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La Llorana

La Llorana

Ophni, captain Duvan, and his men arrive at the widest portion of the Keywash River by the middle portion of the night. They move with speed, tracking their ally.

The river is both dark and blue, reflective and a pit. Mist rises from it, creating a heavy fog. The body of water would be impassable for its depth and current, if not for the old King’s road. An aging stone bridge connects land on both ends of the Keywash. The group wastes no time taking it in. Neither do they allow the uneasiness of the scene to deter them.

They walk until neither end of the bridge is visible.

“How long is this pass, Captain?” Ophni asks. Even her elf eyes cannot see beyond the fog.

“It’s a half day’s journey, madam,” Duvan answers. “In the night, with men as tired as mine, maybe a little longer.”

“Thank you. Let’s get this over with then. This area does not sit well with me.”

“Nor I,” the captain agrees, peering around them.

They continue forward for a minute, a company of soldiers behind them. The journey is paused by the sound of a woman crying. The noise is quiet and distant, but grows a little louder and a little closer with every wail.

“Hello?” Duvan calls into the fog. The weeping continues, but no answer is given. The company draw their swords. Ophni summons her stave.

The weeping grows louder and more. Men in the company turn their heads around them to see if the woman may be behind them. There is nothing. Her tears turn violent, intermixing wail and scream.

Ophni feels the air turn west and climb vertically. It is an unnatural wind. She looks in its direction. At the edge of the bridge, a woman with slate hair and snow skin climbs over the stone rail. She wears a white dress. Her eyes are darkness. She approaches the group, shrieking and sobbing.

“What happened to you?” Duvan inquires, stepping toward her with concern.

“Duvan,” Ophni calls. It is not enough.

The woman leaps onto him, and bites deep into his shoulder. He lets out a gasp, stumbles, and falls.

“Protect your captain!” Ophni demands. She rushes at the creature. Her stave glows and projects a blast of light at her. It sends the monster rolling across the bridge and back into the fog.

“Captain,” Ophni checks on him. The guard forms a wall around them. He grunts and forces his head up.

“I’ll live,” he tells her.

The woman reappears with a jump. Her hand latches onto one of the soldier’s faces, and she tosses him out into the water. The woman of the water reaches for another man, but Ophni steps in her way. Her stave blasts the creature’s hand. It goes flying into the fog, leaving a nub.

La Llorana shrieks with violent anger and tackles Ophni, stabbing at her with her nub. Ophni is overwhelmed by the strength of the monster.

Fortunately, Duvan’s men are, for the most part, of the mighty sort. One of them steps forward and swings his blade in an upward arc. It misses Ophni by a few inches, and slacks the head of the night terror clean off.

The group pulls from their supply of Fisgiliad to heal their captain. Ophni assures them she will be alright and together, they press forward after their King, Keatoph.

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