Merlin 2 – 14 “The Midnight Ghoul”
King Arawn is dead but his blood lies, his death is an atheistic prescient bias, myopic furtiveness prevalent and prevaricating. The battle of dusk cajoles the riven field where death and damnation scourge the earth in search of purgatory. He ogles the biggest and darkest creatures battling the surviving few through the scant amount of enemies slaughtered or burning. Nickolas passes through the killing fields with alteration and excision, reinvigorated, in the distance Nerys and Declan with rags across their mouths begin a precautious battle with a demon wielding razor chains, far from them only a few dead ghastly ghouls remain, the largest and sluggish foes to which the wizards pace the dance of death, one by one. Merlin with the grace of wind delivers fate that malice cannot rescind, a long stave now with blades tethered and tied to each end, a swipe cuts effortlessly through one of the living dead, the next a rival to advantageously joust and pierce a charging body of rot. Behind him unwittingly countered by another adversarial giant, countered Nickolas rallies to successful defense but afore him a second of the undead races toward him. Merlin skewers now a second creature onto hilt of haughty blade and with a minstrel malediction proffers with intense emotion a magic, passed through his hand to the blade run straight, a white light burns their stoutly bleeding wounds tearing a fracture like broken glass, the putrid terror in collapse is awash of bewitching water of snowy fire.
The distant battle closes as the sharp chains both swung together wrap the heavy hammer of Declan, in the moments of misuse the lethargic rigor walker pruned to size sliced short unto the eyes by tandem mercenaries. Nickolas has set his eyes on the distant fortress, still occupied by the Ghoul King Arawn and his sentinels, wizard Merlin and witch Ana are determinate to deliver a burning sermon, sentinel soldiers and vagabond sentries few, and far between, remain all of which stand unholy between them and the lord of a dead world. Nickolas waits for none in a run on the black citadel, the capacious air is repugnant as the demon lord vociferates, the sound of roots tearing through mountains fills the air, so distant yet so loud, Arawn throws one of his protectorate over no short distance to seeming accuracy, Nickolas running every step dodges the vaulted corpse. Another as he gains his footsteps and avoids another launched unbecoming soldier, puts a traumatic terror into the hearts of mercenaries Declan and Nerys, they begin the paces of retreat and look to Merlin as he looks to them, erosion and deposition with peals of thunder.
Merlin: “Fetch reinforcements, now.”
Their hasting flight cannot catch sooner. The Ghoul King surrounded by the ostentatious lot soon to become fodder throws his generals until they are no more and retreats into the sinking castle. In all might it may possibly sink because of Arawn’s size, without death the muscles do not bruise impedimentary, the time spent battling has brought him strength that exceeds the norm, yet his wounds desperately reach to seal, sewn in places with rusted wire and bore holes packed with mire. Arawn stands in a fugue among the dereliction slowly becoming the execrable mien of the pusillanimous disorder.
In this lost moorland, obviate the heather has remained surrounded by mossy banks and darksome glens. The walls are a lineament of a moldering court, sprawling green ivy and red wallflower leading to a masonic ceiling in decay toward the moonlight’s ineffectual glow, at deck the wounded pomp of death. Nickolas portentously calls to Arawn from the doorway of the vulgar estuary of this vanity fane.
Nickolas: “How dare ye throw the volatile to me?”
Arawn: “This time was mine, be not out with me wizard, I saw you in the field!”
Arawn’s words shadow in the throats of the aptly undead minions wasting in loathsome decay, his thoughts heavy in the hearts as a mind of the sycophants, ken of injurious diffidence. A meticulous sibilant noise rots his mind as waif composure vanishes with a wave of mollifying anger.
Suddenly Arawn drops his sword with deference for Nickolas’ disposition to this jejune vanity. Nickolas many times has swung a blade to cut through a limb and stop before the next, his assuredness may soon become err, rake and rife he runs directly to the behemoth, the blade lands into the grey murky-colored arms, the swing does not defeat merely cutting muscle and scratching bone, though not a single caterwaul from the argent ghoul. He looks into the blood-red eyes as Arawn pauses to think between ennui and diabolism then puts Nickolas into prostration and throws him through the masonry, defenestration.
Merlin’s hand holds a summoned ameliorate sphere of white fire light which he throws to Arawn straightly direct, it blasts the floor and catches attention, Ana’s eyes course with a diluent flame as Merlin sends a second flaming orb to the plenary undead, Arawn tosses aside his massive king’s table for defilade. These similarities are comparable to both beast and the benevolent, both again similar by such that is perceptibly action perceived by desolate ruthlessness elementarily compelled by habit to consume. Merlin’s efficacy and position compromise the other as he wanders the cloister in ardor, with wont to seek the battle edgeways.
