagger said. Charron gave a weak smile and sighed. "Lets get this over with!" Charron shouted. He retrieved his silver sword, showed off his finger to the witch several times and then begun the spell, the sword turned red and then Charron proceeded to impale it through himself, Dagger and Caedis. Caedis and Dagger faded into wisps and Charron fell to ground, the wisps flowing into him. Charron shouted in pain then the shout slowly turned into a growl than a roar.

Ruffven watched from the shore, the spell was unnerving to watch. He saw Charron slowly change into one of those crocodile creatures, his friend unrecognizable under the scales. As the transformation progressed his body began to change again as the skin became more smooth and grey. When the transformation was finished Ruffven finally saw the beast for what it was. "It looked like a larger version of Dagger, however the snout was longer, the skin was scaled at parts and the tail was longer. There was also the eyes, blood red the sight of them sent a shiver down Ruffvens spine and very few things did. Ruffven walked up to Charron. "Don't look at me, I don't want to be remembered as a monster" the creature said attempting to sorrow but with a voice that sounded monstrous and aggressive. "You know if Ruth was here he'd probably mention even like that, your still a miserable old git" Ruffven said. Charron made a strange noise in response. "This creature is also Dagger and he's taken offence at that" Charron replied. Ruffven smiled, but the witch walked over to Dagger, even though Charron was now much larger he was still dwarfed by the witch. "I need you to fully transform" it replied.

Charron growled. "No! You have a monster already, you don't need him" he shouted. "If we are to succeed we'll need complete power" it replied. "Freedom, after almost a year" a voice in his head replied. Charron suddenly had a brilliant thought. "Diaharas body was destroyed, and with his size It would drain too much energy, we'd collapse into a neverending sleep before we reached the island, even if we spent the entire way there fishing" Charron replied. He felt a sharp headache afterwards. "That would be the case, yet you remember the energy gem, the one you still wear across your neck" the witch replied. Charron growled. The witch reached over and grabbed Charrons necklace and pressed it against his chest. It glowed briefly and fused in place. "That is enough energy for you to last maybe 10 years, now transform you have no more excuses" it replied. "No!" Charron shouted. "You can't threaten me either, you may be strong but not enough, were leaving now!" Charron replied. He turned round towards the beach when he heard a growl behind him, but it was a much quieter growl than expected. The witch was staring at Ruffven. "Transform" it said. "No!" Charron replied. "Who does that creature think they are? Take my power and rip it apart." Diahara said. The witch slammed Ruffven against a tree and moved towards him. Charron paused for a moment. "Time to show it we're not to be messed with" he replied. "Nobody hurts our friend!" Charron shouted, his body turning blood red.

His body erupted in pain and Charron collapsed on all fours, his skin began to turn red. His arms grew longer and he started to form wings, his neck grew longer and his jaw turned larger. All Charron could feel was anger, but he was noting something strange as it happened, his head felt like it was splitting open, he roared and he suddenly heard another voice roar with him. A brief moment of excruciating pain and Charron saw another head protruding from his body, it looked a lot like Diahara, suddenly he saw the view from that head and found his own was shaped like Dagger's. Charron didn't have time to wonder because a sudden burst of anger overwhelmed him. He charged forwards and grabbed the witch in his jaws, he threw it to the other end of the beach. Charron gave a roar and then his other head gave a roar afterwards. "Witness true power!" it shouted. Charron hadn't said that, Diahara controlled the other head. Charron didn't care at the moment though, as the witch started to get back up.

"This was unexpected, but your power has been proven. Now we march on Zehga's stronghold" it replied. Both heads growled. "NOBODY THREATENS OUR FRIENDS", the other head said the same thing but replacing 'friends' with 'power'. "What do you think your doing!?!" the witch replied. Charron responded with a large blast of water, the witch had moved to the side but it had torn off the skin on its right shoulder. "Concentrate your rage on Zehga, you promised you would help us!" it replied. Both heads spoke at the same time as if they were slowly becoming one mind. "That human promised that, he no longer exists. You enticed the wrath of us, we owe allegiance to none and you will learn that lesson as you lie dying on the beach!" Charron replied. The witch finally showed fear, and rushed into the ocean. Charron fired another blast of water and the other head breathed frost breath which froze the spiral of water as it flew past, it impaled into the witch stopping it from getting far. The witch crawled further into the ocean, but Charron had already moved forward and grabbed it in his jaws. The witch turned round and slashed at his face, the claws went across his eyes and Charron lost his sight, he roared in pain and bit hard into whatever piece of flesh he could sink his teeth into. He continued to drag it backwards, the witch wasn't moving much. Suddenly he felt a slice across his body, Charron could only see a red shape against a black background, but he understood what it meant. He lunged forward and grabbed it in his jaws, it was smallish but too large so Charron had to chew it in his jaws so he consume it more easily. As he swallowed he felt good.

Ruffven woke up with a splitting headache in front of him he saw something monstrous. It was fighting the witch and winning with ease, the creatures from the volcano had all come down simply watching the fight. When the witch managed to blind one head, one of the crocodile creatures got brave and attacked the creature, it was a mistake it soon regretted, what was left of the creature afterwards was drooled out of the creatures mouth as it salivated. He saw Ursa shout something. "Attrition! We can wear it down eventually!" it yelled attempting to rally support. The dragon like head began to laugh and roared towards the other head, the claw marks were slowly starting to heal, the damage became unnoticeable after a few seconds, then the head opened it's eyes. It was like no damage had occurred at all. Ruffven saw a chance he quickly grabbed his and Charrons gear.

All Charron could feel was anger, a plan was forming in his head on how to create the most fear and pain out of every creature. He then saw the creature that had woken him that morning. He chuckled. "I don't seem that scary do I? I am the master of your race, your savior lies in the sand food for the crabs. You have no one now, you will be alone as each one of you dies, while the others--" Charron's speech was interrupted by something jumping onto his back. "Charron! Ignore them we have to get Jacob and Ruthven!" he heard Ruffven shout. Charron snapped out of it, he gave a large roar and then moved his wings, it was awkward but he managed to take off and flew out into the ocean.

Charron could still feel the rage in the back of his mind, it wouldn't go away. "How bad was it Ruffven?" Charron asked. "Just be glad I got all your stuff..." he replied. "You pathetic fools, we had them cornered, we could have killed them all" Diahara said through the other head. "What's going on?" Ruffven asked. "Is that the 'thing' we thought on top of the Slayer Tower?" Ruffven asked. Diahara growled. "And you're the one who swung a mace into my head!" Diahara responded. "Can't you get Dagger speaking instead?" Ruffven asked. The head growled. "That water lizard and neither does the cowardly human here, know how to maintain flight, and if you want to save yourself from drowning you'll watch your tongue dog!" it replied. Ruffven was reluctant to growl in response. "His species isn't made to be suicidal, he won't do anything" Charron replied. Ruffven held his head. "I'm so confused, and how do you know where your going?" Ruffven asked. "There's a large concentration of humans on a small island North East of here" Charron replied. "How long will that take?" Ruffven asked. "We'll be back to killing in about 7 of your 'hours' as you humans use" Diahara replied. Ruffven was taking deep breaths. "What is Ruthven going to think when he see's this?" Ruffven asked. "I hope it's violently" Diahara said in an violent tone. "He's more likely to get jealous because your soaring hundreds of feet above the ground" Charron replied. Ruffven suddenly felt sick.

The Breakout

Jacob stared out of the door, the guard was there as usual. "Your up" Jacob said. The guard in the cell nodded. "You!" he said shouting out of the door. "The prisoners have escaped!". The guard outside started swearing repeatedly and went to open the door, he walked in. Jacob and Ruthven both launched forward. It could have gone better but the guard was knocked out. "I'll take his outfit" Jacob said, preparing to get changed. "Where's my disguise?" Ruthven asked. "You're the prisoner we're escorting" he replied. "I always get the terrible part" Ruthven complained. "Come on, lets get this story going" Jacob said. He grabbed Ruthven and pushed him to the ground. "Get moving scum!" Jacob shouted. "I'll get my revenge, just you wait" Ruthven said as he was lead through the building.

Surprisingly it went better than expected, nobody said anything to them as they walked towards where they hoped their stuff was kept. They made their way into the room and gathered their stuff. Jacob also took a few darts with him. "So are we going to Croc or are we waiting for him to come to us?" Jacob asked the 'guard'. There was a roar in the distance. Jacob grew concerned, he looked out the window and saw a speck slowly getting bigger, high in the sky. "What was that?" Ruthven asked. "An inhabitant of this 'island' no doubt, that probably means Croc's on his way here" he said. Ruthven smiled and twirled his blade. "Hey things are finally looking up" Ruthven said. Suddenly 3 guards entered the room.

Jacob dashed behind a barrel and loaded his crossbow. Ruthven had already rushed forward and stabbed one through the chest. The guards had already drawn their swords and Ruthven was put on the defensive. Jacob moved from behind the barrel and fired a bolt into one of the guards legs. The guard flinched and Ruthven took the advantage and launched another successful stab. Jacob quickly remembered his darts and threw one at the guard. The guard got hit in the neck, he paused for a moment and then collapsed. "I could have taken him" Ruthven said. "Come on, we need to find a boat" Jacob replied. Suddenly he heard a loud explosion from the castle. "What was that!?!" Ruthven shouted. "Cannon, they've noticed your friend it seems" the 'guard' replied. "We better head there first then" Jacob replied. "Hopefully it's enroute" Ruthven said with a smile. The 3 ran towards the tower where the cannon was kept.

Ruffven hung on for his life as Charron moved to dodge it. "No more!" Ruffven said. "Pathetic, as if they expect us to not dodge something that small" Charron said. "Soon we will be in range to rain death upon them" Diahara responded. Another cannonball sped towards them, but it was too far to the left. The 2 heads started to chuckle, until the cannonball exploded in mid air, not too far from them. Shrapnel embedded itself into Charrons body and he roared. "You can heal can't you?" Ruffven asked. "Not when it's embedded in my skin!" Charron shouted. "We will dodge it, they only delay the inevitable" Diahara responded. Another explosion occurred just below them.

Jacob threw another dart and it struck the assassin in the neck, he paused and then collapsed. Ruthven sighed but smiled. "Your not giving me a chance to get them" Ruthven exclaimed. "Come on, it's just through this door" Jacob replied, for they had reached the tower. Inside was a fully armoured 6 ½ foot man wielding a flail and a large shield. "You take care of him, I'll head upstairs" Jacob responded. "Wait--" Ruthven replied, before he had to dodge a large spiky ball heading towards him. "Great..." he replied. Jacob quickly climbed to the top but was deafened by the bang of the cannon. He looked, there were 5 of them, and they all had weapons. Jacob quickly threw a dart at the loader who had just placed a lit cannonball in the cannon. The loader went unconscious and the men brought out their weapons against Jacob. Jacob quickly ran down the stairs not sure of what would happen. The men suddenly realised as well, there was another explosion, this time from inside the cannon. Jacob tripped as the explosion raked the foundations of the building. He went back up, the only part of the cannon that was damaged was the barrel itself, however the men around it had not been so lucky. Charron could see the creature much more clearly now, he could just about make out a person on it, Jacob made a quick prayer, loaded the crossbow and pointed it above the creature and fired.

"Arghhh!!!" Charron shouted as more shrapnel peppered his body. "Are you okay?" Ruffven asked. "NO OF COURSE I'M NOT OKAY!!!" Charron shouted. "Were close enough now, if you charge your breath long enough you can kill at least one of them, enough to slow them down until we get in close-- arghh!" Diahara was saying until he was interrupted, something shiny and small was sticking out of his head. Ruffven looked at it. "It's a silvthril bolt, it must be Jacob!" Ruffven exclaimed. A sigh of relief went through Charron, his friends were alive. "Now you can focus on ripping everyone else apart" Diahara said, growling softly. As they got in closer they saw Ruthven fighting a heavily armoured knights on the ground. "He's hopeless isn't he?" Charron mentioned. "Get closer, I'll give him a hand" Ruffven said. "I could easily kill him you know" Charron mentioned. "Well I'm getting sick and I want to get off" Ruffven replied, bringing out his shield.

Ruthven struggled to get any hits on his opponent. He was too well armoured and the flail was making it hard to dodge. His opponent was tiring but not quick enough for Ruthvens taste. "Just go away!" Ruthven shouted, his swords glancing off the mans shield. There was a sudden large gust of air and Ruthven was knocked back, someone dropped to the ground and swung their arm into the man's chest knocking him to the ground. Ruthven realised it wasn't an arm it was a mace, which then swung onto the mans head. Ruthven couldn't believe it. "What were you thinking, you could've been killed" Ruffven said as he turned around. Ruthven chuckled. "I was just waiting for you to finish him off, I had it covered" he replied. Jacob ran up to them. "That was some shot, even for you" Ruffven said. Jacob shuffled nervously. "Yeah well the gods probably played a part in it" he replied. "Where's Charron?" Ruthven asked. Ruffven scratched his head, remembering his promise he made to Charron a year ago to not mention the spell to Ruthven. "Errr...." Ruffven replied. There was a loud roar and a crash on the other side of the island. In the distance you could see the wings of a large creature. "It's a dragon!" Ruthven shouted. "Come on it could hurt Chaaarrrrrr...." Ruthven said slurring just before he collapsed to the floor. He had a dart sticking out of his neck.

"The less he see's of Charron's character the less he'll question it later" Jacob said. Ruffven nodded. "Should I be concerned that that creature over there looks like a cross between Dagger and that wyvern we fought last year" Jacob asked. "He was forced to become like that, you know he didn't want this" he replied. Jacob shook his head. "He could have killed that wyvern and you know it and he knows it. You remember Thorn, what would you say if Charron started having Dagannoth features as a human, and you saw Thorn overcome by that Kalphite. Dagger wouldn't do that but that wyvern would certainly take any chance he got" Jacob replied. Ruffven said nothing. "I take it he's planning on taking out the leader of this place" Jacob added. Ruffven nodded. "There's a large building at the highest point on the island, probably a shrine. He'd be found there, you carry Ruthven and I'll cover you" Jacob replied. Ruffven grumbled as he carried Ruthven, but he did make a promise.

The rest of them had fled, they knew they had no chance, he could chase after them for sport after he'd taken care of everyone. Only 1 assassin stood there, he wasn't shaking, he had his sword pointed at Diahara, they all had silver weapons so it had been tough. He charged and suddenly he was surrounded in a sheet of frost and snow, as the area cleared he stood there frozen in spot, Charron smashed into him with his tail and he broke apart into several pieces. "Your men have fallen now we come for you Zehga!" both heads said. He sensed someone in a building at the top of the island. The wings flapped and they headed towards the building.

