The hellhounds barks became louder but they were still quite far away it would be ten or twenty minutes before they would get here. That thought in mind Anat'Suran sat down groaning as his muscles and injuries protested, he needed to conserve as much as possible so he could stall the hellhounds as long as possible.
He smiled as he watched Auryn and Chalice disappear over the horizon. His heart felt heavy as he departed with his good friend, in his twenty years of imprisonment Auryn has been his only friend. He gave his life too willingly for the young man who barely started living.
The first time he ever saw Auryn he was going to the arena to fight his first fight there. Auryn was coming back from a match his hair wild and his eyes full of fire. He even remembered his first words to him.
"Take a picture it lasts longer," the fire burned brighter in his eyes as he challenged Anat'Suran.
Surprised by the viciousness in the boy he laughed, he couldn't help it. The boy was skinny but muscular, he came up to Anat'Suran's stomach but felt confident enough that he could take down the minotaur in a fight.
Auryn looked at him confused not understanding what he found funny and that made him laugh harder.
"What?!" Auryn snarled.
"Boy, if I had a camera I would take a picture just to show my tribe the kid that believed that he could take me out," he had replied smoothly a smile still tugging at his lips.
"You would be on your back before you had a chance to realize what was going on," Auryn retorted venom dripping from every word.
The vamp guards were amused and stopped to let the two prisoners argue.
"I may be old but I am fast boy," he grinned again, "I eat pups like u for breakfast."
Auryn was taken aback by that statement, "How did you know?"
He plugged his nose, "I may be limited but you smell like sweaty, wet dog. Not only that only a werewolf would have eyes as wild as yours."
The guards got bored and started pulling them along, Auryn was walking backwards to keep looking at him.
He smiled to himself as he remembered the confusion that still touched Auryn's features.
After killing the gorgon they put him against he had shuffled back to his stall nursing a fractured arm. A few minutes after the guards left he heard some whispering for him.
"Hey minotaur," it called, "You there?" It was Auryn whispering from across the hall.
"My name is Anat'Suran," he said not really wanted to be called minotaur.
"I'm Auryn," he could tell that Auryn was smiling by how his voice sounded.
"Nice to meet you Auryn although I can see that first impressions aren't one of your stronger attributes," he joked already feeling at ease.
"Heh, sorry about that," embarrassment laced into his frantic whispers, "after being locked up here for thirty years you're not exactly chipper all the time."
He blew out a low whistle, "Thirty years? Damn that's a long time."
"Yeah, well you get used to it," Auryn's voice cut into his heart, "So how long you been here?"
"My first day actually," he replied.
"Well I hope you stick around for awhile, no one else in here talks to others," Auryn said.
"Why's that?" he asked.
"Hey! No talking," he heard footfalls coming closer, "I'll show you two what we do to those who don't listen to the rules."
That night he was beaten along with Auryn until he spat up blood. They didn't talk after that.
The next day he caught Auryn coming back from another fight and they both smiled at each other.
"Sorry about last night," Auryn looked at him sincerely.
"Its no problem, I feel fine," he smiled as he passed Auryn by.
Ever since then they would talk after fights and would chat through their stalls being more careful to not get caught.
Before he ended up here Auryn was a lone wolf, his first year was especially rough. He was bitten by a wolf the size of a large bear and had what he thought as fits or seizures after. When the moon was full in the sky a month after being bit he had changed, luckily he was already out hunting so no one got hurt. After that incident he secluded himself from other humans and went wild.
There were no other werewolves around to help him understand what was going on with him and any human that would have found out would either claim him insane or kill him.
He's been utterly alone since.
After the year ended he had power over his transformations and was able to control when it happened. He denied his wolf side and refused to morph into his wolf form.
A month passed and the full moon rose high in the sky, this time he wasn't so lucky and ended up turning in the midst of a large human celebration. The people went into a panic and he ran out of the city unable to turn back. Waking the next day he found himself out in the wild again and began to weep.
There was no way for him to escape his curse.
He would morph to hunt and found when he morphed at least once a day when the full moon glowed high in the sky he wasn't forced to turn. As long as he let the beast out of his cage he could be as much as a human as he wanted to. He didn't return to the humans though, he was worried about what he might do.
For nine years his been out on his own until the vamps found him.
Even in his human life Auryn didn't have many people he could rely on, in truth Anat'Suran was his one and only friend. Knowing that brought the pain of being separated back tenfold. It was near crippling as he looked to where his companion had disappeared. Maybe they would be friends in his next life.
Sighing he looked up at the moon, it was almost full. Soon his tribe would be celebrating when the moon was its fullest and brightest, the wolves of the surrounding area will join in on the festivities. He wondered how his tribe was doing since he'd been gone; the fear of anything going wrong gripped him each day.
