A Chapter by Isemay

The fears he’d had when Vezar had brought Odos’ daughter down to his realm had never seemed to be realized. Hevtos had been certain that with time she would show her true intent, yet she had served loyally if sullenly on occasion. And while she had begun to sneak about in defiance of his orders, there had been no malice in her actions. Those who watched her at a distance said there was a longing on her face, as if she wished to join the runners she most often watched. 

He was certain she couldn’t know her other half, Syreilla Hammersworn, had passed from the world of the living into his realm but her wandering had begun soon after and Syreilla the Rook had roamed, peering into the chambers, until she found the one that held her mortal half. The runners that drew her counted the half-elf among them. 

Hevtos was still uncertain of her and her motivations, but a thief was what he needed to put his long considered plan into motion. That he possessed half of her, he could be more certain of the rest. Still, there was no way of knowing if she could succeed. She needed an education and she would need tools and help. 

If she was as loyal as she wished him to believe, providing these things for her would only benefit him. If she weren’t, he would be giving away his plan to his enemies, and he would make her pay for it.

Disgraced priests, and master thieves were at his disposal. Even the builders of the temples themselves, men who had been slain immediately to keep them from revealing their secrets, were at his fingertips. If this girl had any skill at all, she should be able to get enough of the gems, to be of use. With enough of them, he could pull Zyulla from the wretchedness of her confinement, break some of Atos’ curses and to put right the wrong he had brought about with his selfish desires. Perhaps she might succeed in gathering all of them and allow him to force Atos to share their stone once more, it would give him the power to be free and begin putting his temples right and give his priests power to face those of Imos. 

That Zyulla might choose to join him was too much to even hope for after the heartbreak he had caused her. It was because of his seduction she had suffered so many centuries of torment. The sons he had given her had been cursed. Dragons, death on wings, as covetous and monstrous as their father had been to steal their mother’s affections. Hunted and reviled by most, worshipped by a few.

Vezar had been born to one of those worshippers, the son of his youngest son and born in Hevtos’ last temple receiving the curse and blessing of life unending, a long life filled with both noble and horrific deeds. That his grandson had still managed to find a wife, made Hevtos slightly envious. It would have been worse if the girl were as beautiful or charming as Zyulla.

As the dead he required were gathered, he summoned Vezar and Syreilla. Their delay in arriving put him in a foul mood. When they did choose to grace him with their presence he noticed they were as affectionate as they had been in the first years after their arrival. Something he hadn’t seen from them in decades.

“Forgive our tardiness, Divinity.” Vezar bowed, separating himself from Syreilla. 

Her warm smile reminded him for a moment of Zyulla as she watched Vezar and ran her hand down his back. “You have such pretty manners, Vezar. You have no idea how glad I am that decorum doesn’t extend to the bedroom.”

“Another reason for Vezar not to accompany you. How well does an easily sidetracked thief succeed?”

“Is that… Syreilla Hammersworn?” A man stepped forward and bowed. “If any thief can get the job done while being sidetracked it would be her. I heard she was drunk when she looted the Nameless.”

Another eyed her hand on Vezar’s back. “I heard she was as round as a ball with a dwarf child in her belly when she robbed House Acharnion. That can’t be her.”

“I’m Syreilla the Rook. Hammersworn and I were the same person when we looted the Nameless, and we weren’t drunk, we had been drinking. There’s a difference.” She was grinning. “I would love to hear about her robbing Acharnion.”

“You have a job to do, Rook.” Hevtos directed a scowl at her and watched as she inclined her head.

“And I’m eager to get to it, but if you brought thieves out to help brush up my skills, this is how we do it. We talk, we brag, we might even drink and show off. It’s how we pick up new tricks and get new ideas.”

He was glowering at her when he heard the murmur, “Hevtos’ Golden Rook. I thought she was a myth.”

“What do you know of my Rook?” He turned to glance at the disgraced priest of Isca who’d spoken.

“You send her to hunt lich. The mages I spoke to said she breathes dragon’s fire and she goes through wards like a wraith.” The terrified look on the man’s face staring at Syreilla would have been amusing if it didn’t mean that some, at least, might think he’d given her gifts.

“I told you that you shouldn’t have used dragon’s fire, Syreilla.” Vezar chided her gently.

“But it’s so pretty!” The half-elf thief was trying and failing to look contrite. “And it works so well.”

“I know that you can’t breathe dragon’s fire.” Hevtos frowned at her.