There was a loud bang against the door, it was sturdy and well built. Diahara froze it and Charron charged on through it causing pieces to fall to the ground. Charron charged through and faced the man who had caused all this to happen. The old man chuckled. "Your stronger than I anticipated, you'll make a fine weapon to kill our enemies" he replied. Charron crawled forward growling. "We serve no one, you will suffer!" the two heads spoke. "Oh I can be very persuasive" he replied. A large set of spikes fell from the ceiling on top of Charron, he roared in pain as he was pinned to the floor. Charron launched a water spell at him but Zehga dodged out the way. "Now my deal was this, you see we use to have a leviathan (as we called it) protecting us attacking our enemies, however he was poisoned in retaliation, his body was failing so we extracted his soul incase we could bring him back, and now we can. You shall be the vessel that grants our weapon life again" he said. Charron roared and then realised he was in a ritual circle, he suddenly felt tired and his head felt like it was going to explode, the ritual circle glowed, something was in his head. Charron passed out.

Zehga laughed. "My nephews will be avenged and my new pet will restore our family to glory" he said, bringing out a horn. Suddenly he felt a sharp pain in his neck, there was a dart sticking out of it. Jacob and Ruffven had arrived. "It's over Zehga!" Ruffven shouted, throwing Ruthven onto the ground. "Your story ends here" Jacob added. Zehga sighed. "I knew leaving you two alive would become a problem" he said. He seemed unfazed by the dart and pulled it out of his neck. Ruffven growled. "You have an immunity, then there's no avoiding this next chapter" Jacob replied. He stuck his hands in the air. "Come on, I'm an old man with no weapon, and it's 2 v 1, surely this is unfair" he replied. "Then I'm going to break your legs myself" Ruffven said. Zehga smiled and threw something onto the ground, there was a sudden flash and both Ruffven and Jacob were blinded. When they looked Zehga was gone. "Dammit!" Jacob shouted. Ruthven ran in swords drawn. "What happened?" he asked. "Zehga got away?" Ruffven said with a growl. Ruthven growled. "Damn, we'll get him next time" he said aggressively. Ruffven was surprised, Ruthven smelt strange as well. "You okay Ruthven?" Jacob asked. "Of course Raptor" he replied with a strange smile. "Now come on, we need to get Croc out of that ritual circle" Ruthven said. Ruffven growled and smashed his shield into Ruthven, knocking him against the wall. "What magic is this?" Ruffven shouted towards 'Ruthven'. "Hmmm, seems 'Zehga' and the 'captain' are the same person, not person whatever these creatures are called" Jacob said. 'Ruthven' or should we say Zehga stood up and growled.

Battle of Mind and Body

Charron fell against the sand with a thud, he stood up leaning on his staff for help. "What happened?" Charron asked himself. Dagger and Caedis were beside him. Diahara was a bit further away. "NO! My freedom has gone!" Diahara shouted. "Shut up! What was that ritual about?" Charron asked. "He said he was trying to get a 'Leviathan' to join with us" Caedis said. "What's a Leviathan?" Dagger asked. Suddenly the sea rumbled and something started to appear out of the water. It was a large snake like creature, it stared at them and roared, the whole world vibrating. "YOU! YOU ARE TO BE MY VESSEL AND I SHALL HAVE YOUR POWER!" it roared. "He's worse than Diahara" Dagger said. "We should accept his power, then no one will be able to defeat us" Diahara shouted. "No! We can't do that!" Charron shouted. "He doesn't mean to give us power, he wants to take it and he'll probably destroy our minds in the process so he can have it all himself" he replied. Diahara roared towards the leviathan. "You have no idea what power we're capable of!" Diahara said. He took off and flew towards the beast. Charron attempted to fire a huge fireball at the creature but it came out much smaller. "Seems were going to have to be more realistic with our attacks" Charron said. He turned to Caedis and Dagger, Dagger had grown to his former size of a sentinel and Caedis had taken a human-ish form and held a staff. "Just don't stretch your limits" Caedis said. Charron nodded.

Charron and Diahara were both shaking and growling, however Ruffven and Jacob were fixed on Zehga. "Wait a minute, we were told you wanted to kill all those who were cursed" Ruffven said. "That's right, I made a deal with a woman. I get this power and all I have to do is kill everyone on the island, she also told me of the way to make your friend into my very own weapon" he said, standing up. "Who was this woman?" Jacob asked. "I can't remember, but I did find out how to learn from memory, and I learnt your friend is very quick" he said. He twirled his rapiers and charged towards Jacob. Jacob had practiced this before, as Zehga thrust his rapiers he stepped back, activated the mechanism in the shield and thrust his crossbow up into Zehga's head. "Then you should also have learnt we spar against each other regularly, just give up and--" Jacob stopped suddenly, he was facing Scarab, his brother. Ruthvens rapiers turned black and morphed into a large sword which Scarab picked up. Jacob paused in shock as Scarab swung his sword towards him. Ruffven deflected it with his shield and head bashed Zehga. Zehga growled.

Charron sent spell after spell against the giant sea snake thing, he'd seen one of these things before and knew to aim for the head. Dagger was firing spikes at the head as well with Caedis also launching spells. Diahara managed to fly high enough to avoid all attacks by the creature. "Some power..." Dagger said. "We should be fine since were on land" Charron replied, charging a large earth spell. Suddenly the leviathan roared and disappeared under the waves. Charron had to release the spell against the water, there was no sign of him. Suddenly it shot out the water like an arrow from a bow and managed to grab Diahara in its jaws. It disappeared back under, as it hit the water a large wave began to form and it headed straight for the others. Charron seeing nowhere to run, ran behind Dagger. "Oy!" Dagger shouted. "You have gills, shut up!" Charron responded. The wave crashed against the shore and all 3 of them were pushed backwards, and found themselves suddenly underwater. Charron grabbed onto Dagger and they both rose to the surface. They looked around, there was no land any more just water. "You know the Dagannoth predicted this would happen" Dagger said. "Shut up!" Charron responded. "Where's Caedis?" he asked. There was no sign of him or Diahara, there was a soft roar coming from under the sea.

Ruffven blocked with his shield again and pushed back. "You forget we've beaten every opponent who ever faced us" he said. Zehga swore. "Well Raptor might have, but let's see about you" he said. Suddenly Ruffven found Jacob running at him. Ruffven swung his mace towards him, but Zehga managed to dodge it, he then placed his palm against Ruffvens head. Ruffvens head hurt like hell and he turned round and punched Zehga. "Hahaha, I found someone" he said. His body turned black and then in front of Ruffven stood Kanis, in full armour. He grunted. "Now take this!" he shouted, he rushed forward and swung his sword, Ruffven deflected it but pain shot through his shield arm. Zehga started to laugh.

There was a small outcrop of land just above the sea, Charron and Dagger swam towards it. Charron grunted. "Were doing it, come on a few more hits" Dagger said. Charron nodded and begun to charge a spell. Suddenly Dagger shot up. "He's headed this way get ready" Dagger said. The leviathan shot up out of the water heading towards Charron, who only just released a fire spell before pressing himself down. The beast just skimmed over his head. "He's weakened, I can finish it" Dagger said, he dove underwater and swam towards the large shadow. Charron looked down at the water hopeful, there was a loud roar and Charrons heart sank. Charron charged an earth spell knowing he only had 1 last shot. The shadow grew larger. Charron continued to charge the spell, the leviathan shot out and Charron fired it, a huge ball of rock and earth smashed into the creatures head, but it kept coming and snatched Charron beneath the wave.

Ruffven tried his hardest to block the swings but each one got stronger and Ruffven wasn't sure if he could bear it. Suddenly Zehga shouted in pain, he had a bolt going through his armour into his leg, but the blood was red and was coming from the actual armour, the armour was just an illusion, Ruffven swung as hard as he could into Zehga's chest and he fell against the floor and towards the wall. He reverted back to his reptilian form, his entire chest was a bloody mess. "You creatures have a severe weakness to silver, and yet you decide to take on a questing team who are based in a country where the creatures have similar weaknesses" Jacob said. Zehga spat out a load of blood. "Shut it, this fight was merely a way to buy some time, I know you don't kill people because of your oath, you said so on the boat" he replied. "That's only Raptor" Ruffven said with a growl as he stepped forward. "And your not exactly 'human' are you?" Jacob reiterated. "It's too late anyway, your friend is about to succumb to the power of the leviathan, he will become more powerful and will do what I say. Look it's happening *cough* now!" he said, ending with a chuckled. Ruffven turned around, Charron was glowing red. "Come on Charron" he said.

The wave splashed against Charrons face, he was back on the hard rocky beach. To his right he saw Dagger and Caedis, to his left Diahara. In front of him however stood the Leviathan, his head heavily wounded and breathing slowly on the beach looking in considerable pain. "Your power is truly great, use my power wisely" it said. Charron stood up. "What?" he asked. "My power is yours, I will follow your orders you will be in command of the almighty vessel" he said. "No... I don't want it" Charron said. Suddenly something bright red and transparent walked up to him, it looked just like Charron, in fact it looked just like the emotional interference from all those years ago. "Your meant to be dead, me and Caedis killed you" Charron said. "That was a different being, I am created by your desires. And you desire this power." it said.

"Your lying" Charron replied. "Every creature craves power Charron, it's a fact of life. You enjoy it." it replied. "Shut up!" Charron replied. "But I won't, remember when you first discovered your inner strength, killing a patrol of guards along the beach, you were new to your powers and it felt so good learning about them" it replied. "I didn't have any control of that situation, it was the worst pain in my life" Charron replied. "But when you watched it back it was exhilarating 'I have that power', 'Can I call it forth now?'. And back then your threw up at the site of blood, now you revel in it" he said. Charron tried to interrupt but his own voice was drowned out by the being. "You leapt at the chance to transform again, 2 years couldn't keep you away and you went back to the isles again, you kept Dagger with you not just for companionship but so you could have the power nearby and when you saw Diahara, you just had to have his power too, stop lying to yourself" it said. Dagger got up and intervened. "Look I know Charron better than anyone, you only represent 1 part of him and I know all of him, most of that is bilge, I don't want any further power anyway, we went far enough before we got Diahara anyway" Dagger said. Caedis crawled over. "I don't want it either, we had enough power before we got Dagger anyway" Caedis said. Dagger fired a water spell at Caedis. "I am not going to become a monster! You can take your power and shove it!" he said. The interference said nothing then said something. "But imagine all the good you can do?"

"You three helped stop an evil warlord threatening the whole Eastern Isles, your strength and skill helped you take down that Wight, you just took down a whole group of assassins. You can become a symbol of strength in people, they'll rely on you worship you, you can keep peace" it said. Charron nodded. "We do that already, without the spell" he said. Dagger nodded towards Charron. "Well you'll accept it whether you want to or not" it replied. Charron drew his staff. "You can't make me" Charron replied. "Only one of you needs to accept the power." it replied and promptly disappeared. Charron quickly turn around, Diahara had gone up to the Leviathan. "I accept your power on the behalf of us, finally I will be in control!" it spoke. The whole world began to shake and turn red. "You bas****!" Charron shouted and he fell to the floor. He could see visions, a huge monster causing terror to all, none were safe, the monster looked terrifying, but all Charron saw was himself and his failure. "That's enough of that!" a voice said. There was a flash of white light, everyone was back where they were, the leviathan was being dragged out to sea, disappearing underwater. Charron turned around to see a bunch of figures.

There were 6 of them, 3 men, 3 woman. One of the men looked Eastern and wore robes to match and carried a book, another was dressed in a similar style to Ruthven but held a notepad, the other looked like some sort of grand mage with impressive looking robes and a powerful staff. One of the women bore some resemblance to Jaks in terms of clothing and equipment, another was dressed in high priced smart clothing and the last was dressed in a set of magic robes as well. "Who are you?" Charron asked. The mage stepped forward. "Hah, you do not recognize the people who gave you your power". The Eastern man stepped forward. "Picture the first page of the book" he said. The book appeared in Charrons hand, the first page had a list of shortened first names, 6 were in red "Max, Rob, Thorn, Anna, Mel and Tia" Charron read aloud. Charron suddenly realised. "Max... Dimexius! You created the spell" Charron responded. The smartly dressed woman chuckled. "But we didn't know we'd be recreating the repercussions with it, Sam was willing to kill for it, but you took what we had designed to a new level" she said. The Ruthven looking man spoke "The original design was to extend human life and worth, the Gods were becoming more reliant on other species and we thought this could bring us a step above them. But it didn't work that way." he said. The female mage stepped forward. "Men became more like beasts, we didn't stay alive long enough to see the personality change" she said. The last woman stood forward. "This is why we are still here, we have been refused a chance to die truly until our work is erased from history, and you could be called our worst mistake" she said. Charron was speechless.

The Ruthven looking men spoke "Your father wanted power, not only did he try to combine himself with a crocodile, he went further and took the power of humanities biggest enemies. But still you went further getting a Wyvern involved, and then that huge monster. I'm afraid we can't allow that" he said. His hand appeared to be charging a spell. Charron couldn't move. The man fired the spell, but not at Charron. Diahara roared in pain. "No! I cannot die! I will not die!" it said, but it did die, Diahara dissolved into nothing. Charron and Dagger both fell to the ground with huge headaches. They felt like they'd lost a vital organ. "We should kill the 3 of you as well, but we believe your strong enough to make it. The fact you've brought out the best in a Dagannoth shows hope for the spell. But if you try to increase your power we will be back" he said. All 6 of them disappeared.

Charron woke up he was still in the Wyvern form, but he was shaking violently. Diaharas head roared and dissolved into wisps, the rest of Charrons body broke off and dissolved leaving Charron, Dagger and Caedis lying against the floor. Jacob ran over to them. "The ritual was a failure, Char-- Croc managed to reject the Leviathan" he said. Zehga shouted and swore. "Now you stay put while we help our friends" Ruffven said. Zehga tried to get up but he couldn't. Jacob dragged Charron away from the ritual circle and Ruffven dragged the other two. Charron threw up violently as Jacob got him up. "He's in shock, I think they all are" he said. "Let them rest, nothings going to happen to him" Ruffven said. Suddenly there was a roar and Ruthven ran in towards them. "Guys you won't believe this, there's some huge shark creature coming this way" he said. Ruffven swore and as said by Ruthven a the witch arrived inside the building. "Kill... Revenge..." it went walking towards Charron. Jacob brought out his crossbow and fired, the bolt dug deep into the creature but it charged forward, it moved into the ritual circle where upon it collapsed. "No. No.. No... we just avoided this" Jacob said. The creature glowed red, Ruffven went to finish it off, but Jacob pulled him back saying he was unsure what could happen. The ritual circle disappeared and the creature got up, its wounds healed. "A vessel, finally" it said. The creature looked like it was undergoing a change but it was happening slowly. Suddenly they all heard a horn blow. Zehga had stood up. "Leviathan, we are leaving!" he shouted. The creature charged toward Zehga and grabbed him, it then ran outside and a large splash was heard. All 3 of them looked at each other and muttered. "Why is Charron not wearing any clothes?" Ruthven asked.

