A Chapter by Isemay

Kwes sipped slowly on the home brewed beer Mylena had grudgingly given him after dinner. He’d slept quite a bit during the day and he wasn’t feeling very tired. Everyone but he and Cyran had gone to bed. The priest had gone outside to wash. Kwes suspected he might also be looking around for the Rook.

The man came back in looking ill and he raised his cup, “Did they bring the bodies back already?”

“No… I…” Cyran glanced up at the ceiling. “Has your god ever commanded you to…” 

“Master Odos usually suggests. He does tend to command Syreilla though, I've noticed. You have to be direct with her.” He grinned but the priest didn’t smile back.

“If he commanded her to-to harm a child…” 

“He wouldn’t. If he did she’d probably attack him with her boot knife. You know she’s the goddess of righteous vengeance and protector of gentle souls, don’t you?”

Cyran blinked. “Gentle souls?”

“Yes. Master Odos was very proud. From what I understood she chose to be both. I didn't know it worked that way, that gods and goddesses chose to be what they are.”

The priest came and sat heavily in the chair next to him. “How do they choose?”

“I suspect it’s partly temperament and the rest is what they choose to do with whatever gifts they have.”

The man nodded slowly. “But she wasn’t concerned about the innocents in Withia.”

“Master Grimgrip said that Hammersworn would never allow the innocents there to come to harm no matter how much she hated the city. I think he was right. I think she bluffed the stone away from the priests in Withia. I can always tell when someone is bluffing, but I can’t tell with the Rook. Maybe the gods can’t tell either.”

A small smile started to grow on Cyran’s face. “I think you’re right. Since I was a child I’ve wanted to be a hand of justice. I want to see wrongs righted and justice served as it should be to all. Harming a child would be wrong.” He glanced up again and then rubbed his hands together. “I won’t do it, he’s done nothing to deserve it.”

They sat quietly for a moment.

“How many other priests does he have that wouldn’t hesitate to murder an innocent child? You’re the best of them and you had to wrestle with it.” Kwes felt a little sick thinking about it. As a rule, laws were something that happened to other people, but murdering a child should bring anyone up short. Priests who would do it on command seemed more like monsters than the Rook.

“Too many.” Closing his eyes, the priest rubbed his temples. “If I refuse, someone else will obey.”

“Someone else will have the Rook landing on top of them. I think Edun reminds her of herself as a child. She’s sweet with him.”

“I saw.” Cyran looked down at the floor. “Someone should stay and keep them safe.”

“Mylena would run away if Syreilla tried to nest in the stable-”

The priest laughed quietly, “She would. Anyone would. I’m fond of her but I want to stay close to her and to run away from her at the same time.”

“We should get some rest. You need to dig the grave with Grimgrip in the morning.”

“Someone should keep watch.”

“I can do it. I can’t do any magic but I’m healing quickly with all of the rest I've been getting.” Kwes pulled his shirt up to show the bruises on his belly. They didn’t look pleasant but they’d changed color and he was in less pain. “I can fend someone off enough to raise an alarm.”

“What she did for you was miraculous. I envy her ability.”

“I’m grateful she healed me but I wish I had enough talent that she could teach me to mix dragon’s fire. She uses it as just a tool in her kit, you couldn’t keep me out of anywhere either if I had it to use.” He sighed and blinked at the flat look Cyran was giving him, “What?”

“Your priorities, Kwes. With her gifts you could heal and help others but you’d use them for theft?”

“She was a legendary thief! People will be talking about Hammersworn and the Rook for generations! How many healers can you name?” Kwes grinned as the man buried his face in his hands in defeat. “Get some rest, Cyran. If you want to be a god of justice and healing you’ll need your rest to work at it.”

Smiling faintly, the priest lifted his head, “Have you considered not being a thief? I want to like you.”

“I have.” Without thinking he rested his hand on his bruised belly. “I might try marriage and taking up a trade like Hammersworn did. Getting paid to build puzzles instead of going through them might not be too dull.”

Cyran stood and rested a hand on his shoulder, giving it a squeeze. “Thank you for being kind, cousin. Raise the alarm if anyone comes, don’t risk injuring yourself.”

He sat for a moment in stunned silence after the man left, letting his mind go through the reasons the priest might have called him cousin. It might have been a slip of the tongue, Cyran and Syreilla had been calling each other ‘cousin’ and she was Kwes’ sister. Something didn’t feel right about the thought.

Master Odos had been visiting his family for as long as he could remember. He’d had inklings that the old man was more than he seemed, he hadn’t aged quite as much as he should have and his step never seemed to slow. It hadn’t been a terrible shock to learn he was the god Odos. He took a sip, mulling things over.

He’d dismissed it immediately, without a thought, as a lie to explain how he could be Syreilla’s brother when Odos had said he was blessed with luck and quick wits by their divine father. Odos’ rooks… Odos’ magpies… They weren’t the first children he’d had and given those names.

Taking another sip of his beer he turned the unfolding thoughts over in his mind like locks in need of careful examination.

© 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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