The Live Swamp Ooze

By Seraph

This story is related to me by my first cousin Caress Themor. One day, her husband Theobaldus related that he was fighting alligators, swamp beatles and live Ooze in the swamps north of Iridine. It actually shocked Caress, because she knew exactly what the Ooze was. Her husband said it moved, it was strange, and it died quickly when hit with his gladius.

Caress shuddered and told Theo not to play around with that Ooze. Theo, of course, wanted to know why, so she related what happened to her father, which is my uncle, Arturas Ceris. Arturas Ceris was a great warrior, who died in the Great Cineran War. This brave Legionaire died in his Captain's arms, after getting pierced by a spear on a scouting party in which he went alone. A Cineran patrol with ten footmen came upon him. He managed to kill them all, but the last one mortally wounded him with a spear. He managed to drag himself back to camp and give his report before he died. His effort caused that day's battle to go to victory for our Legion. My uncle was a very good scout and gladius warrior.

Years before that, when Caress and I were little, Arturas went to hunt in the swamps often with his companion Lanious. Now my uncle was wise and never played around with animal prey. Lanious on the other hand was a cocky man and loved to torture his prey. Not so smart when you are dealing with something strange. At least that is what my uncle said, as he related the story to his young daughter, Caress. Sitting by the hearth, Caress shivered with awe as my uncle told what happened next.

One day while Arturas and Lanious were hunting in the swamps in Windward, they came across the live Ooze. My uncle quickly killed the first batch of Ooze, just like Theobaldus did recently. This was because my uncle knew the stuff was strange and he would not mess with it. However a little while after my uncle killed the first batch, Lanious came across the second bunch of Ooze. Now Lanious was a skilled warrior, I don't disrespect his Rank 50 in one-handed swords. However on this trip, Lanious was true to form, and wanted to torture his prey. Now when you know what the prey isyou are fighting, maybe you can get away with torturing it as it is killed. However, Lanious had no inkling what the Ooze was and he decided to play with it anyway.

My uncle first thought perhaps tiny creatures lived in the Ooze, and that was why it was alive. Breaking their protective muck covering is probably why they died. My uncle had good reason for his theory, and it proved true, after what he saw happen to Lanious. Lanious decided to gently poke the Ooze with his gladius, just for sport. He was shocked at what happened next. The Ooze, quick as lighning, shot up his gladius and down his arm. It made a beeline for Lanious's head, as if it knew exactly what it wanted to do. *Shudder*. The Ooze entered his head through Lanious's right ear and he screamed loudly. My uncle managed to get a lot of the Ooze off of Lanious and he killed it. However, some of that Ooze got in Lanious's head and quite dazed him after the initial shock. My uncle then dragged Lanious back to his house.

Healers were called, but there was nothing any of them could do. None of the healers had ever seen Ooze before, much less what would cure somebody attacked with it. Lanious, however, did not die right away. The next day, Lanious woke and acted very strangely. Lanious's wife, she was one to always nag Lanious to work around the house instead of hunting with my uncle. Instead of feeling sorry for her husband, she began to nag him as always. Only this time, something strange happened. Lanious started doing everything his wife nagged him to, just like a servant or slave. He had a blank look in his eyes. It was like he had no will power of his own. My uncle visited Lanious over the next few months, as Lanious's wife would allow. They never got to hunt again. Lanious's wife somehow figured out it must have been the Ooze that caused the change in her husband's demeanor. For the next and final six months of Lanious's poor life, she ordered him around constantly and was quite pleased with her slave.

However, her life of high living was soon to end, because at the end of that six months, Lanious died in bed. The healers opened his head and found many, very large, strange worm-like creatures. They had caused pressure in his head and that is why Lanious died. Lanious's wife got smart though. She knew a lot of the creatures probably caused death. That is why what happened after that is so strange. Lanious's wife remarried. A couple of months into their marriage, her new husband started going around town and their home with a blank look on his face. My uncle thought that Lanious's wife had went to the swamp and put a tiny amount of ooze in a crock. Then perhaps the tiniest bit, maybe only containing one worm creature, she must have put it in her new husband's ear while he slept *shudder*.

In any event Lanious's wife lived with her new slave husband for many years. He did not die like Lanious did, so I guess the wife made out well. As far as I know, that couple is alive today, and she is living quite high with her second warrior husband slaving away for her.

So if you are a warrior, and you find Ooze in the swamp, please don't do like Lanious did. Kill it quick.

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