Separated

Charron was sat up, covered in blankets leaning against a wall. Dagger and Caedis lay next to him being warmed by the fire. There were no ships left on the island, they had either been destroyed or evacuated, this meant the group was stranded on an island they knew little about. Charron however wasn't talking, he was unresponsive to most efforts of communicating, Dagger was the same way as well. "What's wrong with him?" Ruffven asked. Jacob shrugged. "He must have come under huge mental strain whilst fighting that thing, the only thing we can do for him is wait and see if he heals" Jacob answered. Ruthven came over after having explored the island. "I found food, though it might need a rinse to get the ash off it" Ruthven said with a smile. Ruffven accepted a chunk of meat from Ruthven, it was grey from the ash covering it. He could still smell the remains of some of the assassins in the distance, Jacob looked towards him and frowned, Ruffven sighed and brushed off some of the ash before eating it. He cringed. "Adds a smoky flavour to it right?" Ruthven said. Ruffven didn't respond.

Jacob was slowly cooking his meat over the fire, he silently hoped that the smell might awaken Charron. Ruffven was busy examining Dagger, he too was unresponsive. "It's strange, they all smell like normal yet it's different" Ruffven explained. Jacob shrugged before taking a bite of his meat. Ruthven chuckled. He had grabbed a piece of charcoal and had moved over to Dagger. "What do you think your doing?" Ruffven asked. "Come on, he's going to get better and my arm is still sore from he bit me, I'm just getting payback" he said. Ruffven growled. "Oh be quiet" Ruthven replied, starting to draw spectacles onto Dagger. Ruffven didn't approve but he didn't stop Ruthven, he went back over to Jacob. Ruthven drew a moustache on next, after that he went to draw a beard when suddenly Dagger lunged forward and bit Ruthvens good arm. Ruthven shouted in pain and managed to pull his arm out. He grabbed his arm and looked for something to stop the bleeding. Dagger stumbled forward and threw up on to the ground. Jacob rushed over to help him. "Dagger, can you hear me?" Jacob said. "Diahara... gone" he said attempting to stand.

"Everything's fine, relax" Jacob said. Dagger shivered and shuffled closer to the fire. "What happened?" Ruffven asked. "We fought... leviathan... Charron won." Dagger said, following every so often with a deep breath. "Ruffven, get him some water" Jacob said. Ruffven nodded and ran off. "Leviathan offered... his power to... to Charron" Dagger said. Jacob shook his head. "He didn't... did he?" Jacob asked. "Charron declined, but there was some sort of spirit that attempted to persuade him" he added. Jacob nodded. "Charron declined again... but Diahara... he took the power for himself" Dagger said. "I... saw ourselves... in villages we visited... but these ghosts appeared..." he said. "Ghosts?" Jacob asked. "6 of them... Charron said they were related to the spell" he said. Jacob had a thought. "Did one of them look Eastern, Black hair..." Jacob questioned. Dagger nodded. "You... know them" Jacob nodded. "Thorn. Ruffven killed him after his attempt at using the spell backfired. I know there's 10 of them all together but nothing more." Jacob added. Dagger coughed and a small jet of water hit the ground. "They labelled Charron they're worst creation, they said they couldn't die until there legacy was forgotten. They killed Diahara and suddenly we all ended up in pain... it was like someone had ripped out a chunk of my heart" he said. Jacob nodded. "Charron made Diahara an important part of himself, losing it must have caused him to become like this" Jacob added. Ruffven came back with some water which Dagger drunk greedily. "Charron? is he?"" Dagger asked. "You pulled through, the other 2 shouldn't take much longer, you just need to rest" Jacob said. Dagger was quiet, then growled. "I'm pathetic, letting a human heal me like this" Dagger said. Jacob patted him on the head. "Don't worry, Ruffven feels the same way most of the time" he said, walking off to take care of Ruthven.

Dagger stared at Charron trying to get a response. "Charron wake up, I don't want to be on my own..." Dagger moaned. "Your not alone Dagger" Charron said in response. Dagger rushed over to Charron and hugged him. "Your finally awake!" Dagger said. Charron sighed. "I actually woke before you, I didn't want to say anything" Charron replied. Dagger stood back and clawed at Charrons arm. "Agh!" Charron replied. Jacob walked over. "Ah, the pages are turning once again" he said. Dagger wasn't listening. "You had everyone worried, what is wrong with you!?!" Dagger shouted. Charron seethed through his teeth. "I... don't know" Charron replied. Jacob sat down next to him, "now that your here I had some thoughts you might like to know" he replied.

"Obviously the spell had a mental affect on each of you, but I've also noticed a physical change" Jacob said. Charron nodded. "I think I already knew that" Charron said. "Yes, for example Caedis has a few physiological difference compared to other crocodiles, Dagger has a few differences as well, and there are a few differences with you as well Charron" Jacob said. Charron looked confused. "Like what?" Charron asked. "You slouch like a Dagannoth" Jacob replied. Charron was about to punch Jacob. "Your right! I hadn't noticed but you do..." Dagger replied. Charron told them to shut up. "What's your point?" Charron said. "Well I thought perhaps you got something from Diahara as well." he replied. Charron nodded. "But what?" he asked. "Well you didn't look any different after but I do have a theory. I think you got his lifespan" Jacob replied. Charron looked confused. "Why do you think that?" Dagger asked. "Because I think once he was killed, you just felt the effect of losing about 1000 - 2000 years of life." He replied. Charron shook his head in disbelief. "That sounds ridiculous" Charron replied. "Men turning into 2 headed Wyverns are ridiculous" Jacob replied. Charron was forced to concede. "Anyway, you two rest up, come on while the fire is still warm" Jacob said. Dagger nustled up to Charron. "I'm fine Dagger" Charron said. "I know" he replied. The 2 fell to sleep.

"Charron!" Ruthven shouted. Charron woke up feeling like punching Ruthven. "What!" he shouted. "There's a boat arriving" Ruthven announced. Charron pushed Dagger off him and stood up, the sun was shining in his eyes but he could make out the silhouette of a large boat. "We should all head towards it, if it's trouble than we can fight our way on" Ruthven said. Everyone agreed. They managed to reach the pier just as they were pulling up, a familiar looking man walked onto the pier. "Greetin's Lan'lubbers. I be Cap'n Phileas McDragon" he said. Ruthven immediately drew his blades. "Like we'd fall for that trick again" he said. The captain shrugged. "I Onistly have no idee what your talking about?" he replied. He looked towards Charron. "Hey, I know you. You halped us capture the croc in Wushanko" he said. Charron suddenly remembered where he had seen the captain before, he was the man who took him to the Eastern Isles. "I can vouch for him" Charron replied. Ruthven grunted and put his blades away. "So what did you want here?" Ruthven asked. The captain changed his expression to a more serious one. "I'm here to arrest Jai Zehga, his crimes ha' caught up wi' him. He is apparanlee tough to fight. So we go' Maxwell Raines with us to help captur hem" he replied. Charron suddenly stood up straight and walked onto the boat, sure enough in the centre stood Max and Charad. "By the go-- I mean Charad it's Charron!" Max said pointing. Charron gave a weak smile and Charad ran over.

Leviathan

"What are you doing here?" Charron asked. Maxwell frowned. "One of those shark creatures broke into our home and stole Caedis, I've known about an island where the creatures live and was on my way to recover him" Max replied. "The Captain had stayed with us to restock on supplies and we found he was heading in the same direction so we followed him." he said. Dagger ran up to meet them along with the others. "This must be your new questing group then" Max said. Jacob walked up to shake Max's hand. "You must be Maxwell Raines, I've read 1 or 2 of your thesis' on the evolution of magic combat" he said. Max chuckled. "People actually read those?" Max replied. Max stared over Ruthven and smiled, as Ruthven was about to open his mouth Max moved over towards Ruffven. Ruffven shook his hand but the two didn't speak. "Charron I would like to have a talk about the... spell" he said. Charron nodded. He walked into a private cabin with Max, along with Charad, Caedis, Dagger and Ruffven who Charron wanted with him, Jacob and Ruthven stayed with the captain to start setting up the ship.

Charron finished telling his side of the story, with Ruffven filling in some of the gaps. "Using you as a weapon, ingenious but ineffective" Max said. "We know from before Dagger got his body you burn off a lot more energy, a thing that size couldn't last that long" he replied. Charron shook his head. "The witch had these gems that held massive amounts of energy, when Diahara came about I never even felt fatigued" he replied. Max nodded. "I know of these gems, still the beast wouldn't last longer than a few weeks, I am also concerned about these ghosts as you call them" he said, scratching his beard. "Jacob thought they might be the writers of the book" Dagger said. Max was silent and continued scratching his beard. "Charron, there's something I never told you. My ancestor was one of the original authors of the book" he said. Ruffven shrugged. "So, that's so many years ago half of all humans could be descendants" Ruffven said. Charron nodded. "I don't see how this really matters?" he added. Maxwell nodded. "Just thought you should know, Seth and Anna are my direct descendants. But as you say, it doesn't matter. What we should worry about is how to kill the witch" he said.

"Fortunately it's weak to silver, and all 4 of us have silver weapons" Charron said. Max nodded. "But it's still pretty big, the weapons won't do much damage" Max said. "We could use the cannon!" Charad said. "Yes but the ammo is made of Iron" Max replied. Charron threw his sword onto the table. "Melt this down, I won't need it anymore" he said. Max hummed to himself. "There's not enough to make a full size one, though in theory only the outside of the weapon must be silver, we can make an iron centre and it will work fine. However we still don't know where the beast is" Max replied. Suddenly someone shouted from above deck. "Beast inbound!"

Everyone made their way on to the deck, the island lay in front of them and lying down on the island was the head of a giant creature. It looked mostly like a shark but not enough to draw a complete comparison. The captain gulped. He looked through his spyglass and suddenly shouted "Zehga! He is on the beach as well". "Quick before he gets away!" Charron shouted. The captain shook his head. "We ge' nay closer and he'll li'ly send the beast against us". Charron swore. "Not to worry Charron my boy, I happen to have some lodestones on me, just throw where you want to go" he said. Charron looked towards the beach. "There's no way we can throw that far though." he replied. Suddenly Jacob grabbed him, he had tied a lodestone to a bolt and already loaded it. "You need to fire the crossbow so you get teleported" Jacob said. Charron nodded. Jacob positioned it for him and Charron fired it, they were in luck as the wind stayed constant. Charron let go of the crossbow, a few seconds passed and he pulled out his staff, suddenly the world swirled around him, and a new world appeared, a sandy beach, the sea nearby. Zehga turned to look at him and a staff slammed into his face, hard.

Charron moved forward to finish the job and stabbed with the bladed end, Zehga only narrowly dodged. "If you came to save the residents of this isle your too late, they're all dead" he said, narrowly dodging an incoming air spell. Charron swore. "Soon you'll be joining them!" Charron said. Suddenly he found Ruthven charging at him, Charron put his staff sideways in front of him and pushed forward knocking him to the ground. Jacob was now there, rolling out the way and pointing a crossbow at him, Charron fired a quick air spell to push him back and rushed forward. Ruffven came and swung his mace at him, Charron dodged and fired an earth spell at him. He fell backwards and Zehga stood there, out of breath. Charron moved to charge a final spell when suddenly the leviathan moved, it's head standing above Zehga's and staring down at Charron growling. "You forget, this device controls our families guardian and he can easily destroy you and everyone you care about" he said. Charron swore loudly and continued to charge his spell. "A pity you could have become my guardian, the most powerful creature in the ocean, now you'll simply be it's next meal" he said. The leviathan growled looking like it was ready to strike, suddenly a bolt struck the ground in front of Charron, Dagger appeared and fired a spike through the device and into Zehga's chest. The device broke into pieces in Zehga's hand his face turning to shock, Charron fired a charged waterspell at Zehga and a column of water flew forth and drilled into his chest, slowly turning red. Zehga collapsed to the ground. "You cannot fight against our family forever, Kryos will surely..." he started to say, but he never finished. The leviathan had instead pounced against Zehga, bringing him up into his jaws and with a final shout he was never seen again, then the leviathan stared at Charron.

"I am finally free of the families control" it said, in a voice much more menacing than in Charrons dream. Charron grunted. "Now I will take control of the oceans, you and your friends will not be harmed" it said. Charron shook his head. "I'm afraid I can't let you live, too many people's live are at stake" Charron said. The leviathan growled. "You don't realise, you cannot stop me. Now you can walk away and survive or--" it started to say, when suddenly a spike drove itself into it's head. Charron followed up by launching a fire spell at the same area. The creature winced slightly but didn't seem too affected by it. It growled and began to charge towards Charron, another bolt arrived and Ruffven appeared and slammed his mace into the approaching creatures head. Had the mace not been part silver, nothing would have happened but the mace actually moved the larger creatures head away from them, knocking several arm sized teeth out in the process. "We need to distract it while they get into position with the cannon" Ruffven said. Charron nodded, but he quickly grabbed Dagger and dived out of the way of the approaching jaws. Ruffven was trying to deflect the attacks but the creature was avoiding him in order to strike at Charron. Charron charged spell after spell and aimed it at the creature, each attack doing little damage. Charron swore. "Charron, stop being stupid. Aim for the eyes." Dagger shouted, launching another water spell at the creature. Charron nodded and fired a large earth spell at the creatures eye, it was a direct hit and the creature roared. As they dodged Charron tried again and again to hit the other eye but the creature had grown wise to the attacks and dodged everyone. "Soon you will grow tired, then you will regret your decision" it said. Suddenly it winced, a bolt had struck it at the top of the head. Ruthven appeared on the top. He quickly slid down and stabbed both rapiers into the creatures remaining eye. "I 'see' you needed some help here!" Ruthven said. Charron told him to shut up. The creature roared in pain and shook Ruthven off.

"The ammo is ready!" Max shouted. The captain quickly loaded the cannon alongside Charad. Jacob was steering the ship. "I can get you to the optimum position to fire, are you sure you can hit it?" Jacob said, spinning the wheel slightly to port. Charad shouted back. "I'm just as good as you are, just try not to muck it up for me!" he shouted back. Jacob smiled to himself and got into position. Charad aimed the cannon and lit the fuse, he just had to hope and pray now, not that he needed to, he was sure the plan would work, sort of. There was a loud bang and the cannonball shot through the air. Back on the beach the leviathan reared up continuing its frenzied attacks, suddenly a large amount of blood and guts came out of it's head. It began to glow in a white light but then suddenly collapsed. It was dead, and it was all over. Charron smiled, the curse would likely never bother him again.

