Chapter 9

Chapter 9

A Chapter by Isemay

Syreilla listened in fascination as Syvilas gave her dribs and drabs of information. 


“What else did she tell you?” 


“I was told, once my true name was on your lips and you had made the choice to free me, I would be in no danger of being ‘put back into my box’ as you so eloquently phrased it. And if you would tell me your true name I would gain something I had never been able to possess.”


“And what would that be?” She was almost certain it would be something ridiculous like friendship or true love.


“She did not say. There is nothing I have never been able to possess.” Syvilas looked smug.


She snorted. “Leaving it mysterious is what any good charlatan does.” Syreilla reached back for a bottle of mead, “At least she didn’t tell you something asinine like friendship or love.”


Syvilas grinned, “There were times I thought she was lying or being absurd, but almost everything she ever promised has come to pass. And I have never had a half-elf sister before.”


Mead came out of her nose, and she started coughing. “Mead burns when it comes out of your nose, Syv.” 


Syvilas’ laughter as he took the mead from her was infectious. After he drank, he handed it back. “Syv. Syv and Syr. That is remarkably pleasant. A matched set of thieves.” He beamed at her with his too wide smile.


Syreilla returned his broad grin with one of her own, “Don’t get ahead of yourself, brother, you need to learn the finer points of theft.” She opened her mouth and then sighed glancing back at the box. “If we didn’t have Kaddal to get home, I’d suggest we make a detour and hit Brosa. It’s big enough to have some fun in and it’s outside the Freeholds so it’s fair game for any mischief we feel like making. I make it a point to visit the temple of Imos there everytime I go.” The look on his face was almost scandalized. She gave him her most impish grin. “Gods seem to collect a lot of expensive stuff while their followers go hungry. I sell it and spend my money in the worst parts of town. It’s practically charity. It’s only pious to care for the poor after all.”


“I now understand why you were on the headsman’s block.” His dry tone was almost disapproving.


“You disapprove?!” Syreilla shoved his shoulder. “You?!”


“You will have to forgive me if I have some lingering respect for the gods. They have blessed me as often as they have damned me.”


Shaking her head incredulously, she made herself comfortable, stretching out on the bench seat. “I’m used to mages talking about the flow of power and the beliefs you use to reach into it, but I’ve never been able to find a god that seemed real. It’s all fat priests fleecing their flocks. No god ever struck me down for fleecing them back.” She gave Syvilas a confident smile, “The best thing that ever happened to me was ending up on the headsman’s block in Pale.”


His lips twisted wryly, “My dear Syreilla, whatever god is favoring you I am certain you push their goodwill to its limits.”


“If there’s a god favoring me, it would be the kind you’d hide your purse from but enjoy drinking with.” She grinned at him and took a drink. “I bet they’d play dice with a loaded set too.” 


“Trickster gods are seldom in short supply.” 


She shrugged, “Tell you what, if I ever meet one I’ll buy’em a bottle of mead.” His sour expression at her lack of religious conviction was deeply amusing. “I hadn’t pegged you for the type to be upset over a little mild blasphemy, brother. Did you spend a few years in a monastery or something?”


“A hundred years. It was before I chose to rule.” Syvilas glanced at her.


“How did that happen?” Syreilla leaned forward putting her elbows on her thighs as she looked at him. “You just decided to go from a monk to a king?”


“It took a great deal of time and preparation.”


Nodding, she remembered something she’d been told more than once by Master Odos, “I was once told, ‘Time is all the luck a man needs.’ It made more sense to me than ‘Fortune favors the bold.’”


“Both are true, sister mine.” Syv said with a smile. “As is ‘Heavy is the head that wears the crown.’”


“Ha!” The annoyed look he gave her made her explain. “Responsibility is heavy, but kings usually have plenty of people willing to take it off of their hands. Not to mention plenty of pretty men and women looking to lighten their troubles and their treasuries.” 


Syvilas’ annoyance turned to chagrin. “True. I enjoyed being King more than I should have. There are pleasures offered to a king unrivalled by any most men can imagine. But those willing to lighten his responsibilities do so for their own ends, and when I began I had wished to rule well.”


“And when your rule ended?”


