A Chapter by Isemay

Cyran was in a sour mood as he went to find Syreilla. Mylena didn’t seem particularly grateful for their arrival despite her fear of the Rook. She’d set them to household chores immediately after Odos had finished speaking to her and instead of thanks, he was being sent to sleep outside for…

He stopped and his annoyance melted away as he watched Syreilla with the little boy. She looked like a goddess of beauty and gentleness, her sweet smile and the way she stroked the boy’s head made the thought of sleeping outside a little less bitter. 

“Children are her soft spot.” Grimgrip startled him with the observation and thrust a heavy sack into his groin. “Your father isn’t the type to lash out at an innocent child to get back at his niece is he?”

Hunching slightly as he took the sack and lifted it onto his shoulder, Cyran frowned and looked down at the dwarf incredulously, “No! The divinity is just, he wouldn’t harm an innocent child.”

“Even if she’s burning his temples and sending his priests screaming?”

“It would be wrong to lash out at an innocent child.” His frown deepened as he contemplated why the dwarf would suspect that of the divinity and the sudden gnawing thought that he might be commanded to employ the Rook’s own wards and spells against her.

“What’d you say to my cousin, Juddri?” Syreilla’s cheerful question prodded him out of his thoughts. 

“Who taught you that?” Edun was staring in amazement as she juggled three knives that must have been unpacked as they went through the bags.

“I learned it from Master Odos. He said it was to help me be quicker with my hands but I think he just enjoyed it.” She grinned at the boy and caught the knives one after the other. “Do you want to try?”

“He should help with the sacks, Rook.” Grimgrip pointed at one and the boy gave her a smile before hoisting it and following the dwarf.

Cyran hung back for a moment, “You wouldn’t let the child throw knives into the air?”

“Not unsheathed ones, I’m not an idiot.” Syreilla’s impish grin was impossible not to return. “Do you need some help carrying that, cousin? And what did Juddri say to make you look so unhappy?”

“No, it isn’t so heavy. He was asking if the divinity would lash out at a child to hurt you, because children are your weakness. I don’t believe he would, it would be wrong. But he may command me to use the wards and spells you teach me against you.”

“Ah.” She came closer and stopped just in front of him, for a moment he thought he could see flames in the depths of her eyes. “If your father lashes out at any child to hurt me we’ll find out if gods can burn. I’ll drown him in dragon’s fire. But as for being worried about a command like that, cousin, mages are all painfully aware when they take students that they may end up on the receiving end of every lesson they've given and I expect the same. It’s why some skills die out and why Riman was so eager to be on my good side and write a book of the wards and spells I know. I’ve shown you some of my favorites and they’re lethal to mortals, but while they may hurt me, they can’t truly harm me.” Syreilla grinned madly, “I think.”

He swallowed as she clapped him on the shoulder.

“Not to mention, I know a lot more than I’ve shown you!” She started walking toward the house with a hand on his back. “If you attack me with the little bit you’ve learned, I’ll have you stumbling across our great uncle’s threshold before you can draw another breath. Mages never teach the really nasty stuff until they’re either dying or they’ve already made their plans to kill you.” 

The pat on his back felt almost encouraging despite the way the hair on the back of his neck had risen at her words.

“See if you can sneak me out a plate when she serves you dinner.”

Cyran stopped and half turned to see her trotting back toward the stable. 

“Are you bringing that in?” Mylena frowned from the doorway. “You look a little pale.”

“She…” He cleared his throat as he stepped into the house, “I think she’s in a peculiar mood.” 

“She was sour earlier.” Kwes was looking comfortable next to the fire. “Is her mood improving?”

“She was juggling knives for Edun and she seemed cheerful but there were flames in her eyes again when we spoke and I think she offered to kill me.” Cyran felt almost as baffled as the half elf by the fire looked, “She was grinning while she did and then she asked me to bring dinner out to her.”

“People tend to go mad around the Rooks.” Kwes shook his head. “Wasn’t that what Master Odos said?”

“Where is he?” Cyran glanced around the room.

“He needed to lie down.” Mylena eyed his sack. “What’s in there?”

“Master Grimgrip told me to carry it…” He lowered it to the floor and opened the top. “It looks like it may be goods of some kind.”

“Edun,” the woman called into another room, “Show him where to put that sack.”

“Yes, mum.” The boy stuck his head through the doorway and beckoned to him.

Past the kitchen was a small room like a pantry with a hatch on the floor and one on the ceiling. Edun struggled to heave the lower door open and Cyran assisted him.

“Father said goods and things of value should be kept down there out of the way and out of sight of prying eyes.” The child led the way down with a small lamp, past glass jars of preserved food to another wooden door with a lock. 

He tried not to smile as the boy fished a key out of a nearby crevice and opened it. “Have you considered keeping the key in a more hidden place?”

“Father said locks are discouragement but if someone wants to take what we have, a lock won’t stop them. It would just inconvenience us to hide it somewhere else.”

“It’s true.” Kwes’ voice startled them both. And they turned to see the half elf sitting on the stairs. “Your mother sent me to lie down with Master Odos, but you can’t open one door while the other is open.”

“If locks are only a discouragement why do people bother?” Cyran frowned at the man.

“A little discouragement is all most people need. This is in the cellar of a modest home, there’s no display of wealth above. Unless the key is in the lock, I wouldn't bother with it unless I was bored and locked in the cellar. If the key were in the lock, I’d only open it to see what was inside, professional curiosity, you understand. There probably isn’t much I’d want to take.”

Edun started to smile. “She calls you Magpie, because you like to take shiny things.”

The half-elf grinned and for a moment looked a great deal like Syreilla. “And my sister is a Rook. She gets into things just to see if she can. Sometimes she doesn’t even take anything, she just looks and puts things back.”

The boy laughed.


“We should hurry, I need to get the table ready and mum needs someone to fetch more water.”

“I’ll fetch the water.” Cyran put the sack inside the small room and let the boy lock the door again.

“Can you help him get upstairs, too?” Edun closed the lower hatch with more ease than he’d opened it and pointed to the one on the ceiling.

“Of course.” 

The hatch opened easily with help of a hook staff leaning against the wall and clever wooden stairs folded down. The half-elf went up and he closed it again, assuming it was meant to remain closed. He fetched water for Mylena to cook with and more to allow everyone to wash before the meal. Without thanks, he noted to himself. When it was ready, Edun took Syreilla her plate.

© 2021 Isemay

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Added on February 1, 2021
Last Updated on February 1, 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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