Liesday, Demiber, 1895
Warmer weather and then the harvest has come and gone but my belly has remained full. I expect this dodar will be particularly fruitful for me. Since I last added to my journal I have successfully hunted four more Geovikkan's, one of which was a Geovikkan tracker who had been tracking me herself for nearly a month before I trapped her.
Last Skia is when I got her. Second to my last hunt. I had noticed she was on my trail when I was making a stop at a familiar outpost northeast of Viakaan. The family that runs this outpost knows me well and had been updating me on the harvest in Viakaan (since I spent most of my warmer seasons in Nuukvian) when in the corner of my eye I saw the woman sit at a table in an open public area of the outpost. She was not clever. I had seen her staying at the same inn I was in Viakaan not two days before, she wasn't hard to miss with bright red hair and piercing green eyes. I wasn't about to let her tell me what the deal was, nor did I have the patience to decide if it was a coincidence. I wrapped up my discussion with the matriarch of the family who ran the outpost, took my key to my room, and went upstairs to it.
But I didn't spend the night in the outpost, I jumped from the window of my room and stayed in the forest. It was a test to see if that stupid girl would make herself known. Of course she did. This hunt fell into my lap. From within my tent I could tell the heavy human footfalls approaching it. Did she think I was incompetent? That I could tell the difference between her heavy walk and a baorr?
I heard her circle my tent a few times before she left. I was concerned about what type of information she was gathering so casually and leaving with it without fuss. I slowly rose from my bedding and snuck out of my tent, aiming in the direction of where I heard her walk off, but not directly. Trying to make as little sound as I could manage I was able to encroach on her, flanking her right side. She hears something, so I stop behind a tree so she won't see me when she looks around. I decide to roll to the other side of the tree and take her from behind. I hear her move on and begin walking again...but no wait, not away from me, toward me. I cannot hesitate now, I quickly grab a stone by my foot, come around the tree, run toward her and hit her upside the head with it.
She didn't instantly pass out like I thought she would, instead she instantly gargled up blood and choked on it, while collapsing to her knees. I wasn't sure how I had hit her in the right way to make her react that way, so I was confused and taken off guard. I nearly panicked and tried to put her out of her misery right then and there, but my logic kicked in and I remembered this woman was a Geovikkan and deserved every tortured pain imaginable. So I let her suffer, and grabbing her hair like that draw string of a sack, I dragged her through the woods back to my camp.
I was a little concerned that her screaming would alert someone to where I was in the forest, with the outpost only two or so miles from me, but she couldn't scream loud because she was still bleeding out her mouth and would garggle and choke every time she tried. So, more at ease, I continued to drag her back to where I had originally made fire. I tied her to a tree nearby and started up the fire a second time. She was visibily exhausted and started to let her head roll forward as her eyes finally dulled into unconsciousness. (Actually at first I thought she was dead, but I quickly checked her and she was just passed out).
She hadn't come too when I was ready for her, so I knocked her face around and whistled into her ear until she was forced to wake herself up. She was still groggy and exhausted, so I had to slap her head every five minutes, but I was still able to talk to her and make out what she was saying.
“Wake up! Hey!”
Here she just groans and rolls her eyes open. I knew she was a tracker immediately, looking at her. She was dressed as if she lived in the forest like me, she had those odd tribal markings on her face that I had seen the other Geovikkans and the twins have. And I knew she was a Geovikkan because...
She shrugged her shoulders to sit up higher and spit at my face. “Blind scum.” she murmured, her breath labored.
Ew. I sat further from her, my eyes closed shut as she spit into the corner of my eye. I wiped it off with a look of real disgust. “Gross. Your breath stinks.” I told her.
She just grunted and shifted again.
“Where's Chase?” I asked, straight to the point. Her eyes...well they brightened at his name. Like a little glitter. This fucking girl was actually, PHYSICALLY, in love with Chase and knew him well. But then she frowned.
I narrowed my eyes, stood up, and kicked her thigh. She gasped in pain. “Listen here you little fuck,” I started. “Get that school girl crush shit under wraps because you're going to die and you're never going to see Chase again.”
To this she started to struggle out of her restraints.
“So, where's Chase?” I asked again.
“I'm not going to tell you!” She whined. I suppose I expected that. I sighed and turned to my camp. Inside my pack is a knife, I had recently sharpened it. I went to grab it and turned back to my pray. Her eyes widened when she saw the knife. But then sort of relaxed, “You wouldn't.”