The Years End

"And there I stood atop the fallen creature, cape blowing in the wind. Charron looked up at me and said 'Ruthven, that was amazing' and I replied..." Ruthven said to the party. "Just shut up!" Charron responded, too busy drinking to be able to hit him. The group sat upstairs in a private room above the hair of the dog inn, it had been some months seen the previous events unfolded and the year was beginning to draw to a close. Ruthven checked his new time piece. "11:51" he said. "Were not going to miss the chance to count down this time" he added. Jacob chuckled to himself, taking a large sip of his drink. "What's so funny?" Ruthven asked. "You've forgotten already" Jacob replied. Ruthven continued to look confused. "You complained your watch was 10 minutes slow when we walked in" Ruffven said. Ruthven fell back into his chair and finished off his drink. "Well, here's to our 2nd year I guess. Giant monsters, assassins and that one job with those giant leeches" he said. "Actually you forgot about last years resolutions bet" Jacob said.

Ruthven smiled. "Hey your right, it's time to see which of you will be serving me, sorry Charron" he said. Charron groaned loudly. "I can't use the spell anymore though, and it was only once" he said. "Twice." Dagger reminded him. "Then again it might work, better stab you again just to make sure" Charron said, walking towards Dagger. Dagger backed away and growled at him. "Well I learnt to sail so I'm fine" Jacob replied. "I would hardly call steering the ship that one time 'learning to sail'" Ruthven responded. "I went out again after that", "Prove it!", "Sure, let's just walk to Phasymystas..." Jacob finished the conversation with. Ruthven rolled his eyes. Ruffven shrugged. "What was mine again?" he asked. "To conquer a weakness" Jacob reminded him. Ruffven swore. "Oh no brother, looks like you'll be..." Ruthven started to say. "You learnt to swim though" Dagger said. Ruffven suddenly looked up. "He's right, now what about you... brother." he said. Ruthven smiled and brought out a mask.

"Now permit me to demonstrate, over the past year I've been training... with help of course, but I personally racked up a kill count of 211 abby's. I think that makes me a master." he said. "Some might argue with that" Jacob replied. "Though the only opinion that matters is that masks". Ruthven gave a smug grin. "Hopefully it won't get glued to my face like Jacobs" he said. He grabbed the mask and placed it onto his face, he let go of the mask and it slid off. "Seems the opposite happened" Ruffven replied. Ruthvens grin started to disappear. "I'm just forgetting the magic words" he said. "I don't remember needing any words, seems the mask doesn't find you worthy" Jacob said. Ruthven threw the mask against the table. "This is completely unfair, I mean I've killed just as many as Jacob's killed those lizard things" he argued. "I lost count past 2000" Jacob reminded him, Ruthven's head fell against the table, Charron started to cheer up.

"What was it again? Slaves for a month" Jacob said his smirk getting slightly menacing. "Yeah, yeah well my revolution... resolution this year is to not make any more stupid wagers" Ruthven said with a sulk. "I've got an idea" Ruffven said. "Charrons room can be the slave quarters" Charron stared at him with anger. "I'm not sharing a room with... that!" Ruthven said, pointing at Dagger, he ducked behind Charron when he thought he heard a water spell forming. "Oh but Dagger isn't a slave, so he'll just swap beds with you" Ruffven said. Jacob finished his drink and chuckled. "His bed is a pool of filthy water! Bloodvelds use to live in it!" Ruthven shouted. Dagger chuckled. "It's not that bad, though I wouldn't mind sleeping somewhere else for a change" he said. "I don't want your slimy body touching my bed!" Ruthven shouted. Dagger growled. "Shut it slave!" he said. "We dreamt of things like this that would come after the flood" he added. Ruthven voiced his complaints but to no avail. "You better not snore, or you'll find yourself face down in your 'bed' " Charron said. Ruthven shivered.

Into the Abyss

Ruthven couldn't get the taste out of his mouth. It was day 27 of 'slavery', Ruthvens last task was to eat whatever Roavar suggested was the 'worst thing on the menu'. It was mystery Meat X which Ruthven suspected didn't contain meat, whatever it contained didn't agree with him. He was lucky they didn't make him carry on, they had a vial of the blood of an infected villager, Jacob, the doctor of the group, actually put the pressure on the group to make him drink it, after Ruffvens constant persistence that it would probably kill him they let him go. Ruthven had stormed off to his hang out, he had been coming here with Charron every day, the top of the Slayer Tower. Ruthven was determined to get the mask to work and had been killing abby demons constantly. His kill count had reached the 500's, whenever he came home and saw the state of his clothes he would wonder whether he was willing to reach the goal.

Ruthven had chosen to take a risk, he came on his own. He figured he had practiced enough, when he came to the roof, he was in luck. There was only one, Ruthven quickly rushed up and got in a strike, the beast screeched and teleported, Ruthven expected it to come behind him so he stabbed backwards, he heard the screech again. Ruthven turned again to finish it off but it teleported again, he quickly turned around and suddenly felt a pain shoot through his leg, it had teleported to his side, Ruthven seethed through his teeth and stabbed it through the head. It let out a final squelch and fell to the floor, the tentacles were still attached to Ruthvens leg so he cut through them. They fell off with a squelch, Ruthven sighed.

Ruthven sat down along the battlements, staring at the portal to the abyss. Nothing was coming out, a hour passed. This wasn't unusual but Ruthven grew frustrated, he threw one of the tentacles into the portal, still nothing. He fiddled with the mask in his hands, he tried it on again, nothing. "Come on!" Ruthven shouted. "No luck?" a man shouted behind him. Ruthven turned round quickly, it was just a slayer. "Nah." he said with a smile. "You after a spine too?" the slayer asked. Ruthven shook his head. "If one shows itself, I won't complain" "Ah you must be a paladin then, here to vanquish the demons" Ruthven burst out laughing. "Oh wow, never been called that before, I'm just here killing as many as possible" he said.

"You ever been to the abyss?"

Ruthven stood up. "I don't really fancy dying" he said with a smile. "It's less dangerous than you'd think" the slayer said. "Just look there's a clear entrance and exit and you can't see any demons through there" he added. Ruthven walked over he looked into the abyss. "Yeah maybe, but I don't think I should really--" he was interrupted when he suddenly felt himself pushed, he fell forwards and into the portal, all the while swearing in his head. As he hit the ground there was a squelch, it's never good when the ground goes squelch.

The abyss didn't look like anywhere natural, it looked like the whole world was made of flesh and broken fragments of land, on the ground were gigantic leach like things that swarmed over to Ruthven. He quickly dispatched them all, thanking the gods as the creature was weak. Ruthven ran through the hall and found himself facing a man in dark robes. "So another Slayer wanders the abyss" he said. "No, trying to escape actually" Ruthven said with a smile. "Do you know whereabouts the way out is?" The stranger crossed his arms. "I'm afraid the way out changes, you'll have to search it out, or perhaps wait until it comes to you" he said. Ruthven sighed. "You carry one of the Slayer Masks?" he said, pointing to the mask. Ruthven nodded. "Yeah, but I still need to kill more of the demons before it will work" he said. "No that's not how it works, it will work for you once you 'understand' the creature, you need to get into it's head and understand it" he said.

Ruthven shrugged. "I don't really fancy understanding a creature like that, warped and insane" he said. The robed man chuckled. "Ah but you are similar, you have a warped part about you. You just need to gaze into the abyss" he said. Ruthven rolled his eyes. "Just look down there and concentrate, what do you see" Ruthven looked down the hallway, he saw weird tentacle like plants, walls with eyes on them, strange pillars of rock that could actually be bone. "I see a huge mess" Ruthven said. "Put on the mask and then look" he said. Ruthven sighed, he had nothing better to do anyway. He had to angle his head so the mask didn't fall off. "Now close your eyes and picture beauty" he said. Ruthven pictured the most beautiful thing he could think of, himself. "Now open them again and say what you see" the man said. Ruthven opened his eyes thinking the whole world would have changed, it didn't the world looked the same. "It still looks the same" Ruthven said. There was no response. Ruthven turned around and the man was gone, he quickly checked his pouch to see if he had been robbed. Fortunately he hadn't, he looked around a bit more.

"Alright then, maybe I can ask for directions?" Ruthven said to himself. He walked around and suddenly heard a squelch, he stepped back and saw a giant eyeball staring at him from the ground. "Hey do you know how to get to Canifis?" he asked. The eyeball stared at him. "How about Varrock? Falador? Anywhere not covered in red goop?" The eye darted towards a tunnel on his left. "Errrr, thanks?" Ruthven walked down the tunnel and suddenly the red goop stopped, replaced with blackish red goop. "Great..." He looked around, fortunately there were very few disgusting features in this room. In fact the area looked pretty good, Ruthven was starting to appreciate his surroundings, suddenly his head began to ache, he felt a strange sensation coming from his left side, Ruthven immediately stabbed towards his left, he was fortunate, a demon had just teleported there, the swords went straight through its head. Ruthven stepped back as the carcass fell to the floor. "How the... I knew it was teleporting there... that's good I guess-- arrghh!" he suddenly fell to the floor and blacked out for a moment, he stood up, his clothes were covered in the black goop and there was a tentacle hanging off his shoulder. "Ah so this is one of those masks then?" a voice said behind him.

Ruthven quickly turned round. There was a fully robed man with a hood, he carried a long black staff Ruthven thought he recognised. "What do you want?" Ruthven asked. "Julius could wear the mask as well, how messed up must you be to share the same feelings as one of those demons" he said. Ruthven realised something, he tried to take the mask off but it was stuck, he could also feel his gloves touching his face as he touched the mask, the mask had finally accepted him. "Come on! Why didn't this happen a month ago!?!" Ruthven shouted. "Wolf wasn't it, let's make things interesting, if this goes well my revenge would be complete" he said. Ruthven was confused but as he attempted to understand the situation a white light shot at him, it blinded Ruthven and he collapsed, and the world around him went dark.

It woke up from the ground, someone had teleported recently, it could feel hatred towards the entity. It wasn't sure where it had been, but it felt different. It was larger than before it felt more dexterous, thought that didn't matter that much considering it's abilities. Suddenly a large leach like creature crawled in, it closed in appearing right in front of the creature and stabbed it with his claws, it wriggled there squirming as it bled along it's fingers. It consumed the creature, it felt it's power grow a small amount, straight ahead was a red robed man reaking more of the abyss than a normal man should, the man fired a spell at it, it teleported behind the man and clawed at him, it felt a hatred deep inside itself, something about this man filled it with anger, it consumed the man. It's mind began to open. "I need to understand" it said, it disappeared further into the tunnels.

Ruffven huffed as he walked up the stairs. "That idiot" he said. "That seems to be your new catchphrase" Jacob replied. "I might start using it as well" Charron added. "So, Jacob you've never been to the abyss?" Charron asked."I never wanted my story to end so early on, I've heard few tales of people returning, and none when they've never been affected by it" he said. They could now see the portal, it barely looked safe, whatever was in there wasn't going to be good. "We've survived plenty of demons before, can't see how much more difficult it could be" Ruffven said. "The gods don't look favourably on those who enter here, though we survived without their help before" Jacob said. Ruffven jumped in first, followed by the other two.

Ruffven threw up against the ground. "I thought you'd gotten use to teleports now?" Jacob asked. "Urghhh, it's not that. The smells everywhere it's so overpowering" he said. "What about Ruthven?" Charron asked. "Faint... this way" he said. The team followed Ruffven, noting the lack of any creatures near them. "I would've thought the place would be swarming with them" Jacob wondered. "Lets just hope it's that Ruthven killed them all" Ruffven replied. Eventually they came to a larger open area, on the floor lay a person shaped imprint on the ground. "He tripped?" Charron asked. "He didn't go into a brace position, the shape is more akin to him collapsing" Jacob said. "But there's no blood around here and the scent ends here" Ruffven said. The 3 had know time to reflect on the issue as a abyssal demon suddenly teleported in and slashed at Ruffven, Ruffven stepped backwards and the demon teleported to his side, but it suddenly found a bolt stuck in it's shoulder, Jacob had fired at it, the creature screeched and teleported some distance away, suddenly there was a much louder screech as claws had just dug themselves into it, tentacles suddenly grasped hold of it and dragged it into a gaping maw. The 3 of them looked at the creature that had just appeared.

It bared a resemblance to a larger abyssal demon, though it stood on 2 legs. It had clawed arms and stood hunched over but was still the same size as Ruffven, it shook and it's body suddenly grew larger. It raised it's head to look at them, tentacles hung out of it's mouth which was slowly shrinking in size. "You three are humans, correct?" it said. The voice took them by surprise it sounded human although slightly rasped, the fact it spoke at all was also surprising. "Yes, more or less, and what are you?" Jacob asked. "I am unsure, I believe I am known as a 'demon' but I find the term vague" it said. "Enough, were looking for another human, he wears light brown armour, carried two swords, really annoying" Charron said. The demon shook it's head. "I have not seen nor devoured anyone like that, only other demons and robed humans" it said. Ruffven sighed. "But he was here, he made an impression on the ground" he said. The demon shook it's head once again. "That was where I awoke, you must be confused Ruff" it said. Ruffven looked at it. "You said Ruff?" he asked. "Yes... it just felt natural" it said. "What's your name?" Jacob asked. "I do not have one, I have never embarked in conversation before so I have not needed one" it said. "Then what would you have us call you?" "I'm not sure, though I am partial to one name. You can call me Ruthven." it said.

Charron and Ruffven were shocked. "What is it? Does the name mean something to you?" 'Ruthven' asked. "That's the person were looking for" Charron said. "That is a strange coincidence though I cannot recall meeting him" it replied. "I have a hunch, have you always walked on 2 legs?" Jacob asked. 'Ruthven' shook it's head. "I recall a time when I moved about like the creatures you saw, then I was put to sleep by a winged creature, when I awoke I had changed and grown stronger" it said. "As I thought, you ARE Ruthven. You've become subject to 'the spell', a ritual that combines 2 creatures to form a new one" Jacob said. The demon looked confused. Charron huffed. "What?" Jacob asked. "The creature must have devoured Ruthven and he is simply lying, the ritual hasn't been used on him, he's missing the scar on his chest" Charron said. "Well he could just use the mask like Jacob" Ruffven said. "What?" Jacob asked. "Don't you remember Jacob, you transformed into a Jadinko creature and helped take on Thorn" Ruffven said. "What!" Charron shouted. Jacob stared at the ground. "I remember nothing about that, but it seems as though the masks were made by the same creators of the spell then, which means..." Jacob started to say. The demon roared. "What are you saying! Tell me now!" it shouted. Jacob explained the situation.