“I thought myself harsh but fair, but my subjects had not responded to my fairness as I had hoped.” He looked stricken, betrayed and hurt. “They called me a monster and they have struck my name from memory but not my defeat.” 


“I’m sorry it didn’t go as well as you’d hoped.” Syreilla reached out and squeezed his hand as he drove. 


He sighed and smiled sadly, “As am I. But now I can choose to become something else.”


“True!” She sat up and shifted on the hard bench seat. “I’d be happy to teach you all I know about thievery if you wanted to learn a trade.” 


His smile brightened. “Thievery as a trade. There would be no punishments they could levy that could deter me.”


“You’d just have to be a little smarter about your own particular brand of theft, no more whole villages for instance. That draws attention, and thieves don’t like attention as a rule.”


The amusement in his glance was clear. “I rarely prey on so many at once. I simply needed a great deal to restore myself. And my mistake may have been allowing at least one of them to live.”


“Why’d you decide not to prey on me?” Syreilla smiled as he began to laugh. “I mean, once you’d gotten the things you needed from me, you could have slid Kaddal out of the back of the cart and gone your merry way with less annoyance and-” She stopped speaking and gave him a curious look as he put the reins in one hand, reaching over to stroke her face with the back the other. The gesture made her feel warm and oddly safe.


Syvilas’ smile was doting. “I would have no purpose, and no company. That you still do not flinch when I reach out to touch you pleases me more than you can imagine, my dear Syreilla.”


She smiled wryly and took hold of his hand, holding it to her cheek for a moment. “Batran says I’m enamored with danger and stupidity. He offered to beat it out of me but changed his mind when Mordaeg told him it would be like trying to beat the wood out of a tree.”


Grinning broadly, Syvilas was definitely teasing her now, “Sister, I have no doubt of that. I watched the way you defended your helpless brother from two elves with nothing but a hammer and hope.”


Syreilla nodded, rubbing the back of her neck sheepishly as she laughed. “I’m lucky my helpless brother isn’t actually helpless. And that he’s a gifted healer.” She nearly added that she should have used her wards.


“Healer.” The look on his face was proud and somehow wistful. “I haven’t been called that… for a very long time, sister mine.”




© 2021 Isemay


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Featured Review

I think the story is captivating so far! I'm looking forward to continue the read.
However, there is one thing that bothered me in this chapter. I would expect a master thief to be a little more sceptical of an undead thing that just emerged from some dark prison. Part of her recklessness can be explained by his "binding" but I think they get extremely familiar too soon. Also he is supposed to be some evil which is hinted on when he emerges, but seems to have a lot of emotions. So in my opinion the transition from two strangers to loving "siblings" goes a little too fast. Maybe I get that feeling because you don't show their thoughts? I say this because I would normally attempt such a transition by showing resentment from her part in thoughts that gets a little less and goes completely when he binds her. Maybe my issue is caused by her lack of scepticism quite generally, as I would expect a thief to be cautious. Did you leave that out because of his power over her from the beginning?

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Isemay

3 Years Ago

There's a lot I think I might need to rework in this story. And I 1000% appreciate constructive feed.. read more


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Reviews

I think the story is captivating so far! I'm looking forward to continue the read.
However, there is one thing that bothered me in this chapter. I would expect a master thief to be a little more sceptical of an undead thing that just emerged from some dark prison. Part of her recklessness can be explained by his "binding" but I think they get extremely familiar too soon. Also he is supposed to be some evil which is hinted on when he emerges, but seems to have a lot of emotions. So in my opinion the transition from two strangers to loving "siblings" goes a little too fast. Maybe I get that feeling because you don't show their thoughts? I say this because I would normally attempt such a transition by showing resentment from her part in thoughts that gets a little less and goes completely when he binds her. Maybe my issue is caused by her lack of scepticism quite generally, as I would expect a thief to be cautious. Did you leave that out because of his power over her from the beginning?

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Isemay

3 Years Ago

There's a lot I think I might need to rework in this story. And I 1000% appreciate constructive feed.. read more

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Added on December 27, 2017
Last Updated on January 28, 2021
Tags: thief, dwarf, elf, dragon, gods


Author

Isemay
Isemay

Germany



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Spent some time away from here but I've come back to peek in and post again! Review my writing and I will gladly return the favor! I love reading other people's stories, and I try to review hone.. more..

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