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  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
    Demented
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Though not present in every chapter, this story will contain graphic violence and coerced sex/rape, some of which involves underaged characters. Keep this in mind before reading. 

MageCrafter - 22. Chapter 22

Lord Baldric felt uneasy as he held Kotik against him while they lay in bed. At first, he had thought he had been using sex as a way of distracting his love from his worries, but in the afterglow he found himself troubled with his own concerns. First on his mind was Kotik’s recent awakening. He now had access to an entire realm of MageCrafting that Baldric could not help him with. He had no real experience with Esoteric MageCrafting like the Art of the Barbarian. If Kotik got into trouble with an item he made inside of him there would be little he could do to help him with that with the knowledge he currently had. What was worse, it seemed to augment the range and potency of his dominion over wood, which caused a whole other host of issues.

How was he supposed to give Kotik a safe environment to train if Kotik had such diverse ways to make magic items? He could stumble into some serious problem with an item and trigger an Exhaustion curse or worse. As he lightly stroked Kotik’s head he couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by this growing responsibility he had over the boy. Cernunnos had made it very clear, Kotik’s protection and happiness was his responsibility now. He had to protect him from all comers that may try to take Kotik from him.

“Are you sure The Old Man isn’t mad at me?” Kotik asked without looking up at Baldric. The old man had given him a simple cover story before he faded away. Due to his store being destroyed and his downturn in business, he was going to go back to where he came from for a while to build back up his funds. However he said that he would be able to see Kotik again eventually, so he didn’t have to worry or anything. Kotik, when he had realized he had destroyed the Tavern, blamed himself for The Old Man going away. This only deepened his depression from choking someone to death after so long. As much as the boy tried to rationalize that it was Babica, a truly evil woman, the way in which he killed her really ate him up inside.

“Of course he isn’t mad at you. He cares very deeply about you. Just like I care about you.” It killed him that he couldn’t tell Kotik that the old man was his father. As far as Kotik knew he was just Giant Blooded. Thankfully the secret of the Old Man’s identity was going to be relatively simple to keep.

At that moment, Baldric’s eyes went wide and a shiver went down his spine. The parallel mind that had been speaking with his father reconnected with him and it brought the worst news imaginable. There was so much bad news that happened in that one meeting alone that it was hard to process it all. Kotik’s awakening hadn’t just been enormous for one thing. His awakening had apparently been felt by every magic user and MageCrafter in the world, and international politics had gone into an absolute uproar when Baldric hadn’t been looking.

How did he miss this? How did something this massive fly under his information network? Yet it didn’t stop there either. The High King of Felsalvia had decided to not only take a personal interest in this, he had sent a very threatening letter to the Silbel government and the Bertolde estate about how Kotik was his nephew and that he should be relinquished into his custody immediately. The High King never took interest in any affairs outside of his lair. Not since the Dark Age Wars. Yet he not only took a personal interest in this situation he seemed to know for a fact that he was related to Kotik.

Which was almost certainly true considering the High King was a Gigantes and a True Dominion MageCrafter of Vines. His father might very well be blood related to Cernunnos. The sheer forcefulness of the letter and the speed in which his Ambassador was supposed to be arriving at the estate alarmed him greatly.

“Lord Baldric? Are you alright?” Kotik turned around to look up at Baldric after he had felt him tense up while he lay against the older teen. Baldric tried to answer that he was fine, but then other Parallel minds started reporting in on the guests that were arriving. The guests that were arriving today. How had this gotten past his information network?!

Baldric’s face went pale as images of the supposed Ambassador came into his mind. He knew what the High King looked like from investigations into the heroes of Old through interviews with citizens of the various undersea kingdoms. That was no ambassador. That was High King Vinal’s Avatar. He knew how to make a fully fledged avatar like the gods themselves. Not the pale imitation that Baldric could make with his ice and illusions. A true Avatar.

This was not like with Babica Preja at all. Babica was a decrepit warlord who had long since lost the prime of her youth and the sharpness of her mind, and even with that it took years of preparations and study to make sure the victory was assured. High King Vinal appeared to be still in his relative teenage years despite being one of the heroes of old from the Dark Age Wars. Since he was both a Gigantes and a High Elf, he aged exceptionally slow even for a normal High Elf. He was genuinely powerful as well, as he had been one of the heavy hitters among the Heroes of Old who dealt the most damage against the necromancers with his weaponized Vines. The only reason why Felsalvia wasn’t named after him was because he delegated rulership to the Queen instead. She was his subordinate, and they didn’t even seem to like each other from the way she told it.

