Demrin reflected on his encounter with Calla as he stepped into the lift of his building. Her seductive powers no longer had any effect on him. His first encounter with her had nearly cost him his soul. Since then, he had placed permanent precautionary wards on his mind. Her influence no longer affected him, and he could not be possessed by any entity.
Despite her attempt to steal his soul, Demrin considered her a friend. As close to a friend that a Warlock can have that is. He tended to frighten people off most of the time, unless they needed his help with a Ghoul or a demon.
As the elevator pinged at his floor, Demrin’s thoughts snapped back to the present. Whatever the necromancer had sent to his apartment would be in place by now. He would have to be ready for a fight, despite his still injured shoulder. The equipment he needed to fully heal it was, unfortunately sharing his apartment with whatever surprise awaited him.
Holding his dagger ready in his right hand, summoning a ball of fire in his left, ignoring the pain it caused him to raise his arm, he kicked open the door of his apartment. No immediate threat presented itself. All the more reason to worry.
Cautiously, Demrin moved forward into his apartment, closing the door with a gust of wind. His coffee table was overturned, his antique curtains shredded on the floor, the door to his bedroom hanging from its hinges. A noise in the kitchen caught his attention. As he turned towards the door, a huge, bulking form burst through it. It crashed to a landing in the centre of Demrin’s living space, its horned head turned towards him, all white eyes staring at him. This was a speciality of the necromancer’s; locking a demon as powerful of this in an object small enough to be held in your pocket.
The creature leaped at Demrin, flattening him as it crushed him against the wall. As he felt his ribs begin to crack, he hurled the beast off himself with a large blast of wind. The creature hit the roof, and then smashed onto the floor. The entire room shook with the force of the collision. The beast was angered now. It threw itself at Demrin, who side-stepped the charge. The demon collided with the wall, punching a hole straight through where its horn had hit. As it struggled to pull its horn back through, Demrin moved in. He slashed across its back twice with the silver blade, tearing the demon’s flesh. It roared; an almighty roar that seemed to pierce Demrin’s skull and attack his mind.
Blocking out the screams, he slashed again, the beast’s shadow-flesh melting away at the touch of the blade. The beast managed to rip its head back through the wall, turned to face Demrin and glared at him. Demrin saw the flesh on the demon’s back heal over, its wounds closing up.
He hurled a fireball at the beast, then another, and another. They burned away at the creature, its flesh vanishing among the flames. He fired at jet of water at it as the flames died away, not giving it the chance to heal. But the beast powered through the water and raked his injured shoulder with a claw. Demrin felt the muscles tearing anew, the pain almost overwhelming him.
He had no choice. If he didn’t beat the thing soon, it would kill him. He delved into himself and unleashed a blast of shadow at the demon. It was fired back against the wall and it slumped to the ground, stunned.
It was on its feet again within moments, charging again. It leaped at Demrin, who caught it in a hand formed from the shadows. As it hung there, he darted underneath it and thrust the blade of his silver dagger straight into the thing’s chest. As it pierced the black heart of the beast, the demon began to disintegrate. In a matter of moments, it was merely a pile of ash on the floor.
Demrin gratefully slumped to the ground. He dissolved the shadow hand with a flick of his wrist. He didn’t like using the shadows, each use darkened him slightly further. If he overused them he would succumb to the darkness and convert to evil.
Sighing, he moved into his work chambers. He rummaged through the presses and drawers until he found the right herbs. He crushed them and placed them in a bowl. Using what little strength he had left, he summoned water to mix with them. He applied the paste to his shoulder wound and collapsed on a seat as the mixture began to work on his shoulder, adding its effects to the earlier spell which was still in effect.
When he woke, some time later his shoulder was nearly fully healed. Demrin stood and moved into his kitchen where he prepared coffee for himself. He needed the extra energy. As he waited for the coffee to boil, he pondered over why John Scott wanted him dead, aside from their ancient rivalry and hatred of one another. This was extreme even for their battles over the years. He wondered again what the necromancer had meant when he said ‘It’s only just begun’. What was he plotting? Who else was in on the plot? Who else was in danger?
Demrin shook his head with worry, downed his coffee and left to go to The Pig’s Head. Maybe he could glean some more information from the conversations taking place there.