Divine Sanctuary - Chapter 2

quadraptor's picture
Chapter 2 - Awakening the Great Deer

The two walked together, hand in hand, through a nearby park in their town. "Oh the leaves are beautiful this time of year.", Grandma Christine said. The fall colors were beginning to show on the trees, though it was still warm enough to wear light clothes outside. It was Francis' favorite time of year, as well as his grandmother's.

They stopped near the edge of the park, and the boy turned to his grandmother, "I wanted to show you something cool. I found a trail in the woods yesterday!", he said to her. "Oh? I'd love to walk it with you!", Christine replied happily. Francis smiled, and led her to the nearby woods.

He found the path again, and helped his grandmother climb over the vines and twigs underneath. "There is a path!", Christine said, "I never knew this was here!" Francis then began, "I...I wanted to show you something I found. It's not far." The old woman smiled once again, "Show me."

They began to hike through the path. He knew where he was going - he remembered the way the path was. He stopped at a sloping part of the woods, and began to climb down. He stopped to help Christine down the slope.

They reached the bottom, where she took a deep breath. "I haven't hiked this much in ages.", she said. The boy led her on, until they reached an open area. Francis looked to his grandmother, and said to her, "I think I found the deer in your story."

Christine took a few steps forward, wiping her eyes. "Quad? I can't believe it! He's here!", she said. She reached into her purse, pulling out an old plush deer. The statue of the great deer had not changed since yesterday - Quad was still sitting, a slight smile on his face. "Francis! You found Quad! This is wonderful!", she exclaimed happily, and then went to the statue and put her hand on Quad's face.

"Quad...", Christine began to say, "...what happened to you?"


"Now we mustn't tell anyone he is there. I don't want him to get hurt.", Christine said to her grandson. "Alright. I'll keep him a secret.", Francis replied. Christine hugged him, "I haven't seen Quad in so long. I almost forgotten how beautiful he was. Thank you, Francis."

The two made their way back to Christine's house, where Francis was invited inside when they arrived. The two sat in the den of the house, Francis sipping on apple cider as he listened to his grandmother tell what she remembered about her deer guardian. Christine held her old deer plush while she spoke, petting the toy on occasion. "He was so kind. It's no coincidence that you found him...I believe there is something wonderful guiding this event along.", she said to him. "What should I do?", Francis asked her. Christine closed her eyes, "Maybe there's a way to wake him up. Next time you go to see him, try speaking to him. He might come alive again."

The phone rang, and Christine answered it. "Hello? Well how are you...oh...well, I haven't seen him...alright, thanks for calling.", she spoke and hung up the phone. Francis knew - the school was trying to find him because he hadn't showed up for class. Christine sighed just slightly, then turned to him, "That was your school. You skipped today...", she began, "...but, we can make an excuse for you, but you'll have to go straight back for the rest of the day."

"You'd...?", Francis began, and his grandmother nodded. He smiled, and the two stood and left toward the school.


The excuse went well. Francis was admitted back to the rest of his classes, thanks to his grandmother. He daydreamed during the last few classes of the deer statue, wondering how to awaken him and what he would be like other than what his grandmother had told him.

The last class ended, and the boy went home. His bullies strangely weren't there to bother him, so he was able to get home without any problems. He made it home, where his mother watched him through the window come toward the door.

She opened the door and let him in. He came inside, and she closed the door, looking to him at once, "Where did you go?" "Grandma's.", Francis replied, and began to walk upstairs when she stopped him, "We're going to talk first."

The rest of the afternoon was spent in the kitchen, his mother arguing with him over his education and behavior. Francis never mentioned the woods during the argument, and after things settled he went to his room again without dinner. He stopped and looked back at his mother. Something was different about her and his father...they were being more aggressive than he's ever seen them.