He had to get up, putting Kotik to the side as more alarmed parallel minds of his started feeding in images and intelligence into his mind. High King Vinal was not the only one arriving at the estate. High Priestess Marigold from the Central Temple of the Golden Maiden was here, flanked by a company of paladins and clerics. This was in some ways even more alarming than Vinal himself because he knew so little about the High Priestess. He knew so little in fact he wasn’t sure if Marigold was a singular person or a title that has been passed down over the centuries since the Dark Age Wars. He knew she wasn’t a Hero of Old, but she arrived shortly after the Dark Age Wars and has been a central figure of the Goddess of Gold’s temple ever since.

Count Raudh, who had taken a nap after their lurid threesome, woke up groggily at the sudden movement that was taking place in the room. Baldric could not pay much attention to that however, because his mind was being inundated by so many updates from his panicked parallel minds it was everything he could do to sift through the information. From what he understood, the meeting with these diplomats was going to happen soon. The Parralel mind assigned to his father was buying them time to think of a plan, walking slower than normal as he made his way back to his room, but the writing was on the wall. Lord Baldric needed to figure something out and he needed to figure something out fast.

“My friend, what has come over you? I dare say I have not seen you in such a state before.”

“Lord Baldric? Did I do something wrong?”

Baldric snapped to attention, gesturing his hand to assuage Kotik. “No my sweet. It’s just…” His words hitched in his throat as he truly tried to process the ramifications of what he was contemplating here. Should he move forward with his contingency plan right now, he would in effect be kidnapping the nephew of a High Royal of another nation. Kidnapping that would be already on top of the enslavement that has already pissed off a very powerful Gigantes. Silbel would not stand by him to keep Kotik, but they doubly wouldn’t stand by him should he go through with this plan.

Yet Cernunnos had left no room for question. Kotik was to remain with him. He could not just hand him over to the High King even if he was his Uncle. Surely such a god would not overlook such a thing from happening. If he had to choose between angering earthly nations and angering a literal god, he was going to go with the lesser of two evils on that front. There was more to it besides that. He could not bear the thought of giving up Kotik like this. Kotik was his to protect, his responsibility.

“Shahnaz, could you come inside the room please?” Baldric called out to the door as he stood there with an expression that spoke to how hard he was thinking right then. Even as the tiefling entered the room the only thing that was on Baldric’s mind was how to go about this without jumpstarting a repeat of the Dark Age Wars. He was dancing so tentatively on the edge of making an international incident by trying to keep Kotik from Vinal.

“Uh oh, I haven’t seen that look on your face in a long while.” Shahnaz said apprehensively as she closed the door. “What happened?”

“It’s not good Shahnaz.” Baldric said, pinching the bridge of his nose as he did so, “We’re going to need to move up the time table. By a lot.”

“Timetable? What timetable do you speak of Baldric?” Count Raudh asked with a raised eyebrow, “You’re speaking quite cryptically at the moment my friend.”

“Lord Baldric, what’s going on? Why do you look so nervous?” Kotik asked as he clambered off the bed and got closer to him. The only person in the room who seemed to have a clue of what Baldric was even talking about was Shahnaz. She did not look too pleased with what he was suggesting.

“Are you nuts? Right now? You realize we got foriegn dignitaries on our doorstep right now? The Maid’s have been shooting messages about it with each other all morning.”

“They’re here to take Kotik Shahnaz, I can’t let that happen.” Baldric said as he began to pace again. He had his hands behind his back with an expression that was deep in thought, weighing the pros and cons about what he was going to do. “Yet at the same time I cannot just leave without saying a word either.”

“Now hold on, why would they want Kotik?” Shahnaz asked with befuddlement evident on her features “Is this cause of that insane awakening of his?”

“So this really is my fault.” Kotik slumped dejectedly as his fears were confirmed.

“Not exactly.” He hesitated, wondering how exactly to broach this topic with Kotik around. Part of him feared that Kotik might actually want to go with Vinal the second he found out that he was his uncle. He never had a family like that up till now, and he craved and desired attention. Plus Vinal was someone who probably knew how to handle Kotik’s burgeoning powers better than Baldric did.

