"DRUIDS BANE" A Tundrawolf Story


Part Four     3500 BC

“Ready yon table,” Arthfael said to his followers.

Judoc and Drest cut the bonds on the corpse laying on top of the table and unceremoniously stacked the body against the wall on top of the others. Haerviu and Morcant put hands on Genovefa and laid her on the stone table on top of the blood covered pentagram. All four of the acolytes tied her hands and feet down. When they were done Judoc handed Arthfael the stone knife and then everyone took their places at the table. There was no thought or discussion that this was Arthfael’s sister, to them she was just another sacrifice.

Genovefa had a distant stare looking straight up the cavern ceiling when Arthfael came around and placed his hand on her head. He used the spell of compulsion on her once again to keep her calm and sent her mind thinking of a happy place. He had never done this with any of the other sacrifices. They had either been left in a stunned state or if that wore off left to struggle in terror. It was the last and only caring thought he had for his sister.

Arthfael and the other four young Druids put their hoods up and began chanting the spell of sacrifice. With the shade standing behind him and whispering in his head he brought the stone knife up and in one swift motion down into his sister’s chest. The shock of the power from the sacrifice hit all five of them much stronger than the lightning strike they had received from young Cynwrig. The force of it knocked each one of them away from the body. She was the daughter of a High Druid Priest after all. The power of her life force was much greater than that of a High King’s son.

The shadow of the spirit of the Black Druid Lugubelenus suddenly solidified around Arthfael. He could see and feel the skeletal arms in a tattered faded black robe. This had never happened before and it frightened him to his core until the arms faded back to the ghostly shadows they had been before. The other boys had never seen the shadow of the shade in all of the times they had been to the barrow and they did not see it turn solid now, only Arthfael.

Because they were deep under the mound of piled stones they could not hear the mournful howls and wails of the wild animals that lived around the Hills of Tara when Genovefa’s life spirit left her body. They did not know the Fae Folk that lived in the mounds, woods and water around the ancient barrow also took notice of the loss of such a small force of nature. Fortunately for the five young Druids the Fae had no idea where Genovefa had died. The evil cairn masked their location just as it had been hiding the black evil that lived there for these hundreds of turns. Even though the Fae did not pay much attention to the affairs of men the loss of such an innocent angered them. If the Faery Folk had known where to find the place of Genovefa’s death she would have been avenged.

Once the five completed the ritual of the sacrifice they started making their plans to empty the cavern of the altar table. They collected the necessary items they needed to continue in their evil collection of life spirits. But they realized that even with their increased strength and size they would not be able to move the large petrified table. It was every bit as heavy as piece of stone and they were still boys after all.

“We must useth the spell of compulsion to bring men hither to lift yon stone for us. It must be’est moved soon methinks. We wilt need’eth a cart, horses and may’haps about ten stout men. The hour is late, let us return’eth to the Druid’s Circle, on the morrow we wilt find’eth thine men and make’eth thine plans,” Arthfael said.

The five young Druids exited the barrow once again covering their tracks and any trace they had been there. They made their way back to the assembly going through the bogs as it was quicker and they needed to wash off the blood. Putting on the spell of glamour they sent out a spell of compulsion as they made their way back into the Druid’s Circle making everyone think it was as if they had never left. They could tell their powers had become stronger and they could also tell their bodies had changed even further.

When they returned they found the grounds inside and out of the Druid’s Circle to be a disturbed ant hill of men and horses. After the five boys had left the meeting the Clan Leaders and Tribal Chiefs had stood their ground against the High King and High Druid Priest of Meath and demanded the burial grounds be searched the next day. All of them had brought many of their finest warriors and their most senior Druid Priests and were ready to begin the search now. Too many people throughout the Kingdom had been lost and they did not want to lose one more. Plus there was an argument to be made that the longer they waited the more time the evil had to discover their plans. This could give it the time to make plans against them or flee the land. If the evil fled they may never know what happened to their loved ones that had gone missing. The leaders and chiefs and most of the warriors of Meath were reluctant to enter the burial grounds of their ancient ancestors. But they were more afraid that the evil that had been terrorizing the land would be given a chance to escape.

The High King and the High Druid Priest had agreed and even promised a reward in gold to the warrior band that found and destroyed the evil. They would stay up late into the night making plans for the invasion of the sacred land of barrows, cairns and dolmens. Many things had to be considered so as not to anger the dead, the Fae Folk and the Gods.

Arthfael went and located his father who was consulting with the High King. He tried one more time to use the spell of compulsion on these men. He hoped that the strength he had gained from the last sacrifice gave him power enough to put them under his power. He was once again angered and annoyed as he found they were still immune, their minds were just too strict, structured and powerful. He wondered if he could ever do enough sacrifices to control them. Watching all of the activity happening around the Druid’s Circle had given Arthfael an idea but he needed his father’s approval to make it happen.

