The Jackal

High in the mountains of the Ahaggar, deep within the heart of the Zahara, a creature with the appearance of a man, yet strangely alien, limped along the dank corridors of an ancient castle. Cursing the foul air like a prisoner in a cell awaiting the executioner's call, he entered a windowless, torch-lit room.

Animal parts floating in glass jars and vials of liquid filled the wooden shelves lining the high stone walls. In the center of the room sat an iron cauldron heated by subterranean fires.

Biting into the palm of his hairy hand with large incisors, he drew blood and dripped several drops into the smoldering mixture. Instantly, the image of several hooded figures making their way from the far corners of the Shadow World appeared in the steaming concoction.

Satisfied with his conjuring, the half-man sucked on his bloody wound with great pleasure, then sank into a high-backed chair, cackling at a secret joke.