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She wanted to go exploring a Shadowrealm near Hekate's old one, which had been badly affected by the Yggdrasil's destruction. Billy had tagged along when he heard Josh wasn't going (he had an irrational fear of her brother for some reason or another). It had started out just fine, if a bit boring. He kept their first few hours of trekking across the scarred, burnt earth lighthearted, making random jokes and truly living up to his title of "the Kid".
Then all of a sudden he became really serious and told her stay quiet. He whipped his head back and forth, as if trying to find something in the barren landscape. Then Sophie heard the loud baying of hounds and he grabbed her hand and they started running.
The dogs were getting closer and she chanced a glimpse behind her and what she saw stopped her dead in her tracks, dragging Billy to a halt as well.
The creature was huge, at least the size of a two-story house, with a wiry body that seemed to be a mix of a lion and a wolf. Its paws left drops of blood in their wake that sizzled when they hit the earth. Long gashes ran down the length of its body and pain and misery seemed to radiate off of it in waves. But the most shocking, and horrifying thing about it were the three massive dog's heads and necks that branched off from its shoulders. One looked blinded, its pupils swallowed up by milky white, and another was missing one of its ears completely. Only the one in the center looked unscathed, until it opened its mouth to bay again, revealing a mouth completely destroyed by what could've only been acid.
Billy had tried to stop her, but Sophie ignored his pleas and made her way towards the enormous, pitiful creature. It stared at her with its four seeing eyes filled with begging, while the head with the blind eyes just whined. Her aura seeped from the pores of her skin and made its way like silver fog and surrounded the middle head and the warm scent of vanilla filled the air as she tried to lessen its pain. The creature made an almost purr-like sound and lay down on the ground, its eyes trained on the seemingly tiny figure before it.
She opened her mind to it carefully and its memories flooded into her mind, of the noxious gas that had suddenly been released when half the Shadowrealm was destroyed along with the Yggdrasil. It took with it most of the creature's food source, huge cow-like animals that moved in herds and ate the grass that used to grow here. The gas had killed off the rest of the plants, and soon the rest of the herbivores followed it. The creature before her had only survived by eating the rotting carcasses, and she could feel the sickness slowly moving through its poor, ravaged body. The central head had been hurt when it had tried drinking from a watering hole, which had been poisoned by the gas and turned acidic. Its blind head was the first to feel the true effects of the gas on its body as it slowly began to shut down, starting with its eyes.
By the time it was done with its story, tears streamed down Sophie's cheeks and fell, hissing against the poisonous ground. She looked back at Billy as if to say "we have to get it out of here". He looked at the creature again with worry, but finally nodded to her.
They positioned themselves on either side of the creature as it watched them. Sophie explained to it what they planned to do and the creature nodded its three colossal heads.
The spicy scent of cayenne peppers met the smell of vanilla and the creature suddenly began to blur around the edges. It stood up and barked, seeing the wide-open spaces of the simple, grassy plain of one of her brother's early attempts at a Shadowrealm. It started running before it totally disappeared, straight for Sophie.
Billy shouted and for a moment everything was colored reddish-purple by his aura, then the next thing she knew, one of the creature's claws had nicked her side just as it passed into the new Shadowrealm.
The rest of it was a blur.
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