He went inside his room and closed the door. He sat on his bed for the moment, then reached under it from the side and pulled out a knife his father gave to him. It was forged in a nearby town, and unsheathing it, he looked at the black camouflage pattern on the blade. "Mom...Dad...what is going on?", he asked himself, and slowly sheathed the knife. He hid it under his pillow and rested his head.


A thunderclap woke him. He sat up and looked around in his dark room. There was something odd in the air - it felt strangely thick, and there was a strange smell in the room as well.

He heard a thump at the foot of his bed, and he noticed something start to move toward him. Another lightning bolt illuminated the room for a brief moment, and Francis saw something horrible approaching him - a dark, slick figure stared back at him. "Shh...", the Stoat started, "This will be quick. Let the infection take you."

Francis sat up quickly, "What are you?", he asked. The stoat stopped and smirked a little, "I've been named Iugulare...but you may call me 'Master'.", she said to the boy. Francis' adrenaline began to surge, and immediately he cried out, "Mom! Dad!", but Iugulare replied, "They cannot help you. Now don't squirm..."

Something sounded outside. The stoat stopped and looked out the window for a moment. "Fool! Does she want to be my minion?", she said to himself. Francis heard the sound again - it was a deer crying out. "I'll take her next...", she said, then turned to see nothing but an empty bed before her. Francis had slipped past her, his knife in hand, as he bolted out of the door.

The stoat looked to the open door, the light flooding the room from the hallway. She grimaced and hid behind the bed, "So, he wants to make this into a game...", Iugulare said to herself.

Francis opened the front door and ran outside. He soon saw the source of the sound from the outside - a doe was calling out to him. He ran to her, soon realizing that it was the doe he had met the day before. When he approached, she quickly turned and ran toward the wooded area nearby. Francis stopped momentarily to look back at his house, about the time Iugulare jumped out of the window of his bedroom. The shattering sound of glass broke the silence of the area, and he saw the sly shadow make her way down the rooftop.

The doe cried at him one more time, as if to say "Hurry!" He turned and ran with her as soon as he saw the stoat was after them. They tread through the woods, Francis following the doe closely. She seemed to know where to go, and at the moment he trusted her more than the infectious creature chasing after them.

Soon after, they met up with the wounded stag he met before as well as their fawn. He motioned for them to keep going, and the doe sadly nuzzled him and led Francis and her fawn deeper into the woods. The stag watched them run off, then turned to face Iugulare, who stopped when she saw the creature in her way. The stag lowered his horns and snorted at her in warning. "Too easy.", she said, and pounced on the deer.

Francis was led to a familiar area, and the doe motioned to continue following her. She passed between a few close trees that seemed to barricade the area, her fawn going through after. Francis climbed through, and knew where he was - the grotto where Quad's statue sat. In the moonlight he saw Quad sitting in the center, and the boy remembered what his grandmother instructed him.

"Quad...if you can hear me, I need your help. Please, awaken!", he said to the statue.

Nothing seemed to happen. However, a moment later, the wounded stag burst through the thick walls of the grotto, his body partially covered in a thick black infection. Behind him, Iugulare stepped into the sanctuary, and to her surprise spotted the statue of her enemy. "The Grand Talux! He has been hiding the whole time! I will enjoy destroying him before he awakes!", she exclaimed.

Francis stepped away in fear. He stumbled and collapsed onto the platform where Quad sat. Francis' back landed on the statue's chest, his hand touching the deer's chin. I can't escape!, he thought at once, and watched as the infected stag approached him.

But something was different. The statue was much softer than it should have been, and Francis looked up in time to see the stone turn into fur, antler, and mask. The great deer's head rested on his shoulder for a second or two, as he began to open his eyes. "Quad...", Francis spoke, and the great stag lifted his head.

Quad was alive! He stood, shaking his head momentarily and stretching. "Quad! Help us!", Francis spoke to him. Quad then saw the infected stag just a few feet away. The awoken deer stepped over Francis, lowering his great red antlers at the opposing infected. The stag at once charged at him, and their antlers connected in a flash. Quad's antlers soon began to glow a bright white, and the stag shut his eyes and flinched in pain.

