T Minus Seven Days
Helena Gravsten jumps over a log and sails through the air in pursuit of her ever so fleet prey. There!
She spots a small brown tail some twenty metres away, and launches herself through the air. A hoof connects with her temple and she staggers while the deer runs away, once more. Tired of the chase, a chase that has been going on four over ten minutes, she quickly grows in size.
Her head reaches above the pines, and her steps causes the forest to shudder. She thrusts a palm bigger than a Miata down, breaking every bone in the body of the deer with a earwrecking crash.
For a moment she just stands there and enjoys the view. But the pull on her magic is too heavy, and she quickly attains her normal size. Using her necromancy while she is wearing the body of the barrowman is much more draining, but that she figures, is a small prize to pay for such an magnificent body.
She takes out a phone and snaps a picture of her surroundings. A message later, and a water-portal comes into being.
“Thanks Cordie. I got another addition to my army.”
At Ochre, in Lena Gränby’s office, now occupied by Hermann, Runt starts to yip excitedly. Hermann looks at the small ahuizotle.
“What is it boy? Is Cordelia Holm using her magic?” Runt yips a yes.
Hermann nods to himself and get his coat. He puts a leash around Runt’s neck, and quickly writes a post-it note and attaches it to the desk.
“Let’s go, Runt. We’ve got ourselves a necromancer to catch.”
Now wearing her normal, flawed, human body, Helena restores the broken body of the deer. Bones turn into calcium then bones once more. Muscles reknit. She glances down at the book, the Fell Book, as she has come to think of it and wonder. The book contains instructions in how to warp a dead body; make the skin stronger than bark, create or realigning bones into constellations that would boggle most minds, hers included.
Several years ago, when she had that episode with the demonic squirrel, she had come to realize that she didn’t know enough about necromancy. And so she searched, and asked around.
Eventually she stumbled onto the Fell Book, a book buried with a corpse in the middle of a bog, somewhere north of Fallowfell. Really, it was pure happenstance that she managed to find the book.
It was in the Fell Book that she found the clues to whereabouts of the barrowman.
I should try some of these techniques out, but on something small…
She motions to Cordelia Holm.
“Go to the Buryground. Get me something small– a dog or a bird of som kind”, she orders imperviously.
Runt sniffs the ground with great precision and whenever he feels that Hermann is walking in the wrong direction, he barks a big no.
Simultaneously, Hermann exerts sonar-probes on the area around him, mindful of any dangers.
Runt halts suddenly. He makes a small whiny sound, and looks at Hermann very much like Rune has a tendency to do; needing assurance.
“Go with your guts.” The advice works for Rune, and odds are, he figures, that it will work for Runt. Runt barks once, almost like he is saying ‘yes boy’ and they walk on.
Helena takes the cleaver and cuts up the little redbreast. She removes the bones, one by one, and puts them on a plastic table.
She picks a page in the Fell Book.
… the small things in the world makes for great messengers. But they too can be made into a weapon. Add wings for greater flight, feathers made steel…
She takes the bones of a second redbreast, already cut open and place them next to the first redbreast. More wings?Hmm…
She fuses the wingbones of the second redbreast to that of the first one. She squeezes the now overly large skeleton into in the skin of the first redbreast.
There are two conditions that needs to observed when she reanimates something: first how much mass the being in question happens to have, and the degree with which the animation violates the laws of physics. Ressurecting a redbreast with two sets of wings, and feathers like steel seem like a tall order, so she channels the magic ten-fold over.
Runt raises one paw and points. Following his line of sight, over elevated ground, and between two white spruces, Hermann spots a giant footprint. He walks down to it and crouches. Five toes. Larger than a car. He frowns.
Gomagog’s kind are essentially extinct.
And Runt would only mark a place where a water-portal have been used.
His sonar picks up a fluid and he gets up and examine it. Black. The blood of the barrowman. So… the barrowman made that footprint. How interesting…
The redbreast stands up. It takes flight in a slow ponderous manner, like a jet.
Helena grins. Crash the window!
Without hesitation, the redbreast crashes the window of the kitchen, sending transparent shards flying everywhere. Normally when birds hits windows, it’s the other way around, she muses. Now I wonder what would happen if I did that with something bigger….
She thumbs through the Fell Book, looking for other interesting applications of necromancy, before reaching the final page.
A single word is inscribed there, a word she has often thought about.
Was Tiresias the author of the book, or did the author dedicate the book to Tiresias?