By Sarwat Chadda
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Extra resources for Devil's Kiss
The paw curls. The thick nails retreat into the flesh and the wiry grey hairs thin and sink into the skin. The limb twists and mutates, changing form and colour. The hairs have now all but gone, leaving pallid white skin. The paw is now a five-fingered hand, and the limb no longer the front leg of a giant wolf, but the forearm of a man. Billi’s entire body trembles and her skin is coated in a chill sweat. She wants to run away and bury her head under her pillows, but she can’t take her eyes off the severed arm.
She shoved aside a dusty stuffed bear to reveal a small stout door set deep in the wall. She fished out a key from the cord round her neck and needed both hands to turn it in the lock. The door groaned open. Steps led down into a cold damp basement, thick with the smell of slow, ancient decay. Elaine flicked the brown Bakelite switch and there was a long faint hum before the bulb came to life, gradually filling the catacomb with a soft golden glow. Ahead of them stood a large black cabinet. The dim light lit its bronze hinges and the ornate patterns laid on its surface with tissue-thin gold leaf, silver and mother-of-pearl.
There were just vague images, distant feelings and an idea that she’d been happy, nothing solid. But Billi knew from the others that the Nights of Iron had been twelve days of horror. The Templars had been hunted down by ghuls, starting with the old Master, then the Oracle Lot, and so many more until only Arthur and a handful were left. Arthur’s leadership had taken him from lowly Sergeant to Templar Master, but at a terrible cost. A few ghuls that had survived Arthur’s purges had found his home and murdered his wife.