The court of the dead is filth spared no ostentation and opulence, a perversity of a black magic manifest construct. Arawn throws another table driving Merlin behind a solacing pew for temporary shelter. It is from there complications of another sort remain to soon evoke explanation. For as Merlin draws the silver sword hidden from shorter sleeve pushed against his arm, the ghoul king’s grasp on his victims of the plague sees vicariously what they see pinned in rubble still slightly gnawing at air, Merlin through the eyes of a youth once eaten alive and now discarded. Ana hidden behind a pillar watches Nickolas reenter the hole in the wall which he had so painfully exited and exhausted in vivacious cycle once more, still dusting his hair ever ready to derring-do.
Merlin: “Ana are you here!”
Ana: “I am for now!”
Merlin: “We have to burn these bodies or this manor.”
Turn aback the echoing silence of unpretending ascetic is deafening, Arawn is slow and labored in movement as he begins to move with hefty footsteps, Merlin attempts to cover the monstrous child’s eyes with debris and rubble without quickly revealing his locale. Arawn, dressed in red clothes stained of blood, traces and languidly walks as he paces and taunts. Behind Arawn a tepid place forlornly of stipend tithing, burnished silvers in pile upon brocaded silk, coins and some corsetry, truncheon temerity of jade and sumptuous gold plunders of battles many.
Arawn: “I would only demand tithe until the solstice, the darkest day of man.”
Decay in high relief by the triptych of a great empire behind a decrepit altar, a complaisant fortune postulate dispassionate, taunts the fusty modal vulgarian. He throws a pew aside and continues to look for Merlin as he scurries, Ana lights fires for the dead awake and the disparaged castle motif in the cooling evening nearing dusk, the flames begin to light the room with a somber radiance. Nickolas meets her with an inviolate return and ushers her outside through the hole of the wall he had hazardously created.
Arawn: “And in return life, death …and rebirth… does not my summoning defend the darkness druid…cauldrons in the night?”
He speaks curtly to Merlin as if to plead, it seems he knows to some extent that he is cheating death, and other apportions, an unlettered warlord should become of this disquieting. Austerely Merlin in hiding begins to question the histrionic ghoul, unctuously through the alluringly dark flesh-mortifying antiques.
Merlin: “Betoken forsooth the soliloquies of yore; nay, thy wishes of quandary among this parable have come undone?”
Arawn: “You are the hunted, the victim, the prey… and the fallen!”
Merlin: “If so ever hunted with your malice, of so you tell your prey?”
Arawn: “I will kill you and fill the world with my power.”
Arawn’s words smack of enmity, geld and splay profanation, he hunches deceptively simple would meet the ambivalent wrath, listless and indolent with defiance of ages. What haps purview the witty rancor of vernacular with many good old Anglo-Saxon expletives in ruse and riposte from Merlin as he dodges the volleyed attacks given by the priest of death.
Merlin does not know he is in the sight of a minion lay wasting repose on the ground. Arawn approaches him ready to strike with one hand forward to tip the pew and the other overhead holding a broken yet wide jagged sword. Merlin thinks he sees the Ice Witch, he does but she leaves the battle entirely withal wend troth bawdy betimes, and thrown he is with everything else perchance of purpose as the battle erupts. The fires burn with sound and stale winds exhaust like the elite caves of the Fire Mountains with radiance without fade, though turgid with distension rigor strips him partially of ability obligatory and obvious of his condition, where blood covers the skin soaks, where barren the wounds are drying and peeling like bark. He sees the massacre fields are no longer teeming with death messengers as he realizes they had not errand sent been. He is dependent by loath aphasic; in vehemence, Arawn renews the hunt for more requital erasure.
Arawn: “Life is a prison! Only death will save us from this hell.” (Arawn echoes.)
Merlin: “This is gratitude speaking?” (Merlin shouted, again hiding)
Arawn: “I am riven with rue.” (Said the creature close-by and hidden.)
Overwhelming joy succumb placates the tankard deprecations and bawdy countenance. It is a novitiate meeting for them both, incredulous to Merlin who steals a glance of the ghoul élan vital, Arawn’s skin is laden with scurf and peculiar rarity, nearly found Merlin moves again.
Merlin: “Then I will put your hands and head in a pillory and sink you.”
Arawn: “When the braces rot?”
Merlin: “You are in your rot, demon.”
Arawn: “We belong to our conceits wizard.”
Merlin: “You belong to the architecture of the grave.”
Arawn: “We will rise.”
Merlin: “Dead eyes see no future.”
Nickolas reenters with affluent wit as Merlin swallows his banter, still hiding from sight yet strong in mind. The ghoul hastens to refute the assertions and begins to move with argillaceous compulsion, in the noon of night dim shadows cull the sight of carrion.
Nickolas: “My redemption lies in your demise.”
Arawn: “You again, you’re really beginning to annoy me.”