"I can't believe it, I'm a mask? This is all so confusing, is there any proof?" it said. "There is one way, creatures of the spell are weak to silver so..." Jacob said. He grabbed a bolt and pressed the tip against the creatures skin, he gently pushed it and it passed through easily. The creature screeched in pain and pulled it out. He stood in silence. "Mission accomplished then I guess, let's head back to the por-- the way we came in has gone!" he shouted. The other 2 turned, there was suddenly a wall where they had just entered from. Ruffven growled. "How are we going to get out?" he asked. 'Ruthven' stood up. "Try to keep up" it said. It suddenly teleported a short distance ahead, the 3 of them chased after it as it continued to teleport in short bursts ahead. They reached an open area with a portal open. "This will take you back to somewhere in the vicinity of where you came from" it said. Jacob thanked it. "I'm so confused and you know what's going on, let me come with you" it said. The 3 of them didn't know what to say, but it didn't matter as something large just teleported in on them. (Part lost due to crash, I'll write it up again later)

The Wandering Wolf

"So, I try to summon whomever Julius planned to attacks us with and you 4 appear. Perhaps you better explain?" Cerinţă said, fixing an icy glare at Ruthven. "Yeah, well we sort of defeated it..." Ruthven said scratching his head. Cerinţă gave a neutral expression. "I don't know whether to thank you or kill you, I'm inclined towards the second one" she said. Ruthven gave a weak smile. "Better yet, you can complete a... what were they called... a quest for me, as payment for not revealing your presence to the other vyres" she said. Charron crossed his arms. "What's the quest?" he asked. "Over the last few weeks have had several of the juvinates killed whilst on patrol, at first we thought it was myreque, however we now believe it could be a professional vampyre hunter..." she said. "They exist?" Ruffven asked. "No vampyre would suggest such a thing, however we wouldn't deny it. Not that I care for the deceased, the new bunch are all incompetent anyway, however we do have a reputation to keep up" she said. "So, did you want him dead or alive then?" Jacob asked. "It'd be best if it turned out this 'Vampyre hunter' never really existed, that's what I'd like to hear back from you" she said sternly. Ruthven nodded. "Do you have a starting point?" he asked. "Yes, stand still" she said. "What?" Ruffven exclaimed, and they were teleported.

Ruffven fell towards the ground, trying to keep his dinner inside him. They were in the swamp but there was less vegetation as they were near the outskirts of Meiyerditch, on the ground were some black blood stains, Ruffven recognised the smell as Vyre blood, something rare to see outside of a vyre. "I'm guessing this is the most recent site, that blood is at least 2 days old" Jacob said. "Smells that way, try look for any footprints leading away" he said. Ruthven and Charron stood by the side. "On our own again, ay Charron" Ruthven said with a smile. Charron ignored him. "Here Jacob! They head north, he might have a hideout nearby" Ruffven said. Jacob nodded and walked off with Ruffven. There was a silence between Charron and Ruthven. "You don't remember what happened in the abyss?" Charron asked. Ruthven shrugged. "Might have done" he said. Charron stared him down. "Not after collapsing, no" he reiterated. Charron nodded.

Jacob wondered in front whilst Ruffven tried to gather a scent. "The vyres sense of smell is just as good as yours, I'd doubt you'd find anything" Jacob shouted back. Never the lest, Ruffen tried and he suddenly picked up something. "Ha, I got something" he shouted. He could smell the scent of the blood and the footsteps, wait you can't smell those he was hearing footsteps, hearing... somebody was running towards them, towards Jacob in fact. "Jacob watch out!" Ruffven shouted, charging after him. Jacob stopped and a sword cleaved through the air in front of him and he suddenly felt a large force impact against him. Jacob fell backwards and Ruffven ran up to them. It was a knight in full metal armour with a large sword and a shield. Ruffven noted Jacob, who was groaning in pain, he was alive. The knight immediately brought up his sword and swung.

Ruffven stepped to the side and deflected it before swinging forward with his mace, the knight also managed to block it. Ruffven tried to then bash the sword out of his hand, the knight let go but then he punched Ruffven in the head, hard. Ruffven was dazed and stumbled backwards, suddenly a sword was swinging towards him, he lifted up his shield with both hands and blocked it, the knight however was pushing down against it. Ruffven tried to push it up but to no avail, until it suddenly gave way, the sword was pushed up and Ruffven swung into the legs of the knight, there was a shout of pain as the mace made contact and the knight fell to the ground, Ruffven kicked the sword away. Suddenly he heard running coming towards him, it was Ruthven and Charron, and Cerinţă was with them. "I've decided to see to this matter myself" she said. "Yeah, after I defeated him" Ruffven thought to himself, Cerinţă gave him a stern look and Ruffven gulped. Charron walked over and pulled off the helmet. Ruffven gasped but Cerinţă laughed. It was Kanis.

"Kanis! Your alive?!?" Ruffven shouted. "Heh, nice moves pup. Though I can't say I approve of your employer" Kanis said, spitting against the floor. "You know him Ruff?" Ruthven asked. Ruffven nodded. "He taught me how to fight" he said. "You must be his brother than... a human, your mother one of those types" he said. Ruffven's respect for Kanis was suddenly replaced by anger, but it was interrupted by Cerinţă. "Look who it is, it's Julius' first lapdog" she said. Kanis growled. "It's you, finally got through puberty have you?" he said. Cerinţă stopped laughing. "You should be a bit more concertious to the one deciding if you'll live or not" she replied. "Daddy not deciding for you, you can go ahead and kill me for all I care, or you can bring to Julius so I can show him my thanks for the years of service..." he said. She chuckled. "Julius was weak, which is why he's now dead" she said. Kanis growled. "Who killed him, can't have been you, did the Drakan's wise up to him" he said. "We did" Ruffven said. "You and 3 humans, impossible" he said. "Actually all they did was defeat him and tied him to the ground, I gave the final killing blow" she added. Kanis was silent. "My retribution, gone before I had the chance to give it..." he slouched against the floor. There was silence. "Are you going to kill me or not?" he asked. Cerinţă chuckled. "No, that's what you want, to die fighting. You can go home and die of old age for all I care" she said. Kanis growled. Cerinţă hummed and teleported the 5 of them away.

Ruffven went back to Kanis's house with him, they walked through, nothing had really changed. "I can't believe it hasn't been looted" he said. "I don't think anyone really noticed you were gone" Ruffven replied. Kanis sighed. "I can't even teach you anything now that you've bested me" he said. Ruthven ran in. "Hey Ruff, we've got another quest" he said. Ruffven gave him a face of impatience. "It's alright, I want to be left alone. You two remind me of my sons, until one killed the other at the bloodening. See your just making me feel more miserable, get out!" he said. Ruffven left to follow Ruthven.

A week had passed, Ruffven had to gone to check on Kanis occasionally but he never answered the door, but Ruffven knew he was there. Ruffven was sat at the table back at base reading a book when Ruthven rushed up to him. "Ruff! I saw Cerinţă at the bar, I overheard that she wanted to create some fun!" he said. Ruffven growled. "Go have your fun with her then" he said. "No with your mentor, she's sent him to the bloodening site to challenge some vyrewatch at combat" he said. Ruffven stood up. "What is he thinking you can't win against a vyrewatch on your own!" he shouted. Ruffven grabbed his things and ran after him. Ruthven sat on the table. "That story, of his two sons... I wonder..." he said, he then quickly ran outside as well towards the swamp.

Ruffven was running until he saw an armoured man heading up the path. "Kanis!" Ruffven shouted. He didn't stop walking. Ruffven caught up with him. "Go away!" he shouted. "What do you think your doing, you can't win" Ruffven said. "We won't know until I try" he said. "Your being ridiculous!" Ruffven shouted. "Why won't you just go away, your not going to stop me, move aside!" he said. They neared the bloodening site, a smartly dressed man stood on his own facing away from them. "You!" Kanis shouted. "Vyre, get ready to fight, one of us is dying today" he shouted. The man turned around and all the aggression suddenly disappeared from Kanis. The man chuckled. "I knew 'she' would set something up like this, that this would be fun to watch" he said. Ruffven was confused. "Who are you?" he asked. The man laughed and Kanis was beginning to stammer. "R-R-Ross!" he said.

"Kanis you still remember me, I can't believe it. I thought you'd died or snuck over back with Orf" Ross said. "What are you doing?" Kanis said. "I thought I was chatting to an old friend" he replied with a smile. "Why are you one of them!" he shouted. "The whole rituals complicated, see I was taken prisoner and --" he started to say. "Your a traitor, how can you even live with yourself!" "Kanis, see I was looking at things from a 1 sided point of view, being a vampyre is great, sure I don't really get a chance to practice fencing anymore but..." he started to say before going silent. Kanis growled. "What about the war, you fought against them, I thought I'd killed you, Orf was devastated!" he started to shout getting in a rage. "I can't take the responsibility for what Julius did, but the war was justified. We wern't going to kill the humans, we needed them to survive, there's nothing wrong with that and everybody can live" he said. Kanis howled. "The real Ross died a long time ago, you insult his memory. Now you will fight me and die!" Kanis shouted. Ross chuckled. "Kanis, is that what--" Ross started to say, but he quickly stepped backwards as a sword cleaved through the air. "You can't land a hit on me, you might as well--" Ross dodged once again. "Kanis, I don't want to have to put you down" he said. Kanis swung but Ross dodged under and lifted Kanis up by the neck. "Let me put your mind at ease" Ross said, his hand was showered in darkness and he clawed into Kanis, Kanis howled in pain. "There, there let the poison do it's work" he said, he then threw Kanis against the ground. "In a few days you'll be thanking me, now I must..." he was suddenly interrupted when a mace slammed into his side, he tumbled backwards against the ground. Ross stood up with anger in his eyes. "And who are you, wolf?" he asked. Ruffven growled. "I'm his student, I'm not going to let you make him suffer" he said. Ross gave a grimacing smile, his whole body was surrounded in shadow, as it dissipated his full Vyre form was unveiled. "You two are both fools, I'll be doing both of you a favour" he said. Kanis stood up. "You don't have to do this" he said. Ruffven ignored him and drew his shield.

"Any tips?" Kanis asked. "Go for speed over anything else, make it impossible to dodge, it's going to be a battle of attrition" Ruffven replied. Suddenly both of them had to dodge as a ball of dark energy headed towards them. The 2 charged at Ross while he charged a spell. Ross wouldn't be as fast as Julius but Ruffven had to maneuver his shield to act as a weapon to get as many hits as possible in, Kanis was performing some master slashes with his sword that acted to limit the areas Ross could dodge to, sure enough, Ruffven managed to push Ross forward with the shield and then the flat side of Kanis's blade slammed into his head, knocking him to the ground. Ross spit blood against the floor. "Night will fall!" he shouted, charging a spell and flying into the air. He let out a barrage of Shadow magic, that sent pain through Ruffven and Kanis, and suddenly the world had gone darker. "What is this, fight like the man you once were" Kanis shouted. "I am better than man, and that means I'm smart enough to give myself an advantage" he replied, hidden by the shadows. "I think your in the dark about this" a voice said. Suddenly Ross let out a yell, Ruffven could feel something moving incredibly fast in front of him, Ross let out a much louder yell and the shadows dissipated. Standing next to Ruffven was a ragged looking werewolf with metal claws on his hand. It was Orthrus. "Seems your having some trouble here, go on we should attack now" he said.

Orthrus charged alongside Ruffven, Orthrus' speed meant he managed to get 1 or 2 hits against Ross. Suddenly though a burst of blood magic knocked both of them back, Ruffven felt drained but Ross looked refreshed. "I've had enough of these shenanigans, you dog's are going to get put down" he said. He stood above Ruffven and charged a spell, but suddenly the end of a sword was poking out of is chest, Ross turned round to see Kanis, his face filled with sorrow. "Has this made you happy, killing your former friend" he said. Kanis shook his head. "May you find peace, we'll all see each other again soon..." he said. Ross hummed, Kanis pulled out the sword sharply and he crashed to the ground. Ruffven stood up and went over to him. "I have nothing left, now I can finally die" he said.

Orthrus walked over. "You can't say that, what about your family?" he asked. Ruffven looked at Orthrus, he rarely cared for anyone other than himself and Ruthven. "My family, Ross and Orf are both dead, my wife dead, one son killed by the other and his corpse is probably rotting somewhere..." he said. Ruffven was feeling really terrible. Orthrus started to chuckle, he gave Kanis a smile, Ruffven felt like punching him. "You didn't give me enough credit, I was stronger than him and that swamp" Orthrus said. "What are you talking about Orthrus!" Ruffven shouted. Kanis suddenly looked up. "Orthrus... your still alive?" he said. "Kanis is your father!" Ruffven shouted. Orthrus chuckled. "What a crazy coincidence, though I can't hang around here with a dead vyre on the ground" he said, he began to walk off. "You can't leave now, your his only family!" Ruffven shouted. Orthrus chuckled. "You havn't realised, what you are to him" he said, and he ran off into the swamp. Ruffven wiped his forehead. "Grandfather?" he said out loud. Kanis looked at him. "YOUR my grandson, I could've done a lot worse" he said. They both stood there, staring at each other. Kanis suddenly clutched his wound, the blood smelt strange, it smelt of death. Kanis collapsed to the ground.

Swan Song

Kanis laid on the bed, huge bags under his eyes and still out of breath. Jacob finished his examination of him. "I've got bad news, the poison isn't losing proficiency, were he human I'd give him about a day to live, though this might extend to about 2 or 3 for him" Jacob said. Kanis sighed. "How pathetic, dying to some stupid poison" he said. Ruffven looked towards Jacob. "Is there no cure?" he asked. Jacob looked towards him. "Normally there is, but..." he replied. "Well! What is it, we can go get the ingredients!" Ruffven shouted. "I'd need coconut milk, fresh coconut milk" Jacob said with a deep face. "Where do are these coconuts!?!" Ruffven shouted. Jacob looked towards him. "They don't grow in winter, I'm sorry" Jacob said. Ruffven bashed his fist against the table. "It's no use Ruffven, I've lived a long life, I just wish I could make it up to Orf and get his forgiveness, but he can't still be alive" he said. "Orf? You mean like Orfson Monkfish Traders?" Jacob asked. Kanis looked at him. "That was his last name! Where have you heard it before!?!" he asked Jacob. Jacob scratched his head. "You see crates of their stock in ports sometimes, monkfish are generally found in Piscatoris so the company is likely based there" Jacob said. Ruffven looked towards Kanis. "With all the weird stuff happening to us there is a chance he could still be alive, I mean we met a human who was over 4000 years old" Ruffven said, with a hint of hope. Jacob looked doubtful but didn't say anything. Kanis sighed. "Even so, there's no way past that damn Salve barrier..." he said. There was an awkward silence. "Kanis, I've been across the river hundreds of times" Ruffven said. Kanis looked towards Ruffven. "Why couldn't I have been told of this all those years ago..." Kanis stood up out of bed with determination in his eyes. Jacob warned him, but Kanis ignored him and stormed out.