“No, but I can mix it. We happened to be trying to subdue a lich that had the right ingredients on hand. Before I became your Golden Rook, I always used to make sure the rumor was firmly in place that crossing Syreilla Hammersworn meant she would pay you a visit breathing dragon’s fire.”

“The name still invokes it.” One of the thieves volunteered. “As fiery as a Hammersworn, as vicious as a Hammersworn… No one crosses a Hammersworn.”

“Good.” The fierce smile on her face reminded him of his own and Hevtos made his offer. 

“You haven’t asked for payment, my Rook.” With a gesture a table and chairs rose from the stone floor. “What would you have?”

“True, I’ve been so excited at the prospect of being what I am again I haven’t thought of payment.” She sank into a seat and leaned on her elbows looking at him intently. “Being able to come and go as I please and take Vezar with me would be a-”

“I require you to serve.” He narrowed his eyes and Vezar rested his hands on her shoulders from behind. 

“I am willing to serve, I’ll keep my word to you, I just need to be able to leave when it starts feeling like my skin is on too tight. I will come back and I’ll obey-”

He waved his hand making her fall silent. “If you bring me all of the stones I will be able to permit it. If you do not, you will be bound as you are now.”

Her head dropped and he watched as Vezar massaged her neck before running his claws over her skin. 

“I’ll get your stones, Uncle. And I’m not trying to get out of my word to you. I’ll serve. I actually enjoy the task you’ve set Vezar and I to.” The pleading look in her eyes as she lifted her head made him more confident.

“Is there nothing else you desire?”

She paused and closed her eyes, tilting her head toward Vezar.

“My Syreilla wishes to be whole again.”

“That I could offer easily. Syreilla Hammersworn passed from the living and into my realm some time ago.” At his words, she stared at him in horror.

“She… Tell me you didn’t put her in that horrible place with the sunshine and the blank faces, Uncle.”

That drew a laugh from him and Vezar looked baffled.

“No, she was with the runners you so enviously watched. It’s customary to pay something when commissioning the job, is it not?” Hevtos’ eyes widened as she dove around the table and knelt next to his seat with her hands on his arm.

“Uncle, when you turn me loose to get your jewels there’s going to be lying, sneaking, and all manner of behavior that you frown on. But for what you’re paying, you need to know my loyalty is above question.”

“Vezar, is that true?” Hevtos looked at the half-dragon, a creature he knew could be trusted. Reuniting her with her other half would make her partly mortal again and death would send her back to him whether she wished it or not. 

“More loyal than any of Imos’ priests is how she was described by Odos, Divinity. For that I can vouch, even if I had not spent the last hours with my hands in her threads.”

“Are you tightly woven into her threads?”

“More tightly than I have ever been, Divinity. I have been given her permission to bind her with them.” Vezar bowed low.

“Why haven’t you eased her desperation to escape?” He studied the bowing half-dragon. “It would make you both happier.”

“My Syreilla is perfect as she is. I would not change the one creature who loves me as I am. Not unless she asked me to.”

“I’ve never been the stay in the mine type, Uncle. But I always come back.” Her face was earnest.

“I will hold you to that, my Golden Rook.” He allowed himself a faint smile at the taste of the words. “Syreilla Hammersworn, come and kneel.” The half-elf shade seemed hesitant. “The living half wishes to be whole and the dead wishes to be returned to her punishment?”

“I would imagine the dead half of me is still loyal to her husband and doesn’t relish the thought of the, um, more elvish arrangement I have with Vezar.” The blush on the Rook’s face made him curious.


“She referred to them as kin-fuckers, Divinity.”

“Beardless kin-fuckers,” the shade offered. “I don’t-I don’t remember much, but he isn’t the one I’m waiting for.”

“Your life ended, your path was walked. The dwarf will go to his own gods, you are mine.” Hevtos lifted his hand and she came to stand silently behind the kneeling Rook. Moving Syreilla’s hands to his thigh, he pulled the shade to kneeling inside of her and placed his hand over theirs. The Rook shuddered and dropped her head onto the back of his hand as they were joined together.

“Now, my Golden Rook, if anything you require is not here it can be fetched for you and I will grant you the right to use the door as Vezar does as an aid to you. Bring me my jewels.”

“Yes, Uncle.” She remained with her eyes pressed to his hand for a moment before lifting her head enough to kiss the back of it. “I won’t disappoint you.”

© 2021 Isemay

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Added on January 29, 2021
Last Updated on February 8, 2021
Tags: thief, dwarf, elf, dragon, gods

Golden Rook


By Isemay


By Isemay


By Isemay


By Isemay




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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A Chapter by Isemay

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A Chapter by Isemay