The house was quiet, except for the creeping figure by the fireplace. He cast a long shadow across the floor as he paced back and forth, mumbling to himself. The man was unimpressive in nearly every way. He stood around six feet, and his weight was average. No fashionable clothes or expensive armor adorned his frame. He held no weapons, staff, or wand. When he turned to stare once again at the full moon, however, the impressive nature of the man became obvious. It was the eyes. His milky white irises were barely perceptible from the rest of his eye. Normally, it kept any emotion the man felt hidden from the world. However, the fear and apprehension could easily be seen in his eyes on this night.
“Better to know”, he repeated softly to the darkness, as if the night was palpable and alive.
Then, as if repetition gave power to the words, he unfurrowed his brow and the lines of worry disappeared. The middle aged man finally seemed to believe that litany.
He looked around the room at his possessions. Each item reminded him of a certain time in his life. Some of them brought tears, while others brought a chuckle. A hammer on the wall, too heavy for the man to use, was a gift from a dwarven smith in town. The seer had a vision some years back that saved the dwarf a lot of money and his reputation. A tapestry, hung on the far wall, was given to him by an elf after he had rescued her daughter from an abandoned well. A simple wooden carving sat on the mantle, given to him by a strange woman visiting from afar. She had been attacked and left for dead, but the seer had found her. Then his eyes fell on a painting, a cursed reminder of the darker side his visions afforded. His life had been rich and satisfying, but it was going to end tonight.
The man slid down into his comfortable chair, another gift. His hands were still shaking as he lit his pipe. He raised his pipe to his mouth as it gently smoldered with tobacco. He took a long puff, and heard a voice call out to him.
“Come to bed. My feet are cold and I want you to warm them up,” his wife called from the bedroom of their modest home. “Mr. Cantor, I don’t know what you were planning when you sent our son to stay at Pnils, but I sure didn’t think it was pacing by the fireplace reminiscing ’bout the good ole days.” She said the last five words in a mocking voice.
Cantor smiled, but it was a smile etched with sadness. He couldn’t tell her. He knew the futility of fighting destiny. So he had written it all down. If he had to die, some good would come of it. The lantern would absorb his soul as he died, and Pnils would take possession of it.
As he slowly lifted himself out of the chair, he was terrified by his wife’s sudden painful cry. His pipe dropped out of his hand, and he ran for the bedroom door. “No! Can’t be, it comes in the front door,” his thoughts raced through his mind. Before he could open the door, it flew open. Splintered wood showered the seer, as he was knocked backwards. He saw his mangled wife lying quietly by the open bedroom window. She never liked the smell of tobacco. The seer barely had time to steal a glance at the lantern before the werewolf pounced on him. Darkness flooded before his pale eyes.
The seer could feel himself being pulled toward the lantern. He fought the pull, until he heard the familiar voice of his wife calling, “Come to me, my husband. I am scared.”
The seer went eagerly to his wife. As he wrapped her in his lifeless arms, he stammered, “This changes everything.”
The werewolf lingered a moment too long, sniffing the embers of the spilled tobacco. The dark figure hunkered there motionless, as if lost in memory. Then the lantern, impregnated by the two fresh spirits, lit itself with a small magical flame. Its light fell upon the hunched hybrid, and instantly the monster began to claw itself violently. The magic of the lantern ignited the blood of the lycan, incinerating his flesh from the inside out.
A light breeze blew in through the open window, and blew the ashes of the werewolf to the fireplace. No sign of seer, wife, or werewolf remained.
Once again, the house was quiet.