The creature scuttled through the night, moving quick and undetected. Despite missing all the appendages necessary to smell—like a head—it nonetheless acted like a bloodhound, tracking down a trail of blood only it could sense. Though little more than a ribcage and legs, it darted without difficulty across a strangely barren rocky field that was only notable for the dozens of charred pyres, miles of remembrance stones, and the blood stains not yet consumed by the earth. The four-legged creature paused at the edge of the field, just before the ruined city. Its spine curled up, the mismatched bones comprising the minion clacking together softly. What made it hesitate was not something visible, not to humans at any rate. It was something only the fiend could sense.
Eventually, it continued onward, creeping through the ruined city until it came upon a place where the wall was cracked and dripping a thick, black liquid. Splattered around it were regular blood stains. Not far away from that was a mixture of black and red blood and fragments of bone. The flesh that had been there had long ago degenerated.
The minion paced around the place, picking up a trail of the black blood a little ways away from the bleeding wall. Even when the physical trail disappeared, the minion continued scrambling along after it, not daring to stop until it had found what it had been sent for.
In the depths of the temple, Masuta paced. The curtain keeping him from the world—or maybe the world from him, whispered with his motion, though even if he had been still, the curtain would whisper still. Masuta longed to once more wreak havoc on the world, to be loose in it as an unstoppable force, but the time was not yet right. All the pieces of the Crest needed to be recovered. The Key had to be returned. The war had to be whipped back into a frenzy.
Mangler needed to be removed. As long as his body was out there, there was a risk it could be raised. Masuta had lost his hold on his right hand. However it had happened, Mangler had discovered the strings Masuta controlled his Immortals with and had cut them from himself. An uncontrolled Immortal was a rogue force Masuta was not prepared to contend with. He had never imagined it could happen. Death had assured him it could not—
Masuta stopped, his twisted body going completely still.
His head turned toward the empty doorway. The layer of the veil split away, morphing into the shadow of a wight. It swayed in place.
“Death,” Masuta hissed. “I would speak with you. You are commanded: come.”
The wight ghosted forward and then disappeared, taking the order with it. Masuta resumed his pacing, fury growing in his eyes. Death had lied.
Now Death would die.