Yet the words of Cernunnos quashed that train of thought. He was supposed to be the one to care for Kotik. He couldn’t just hand over Kotik to Vinal and expect things to work out. Especially not with their mission regarding silbel.

“Alright everyone.” Baldric began with a deep intake of breath. “I cannot get into everything at the moment as it would take too much time to explain,” Not a lie, but still rather deceitful, “However what I can say is there are very powerful diplomats that are at our doorstep, one of whom has already made it clear that he’s coming to take Kotik away from us. We cannot allow that to happen.”

“Alright my friend, what plan do you propose to not let such a thing transpire? Do you plan on meeting with this person to negotiate for Kotik?”

“Something like that Raudh. I’m going to have a copy of myself and Kotik meet with them, however I am almost certain they will be able to see through my illusory creations almost immediately. When that happens I’ll have to hope they’ll hear my copy out about setting up a more neutral meeting place to talk. As a duke's son I have next to no negotiation power in this situation.”

“What are we going to do while the copies are talking to them? Where will we go? To a teleportation cart?” Kotik looked quite alarmed about what was happening.

Baldric shook his head at that. “No. We will be heading to my Lair, at which point I will take care of everything from there. However we have to move to the lair without being seen so the copies look convincing.” The bluish white haired lad faced the count and took a deep breath. “You do not have to come if you do not want. This is almost certainly going to cause an international incident to one degree or another, and coming with us is going to cause problems for you with your family.”
“You know I am with you my friend, though I would appreciate a bit more elaboration on what we plan on doing.”

Lord Baldric took a deep breath. He knew Kotik wasn’t going to like this one bit, but it was better to rip this bandaid off now before they actually started sneaking.

“Once we are inside the Lair, I am going to activate it’s emergency teleportation feature and transport the entirety of it into the Undersea Kingdom of Triton.”

“WAIT WHAT?!”

 

***

 

The pink eared Hareling had quite the satisfied expression on his face as he snuck into the port city near the Bertolde Estate. The family he had traveled with had brought him a great deal of amusement as they each keeled over one after another. He had cruelly told the boy he had been petting in his arms that he would let the little guy live. The whole time they were traveling in that cart towards the port city, he told the child the exact moment their loved one was going to fall over dead, relishing and stoking the fear inside of the youngster as he watched one family member after another die in such a horrifyingly sudden way. Yet the boy was too scared to warn whatever family member was next, cause he was warned by the bunny boy who held him that doing so would kill himself. The boy had tried so hard not to get killed, crying silently even as his father finally fell over while leading their horses by the reigns, followed by the horses themselves keeling over and dying while still connected to the cart.

"Go ahead little one! You were such a good little boy. Go run and be free now. Don't worry! You're safe now! You are You are! Be free!" Yelled this with mock friendliness as he ushered the boy to run away. The sobbing youngster actually thanked him as he turned and fled. The Hareling watched with such glee on his face as the little thing sprint away crying as fast as his little legs could carry him. He fled right until the Gias inside of him struck like a snake in the bushes, making the fleeing boy tumble lifeless into the ground. It had been so funny watching these humans be so afraid of him. These evil, awful humans who had made his life miserable for all those decades. Now he was their nightmare, not the other way around.

He was the one with the power now! With that thought filling his mind he rushed forward and infiltrated the port city near the Bertolde Estate.

While Harelings upper bodies were about the same strength as a human of a similar size and build, their legs were another matter entirely. They had rather impressive jumping abilities which allowed them to travel rather quickly over short distances and leap onto small buildings. They did not have the climbing ability of a Lynxian, but with some training they could maneuver around city rooftops with superhuman ability.

The Hareling was also quite adept with using fear to manipulate crowds around him. Even hints of fear could be nudged in one direction or another. When he placed himself intentionally in a slave auction, he could exploit the bidder’s fear of not being able to purchase their frightened prize and compel them to fork over much more coin than they intended on spending.

Sometimes he would stalk outside of a human family’s home for weeks, figuring out what fears gripped their family with his Hareling ears. Sometimes a spouse feared that their love was cheating. The Hareling had been able to take that fear and stoke it, growing it into a full blown paranoia which led to such delightful results. He had driven almost a dozen people in various territories in Silbel to slaughter their whole family and then themselves without even showing his face to the family or crafting a magic item inside of them.