Ruffven followed him. "Where are you going?" he asked. "Pisca-whatsit, I need to see if Orf still lives and tell him about Ross" he said. "You don't even know where your going, even so you'd never make it in time" Ruffven said. "I must try though!" he shouted. Charron walked in. "Ruffven I still owe you that favour, I overheard you though I can only teleport us as far as Ardougne, we'd have to hike from there" he said. Kanis stopped suddenly. "Wait here, I'll be right back" he said, disappearing outside. Ruffven looked towards Charron. "You don't owe me any favours" Ruffven said. Charron grunted. "Stop being such an idiot and just accept it" he said. Jacob came out of the room and smiled. "I'd better go too then, as a doctor I'd need to check up on him" he said. Ruffven smiled. Ruthven suddenly walked in. "We've got nothing better to do, never been to eagles peak before" he said with a smile. "Finally, another adventure" Dagger said. Charron started to open his mouth but Dagger was already interrupting him. "You left me alone when you went to the abyss, I'm not letting you go alone this time" he said. Charron grumbled something that sounded like fine mixed in with a few swear words. "But your going to have to wear that cloak" he said. Dagger growled. "But it itches" he said in a whiny voice. "It's that or get killed by guards thinking your a monster, now put it on!!" Charron shouted.

The 6 of them stood outside Ardougne, Charron had teleported them all in and they were now following Jacob to Piscatoris. "The sky, the green of the grass, I'd almost forgotten what it looked like" Kanis said. He coughed and everyone looked at him, he growled in response. "So what are you 5 then? Mercenaries?" he asked. "It's more of a questing group" Ruthven responded. "Hah, that's a thing, all we ever had near our farm was the occasional wanted poster" he said. "It's a good job" Ruffven said. "It's a well paid job" Ruthven added. Kanis chuckled and coughed again. "How much farther?" he asked. "We only just left, it's about a day to Eagles Peak, we'll be halfway once we pass the Gnome Stronghold" Jacob said. "And then you said it was half a day after that" Kanis said. Jacob nodded. "Alright, I get bored easily so how about you tell me a story" Kanis asked. "Like what?" Ruthven asked. "Like what on Gielinor is that thing?" he said pointing at Dagger. Dagger growled. "I don't think we should talk about that?" Charron said. "I'll be dead soon, so why don't you just say it anyway?" he said. "I'm Dagger, former sentinel of the Dagannoths, archenemies of humankind" Dagger said. Charron put his face in his hands. "Dagannoth, archenemy of humankind and here you are disguised as an ugly child" Kanis replied, the conversation didn't improve from there.

Ruffven took the first night shift scanning for trouble, the moon was obscured by the peak. Kanis couldn't sleep so he sat there talking with Ruffven. "So, Grandson... anything you want to know?" Kanis asked. Ruffven stood in silence for a while. "You never talk about your family after the Salve" Ruffven said. Kanis sighed. "After the salve was put up Drakan managed to get Canifis for our kind, most of the human occupants of the land were taken, some stayed behind, they ended up becoming food" he said. "Males of my age were often persuaded to take a mate, I was depressed but I met another. She would scold me whenever I reminisced, I couldn't stand to talk with her but she was one of the strongest females in the village, my training in heavy armour had ironically made me one of the strongest males, we were expected to get together, we had sex often, trying for a child, we eventually got one and about 10 years later we got another" Kanis said. "What were the children like?" Ruffven asked.

"My first born had all the makings of an alpha, he was strong, ruthless, several of the juvies actually feared him. Every hunt he would find something, though the swamps back then had more in them, there were still several human settlements around, he often made it his mission to kill the strongest human in each area and bring him back." Kanis said. "That doesn't sound like Orthrus?" Ruffven said. "That's because that was his brother, your father was 2nd born. He wasn't as strong as his brother but he was fast, he was smaller than the other pups and we'd often find him beaten up, often by his brother. We didn't stop them, but he must've kept all his anger buried deep in him, he never gave his brother a reaction and never submitted. His bloodening was the 2nd worst night of my life" he said, followed by a cough. "What happened?" "My eldest decided to humiliate my youngest, he had acquired a poison from the vyres, it dulls our regeneration, he dowsed his claws in it and attacked the other. There were cheers from the other pups, tears from my youngest, followed by rage... Orthrus.. he ripped out his brothers throat there and then, then like this was all another bloodening he gorged himself on his flesh, when the others went to stop him he fled into the swamps, he was no longer a werewolf after that. My partner left as well, just let the vyres take her away, everyone thought our family was cursed, so I decided to stay alone, I hunted alone, the vyres never came for me, the other villagers left me alone, 100 years alone, until you came along..." he said. Ruffven stood there, not talking. "Your shifts up by the way" Kanis said. Ruffven stood there for a moment, he wasn't sure whether it was or not but he decided to go swap with Charron.

They were nearing the settlement, Jacob pointed it out to them. "We're almost there" Jacob said. Kanis began to cough loudly, he was getting weaker. Kanis noticed everyone was looking at him and grunted. "I'm fine!" he shouted. They were about 10 minutes away when suddenly smoke erupted from the settlement. "That wasn't there before" Ruthven said. Kanis growled and ran straight towards it. Ruffven shouted after him and went to follow, soon they were all running towards the smoke. When they arrived they saw a group of creatures attacking the settlement. "Sea Trolls" Jacob said. Somebody waved at them and tried to beckon them over. "Ruff you and your pops help around here, we'll head up there" Ruthven said. Ruffven nodded and had a look around. He heard a loud roar nearby and turned and ran towards it, once he had arrived he saw a large troll surrounded by 3 smaller ones, the larger one was attacking a bearded man, Ruffven was about to run over to help but Kanis ran forwards instead, blocking the blow about to hit the man. "Protect my back pup!" he shouted. Ruffven nodded and immediately slammed his mace into the head of the closest troll.

Ruffven blocked another shot and another one, he stepped forward and pushed slamming his mace. There were several more clashes until the trolls lay dead on the ground, Ruffven heard a shout behind him and a loud crash, the largest troll lay down on the ground with Kanis' sword inpaled through his head. Ruffven turned to see Kanis, his helmet was off a dark streak of blood was pouring over his cheek, his armour was dented all over and he was coughing, then he collapsed. Ruffven ran over but he stopped as the man with the beard walked over. "You saved me, who are you?" he said. Kanis coughed. "A friend..." he said. "Orf? Is that really you are you still alive after all this time?" Kanis asked. The man stood in disbelief, "Orf was my grandfather, the 8th Orf in the family." he said. "Eighth... and the first?" Kanis asked. "errr... that was almost 1000 years ago, he though in some war in Morytania, he's known as a great patriarch of our family, along with his son Kanis" "Kanis!?!" "Yes, he had a great respect for a warrior of the same name, I'm the 6th Kanis in my family" he said. Kanis coughed. "So he forgave me after all..." Kanis said, then he fell silent against the ground.

The Masked Fighters

The 2 barges sailed out towards the sea, the smoke from the flames glistened against the sunset. Kanis and Ross started to get smaller and smaller before disappearing beneath the sea. The 4 of them stood and watched, Ruffven winced as the sun hit his eyes. Kanis, the human, stood beside him. "It's hard to believe all this, but I'm glad they're at peace" he said. Ruffven nodded. "Look I hate to say this but I have a favour to ask, meet me back at my house" Kanis said. Kanis walked back while Ruffven stared out to sea a little while longer.

Kanis sat down and pointed towards Ruthven. Ruthven looked shocked. "What! It wasn't me!" he said. "I saw in your bag, your one of those masked fighters aren't you?" Kanis asked. Ruthven looked confused. "What?, you mean the abby demon mask, no I just acquired it" Ruthven replied. "Masked fighter's?" Jacob asked. "There's an underground fight arena near Eagles peak, the contestants wear masks while people bet on the outcome" Kanis said. Ruffven shrugged. "Is there something wrong with that?" he asked. "They wear masks because some are wanted criminals, but that's not all, they're also kidnapped citizens as well, the masks prevent anyone from recognizing them" Kanis said. "You want us to put a stop to this?" Ruthven asked. Kanis nodded. "People have been disappearing, good people, I can't offer you any reward but they've amassed countless valuables over the years, you could always help yourselves" he said. Ruthven nodded. "We'll help, nothing exciting is happening back home anyway" he said. Kanis thanked them. "If you see people walking around eagles peak, it's highly likely they're going for the place your after"

Ruffven smelt the air. "Anything?" Ruthven asked. He shook his head. "It's too calm, no scents are blowing towards me" he said. It was getting dark, they had been searching for ages. "Maybe we should wait until it gets light out" Charron said. Ruffven growled. "We'll be fine, we just need to wait for a gust of wind" Jacob looked towards him. "You ok?" he asked. "Fine!" Ruffven responded. "You did everything you could for Kanis" Jacob said. Ruffven growled. "If I had only been stronger, faster... then he wouldn't have got poisoned" he shouted. "Ruffven, 2 of you took on a vyrewatch, it's a miracle one of you wasn't killed" he said. Ruffven growled. "It's not your fault" Dagger said. Ruffven sighed, the wind blew across his face, suddenly he smelt something. "Humans, alcohol but I can't pinpoint the direction" he said. The scent was near but he could smell it wherever he turned, he couldn't pinpoint it, what was wrong with him, unless... Suddenly a group of about 10 men appeared from behind bushes and out of trees, 2 men each pointing a bow at each of them. Ruffven growled. "Drop your weapons!" one of the men shouted. The 4 of them complied.

Ruffven was seething, he felt like everything was his fault. They were lead to an area of the mountain, an area Ruffven thought he had thoroughly checked earlier, the face opened up and they entered. They had their hands tied and were pushed through a door, a man sat at a desk, behind him was a large collection of masks and stands on the wall. There must've been about 50. The man at the desk looked at them all, he had short brown hair, wore fancy clothes and had a scar across his left eye. The men all left, leaving the 6 of them alone in the room together. "So, you found us. Or to be more exact we found you" he said. He walked over to Ruthven on the far side, he went through his belongings and brought out Ruthven's mask. "Interesting, you lot come here to join?" he asked. "Yeah, this is all a misunderstanding" Ruthven said. "Is it Wolf, or did you come here to destroy everything I worked for" he said. Ruthven smiled and gave a slight chuckle. "You know about us?" he asked. He laughed. "I owe one of you my thanks, the name is Karvold" he said.

None of the party recognised him. "Look, I'm going to cut to the chase, tonight is our 2 year anniversary and were going to celebrate with our biggest tournament ever, 64 competitors, people will come from all over Gielinor to watch and place bets" he said. "Why are you doing this?" Jacob asked. "Sport, mostly. I've been bored for a long time, and now I'm going to enjoy myself" Karvold said, speaking with a sudden chill. "I thought we'd have to fill in the rest of our slots with boring goblins, but now things will get interesting. A werewolf, 3 humans and..." he stopped and looked at Dagger, he walked over and ripped off the cloak, suddenly seeing Dagger for what he really was. "Hmmmm.... and whatever this thing is" he said. Charron tried to jump forward to attack but he was pushed back down towards the floor. "Don't worry, he won't be the only monster fighting" he added. Dagger growled but Charron shook his head at him. He walked over to a board with a load of names on, some names had gold marks next to them while some had other colour marks. It appeared to represent a tournament diagram, Karvold began to fill in open squares with 'Wolf, Raptor, Croc, Talon and Thing' "Dagger!" Dagger shouted, realizing what had been written from Charron. "Don't care, guards!" he shouted. A small group of guards came in, Karvold handed them Ruthven and Jacobs mask. "I need you to take him, him and that to the 3 empty cells on the 2nd floor, make sure those 2 get their mask" he said. Ruthven, Jacob and Dagger were dragged out, leaving Charron and Ruffven in the room.

"Why are we still here" Charron said. "I'm picking out your mask silly, if I'm right I might actually find a mask that chooses you" he said. "So those are actually 'the' masks, how did you get your hand on so many?" he asked. "I know the creator, you think I have a lot of masks you should see his place, he still makes them you know, that Jadinko one is pretty new" he replied looking over the masks, he picked one that resembled a Dagannoth. "Now hold still" he said. He tried to place the mask on Charrons face, Charron resisted but it was shoved on him, Charron shouted and banged his head against the floor, as he lifted it up the mask was now moving. "Hmmm it worked, it might even come off again" he said. Charron tried to bite Karvolds arm, but he placed his hands round the back of Charrons head and pulled and the mask came off. Charron shouted at him. Karvold sent in another guard to take Charron to the cells, suddenly it was just Ruffven and Karvold left.

"You don't recognise me, not that I would expect you to of course, scents and appearances can change" he said. Ruffven growled. "I have no idea what your talking about" he said. Karvold laughed. "Now let's see, which mask for you" he said to himself going over the masks again. He began to near towards a wolf one, Ruffven rolled his eyes, but Karvold passed over the Wolf one and picked one shaped like an ice demon. "There is no way, that's going on me, I've never killed a single one" Ruffven said. Karvold laughed. "You believe the story about the masks, that they pick the best killer of that particular creature, the truth is quite different which I'm sure you'll find out soon enough" he said. Karvold grabbed him by the neck, Ruffven shivered, the hand was ice cold. Karvold pushed him into a side room, the room was freezing Ruffvens breath turned to mist as he was pushed inside, he fell against the cold stone floor. "You just stay here and cool off, the fights start in 12 hours" he said. Ruffven growled in response. "Save your anger for the match" Karvold said, he threw the mask onto the ground and slammed the door.

"Wake up, you're seeded for the first fight!" a voice shouted. Ruthven groaned. "5 more minutes..." he said. Someone pulled him up and pushed him out, everything was a blur as he was pushed heading towards an booming sound, cages with other prisoners in started shouting at him and egging him on, monsters roared in anticipation, Ruthven smiled through his mask. Ruthven was pushed into a small room, the air was tense and there was a loud thumping coming from the other side, on a small table lay Ruthvens rapiers. Ruthven grabbed them and paced, if they wanted a fight they were going to get one. The door opened and Ruthven walked out.