His hand moved instinctively to his neck, the wolf fang no longer adorned him. That necklace had been around since the beginning of Bloodmoon. It was said that there was a minotaur who leaded a band of nomads with not true roots in the land. They had stopped in a large field to make camp when a sudden blizzard hit that night tearing the tents asunder. Running for the shelter of the trees that surrounded the field the minotaur crowded in a circle holding one another for warmth.
Wolves howled all through the forest making the minotaur more wary. Looking up the leader saw the moon was full and shined with a blood red glow. Near midnight a pack of large wolves came out from behind the trees, they already had them circled. The cold no longer mattered to the minotaur as they shivered in fear. The pack was large even to normal standards, there was ten wolves and the alpha could easily be picked out sizing closer to a bear than a wolf. Each wolf was as white as freshly fallen snow easily blending into the landscape.
They showed no signs of hostility, the pack stood so still the minotaur began to think they may be statues. Then the leader of the minotaur nomads stood and he stepped before the alpha wolf then kneeled to get at eye level with the massive wolf.
"I am Surin," he stated staring deeply into the wolf's intelligent eyes, "I lead these nomads, the Earth Mother had not yet showed us where stay. There is a problem. The blizzard has taken away our shelter and our food. I ask not as the leader of these men and women but I ask as a humbled man trying to fight nature's cold wrath. Will you help us?"
The wolf had looked into Surin's soul, had rooted through all of his kindness, his courage, his bravery, and found nothing that was evil. Looking to his brethren the wolf gave orders in the language only the wolves understood and they all circled in around the minotaur.
The nomads gasped, scared they were about to become the pack's next meal.
"Calm my friends," Surin's voice reverberated from the trees, "They will help us do not fear them."
The pack laid around the pack of nomads using their body heat to help the huddled minotaur keep warm. Thanks to the pack the minotaur survived the winter and made permanent camp in the corner of the large field. The wolves that have saved them stayed with them and as winter melted into spring the wolves' coats took the color of a deep red.
Surin now deemed the nomads a clan and named it Bloodmoon after the red moon he saw the night the wolves saved their lives. The alpha wolf gave Surin one of his canines as a show of respect.
That necklace had been passed from chieftain to chieftain for four thousand years now and the fang still gleamed as if it was just pulled from a wolf's mouth.
The barking broke his chain of thought.
Standing Anat'Suran groaned as his muscles ached and his joints throbbed. He felt something warm and wet flowed down his arm but he didn't look. Nothing would break his resolve.
He stretched flexing his broad body, even at his age his muscles were as big as the days of his youth. Working out his stiffness he saw as a large nose poked out of the hole taking in the air greedily. A snarl tore from the beast's muzzle and it jumped easily out of the hole followed by five others.
The first hellhound sniffed the ground breathing deeply of the scent that covered the grass. He took a step back and all six of the ugly heads turned to him ears perked and growling. Nostrils flared on all of the demons their huge ears all focused on him. There were no eyes on him, when dealing with hellhounds you never had to worry about looking into hungry eyes, some think that made the experience worse. Anat'Suran had to agree.
The hackles rose on all of the hellhounds' backs as they tried to assess the smell. They knew that it was a minotaur, an old one, and that it was bleeding.
Without warning they attacked.
Hellhounds were as big as a large dog, but they looked as if they'd been starved. Anat'Suran knew that looks were deceiving so when the hellhounds thudded into him, biting down on his large forearms, he wasn't the least bit surprised.
Finding new strength he stood all six dogs biting him and holding on for dear life. He grabbed the one on his left arm with his right hand trying to get it to realize him. It was no use, the animal had locked it's jaw and didn't plan on letting go anytime soon.
Biting his tongue Anat'Suran pulled with all his strength ripping off the skin the creature had hung to. Crying out in pain he threw the demon to the ground and before it could get up he stepped on its throat with his hoof. The hellhound couldn't move but its windpipe didn't crush either, it's bones were too strong.
Regardless he kept his hoof down and blocked out the pain as the demon's whip like tail cracked at his legs. Focusing on the hellhound on his other arm he did the same thing except instead of stepping on it he twisted its neck, that should incapacitate it for awhile at least.
Throwing the limp body on the ground he felt as a large amount of weight lifted from him turning around he watched as two of the hellhounds ran at speeds that couldn't be seen by mortal eyes over the horizon.
Dread filled Anat'Suran as he realized they had picked up Auryn's scent. He realized angrily that relinquishing his position would let the one trapped under his foot free and allow more hellhounds to chase after Auryn. He hoped that the werewolf knew how to kill hellhounds.
Turning back to his task at hand Anat'Suran smiled grimly. He bought Auryn enough time, he knew that. Taking in a deep breath he went on fighting the hellhounds determined to finish of these hellhounds even though it meant his life.
He accepted that happily.