I came to a few seconds later to find myself being dragged away from a bemused Avalynn. Her eyes scanned the path before focusing on something behind me. Fear briefly flashed across her face, followed her usual composed expression as she regained control. That was when I knew something horrible must be behind me. I panicked, struggling futilely against whatever held me. I looked down and saw that I was wrapped in a writhing chain, constantly twisting and squirming itself around my body. I kept panicking, barely registering that I was being hoisted up by the chains until I was held face-to-face with my captor.
The first thing I noticed about him was his teeth. They were sharp, and much larger than any regular human’s. I glanced nervously upwards. His eyes were completely black, making it impossible to tell where he was looking. But I was guessing at me. I thought he was preparing to eat me on the spot, but I realized he was just grinning.
“Found ya.” He said, his smile widening to reveal even more teeth. His breath reeked of something I couldn’t quite place, but set my teeth on edge.
“Jerimiah.” I heard whispered again. It was very close by now. My captor, hearing it too, smiled even wider. His face looked like it was close to splitting in half.
“Your chains have been waiting for you. Jerimiah, is it?”
I nodded numbly. What was going on? What was speaking my name?
“Everyone in the Precinct of Strife has their chains. It’s just not fair if you don’t have yours.”
“Jerimiah.” It was the chain. The chain was whispering my name.
I thrashed desperately against it but they only tightened around me.
“Now to deal with you.” He said, tossing me to the side and smiling at Avalynn. From my uncomfortable position on the ground I could see her warily sizing him up.
“I’ve heard of you,” she said calmly, “the Hound.” My captor laughed at that.
“I see my fame precedes me.”
He stood a good three feet taller than her, and I should mention Avalynn was fairly tall herself.
“I know all about you. How you consume other souls for power. It’s sickening.” She said, disgusted.
He laughed raucously at that. “What is this? A necromancer with a moral code? Oh, this is just too much!” He continued laughing for what felt like minutes, Avalynn watching him heatedly, poised in fight-or-flight.
“I haven’t laughed like that in over seventy years!” He said, wiping his eyes. “Now I almost don’t want to kill you.”