The atmosphere was electric, he was in a large arena surrounded by large walls, fenced off at the top for good measure, around the outside of the fence were hundreds of spectators cheering, screaming, booing. Standing on a platform suspended above the centre of the arena was the organizer, whats'is name. "Fighter number 1, one of the 5 specialist fighters brought in for todays challenge, all the way from Morytania, Wolf!" he shouted. Ruthven smiled and spun his rapiers around, there was a mixed reaction from the crowd. Suddenly the doors in front of Ruthven burst open. A large bear burst through and roared, propelled forward by cattleprods in the back. "Fighter number 2, this ferocious black bear bested several guardsmen while on patrol, now here for your amusement, give it up for Grizzly!" The crowd roared, drowning out the sounds of the bear. Ruthven chuckled, this would be easy. It wasn't that easy, somehow the bear survived 5 stab wounds to the face and carried on fighting for another 2 minutes, before Ruthven finally stopped it with several blows to the neck. Ruthven stood atop it, beckoning the crowd. "We have our winner folks, Fighter number 1, Wolf!" Ruthven looked around to see a large board, and he saw his name move to the right, Ruthven sighed this wasn't over.

"Fighter number 37, our 2nd of our 5 specialists, an amphibious blood thirsty creature that prowls Morytania for blood, Dagger!" Korvald shouted. Dagger growled, the crowd made him nervous, he'd never had so many faces staring at him, one particular group of people looked like fremmenik, shouting and demanding his death. "Fighter number 38, a fremmenik outcast, previously famed as a mighty warrior, Rakir!" he shouted. Dagger stared as the bearded opponent walked towards him, the racial hatred between the 2, Dagger growled and got ready. The fremmenik part of the crowd was in shock, Dagger meanwhile was feasting on part of his opponents flesh. "We have our winner folks, Fighter number 37, Dagger!" Korvald shouted. Dagger looked up, the crowd was booing him, especially the fremmenik, Dagger considered firing a blast of water at them before he was herded back to the cages.

"And the opponent, fighter number 72, the 3rd of our 5 specialists, a cold hearted mage all the way from Morytania, Croc!" Korvald shouted. Charron growled, his opponent was some petty thug. There was now a petty corpse on the floor, slightly charred from Charrons fire spells. There was a loud applause, was it because of him, or the corpse that lay by his feet. He looked up at a board, a list of names he had a hard time making out, he saw Daggers still on there, the fact he was still alive eased Charron. "And the opponent, fighter number 106, the 4th of our 5 specialists, an assassin and master of ranged weaponry, all the way from Morytania, Raptor!" Korvald shouted. Jacob didn't like being referred to as an assassin, his target appeared to be a hellhound, it growled at Jacob, he immediately threw a throwing axe which landed in it's skull, Jacob walked out again, not wanting to be a part of this appalling charade.

Ruffven shivered, the cold was causing him to hallucinate, or it might have been something else. Memories of Kanis and what felt like other failures kept being brought forth, Ruffven was getting angrier, he just wanted to take his anger out against someone. A guard walked through the door and Ruffven headbutted him quickly, the guard fell backwards but more guards came in to restrain Ruffven. Ruffven growled but he knew he was outmatched, as he walked through Korvalds office he was a board that had a list of names followed by odds next to them, some names were crossed out, he skim read it as quickly as possible, Dagger was quite low down, but the rest of his friends were quite high up, Ruffven was lower down in the middle, his odds weren't great, at the top was the name Mauler, that was obviously the top competitor. As Ruffven stayed in the waiting room he heard the voice of Korvald from the other side. "Fighter number 127, winner of the last 4 tournaments, king of the bovines, Mauler!" he shouted. Ruffven gulped, he was against the top competitor, but anger rose within him, killing him would be 1 step closer to destroying this operation, he placed his mask on, it didn't stay on easily so he tied it tighter, obviously the mask hadn't chosen him, suddenly the doors opened and Ruffven walked out.

"Our last fighter in the tournament, number 128, the final of our 5 specialists, the soul crushing sentinel, all the way from Morytania, Talon!" Korvald shouted. Ruffven looked to see if he could hit him, but he was suspended on a platform too high up, instead he decided to focus on his opponent, his opponent was large, it had the head of a cow and carried an enormous axe, and was covered in scars. It let out a large roar towards Ruffven and crowd cheered hard. Ruffven charged forward, shield raised, the axe swung towards him, Ruffven stepped to the side and deflected it then let swing his mace towards the mauler's head, it was a crushing blow but Mauler shook it off and knocked Ruffven away. This was turning into a battle of attrition for Ruffven, he knew one direct hit with the axe would kill him, the fight had already gone on for 10 minutes. Ruffven launched one final swing towards his opponent, it hit in the chest of the already weakened Mauler, he took one knee and roared, he punched hard knocking Ruffvens equipment out of his hand, he swung his axe down at Ruffven, Ruffven reached up and grabbed it, Ruffven began pushing up, had his opponent not been weakened he would be finished. The axe was coming down closer towards him, Ruffven thought of a desperate plan, he kicked off Mauler, pulling the axe out of his grip, he then swung it down against Mauler's head, it fell off with a splat. There was silence from the crowd, followed by an uproar, many people had just lost bets, but Ruffven just roared in triumph. "And marking the end to Round 1, our winner, Fighter number 128, Talon!" Korvald shouted.

Ruffven briefly glanced at the odds board, out of the people he knewn Ruffven now had the best odds, he was in the top 10, but was amazed he wasn't first, he then got shoved back into his freezing cold cell. Ruffven shivered, and tried to get some rest. As he closed his eyes, he heard a voice. "Feast on your kill, it will provide you with warmth" it said. Ruffven quickly opened them and he saw Maulers body there, Ruffven also realised a fur coat would probably keep him warmer. He transformed and buried his head into the body, it tasted like beef.

Korvald was smiling to himself from a top the podium, he had made a killing from Mauler getting killed, but he didn't care, everything was going according to plan, he cleared his throat and spoke with a loud voice. "Round 2 is starting everyone, introducing first..." Round 2 proceeded the same way as round 1. Ruthven faced a bandit, Dagger had faced a Hobgoblin, Charron faced a dark wizard, Jacob faced a troll. Ruffven came out to his next battle against a large ogre, several people noted that he was getting more bloodthirsty.

Round 3 ended, apparently this meant there were only 16 people left in the competition, 5 of them were the questers. Ruffven was dragged back to his room, but not before injuring 2 guards, as he passed by the betting odds board his mood slightly improved when he learnt everyone he cared about was still alive. Ruffven looked and saw he was 3rd in the rankings, this made him slightly annoyed, but his odds had increased significantly, Jacob, Charron and Ruthven were 4th, 5th and 7th respectively, Dagger however was very near the bottom, 15th. "There's only 4 monsters left in this entire tournament, that's including you of course" Korvald said, he had walked in and sat at his desk. He started to draw up the final 16 tournament diagram on a board. "Why don't you send your guards out and fight me!" Ruffven shouted. Korvald laughed, "Rage is good, 'his' outside was cold but he had a raging inferno inside him" he said. "What are you talking about!" "You'll find out, hmmm looks like you might have an interesting fight on your hands in round 5" Ruffven growled, but temptation made him look, he had 2 possible fights, one against a guy called bow, the other against someone named Raptor. It suddenly dawned on him. "Have a pleasant sleep" Korvald said, Ruffven was thrown back into his cell and the door slammed.

Ruffven was walking across a frozen wasteland, he suddenly saw Kanis's body lying on the ground, snow piling up on him. Ruffven growled and walked on, his mind was playing tricks on him. He walked further and he saw Rathven, the sight struck a chord with Ruffven, it was almost 2 years since then. He carried on and he suddenly saw a stranger holding Jacob by the throat. Ruffven shouted at him. The stranger threw Jacob on to the ground and laughed, a horrible laugh, as the blizzard stopped momentarily Ruffven saw him, Scar, the blasted gargoyle. Ruffven ran and swung his mace at him, but Scar knocked him back. Ruffven got up but the blizzard picked up again, he couldn't see him or smell him only hear him, the sound of laughter, it was driving him crazy, he was shouting and pounding against the snow demanding he stopped. Suddenly the blizzard cleared.

"And as you can see the experiments on the gargoyles have worked, Scar is one of my proudest achievements" Korvald said. Ruffven grunted. "I don't trust him" he replied. Korvald laughed. "Don't be silly, he's under my control, his powers can hardly rival ours" Korvald replied. Ruffven growled. "If he steps out of line even once, I will crush him into dust" "You know Kryos was much more thrilled with the news, nothing will happ--" Korvald was interrupted by a sudden explosion. Ruffven was struggling to open his eyes, but he could hear laughter. "Scar! I will end you!" Ruffven shouted. "Hehe, I have stripped Korvald of his power, he escaped but he won't last long, I believe I'll take yours too" A sudden pain erupted through Ruffven and all was dark. Suddenly he could hear something, clockworks, footsteps. A rasping high pitched voice spoke. "I guess I owe Korvald, but this is all I can do to save his friend, suddenly Ruffven felt like his soul was leaving his body a feeling of pain and emptiness, suddenly darkness. Ruffven woke up to the sound of banging against his door. "Be quiet!" someone shouted. Ruffven growled, but he sounded strange, he wasn't feeling that cold either, suddenly he felt the mask, but when he touched it he felt him touching himself, the mask had joined with him, but why.

Korvald stood atop his platform. "Welcome gentleman to the 2nd and final day of our tournament, 16 contestants left, 3 more rounds to go, who will win!" There was a loud cheer, everyone was celebrating, even those who had lost out on their bets yesterday. "Our first round starts once again with Fighter number 1, Wolf!" he shouted. Ruthven once again strutted out, he blew kisses out to the audience and waited for their applause, it mostly consisted of boo's but Ruthven didn't hear, and with that the tournament was underway again.

Ruthven won his fight again much to the crowds dissatisfaction, but it got worse for the crowd, Dagger successfully killed the only fremmenik left in the tournament, the fremmenik portion of the crowd were outraged and a bottle hit Dagger in the snout, one of the fremmenik had to be taken away with injuries from a water spell. Charrons defeat of a Hill Giant got a good reaction however. However Jacobs match caused some controversy. The 2 remaining rangers in the competition squared off against each other, Jacob suffered an arrow wound that got him in the arm, but Jacob managed to knock out his opponent by kicking him in the head. He walked back to his cell straight after, but his opponent was still alive, there was outrage and Jacob was put back in, but he refused to kill. "If you don't kill him, we'll kill you!" Korvald shouted. Jacob walked over to the body, turned it over and cut into the back of opponents feet. "Now he can't walk, that would hardly make an entertaining fight next round" Jacob shouted. Korvald, against the crowds wishes, let Jacob go back to his cell, the crowd booed but Korvald didn't mind, the crowd would get what they wanted soon enough.

Ruffven was forced back into the room, he was livid. The noise of the crowd, he just wanted to shut them all up. Suddenly there was a knocking on the door behind him. Korvald walked in. "Ah 'he' finally chose you, and just in time" he said. Ruffven swung his mace at Korvald, but he waved his arm and an ice spell knocked him back. Ruffven growled. "Now I know who you are, your the demon who helped me kill Scar!" Korvald laughed. "Yes and I said I owed you a reward, and he cast a spell against Ruffven which hit him in the face. Ruffven was disorientated and was only just managing to stay standing. Korvald was already leaving before Ruffven could do anything.

Ruffven was breathing heavily he began to feel cold, the door opened and he stumbled out, Korvald was shouting something to the crowd, Ruffven didn't understand but he saw something that shocked him. Standing in the centre of the arena was a gargoyle, a whitish aura surrounding it, it had to be Scar, how had he come back, Ruffven shouted in anger. He ran forward and swung as hard as he could with mace, but 'Scar' had dodged it and a large force suddenly knocked Ruffven back towards the ground. He heard laughter, that was all he could hear, he wanted to silence him, everyone. "Now I will take my revenge, destroy them all, you just rest" a voice inside Ruffvens head said. Ruffvens world was going white, he lost consciousness.

Korvald watched from above, the werewolf had done his part, as had the gargoyle, the 2nd test subject, everything was going to plan. Making the gargoyle fight opponents exclusively fight non crushing weapon users guaranteed this result. The audience was shouting a multitude of things, they had grown smart, the werewolfs performance the previous day had meant many people invested heavily in him, unfortunately none of them would survive, the only 2 leaving alive would be him and his long lost friend, who was making his entrance in the arena. The werewolf was standing in the centre, it looked like his body was freezing over. Then suddenly there was a flash, his friend was back in all his glory. A light blue coloured demon stood in the arena, it stood at just over 10ft, though he carried a pathetically small mace and shield, this changed when the demon said something in an ancient language, ice formed over the weapons and made them larger. The demon seemed full of rage and charged towards the gargoyle, who looked up at Korvald with a look of fear and realization. "You set me up you bas--" but it was too late, the mace contacted with the gargoyle and he simply shattered into pieces. Korvald smiled. "Our winner everyone, fighter 128, Talon!" he shouted. There was confusion from the crowd, the competitor had just turned into a demon, though naturally those who had bet on Talon to win had suddenly become hopeful, those who bet on the gargoyle cried out foul play but knew nothing would come of it. The demon looked towards Korvald. "Old friend, show them your might, only 3 people stand in your way. The demon growled, in a way Korvald felt strange. "I will win Korvald, and then I'll make sure everyone else knows I'm better as well" he said, and he disappeared into the room. "Welcome back Kalvbard" he said.

Jacob was sat in his cell, he had just received a harsh reaction after letting his opponent go, however the fights were still going on. All the competitors were not kept in cells close to the arena, the guards got tired of walking too far so just stuck em together. Charron had just returned from his fight and Jacob was eager to hear about it. "Who did you face?" he asked. Charron shrugged. "Some sort of necromancer, nothing tough" he replied. Jacob made a murmur. "What?" he asked. "Have you noticed whose left?" he asked. "It's just us. We've won." Dagger said. Jacob shook his head. "Yes but they're gonna force us to continue, this was the plan all along, I'm going up against Ruff next" "What! There's no way either of you will fight, or can't you at least knock him out!" Ruthven shouted. Jacob shook his head. "I doubt they'd let the loser survive, or they'll kill one of us immediately should we refuse" Jacob said. Charron suddenly stood up. "Wait, Dagger, your facing Ruthven next!" Charron said. "Easy win" Ruthven replied. "Not with a busted ankle it won't be" Dagger said. Ruthven chuckled. "My ankles fi-urrghhhhhckin bloody!" he shouted as a spike made it's way into Ruthvens foot. "Ruthven you touch him and I will burn you alive!" Charron shouted. "He just shot me, I'm gonna kill him right now!!!" Ruthven shouted. "OY! That's enough" a guard shouted. "You, Raptor, your death awaits" the guard said, grabbing Jacob. "Anymore fighting between you lot and --" The guard back at the cells was saying, before Jacob got to far away.

