It's skin radiated with a pearlescent, silver light like moonlight reflected off a cool, crystal pool. The long, lustrous hair was long and blonde, the face sleek and smooth. The button nose and full lips created both a femanine and masculine air about the being. Draped from the shoulder was a long, dove-white robe. Yet the eyes were jet black, and though the being wore an innocent look, there were underlying tones of deceit and cunning. All looked upon this majestic angel with such reverence that it half-smiled.
"You do not need to fear me, for I am the light," the dogs began barking, peeved, the tracker hushed them. They whined but remained silent, glaring at the person before them, "I am come to tell you that one of you here... is a traitor, consorting with the devil," all looked distrustfully upon one another, "and I shall tell you who that traitor is," the angel smiled with pride, "it is him!"
It rose it's hand slowly, the robe rippling as water. The long, thin finger stretched out and pointed directly at Wood. For a moment he looked shocked, then a passive look fell on his face. Blankly, he turned around and cast his eyes upon the lady. His face fell abruptly into anger and he made to grab her. She kicked him in the shin but he did not react to the pain. Instead he gripped her by the neck. She tried to fight but couldn't prize his fingers of her slender skin.
Carpenter tackled the man, the two falling to the floor. For a moment, the woodsman seemed victorious as he slugged him in the face. But with an inhuman strength, Wood spun him round and beat his face till it bled. He would have killed him if Mr Lord and the Tracker didn't drag his writhing body off. His face held a manic expression that Brakken had never seen before. All the while, Brakken stared interestedly at the angel and Wood.
"It cannot be true," Brakken exclaimed, "for I have kept my eye on Wood and not once has he put a foot wrong," Brakken turned on the angel, "which means that the culprit is you... whoever you are!"
"Do not be ridiculous young fool, I am no liar, you would dare challenge the will of God?" the angel snarled at Brakken, "this man is the one that has caused all this to happen, those who do not act now, who refuse to believe me shall be punished accordingly."
"No... do not lie, rather than fight us, you would have us distrust each other and fight each other to death like rabid dogs. Yet rather than fight God, the Devil offered him gifts and temptations, how better to fall into darkness than accept it's sugarcoated offers. Better the devil you know than the devil you don't, yet rather than believe your fiendish untruths, I say you are the true devil here... REVEAL YOUSELF!" Brakken commanded, there was a thunder somewhere above them and the angel offered one last glare.
Oh how appearances can be deceptive and change like the fickle winds. For where such ethereal beauty had stood, there now posed a hellish beast.
Fir had sprouted from now very real skin, long black fir that matched the eyes that seemed to drink life and light and reveal the abyss within. It was pure darkness, at one with the Witching Hour's doomed light. But it was not a devil, no Beelzebub, no Mephistopheles or Satan. This was not evil but wild. The wild, despair of nature in all its wrath focused into one point.
The beast towered above them, sleek and lithe as a panther, strong and fierce as a bear and as hardy and intimidating as a wolf. It roared louder than anything Brakken had heard before. At the same time Wood had moved to action once more. He'd pushed Mr Lord away and jumped on the Tracker, strangling him. The dog tore at Woods arm but he seemed to ignore it as he drained all the life from the Tracker.
The beast was already on the move. First it lunged towards a huddle of farmers. The Parishioner moved in the way, jabbing his cross into the beasts face and yelling. But the beast took no care, merely swiping the Parishioner aside and moving for on particular farmer. Brakken unhooked the gun from the cane and pointed it at the beast. As it crushed one man's skull and went for another he shot.
It hit its side and the whine that emitted from its great snout was more pitiful than anything. With mad rage the beast pushed several more people aside before bounding back into the trees.
Whatever trance Wood was under still hadn't let up. He'd moved on to finish of Carpenter already. Brakken lifted his gun, ready to shoot before Lady Eventide kicked him in the face, knocking him out cold.
Immediately she moved to Carpenter's side, abandoning all cold courtesy and manners as she caressed his broken face. But it was pale, all life drifting away from his eyes. Somehow Carpenter managed to lift his hand and stroke away a tear of hers before it fell limply to his side. An agonised cry emitted from her throat.
Brakken took stock of the other losses. The Parishioner, sporting a large gash in the stomach looked otherwise fine whilst two farmers were barely recognisable and one was too injured to move.
The Tracker was pale and one look told Brakken he wasn't breathing. His dog, however, whined, licked his face and even nudged it. It seemed confused, unsure, waiting for its master to stop sleeping. The dog lay down with its head on its paws, as if bracing itself to wait for an eternity. For the first time in a long time, Brakken felt sad.
He tore himself away from the sight and moved to leave the clearing.
"Hey," somebody shouted. One brief glimpse over the shoulder told him it was the Stonemason. A burly, brutish looking man. "Aren't you going to help, with the wounded and the dead?"
It took him a moment to decide on his response, before he started walking away again. "Do what you want, I don't care."