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by brom21
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Fantasy · #2273267
A druid and a priest must pursue an evil otherworldly creature.
Arch Druid Nimithar exited the spiraling azure portal coming from the realm of the faery folk. He smiled at the darkening sky. Nimithar loved storms. The scent of moist air and the colorful rainbow afterwards always brought him an inner stillness and awe of God’s amazing creation.

Nimithar made his way from the top of Mount Evercrest to his city of Atleth. Tiny rain drops began to fall but he knew he would make it to his hut next to the Grand Cathedral before it began to rain heavily. A flash of thunder streaked from the clouds and an echoing boom resonated.

Nimithar entered his hut and sat before a warm hearth.

Suddenly there was loud crash followed by a scream muffled in the splashing rain. Nimithar dashed out of his hut and saw a large figure scurry into the darkness of the outskirts of the city. Across from his hut, a wide hole in a stone house exposed the inside where two men were laying down just outside the hole.

Nimithar rushed to the scene and walked into the broken in house and saw a woman and two children clinging to her. All three of them were in tears, trembling.

“What happened?” asked Nimithar, standing just inside the hole in the house safe from the rain.

“An evil beast broke through the wall and pierced my husband and my oldest son with a sharp barbed tail! Can you help them, good druid?”

Nimithar ran back to his hit to retrieve some special healing leaves and liquid ointment and returned to the fallen victims. He kneeled before them and mouthed a silent prayer as he applied the leaves to the wounds and administered the liquid into their mouths.

They groaned, grasping their gashes.

“Thank you, Druid Nimithar. It does not hurt as much,” said the man lying next to his son. “How are you my son?” the man uttered.


Nimithar rose and took the woman by the shoulder and looked into her eyes. “Calm down. What did the beast look like?”

“It had wings like a bat and a body of a lion with the face of a man. The most terrible feature was its long scorpion’s tail that it stung my son and husband with.”

“A manticore. I must talk to priest Beoth. Your son and husband will recover,” said Nimithar as he walked into the rain and across the way to the cathedral doors and knocked several times. Moments later, the doors inched open and a man in a brown cloak appeared. “Arch Druid Nimithar, I trust you come to me with a dire circumstance at this time.”

“Indeed. A manticore has attacked a family, priest Beoth.”

“Such beasts do not live on Earth.”

“Somehow, it must have followed me through the portal to the Faery realm,” said Nimithar.

Priest Beoth opened the door wider so Nimithar could come in. Once inside, both men went to the front of the cathedral where a long hearth was burning and they sat on wooden chairs.

“Only a Faery weapon can slay a manticore. But they are a stiff-necked people who just recently granted passage into their realm. They would scarcely give us a weapon.”

Beoth looked to a sword hanging behind the altar. “There may be another option.”

“The Sword of Holiness? Of course! It may work perfectly against such a dark beast!” said Nimithar.

“It was given to the first priest of Atleth by the angel Gabriel a thousand years ago. This may be the reason it was given to us for just this occasion,” said Beoth.

“It is decided then. Before we go, let us say a prayer,” said Nimithar. “Oh, Lord grant us victory and safety in the face of this evil. Reveal to us speedily where the beast has its dwelling and let no other innocent life be threatened. Amen.”

Beoth got the sword and he and Nimithar took torches outside in the rain and went where Nimithar saw the beast flee into the night.

They walked through a low wooden gate and saw a white dove on a tree in the pouring rain.

“A dove, they symbol of God’s Holy Spirit. It must be leading us to the manticore’s location,” said Nimithar.

The two approached the bird and it fluttered to another tree and waited for them to pursue. This happened for a few times more and at last the dove stopped at large cave.”

Beoth brandished the sword and then both entered. They went through the tunnel for twenty minutes until they heard the sound of hide sliding against rock.

“We are close. The Lord is with us,” said Beoth.

Several minutes later they came to a wide expanse with a tall cave ceiling. Suddenly the horrid beast dropped in front of them.

“Why have you come, humans! How did you find my lair!” said the beast.

“Our God has shown us the way.”

“Ah, the great god of the humans. What fools! Will your god save you from me devouring you both whole?”

The monster raised its tail and prepared to strike when the Sword of Holiness began to shine.

“What magic is this!” said the beast.

“It is the power of our God, evil creature! You should have stayed in your realm,” said Nimithar.

The creature was filled with a maddening rage and leapt for them, intending to crush the two humans with its front legs.

Beoth pointed the sword at it and a white light burst forth and pierced through the manticore’s chest and it fell to the ground, still as stone.”

“It is done. God has saved His children,” said Beoth. He pulled at his chin. “It is the human-faery agreement that man may pass through to the Faery realm but not vice-versa.”

Nimithar frowned. “The beast must have been mad. Let us pray this does not happen again. I will talk to the faery king the next time I pass to their realm. For now, we are safe.”

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