Jacob stood in the dirt of the arena, staring at the gates, waiting for Ruffven to arrive, and trying to think of a plan. Suddenly the doors opened, and Jacob began to shiver. "Now, the house favourite, he's back, fighter 128!" Korvald shouted. Jacob grew concerned, he was sure Ruffven wouldn't have been defeated, but that wasn't Ruffven coming out. An ice demon walked slowly towards Jacob and stopped a few feet away, it looked down towards him. "And I expected a difficult fight, heh" it said. Jacob couldn't believe it. "Ruffven." he said, to himself. "I'm afraid you won't be meeting your friend in the afterlife, but the other's will join you soon" it said. Jacob realised something. "So that's your mask then, your really going to kill your friend" "Your friend is gone, I am Kalvbard, know this, the name that shall kill you" Jacob nodded, and quickly brought out a few potions and started to drink. The crowd was getting restless. "What're you waiting for?" Jacob asked. Kalvbard didn't respond, instead he brought up his mace, but 2 throwing axes suddenly hit him in the chest.

Kalvbard wasn't expecting that, he brought down his mace but the ranger just moved out the way quickly. Jacob had taken some agility potion, he knew that the only way he was gonna win was by not getting hit at all. He quickly loaded his crossbow and fired at the demons right arm, Kalvbard roared and swung, Jacob jumped over it and ran between his legs, stabbing both of them repeatedly with his Keris. Jacob quickly dodged the next attack coming for him and the demon stumbled. Cheers erupted from the crowd, not expecting the fight to even go on this long. Kalvbard was furious, each attempt at an attack was just met with several counterattacks, and the crowd erupted everytime the ranger did such a thing. Kalvbard roared and smashed his mace into the ground, the ground heaved upwards radially and the ranger was knocked off his feet, before he could get up Kalvbard slammed the shield into him, he went flying across the dirt, eventually hitting a wall. Jacob shouted in pain, he hadn't broken anything but he knew he was too injured to get away. Kalvbard faced him so Jacob thought of something desperate. "Would you really kill someone you owed your life to?" Jacob said. Kalvbard laughed. "We have never met before today human, I only owe you your death" Jacob shook his head. "And where would you be without Ruffven?" he asked. Kalvbard growled, the same way Ruffven use to growl. "Who got you killed in the first place?" Jacob asked. "I wasn't killed, though I was practically destroyed because of that damn gargoyle and all because I trusted..." he said, he smashed the mace against the wall next to Jacob. "He cares about you, in a way I can't possibly understand" he said. Jacob nodded. "What are you going Kalvbard, kill him already!" Korvald shouted. Kalvbard roared and faced him. He flew upwards and smashed the platform Korvald was on, Korvald jumped off out of the way and into the arena. "Kalvbard!" "Korvald, I promised I would get revenge on the one who killed me, but it is your fault, and your curiosity that put me in my current position!" "What, I've been trying to help --" he replied. "No, this is all some sort of sport to you, another experiment to watch, what will happen to me afterwards, that is why I'm going to kill you!" he shouted and he swung the mace down on Korvald, Korvald lifted up his hand and stopped the mace mid air. The crowd watching was astounded. Korvald pushed upwards and a large force pushed Kalvbard away. Korvald was now angry and he shouted into the sky, a blizzard appeared and swept across the arena and into the audience, there were screams and shouts and finally, laughter.

Jacob had used this distraction to escape and was heading towards the cells, as the guards were panicking unsure about what was going on, Jacob ran through catching them unaware. Jacob managed to take down a few whilst running towards the others. Charron saw Jacob first, running towards them, the guard by the cage saw him as well and loaded his bow, Charron instinctively reached through the bars and grabbed the guard by the neck, the guard nearby saw this but he ended up with a spike through his head. Charron heard something snap and he dropped the body. Jacob reached them and unlocked the cells. "What's going on?" Ruthven asked. "We need to stay down here, there are 2 demons fighting up there." Jacob said.

Kalvbard braced against the blizzard until it disappeared, his former friend stood in front of him, as he remembered him. "You are being manipulated by the werewolf, don't let yourself be fooled" Korvald shouted. Kalvbard roared. "I don't care!" he shouted and swung his mace into the demon. Korvald was forced back and laughed. "You always did rely on primitive instruments, let me show you how it's done". A large series of Icicles flung themselves towards Kalvbard, he blocked with his shield and pushed forward, he got in a few hits but was slowly getting worn down by the constant magic attacks, finally a blast knocked him back and disarmed him, the weapons smashed into pieces. "Now what will you do? No weapons, and you could never use magic, unfortunately it's too late to surrender" Korvald started laughing, Kalvbard hated that sound the rage built within him, he felt a primeval urge and went with it. Korvald stopped laughing. Kalvbard was transforming right in front of him, his body grew larger, his jaw extended, his hooves were turning into primitive feet, but strangest of all white fur erupted all over his body, he was beginning to look more like a wolf than a demon, then Kalvbard suddenly realised, he wasn't fighting 1 opponent it was 2.

Kalvbard howled and charged forward, Korvald launched a spell but Kalvbard resisted it and slashed at him repeatedly. Korvald pushed him away and tried to fight back, but his opponent was now stronger and faster than him. He gave Korvald a devastating swipe to the neck and Korvald fell to one knee. "Kalvbard, why? Don't you remember your friends, what would Kryos say? I can make you stronger you can defeat all serve Zamorak as a general, I can--" Kalvbard growled. "Kalvbard died a long time ago, you killed him remember, but in the end he always gets his revenge" he plunged his claw deep into Korvalds chest, Korvald began to squirm, his body increased in temperature and started to swell, then suddenly he exploded into chunks of meat and ash. Kalvbard looked around, everyone was dead, the crowd had died in the spell. He saw his reflection in a flat area of ice, he knew that this is what he was now. He picked up the Mace and Shield and walked out.

Jacob, Ruthven, Charron and Dagger were at the outside of the cave, the entrance had been smashed by Kalvbard and he was now discussing things. "I have made my revenge, your friend will return to you soon, is there anything you'd like to know?" he asked. Jacob spoke what he believed everyone was thinking. "What are the masks?" he asked. Kalvbard grunted. "You know of the spellbook, one of my comrades was an author for it, he was the one who helped create the ritual of joining. He's dead now but another of the authors survived, he hated how the spell was performed, it was dangerous, it warped the mind of others, if 2 creatures were incompatible then all they were doing was creating monsters. The masks were his solution, each one contains the soul of a creature and a transformation can only occur if the wearer has a deep link with the soul of the creature, a shared personality. The transformation only occurs once, and that is to deepen the connection, the wearers gain insight or abilities when they wear the mask, though consistent use still warps the mind" it said. Jacob nodded, Ruthven looked bored. "Tell your friend... he's not strong enough... yet." he said. There was a bright flash of white light and Kalvbard was gone, Ruffven lay on the ground wearing the mask.

The 5 of them sat around the fire. "So we are like the creatures our masks represent..." Ruffven said. "I'd say having a demonic personality is a compliment for you" Ruthven said. Ruffven gave a weak smile. "And your represented by a tentacled monster from the abyss" Ruffven replied. "That means I'm awesome" Ruthven said with a smile. Jacob rolled his eyes. "We never escape that book, or the people who wrote it" Charron said. Ruthven laughed. "You make it seem like a bunch of guys who died several thousand years ago are out to get us, stop worrying, I mean it's new years day now" Ruthven said. Everyone looked at him. "Can't I get it right for once? We're another year down, how about this year we save up and next year we go travelling, Karamja, the Western Forests, Kharidia. I mean Morytania's starting to lose it's charm" Ruthven said. "It had charm?" Charron asked. "Well maybe to a Vampyre" he replied. "We could go back to the islands" Dagger said. Ruffven dreaded the thought of being out at sea for days.

The fire dimmed, Jacob and Ruffven were the only ones still up. "Your not strong enough" Jacob said. "Yet!" Ruffven reminded him, "Look we overcome challenges all the time, we'll be gods in a few years time" he said. Jacob chuckled. "Sounds like something Ruthven would say" Ruffven gave a smile. "But have you noticed, a lost of these struggles have been about solving internal problems, Charrons fear of becoming a monster, Dagger's fear of losing everyone, your struggle with your own identity." Jacob said. Ruffven grunted. "I know who I am" Ruffven said. "Who are you then?" "I am Ruffven Galand, I now know my father and grandfather, Ruthven and Senior are my brother and true father. You, Charron and Dagger are my friends." Ruffven said, he gave a deep breath and a smile. Jacob burst out laughing, Ruffvens smile disappeared. "I'm just remembering when we first met, if yourself from back then heard you say that he'd think you were crazy" he said. Ruffven didn't see it. Jacob lay with his back on the ground. Ruffven looked towards him. "What are you thinking about?" he asked. "Brotherhood" he replied.

TBC

Realisation

Ruffven woke up in the basement, he felt sick and in pain. He struggled to remember what had happened, until he looked over and saw Ruthven lying in another bed, his chest covered in bandages. Ruffven went to get up when suddenly someone ran over to stop him. "Oy, you need to rest!" she shouted. Ruffven looked, it was Jacob's mum, the animal doctor, she pushed him back into his bed. "I'm fine..." Ruffven muttered, not believing it himself. Jaks shook her head. "Rest! You got repeatedly stabbed in the chest and walked a mile carrying 2 people" she said. Ruffven rested his head back against his pillow. "Where's everyone else?" he asked. Suddenly as if to answer the question, his mother walked down the stairs quickly. "Ruffven. Praise Zamorak." she said running towards him. Jaks muttered something about checking on Charron and walked off.

Ruffven stared at the ceiling. "It was terrible, watching you carried and Ruth carried in like that" she said. "I'm fine mum" Ruffven replied. "But your not, Ruffven" she said. Ruffven didn't understand. "Look, my injuries are practically healed already mum" he said. His mother gave a look that you'd give to tell someone their beloved had passed on. "Your not whole" she said. Ruffven gave a look of confusion. "Saradomin cursed you, your other side is gone" she said. Ruffven was shocked, then confused, then angry. "What do you mean!?! That's not something you can lose! It's impossible!" he shouted, he tried to transform to show her, but he coughed and threw up onto the floor, Ruffven lay hanging over the bed sweating, a sudden depression swept over him. "You need to be strong Ruff" his mother said, Jaks came running over with a bucket and a cloth, she lifted Ruffven back into bed. "I'm sorry, but I'm afraid he needs to rest" she said to Romani. Romani was reluctant but nodded and walked away. Ruffven was muttering to himself, unable to grasp the situation. Suddenly he found liquid pouring into his mouth, and someone forcing his jaw upwards, Ruffven swallowed without thinking. "Relax Ruffven" Jaks said, Ruffven found himself going to sleep.

A sudden chill blew past Ruffven, he found himself standing in a long stone corridor, extending infinitely in both directions. Ruffven looked around, there was nobody, just plain walls and a plain floor. Ruffven quickly turned round to find a claw grabbing at his throat and throwing him to the ground. Ruffven looked at what had grabbed him, it was himself, well his other form. It stared at him angrily and spoke in harsh Canic. ["What have you done!?!"] it said. ["You've killed me, this all your fault, you've become a no good human, Scum! Traitor! Human!"] Ruffven clutched his head in panic, when suddenly the growling stopped. A man in scaled armour had bent down next to him and offered to pick him up, it was Jacob.

"What are you doing here?" Ruffven asked. "Cadava. It's a Soporic, can sometimes cause strange dreams" Jacob said. Ruffven grabbed Jacobs hand and lifted himself up. "I'm not really Jacob, you wanted guidance and intelligence so your mind created an advisor from your previous experience, I simply hold your collective intelligence" he said. Ruffven was confused. "So how did you know about the Cadava?" Ruffven asked. "You've heard Jacob mention it before, pertaining to the incidence when Ruthven drunk a random vial for a bet, your subconscious picks up on these things" he said. Ruffven began to understand. "So your not Jacob?" he asked. Jacob shook his head. "Can you pretend to be then?" Ruffven asked. Jacob smiled. "Sure thing Ruff" Jacob said, beckoning him down a corridor.

"So in the real world how are you?" Ruffven asked. Jacob shrugged. "Who knows? My scent wasn't at base which shows I havn't been back since the incident, though mum's behaviour would probably suggest I'm not dead." Jacob replied. Ruffven sighed. "What do I do Jacob?" Ruffven asked. Jacob placed his hand on Ruffvens shoulder. "You move on, for all you know this is just temporary" Jacob replied. "But it's like losing a part of myself, I feel so empty without it" Ruffven replied. "Ruffven, before the incident the last time you transformed was 6 months ago" Jacob added. "You can spend 6 months without going angry, but imagine your reaction if you could never feel anger again..." Ruffven said, glum. "Then I'll move on, just forget about it" Jacob said. "What do you know! Your only human!" Ruffven shouted, placing his head into his hands. A soft hiss sounded to the side of him. Jacob had been replaced with the lizard thing from the caverns.

"Jacob...?" Ruffven asked. "You still call me Jacob?" the lizard said. "But that is you Jacob, I remember, the mask made you into this thing" Ruffven said. "Maybe it did, however maybe I'm not really human, maybe I'm just a Jadinko who's changed form" it said. "Stop being ridiculous! Your meant to be helping me Jacob!" Ruffven shouted. "You still identify me as such, instead of human" it said. Ruffven stammered. The lizard thing hissed. "We do not identify ourselves by our species, I am Jacob. You are Ruffven, not just a werewolf." it said, suddenly turning back into Jacob. Ruffven stared towards the ground. "Your right. I may have lost a part of me, but I'm gonna fight to get it back." Ruffven said, clenching his fist. "Thanks Jacob, how do you know what to say?" he asked. Jacob smiled. "I'm telling you what you wanted to hear, you already knew the answer. Though the contents of my brain helps as well I suppose" Jacob said with a smile. Ruffven smiled back. "What now?" Jacob asked. Ruffven sat down against the wall. "I want to hear the story about how we stopped Scarab again?" Ruffven asked. "That one, how far back shall I start?" Jacob asked, sitting down as well and getting out a book. "The party" Ruffven added. "Right, so when the group met up for the first time... I'll try see if I can do it justice" Jacob said. Ruffven smiled, he hoped everyone else was ok, as for him, he was feeling better already.

Recent History

(To be added)

Trivia

  • Ruffven is magejake50's first non human character
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