He knew for a fact that the Silbel government has been growing more on edge lately due to his efforts. He had used his abilities to terrorize everything from merchants to the barracks of low ranking soldiers and guards. Sometimes he would even scope out a prospective target to become one of his fear crazed super strong minions who would slaughter and keep slaughtering until they were put down like a rabid animal. It didn’t matter to the Hareling how long the minion lived. Even if the minion failed and was killed right away, it would raise fears and concerns among their ranks about traitors in their midst. Fears that the Hareling could stoke up into greater and greater realms of hysteria until they were executing each other for imagined treason.

He was not here to play like that however. No, he was on a much more serious mission this time. His love was nearby and he had to find him and finally be together with his Silbel Strangler. He was so excited to see his love after so long. He wondered how much the lovely little cherub had grown since the last time he had seen him. He had been such an adorable little angel when he had choked that fat horrible man to death all those years ago, it was almost certain he had grown into a true beauty since then.

There was quite a lot of fear and uneasiness in town. As his ears felt and listened around, he picked up that something had happened. He could tell it had to do with when his love called out to him with his fear and his power so forcefully. He had called to the hareling so loudly that everyone heard it as well! How romantic! His love wanted the world to know they were meant to be together!

He was only too eager to listen and find out where his love was. Every fleck of fear in the air painted more of a picture for him to work with. The Bertolde estate had a Lynxian did they? A lynxian with Blue eyes you say? That had to be his love! He never broke into a noble estate before. Those were normally so heavily guarded. Normally he'd not even chance it, but for his love he would risk it all to be together with him!

Then he heard them. Circus performers, his ears tuned into them and their light fears about how their private performance at the Bertolde estate was going to go. His grin widened so broadly as he crouched on the rooftop and prepared to sneak into the festive procession towards the estate. His love will not have to wait much longer! His love was coming to save him from these filthy humans!

Copyright © 2020 Demented; All Rights Reserved.
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While well written and developed, I find my dislike of the Hareling so significant that it is making it hard for me to stay with this story.  I hope that he has a confrontation with Kotik and Baldric and maybe Raudh soon and we can get rid of him.

Not sure how i would feel about going underwater if I was Kotik, not many trees there.  Can't wait to see what happens next.  

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2 minutes ago, centexhairysub said:

While well written and developed, I find my dislike of the Hareling so significant that it is making it hard for me to stay with this story.  I hope that he has a confrontation with Kotik and Baldric and maybe Raudh soon and we can get rid of him.

Not sure how i would feel about going underwater if I was Kotik, not many trees there.  Can't wait to see what happens next.  

I'd be kinda worried about a person who'd say "You know who MY favorite MageCrafter character is? The psycho stalker bunny boy!" lol

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While the pursuit of the psycho stalker bunny boy might be concerning, I believe that he will play a useful foil allowing Kotik and Lord Baldric to escape as planned.  I bet he'll cause so much confusion and will be engaged in many altercations when he sees the Kotik copy threatened ... it won't matter to the hareling who's doing the threatening -- even if it's High King or an avatar of a god.  If Baldric and Kotik are firm in their plan to upend the civil order of Sibel, the hareling will be very useful towards that end!

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I forgot ... many thanks for this story, Demented!  I am enjoying it immensely!  The story reveals a fantastic imagination!  Happy Thanksgiving!

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Just now, Rosicky said:

I forgot ... many thanks for this story, Demented!  I am enjoying it immensely!  The story reveals a fantastic imagination!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Daaaaw thank you! Happy Turkey day to you as well! 

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On 11/25/2020 at 8:40 PM, Demented said:

I'd be kinda worried about a person who'd say "You know who MY favorite MageCrafter character is? The psycho stalker bunny boy!" lol

But he is one of my favourite characters. I live him as a character and am absolutely appalled by him as a person.

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4 minutes ago, Yeoldebard said:

But he is one of my favourite characters. I live him as a character and am absolutely appalled by him as a person.

MkDpjvU.jpg

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I am worried about Kotik going underwater, but he should know that Baldric will keep him safe. Let me read on to find out!

By the way, my keyboard is irritating me when it makes me back up to put a letter in that would not show up even though I did hit it. lol 

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