Return to the Necropolis: Chapter 8 (Day 2)

Michael O. Varhola

the butt end of the weapon inflicted telling damage on the undead creature and the Elf sensed that if she could keeping delivering such punishment to it that she would finish it off shortly. Then, she felt the monster's talons rend her exposed arm and, as her companions had before her, felt her blood grow cold and her limbs become limp. She attempted to rage through the paralysis but could not and, against her will, slumped helpless to the floor like her two companions before her. 

Victorious, the ghoul yelped in elation and then leaned down to begin feasting upon his still-conscious victim, who was helpless to do anything but look up at it. Parthenia was even more horrified and completely taken aback when she heard a sickening ripping sound and saw the monster's head split and then tear in half down the middle, as if an unseen, vertical mouth had opened at the top of its skull. It heaved forward, the widening opening in its head bearing down toward her face, and if she could have she would have screamed as it came closer and she waited for it to engulf her. Then, it slid forward and landed across her, dead and inanimate, and she could see Selene standing behind the sundered monster, her bare hand gently outstretched in the gesture she employed for healing spells. 

"You'll be alright in a minute," Selene said, kneeling beside her friend. "The effects of the ghoul's touch don't seem too last long, just enough for it to start eating whatever it has paralyzed. It was stupid and driven by purely by instinct, otherwise it would have slain the rest of us before settling down to feast on you. When I gained control of my limbs, I stepped up behind it and cast a curative spell upon, the energy that heals living flesh instead inflicting damage upon the undead."

"Selene!" Paros called, having also recovered from his paralysis and gone to check on the unconscious wizard. "Pumayo is badly hurt." The priestess hurried over to the prostrate man and laid her hands on him, evoking the syllables of a healing prayer that seemed commensurate with his wounds. She then attended to Paros, Parthenia, and herself and, by the time she was done, had used up most of her spells for the day.

Parthenia removed the attractive pectoral from the ghoul and then, after