Twenty-one

Twenty-one

A Chapter by Isemay

With the chain and gem wrapped around her hand and hidden beneath her glove, Syr stood outside of the door Messus had taken her into. Under her breath she muttered, “You think your wards are something I should be afraid of?” 


Drawing power from the stone to boost her dispelling as much as she possibly could, she sent the spell out and felt the wards rippling throughout the house as they failed. The sound of cursing from inside was what she wanted to hear as she entered and collected her bag.


Messus was hurriedly laying more wards as she found the room he was waiting in. She dispelled them again. “That’s not very hospitable, Messus.”


“Lady Rook…” He backed nearly against the wall and she took a step closer, standing near the window. “You startled me by…” 


She noticed the way he glanced at the open window, as if he wanted to go through it. “I startled you? I imagine Riman and Syreilla Hammersworn both felt a great deal more than startled. You’re going to tell me who hired you to kill Hammersworn, and I’m going to take Riman’s death out of your assassin’s hide when you tell me where to find her.”


The mage seemed to find some of his confidence again. “You think you know so much but you’re in the dark, Lady Rook. You lied about speaking to the dead.”


“I didn’t speak to Aizem, but I didn’t lie about speaking to the dead. I spoke to other mages to learn a few new things. Why don’t you enlighten me Messus, I’m already in a bad mood, making me drag it out of you is only going to make it worse.”


“You didn’t know about Hammersworn before you came back from serving Hevtos, you’re lying about speaking to any of the dead.” He wheezed a laugh.


“I knew she was dead, I didn’t know how, that’s true. Uncle Imos told me that part and said he was going to see justice done for her. But something doesn’t sit right about it. You would have to have known I would find out eventually. And you’d end up-”


“I’m beyond Hevtos’ reach!” Messus began to cackle and wheeze. “Imos saw to that.”


“Uncle Imos doesn’t have that power.”


“I have his word-”


“He hired you? He wanted her dead?” She took another step forward and he glanced to the window again as if expecting something. “Is your assassin hoping to get a shot at me?”


A hair-raising scream from a nearby building made her pause.


“I somehow doubt she’s-”


“Syreilla Acharnion I bind you to my will!” He produced the lump of metal she’d last seen being wielded by Olthon, and brandished it at her, moving it in a complicated pattern.


Laughing, she waved her hand, “How is Olthon? I never bothered to ask what happened to the old elf after Hammersworn and I parted ways. You won’t be able to grip me with that, Messus. That wasn’t meant for me, I was never the focus.” Coming forward she knocked it out of his hand and caught it, looking it over before putting the metal in her pocket. It still hummed with power. “So much fuss for something so small.”


The mage paled, “We have Riellan Fethurin.”


“The Magpie will be fine. Master Odos will see to it, I’m sure. I want to talk about my Uncle and what he asked you to do, as well as what he promised-”


In a fit of desperation, Messus lashed out, landing a blow with a contact spell that burned. Gritting her teeth, she grabbed hold of the mage as he tried to rush past and pulled open the door to the threshold of Hevtos’ realm, yanking the man off balance and giving him a kick as he tumbled through it. Syr stepped through as her face started to peel and feel as if it were going to come off of her skull.


“What is-” In the blink of an eye, relief washed over her and the pain vanished. Hevtos stood with his hand raised and a scowl on his face.


“You cannot be so angry with her if you heal her.” Imos stood across from Hevtos with an almost smug smile, “I suspected-”


“We are going to have words, Uncle.” Syr cut him off and kicked the grovelling Messus as he trembled on the ground. “You had Syreilla Hammersworn murdered. YOU told her murderers they’d be out of Uncle Hevtos’ reach, and mine. No matter how angry Uncle Hevtos may get with me he wouldn’t harm me or try to murder me. And, I suspect,” she held up a hand, gesturing to Hevtos, “he’ll see justice done for Hammersworn and not lie to my face!”


“I did not lie. I would see justice done.” Imos glared at the mage. “I used this wretched creature as a tool for justice.”


“But why? Why would you kill someone who loved you and trusted you? Your own-”


“She was only the mortal half of my brother’s child, not the divine, and I pleaded with her to cease her thieving. She could have been more but she made it clear that she was unsalvageable. It would have been wrong to allow her to continue enjoying the fruits of her misdeeds. When she began asking about being released to the dwarven gods in death I knew that she was seeking a way out of even that punishment. It had to be done.”


She stared at him for a moment, seized with the sudden certainty that if Hammersworn had wanted to go to the dwarven gods it wasn’t to avoid punishment. It would have been to be with her family in death no matter what waited on the other side for a thief.


“If there is a way to kill a god, Uncle, you should hope I never find it.” Even to her own ears her voice sounded eerie, as calm as a windless sea. “Hope that I will content myself with the burning of your temples and silencing your name on men’s lips.”


“I once said that to my Uncle.” Imos smiled faintly, “I failed, as will you.”


“No, Uncle. You were meant to be the god of justice, of righteousness. The god they turn to put things right. Why should they believe in you if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do? If you aren’t what you were meant to be?”


Surety fell on her as she spoke, “The god of death has never shirked his duty. His hand is felt and they believe even if they’ve been taught to fear his name. The more you protested that he was evil, that he was monstrous, that he punished and was cruel, the more you told them that he was there and he was always going to be there no matter if his name was spoken or not.


“I’m going to burn your temples Uncle and I’m going to give them something else to believe in. I will find a replacement for you and those who remember you will remember you as a god of hypocrisy and failure. Your fat priests and thin, hungry parishioners will be what they remember and they will be glad that you are gone.”


Imos vanished into the air, leaving the mage.


“My Golden Rook…” Hevtos looked proud and grim as he smiled faintly at her. “You can only burn his temples if his priests are dead or if those within forsake him. There are rules.”


“Can I walk in and terrify them?”


His gold-flecked eyes began to sparkle, “That is how it used to be done. Come here a moment?”


“Uncle?” Syr trotted over curiously and let him take her hand. 


He touched the gem with a smile, “Odos should lend you more than this, send him to speak with me.” The chain warmed against her skin. “I will lend you some of my strength if you should need it. Be wary, the power you draw from is limited, you’re not as vulnerable as a mortal but you can be harmed and forced back to me.”


“I have this, Uncle. I can pull power from it.” She took out the lump of metal. “It was what Olthon intended to use to kill Vezar. That mage tried to use it against me.”


Hevtos took it and arched a brow, “If he had known how to use it properly… this is a dangerous thing. Too dangerous for you to take back with you.”


“Then keep it, Uncle. It’s why I wanted you to keep Vezar back. I didn’t want to risk him.” She smiled as he touched her cheek. “I should go, I have a temple to burn and I think I can get another stone without stealing it. The temples in Withia are close together… I’ll need to put out the fire so that the city doesn’t burn and I think I can con the god of wine, women, and song’s priests into paying me to do it.”


“If Odos believes I will ever return you, he is a fool.”



© 2021 Isemay


Author's Note

Isemay
I'm not sure if this chapter can be cut entirely, or if the redundancy should just be cut off of the end. It may also need relocating in the chapter line up. Any and all thoughts about those things would be deeply appreciated.

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Added on January 30, 2021
Last Updated on January 30, 2021
Tags: thief, dwarf, elf, dragon, gods

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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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One One

A Chapter by Isemay


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A Chapter by Isemay


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A Chapter by Isemay