He made his father notice him and asked, “Father, mine friends and I would join thine search party. I beseech thee father let us to help find this evil.”

The High Druid Priest of Meath looked to the High King and then to his son and said, “Thy studies are important Arthfael and not to be’eth ignored. I feel this wilt be a dangerous task. I want’eth thee to stay’eth with thy sister and thy mother and continue thine studies. Methinks we has’t enough men for thy search.”

Arthfael was taken back a moment when his father mentioned his sister. He had already forgotten about her sacrifice. But a plan was forming in his mind and he needed his father’s blessing to go on the search or it would not work.

“I beg of thee father,” Arthfael said. “It is because of mine dear sister and mine dear mother I would be a part of this search. Mine wish is to find’eth this evil so that they wilt be safe. Send’eth us with a band of guards if’t be true of thine fear for our safety.”

The High King Criofan interjected at this point, “Let the boys go, fusty friend Matha, the more eyes the better chance of finding this evil. They may’eth search with one of mine most trusted guards, Sergeant Cadeyrn, and his band. I deem they wilt be safest with these men for they be fine warriors all. The nine wilt become fourteen and better the chance of finding this evil.”

The High Druid Priest thought for a moment then said to Arthfael, “Verily well then, it shall be as the High King commands. Now, therefore swear unto me you and the other four young Ovates wilt stay’eth with Cadeyrn and his band of guards. I wilt be checking on thee to make’eth certain it is so. The search wilt begin at dawn on the morrow. Go with thine brethren and get what rest you may. Find Sergeant Cadeyrn and his band at the breaking of day.”

Arthfael thanked his father and turned away to go but not before hearing his father speak to three Druid Priests that had been waiting for him. He overheard his father tell them to make sure Druid Bards traveled with the search parties. He wanted the tale of this hunt for evil to be remembered.

Arthfael smiled inwardly, he still did that then. Sergeant Cadeyrn and his band were all big men, perfect for the task he would need them for. All would be mounted for the hunt so all they needed now was to secure a cart and a horse or ox to pull it. That would not be a problem.

Once Arthfael met up with his friends they immediately set off to find Sergeant Cadeyrn. The boys had known the Sergeant for all of their lives. Getting him to take them under his wing would be easy, even without the use of a spell. They also knew that he and his men were fine warriors but only average men. Compelling them to move the altar table from the barrow would be no problem either. They had never compelled so many to do their will before but they all felt their powers had grown in strength enough to do so. Things could not have worked out better Arthfael thought. Now the only worry would be sneaking away from the other parties of searching warriors and not being discovered while emptying the ancient burial mound.

Cadeyrn and his men were camped at the edge of the marshlands eagerly awaiting tomorrows search. They were sharpening their swords and talking about taking down the evil threat that was terrorizing the land. They were talking about the reward the High King had promised to the band that brought him the heads of the kidnappers and perhaps murderers. They were cheerfully joking with each other on how they were going to spend their gold.

The boys walked into the campsite and sat around the campfire amongst the small group of warriors. They had decided that Arthfael would use the spell of compulsion on the Sergeant and the other four would compel two warriors each when the time came. This left Arthfael, who was much stronger than the rest, free to compel any others they might encounter to make their way free of the other search bands.

There was a small farm that sat nestled in the patch work countryside tucked up close to the Hills of Tara, not far from the ancient barrow. Once they were free of the groups of searchers they would take the back trails to the farm and get their cart and an animal to pull it. The man who owned the farm was drunk on ale practically all of the time since he had lost his family and would never miss them.

Now they just had to think on where they would go. Under the guise of the glamour spell they acted as if they were relaxing as they sat around the fire. They talked with the warriors while mentally they sent thoughts to each other about tomorrow. The Sergeant ordered two of his men to the High King’s stable to secure five horses for the young Druids so all would be ready.

The next morning Arthfael and his acolytes experimented with the spell of compulsion on the nine men while all of them sat around the campfire for the morning meal. The five boys were amazed at how easy it was and how much power they had over the men. They practiced their spell on more than two men at once, each even tried to compel all of the men at once and found it could be managed easily. They found that the men stayed compelled when they took their minds off of them and walked away. Arthfael was pleased as were the others at how much power they had at their command. It was a pleasant surprise.

Just as planned the journey to the barrows and cairns in the Hills of Tara started at dawn. The Druids that kept the sacred ways of the death ceremonies would not let the host travel through the path that led through the bogs. They would not risk angering the Fae Folk with  so many warriors going through their lands. So the host had to take the path that the five young Druids had taken so many times around the marshes to the Hills of Tara. Arthfael and his four acolytes kept their eyes open for any opportunity to break away with their little group of warriors.