Nickolas holds two knives and fore stands the holy diver, but Merlin is in a better sense cornered. Arawn in decision charges Merlin to fell the larger danger, Merlin glides out the door firing a lightning bolt from the end of his adamantine wand at Arawn’s heart, but there is none, and burns a hole into the chest. Nickolas performs a dropkick, in actuality makes attempt to run then stand on the chest of Arawn while they both are in battle stance, it works and stammers the beast, as Nickolas gains he drives the two daggers into the throat, tearing at tendon and spinal-cord, anything holding the atrocity together, and pulls the ghoul to the floor.
Ana shakes oil from lanterns on the children and opens fire to set them and the dilapidated castle ablaze, cautiously amidst tumult. As Arawn takes massive swagger climbing to his feet motley toward a lofted Nickolas, Merlin walks behind him. Nickolas walking backward over rubble sees Merlin carefully approaching with his finger over his mouth, then he raises his finger to between his eyes over his face and creeps forward, Nickolas decides to stall with ratiocination.
Nickolas: “I think we’ve had enough of your irrational exuberance and driveling…”
Arawn: “Are you praying?”
A grin and a smile on the Ghoul king raising his weapon, but as Nickolas looks to Merlin again Arawn makes suspect and thrashes into the air at the wizard moving behind him. Merlin averts and diverts his force grabbing Ana and shifting her nearly over the floor and out the hole in the wall. The fires burning with the boiling oils fill the field of festering death, turn back they can see the tremendous dead-man charging toward them, they must evade in a way that is not retreat for surely they would not escape the dying fields with the restless king of the dead on their heels. Their evasion traces the perimeter of the relict estate to where Nickolas has used the main gate to meet them from the opposite direction.
By the ghoul’s perspective coincidentally unbeknownst, his foes are three, and as Merlin beside Ana notices Nick at the door, severally Arawn refills concupiscent surfeiting in temperate lust.
Arawn: “Come to me strumpet!”
He gives to her an offensive and injurious wrench, she stabs him in his face but the blade is highly ineffective, a dark obsequious magic reveals black oil where tears should be, he entreats his new feodary with ignominy.
Arawn: “Give up your body to such sweet, uncleanness.”
He squeezes her deathly but Ana can take not more, so she burns him with magical enshielding fire, causing him to let her go and begin terrible laughing. Concludes not yet he of his but proves else a fasting mind to temporal in dedicate verbose. If in possibility the black ghoul’s dead skin forged in hell they would founder him in holy fire, the flames of destruction like winds of plague corrode the rigor skin of the undying mortician.
Arawn: “I hope here are truths, draw your swords or stay, morsels.”
Ana: “Why, so you can eat us?”
Arawn: “You’re learning, but that won’t save you…”
Merlin: “Thou art not but the dead heir”
Arawn: “The grave will have you in its breadth.”
Merlin and Ana approach then halt, steadfast, he with a spear of destiny and she with the illimitable fires of truth emit a directed flame, flames in fact of both. Merlin with white fire-smoke shaded by darkest blue, and Ana with voluptuous red flames hinting threads of orange anger, and coursing with acrid dark lines of blackened soot and burning mettle.
The ungainly efforts do not permeate failure as the caitiff ghoul falls to both knees, where justice versus iniquity, the raving bane fop scours the ground for flesh, importune pith without mirth and wary, a vaporous night to pox shall cauldron sulkily. Slowly approach a guarded treble, the untenured postern reprobate at the mercy of Merlin, Nickolas, and Ana. Dolorous is Arawn, crawling with desiccated raw fingers desperately clawing through the gravel to evade them, n their resolve not stayed by their own providence. In sooth to extirpate, brawny Nickolas draws his sword in lenity, it is their magic and honor for work so hard the wretch to hardly make, whence declaration is sad but true.
Delight and angers as the beast is unbound from mortal coil, oil lanterns become oil fires, and Nickolas stands with an ingenious bucolic in withal his countenance cuts a hole in tablecloth muslin for a frock and a strip for a belt. The paleness of the ocean skies begin to glow of dawn, sunken eyes shall feign ague and crawl into their graves plagiary and garish, hastening with them the forgotten plague. He embraces his troth beloved Ana as they bind and check for wounds unto the other. Then without abnegation to wealth, he collects in gavelkind the barbaric gold treasure gathered by poseurs and pitiful ghouls of late.
Nickolas: “We should find a horse.”
Ana: “Are we safe here, Merlin?”
Merlin: “I urge you to purify your blades in the flames.”
Nickolas halts cutting pouches with small strips of linen to tie them and gathering coins by the handful almost as if to begin a silent prayer. Their blades soon enflamed and cleansing by scorn deluge, Merlin rests his blade and pours oil over a tabletop, sets the lantern fuel afire, and turns the table onto Arawn, while looking through the flames over the fields of gravid death.