Francis shielded himself from the light. It was blinding, and when it subsided, he was surprised to see the wounded deer cured of the infection. The stag blinked, trying to remember where he was, but then was shocked to see Quad standing before him. He backed away and bowed, "Thank you, Savior! I'm glad that you have awoken!"

Quad smiled, "Please, just call me Quad.", he said, then turned to see Iugulare standing nearby. "You live? I thought I defeated you.", Quad asked her. The stoat scoffed, "You cannot defeat me, hero. This will not be your victory.", she replied, and ran off. Quad chased after her, the other deer calling out at him, "After her, Savior! Cleanse the world of this plague!"

The great stag stopped after running after the stoat. He lost track of her, and began to scan the woods. "Where are you?", he called out.

There was a moment of silence, before he heard a reply, "Too long I have waited for this." Quad was too late to find her before Iugulare had lept onto him. She pinned him down, her paws wrapping around him painfully. Quad struggled to break free, but could not escape as the infection spread quickly, burning deep into his skin.

"For a moment...I was expecting you to be more of a challenge.", Iugulare said to him. "You have more to deal with than just him!", a voice called out nearby.

Iugulare looked to see three winged deer dive in, one flashing a light at her. This broke the stoat's hold on Quad as she winced and ran off. Quad coughed and began to lose his strength as his head hit the ground.


"Just a little longer...", one of the voices said. Quad's vision began to come back to him, and he saw a familiar face. "Toukan...", he said their names, "...Io Rez, and Lemon!" "Hold still, Quad.", Lemon said to him - her body seemed to glow a greenish color as she concentrated on the wounds on Quad's body, "They're deep but they are healing well."

Io Rez was next to speak, "We came right on time. Any longer in the grasp of darkness and we might have lost you.", he said. Quad smiled to his friend. "I'm glad I'm not the only one who can repel the Stoat. Thank you, Io Rez.", he replied. Toukan kept watch of the area, and looking back at Quad he said, "So much time has passed since the last time you've lived. The Forest is much different than it once was."

"Done.", Lemon said afterward. She backed up as Quad stood to his feet. The wounds were numb, but he wasn't in any pain. "Thank you, Lemon.", Quad said, and then continued, "So what news on what must be done? I don't know much of the situation." "Well...", Io Rez sighed momentarily, "You already saw that the stoat...Iugulare, as she likes to be called...has returned. We've noticed that little by little, the humans of the nearby town are becoming infected. They are able to ward off the infection better than we can, but it causes aggressive, sometimes irrational behavior in them." "There's more," Toukan continued, "we've found sources of dark energy throughout the area that must be purged. That's where you, and all of us, come in. Mother Doe has given each of us powers to be used to cleanse this place of the infection, and she will send groups of us for different tasks that need to be done."

"Great! We'll start now, then!", Quad said, but Lemon shook her head, "No, Quad, you need to rest. Your guardian will be here in a moment to take you to a safe place where you can regain your strength." "He's almost here. We should return and await orders from the Twin Gods.", Io Rez said, "Quad, good luck on your mission, and we will be back soon to help you."

The three talux spread their wings and flew off about the time Francis arrived. Quad's legs started to lose their strength, and he collapsed. The boy ran toward him, catching his head before it hit the ground. The other deer arrived and helped the great stag to his feet. "We need to get him to my grandmother's house. She will know what to do.", Francis said to the deer. He didn't know if they understood him, but they helped Quad walk as they followed Francis down the pathway.

To Be Continued...
SilentOrosco's picture

YES, MASTER Jesus, Quad. I


Jesus, Quad. I can't even begin to tell you how much I missed your writing.

Brilliant as always. <3
Zergarikiaka's picture

8o 83 Now I can go to sleep.

83 Now I can go to sleep. *had to read this*

Lyeekha's picture

With ya all the way on this

With ya all the way on this story! <3