The opportunity came from the last person they suspected it would, Arthfael’s father. He and the High King rode through with the High King’s personnel guard close about them. The two were directing the bands on which areas of the barrows to search. Arthfael knew from listening to the men in the host that most were afraid to search the northern part of the burial grounds. It was the most ancient part of the Hills of Tara and deemed to have angry spirits about. With a little push Arthfael had Sergeant Cadeyrn volunteer his band to search that area before the High King gave him an order. The High Druid Priest looked on in concern at his son but did not interfere when King Criofan granted the Sergeant’s wish. Once again things fell into place for the five young Druids.

The only hitch was they had to take a Druid Priest along with them. He was to ensure the tombs were treated with respect and that none were looted. He was also along to feel for the presence of the ancient evil that all Druids of his station had been taught to sense. Arthfael was not concerned for the man could not even sense that he was riding with evil.

The High King and the High Druid Priest of Meath had directed the host in such a way that they would search the burial grounds from the outside in. It was in the hopes they would ensnare the evil they thought to be there before it could escape. They were to search every barrow, cairn and dolmen. If the Druid Priest with each group of searchers observed that the closure stones blocking the entrances to the tombs had not been moved or disturbed the burial mound was not to be entered. If a tomb did have to be entered the Druid Priest would go in first to make sure little was done to upset the sacred site, especially if it was that of an important King or Druid.

Arthfael sent a probe with the spell of compulsion into the Druid Priest’s mind to see if he could manipulate the man in some way. To his delight he found the man quite easy to persuade. His mind was not nearly as structured as that of the High King or his father as he had expected it to be. With all of the men now under the control of the five boys they rode off to the northern part of the Hills. The beauty of the spell was that the men they rode with did not even know they were being manipulated against their will. The only indication that they were under the spell was the far off stares the men gave when they were not talking or doing something. Because of all that was happening no one from the host noticed the slight change in the men.

Once they rode clear of the host on the northern trail and felt they could not be seen by anyone they picked up the pace to get to their ancient barrow. They did not stop and check any of the cairns or barrows on the way as they were supposed to and because of the compelling none of the men questioned it. When they were getting close to the ancient barrow Morcant and Haerviu split off from the band with two of Sergeant Cadeyrn’s warriors. They turned onto a path that led north to the farm where they planned on getting the cart from.

Arthfael and the rest continued on to the barrow. When they arrived he let the Druid Priest take control as if he was really doing the first walk through as his father had decreed. Arthfael followed the man close behind watching his every move while the rest of his acolytes and warriors stayed outside. The Druid had brought torches knowing the barrows and cairns would be black as night and lit two before going through the entrance. He glanced at the runes on the capstone when walking in but could not read the ancient carvings. The man’s eyes widened when he saw the fresh footprints in the dust leading down into the tumulus. Arthfael exerted his will over the man and made him forget them as they continued on.

Arthfael felt the shade of Lugubelenus whisper in his mind as they walked along. He was surprised for the shade seemed excited, almost happy. At first he thought the Black Druid was just eagerly anticipating the sacrifice to come. But this was a different energy coming from Lugubelenus, instead of the anticipation of a sacrifice that Arthfael usually felt it was a sense of desire coming from the spirit. He became leery of the shade’s intentions as he and the Druid walked towards the cavern.

When the two reached the tomb where so many of the ritual sacrifices had been carried out the shade of Lugubelenus stood tall and wide and blacker than Arthfael had ever seen. He was so surprised he dropped the spell of compulsion on the Druid Priest. As the man got his own mind back he cringed in terror, first at not knowing where he was and then at the terrible wraith that stood before him. The man actually screamed as he fell down to his knees overwhelmed with fear. Arthfael was also stunned and frozen at what he was seeing and did not know what to do.

As he watched the shade melted into the body of the Druid Priest in front of him. The man turned red and gagged as if being smothered. He thrashed around as if trying to fight the spirit from entering him but as Arthfael watched it was not much of a struggle. In less than five heartbeats the Druid Priest stood and turned towards Arthfael. A faint green glow could be seen under the exposed parts of the Druids skin. When the man turned to face him he could see a ghostly green glow pulsating brighter from his mouth and nostrils. But the eyes were the most terrible to behold. They burned bright with the ghastly glow of the green fire, the same as from their guide, the Will O’the Wisp. It was truly a frightening sight for Arthfael to see. The Black Druid Lugubelenus had finally achieved regeneration after hundreds of turns and would finally be free to leave the barrow. None of Arthfael’s acolytes were with him as the shade had come to life in front of him and approached, he was frozen in place and had no idea what to do.


Hope you all enjoyed the story! Let me know what I need to fix. Thanks for reading!


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