The old crones had another victim. Grumble knew this even without peeking through the pinhole that this gaggle had opened. Fifteen years since they had invoked one of his aspects. Stupid, stupid bitches. This barely perceivable weakness in his cage was all they had to show. Grumble had done his best to impress them that the victims needed to possess certain power, specific energy. Yet all they seemed to have comprehended was the preference for female virgins. A touch of power was preferred to sexual purity. That only added a trace of what was needed to free him.
He supposed that requirement freed them to ignore those in their number who could be suitable sacrifices. Let them assume they were immune from his hunger for now. Soon enough, if the attempt were successful, he would take them. Take them first.
If he gained freedom in this world, he would be able to harvest all the power of its life from it. Then he could invade the next.
He watched a little longer their concocted ceremony. He became bored and started to turn back to his grim interior. Two figures caught his attention. An old male and a young female stood on a hill, not far from the hag’s domain. The image wavered, and he lost it. He retreated from his vantage point. Perhaps a guard had passed. Withdrawing into himself, he feigned slumber. If need be, he could wait another thousand years. There were other worlds he was attempting to breach.