I laughed loud. “Haha! Don't you know who the fuck I am?” I cried. Her clear disrespect for me, while actually restrained to a tree before, clearly in no position to be sarcastic, it made me shake with rage. Adrenaline instantly surged through me and I sat beside her, pulling her restrained wrists toward me. As her wrists couldn't give tied to the tree, she was forced to knock to the side and expose her hands to me. I grabbed one of her fingers and began sawing through it. She screamed loudly, crying and gurgling blood.
I couldn't help but smile at her reaction. When I finally removed the finger she lay motionless, crying. I got up and went back to my tent. Inside I grabbed a metal plate out of my pack and, outside my tent, placed it over the fire with finger on top.
I looked up at her pathetic form and asked again, “Where is Chase?”
She shook her head slowly, crying out “I'm not going to tell you where he is!”
I was actually shocked. She certainly had strong willpower for such a stupid woman. I shook my head and came up behind her with the knife again. This time I worked through two fingers before I was finished and ready to cook them. She was still conscious and still crying and she STILL refused to tell me where chase was.
“Wow ok.” I said, surprised. “I guess let me try something else. I can't really eat the meat off your bony fingers anyway. So, I guess if we're stuck with each other like this I'll just begin my normal meal.” Again, I sat behind her, but instead of reach for her hands I reach for her hips. I propped her up, haphazardly, onto her knees. She was oddly contortioned with her wrists still attached to the tree on her right, her head forced onto the ground as a means of balance, and her ass up in the air where I wanted it. I pulled down her pants and layers to her bare skin and began to slice off large chunks of fat from her ass. It was more difficult than usual because she struggled and usually they're already dead when I started to cook them. She was also starting to be able to scream loudly, so I had to stop part way through to cover her mouth and muffle her screams. Finally I had enough to start making steaks and began to cook her.
She was sweating, tired, bleeding, and looked as if she were finally on the edge of death. I shook my head and asked her a final time, “Where is Chase?” but she couldn't answer. “How long have you been tracking me?”
“Four weeks she muttered.”
A little frustrated that she was able to talk, but wouldn't answer about Chase still, I asked “Why?”
“You're a chosen one. A vessel for Szcyh'Ogg.” She choked.
“Alright you fanatic, if you're not telling me where Chase is because he's dead and you freaks killed him, I swear you will not get to die for hours as I torture you more.”
“What...?” She could barely speak. “He's becoming...” she was dying now. I finally pulled my knife across her throat to help her pass on.
I spent the rest of the night cooking her meat and burying pieces of her corpse around the forest, leaving her head for someone to find. Before I left, I double checked her teeth to see if they were sharp like Chase and Castors. But they weren't, like all the others. Like Foster, too, I realized.
I packed up my stuff and trekked back to the outpost to get a few more provisions for my hike to Villisveppa. When I got there one of the family members running the outpost, a son named Trainor, handed me a letter. “That's funny, right? This is the first time we've received mail to hand to you, Bishop!” he said.
I sort of chuckled and grabbed my letter from his scrawny, pale hand. On the front was my name embossed in gold. The paper used to make the envelope was tough and smooth. Clearly expensive. I walked away from the table he was at and went outside to open the letter in peace.
I opened the letter to find an invitation to a ball. Not just any ball, but Queen Hanna Dahlberg's annual fancy as all New Years Eve ball in Hiemskog.
But why? Why me? How does Queen Hanna Dahlberg, the queen of Kuu, know who I am? This seemed like trouble to me. Was this a trap? Did the queen know about my hunting God Stag? But why would she invite me to a fucking ball? Was this a Geovikkan trap? Am I being paranoid? Is this Chase?
And...what am I going to wear?
I prodded the outpost owner to tell me who dropped off my letter. She said it most certainly was a messenger for parliament and that, “Yes Bishop, even someone like you can get a formal invitation to a ball.”
But I'm skeptical. I'm sure Queen Hanna know's nothing about me, so someone in parliament invited me.
I know they're snakey, but could any of them be Geovikkan?
A sudden mix of exhilarating curiosity and paranoia fills me at this moment. Now I must go.
I have to make a stop in Villisveppa to sell meat to a customer, but will immediately head to Hiemskog. The travel will take nearly a month anyways.
Maybe my paranoia is developing, I swear I saw Chase today as I traveled the woods. I swear I saw him behind a tree just ahead of me. But wearing strange, black antlers. I swear, it's not something you can easily miss in the forest. The black antlers stood out.
So I called to him, “Hey!”
And no response.
So I walked over to the tree...and no one was there. But I swear I'm not crazy, I saw him!