Sixty-six

Sixty-six

A Chapter by Isemay

Syreilla’s chamber was mostly bare when finished but Vezar had reassured the Divinity that she would be pleased. He knew that she preferred simple and plain things to the elaborate gilded bowers some gods favored. But the one piece of furniture in the chamber was decadent, a large round bed with gold toned wood wrapped around it. It resembled a nest and would partially conceal the occupants. He knew better than to block her view entirely. She had never allowed the drapes to be pulled around the bed in his chamber. It made her feel nervous and trapped.


There were no doors on her balconies, only gauzy drapes that would allow the light in but obscure a view if she wished. And all three of the balconies were a few steps down as if her bower were on a pedestal. Vezar knew it would delight her but Hevtos had seemed uncertain. He wouldn’t know if he was right until she had returned to see it. 


Pacing in his chamber he tried to push thoughts of his golden treasure being stolen away by elves out of his mind. Syreilla loathed them. That would not change. It could not change.


A spectral servant knocked on the door of his chamber and opened it. “The Divinity summons you.”


He rushed to the chamber Hevtos waited in, eager for word. The jewels were arrayed in front of him and the god held one in his hand, a larger gem than Vezar had yet seen, like a fat crystal spire, with a pleased look on his face.


“My Golden Rook has returned with my stone. She stole it from my brother. I did not expect her to disappoint me but had not expected her to succeed.”


Without thinking he glanced at the door. His Syreilla was here, she would be in her chamber. His treasure was so close… 


“The chamber delighted her, though, she is placing trees on top of her roof and she may create a garden on a balcony. She dislikes clutter and said she preferred to bring what riches she didn’t spend on her tools and mischief to her family. I may send her to find the treasures stolen from your father and uncle.”


“Yes…” He looked at the door again. “When can I go to her? If her chamber pleases-”


Hevtos held up his hand. “She needs to rest and heal. Let her settle into her chamber.”


“Heal?” Vezar took a step toward him.


“She leapt from my brother’s walls with my stone. If the two halves had joined more completely she would have died on my doorstep. I healed her, but she must rest. In a few days she will be fully restored. Worse than the wounds, her heart aches. Her father did not attempt to defend her from her grandfather. She requires family to love and protect her. My Golden Rook will not be disturbed for now. I fear she would see it as an attack.”


The Divinity smiled and placed a hand on his shoulder as he stood grappling with what he’d been told. “I would send you to visit Zyulla. Tell her that soon she will be free. When Syreilla is ready I will allow you to speak to her.”


He felt as if he were in a nightmare as he made his way toward the threshold. If his Syreilla needed to be consoled he should be permitted to go to her. Why would he not be permitted? Once his treasure looked, she would see it had all been a terrible misunderstanding, she would return and he could give her the things she had wanted and he had been too foolish to offer.


Perhaps… Perhaps sending him to Zyulla was meant to help him. Their grandmother might soften his treasure’s heart. He picked up his pace and opened the door to the neglected temple, stepping through with the words to plead for her aid on the tip of his tongue.


Odos stood in the temple with another man, and he latched onto Vezar immediately. “Syreilla, did she survive?”


“Yes, but-”


“My mad rook!” Odos began to grin, releasing him. “She leapt from Father’s walls! How did she keep from hitting the ground?”


“She didn’t. She struck on the doorstep.” Vezar shook his head. “The divinity said that if she had been better joined to her mortal half she would have died. He healed her and she is recovering.” He swallowed as the amusement faded from the god’s face. “There are other wounds that were worse, he said. You left her to defend herself?”


“Father commanded me to leave. He was in a foul mood. I had no choice.” Glancing at the other man, he gestured between the two of them, “Get to know your cousin.” 


Odos vanished through his door and the man bowed with a rueful smile. “We’ve met though it was on less than friendly terms. I didn't know we were… related, King Undying.”


“You’re a White Hand?”


“Cyran is my name. I think I am no longer one of my father’s Hands. Though, it is his wish, not mine.”


Vezar returned the smile and bow. “You may call me Vezar, Cyran. I will not hold our first meeting against you. The divinity brought you to visit our grandmother?”


“Yes, Grandfather was in a foul mood after Syreilla stole his stone, we excused ourselves carefully. Uncle Odos believed that if all had gone well, she would come to speak to Grandmother.”


“I was sent to speak with her. Though I hope and suspect I was also sent for her advice on how to approach my golden treasure-”


“That insufferable wretch! How dare he keep my daughter from me!” The air swirled as if a storm blew in as Odos returned. “How dare he!?”


“Uncle?” Cyran was wincing and rubbing at his ears. “That language makes my ears feel… unpleasant.”


The god waved a hand at him, holding a familiar looking stone on a chain, but kept his furious gaze on Vezar, “Explain to me why.”


“I am not allowed to speak with her either. I…” He swallowed. “She believes I was seduced by Rie-”


Odos cut him off with a gesture. “Explain to me what happened, without using her name. Syreilla made the elven gods very angry.”


“I had prayed to her to keep my treasure from leaving me, to make her love me, after you-”


The older man covered his eyes and sighed.


“I had torn the one rich robe I owned, one that Syreilla had stolen for me, in my anguish. After her return, I was permitted to go find cloth for another and I wished to find a gift for my treasure. The goddess found me in the city I went to. She wore a face much like my Syreilla’s if her mother had not been human, perfect, delicate… and she treated me like a King. She plied me with the finest cloth, beautiful elvish women were making garments for me and-and then she took me to her bower. I was naked from the clothing fittings and lying in her bed. I did refuse her, but we spoke in elvish. I didn’t know my treasure was there, I-she didn’t make a sound. Syreilla doesn’t speak elvish. All she saw was her dragon in another woman’s bed.” He lifted his hands pleadingly, “She severed our bonds, all of the threads that connect us. It shouldn’t have been possible.”


“She must have used the stone to do it.” Odos rubbed his face. “A goddess of love and desire has that power and my thieving rook can draw from any source as long as she can feel it.”


“The Divinity said she would feel as if she were being attacked if he allowed me to speak to her. He would have her rest and settle into her new chamber.”


“He’s afraid she’ll leave with me if he allows her to speak to me?” The god’s glower made the air feel cool.


“No, Divinity. It would be the same as if he allowed me to speak with her, you wounded her by leaving. If she is fragile it would hurt her to speak to you.”


“I was commanded-”


“Syreilla said you had abandoned her twice before.” Cyran interrupted them.


Vezar inclined his head, “Abandonment is something she cannot bear. If your father was angry, Divinity, and commanded her to leave you to face his fury alone she would have defied him. She does not allow those she loves to face dangers or horrors alone.”


“She left Kwes and I-”


“That was me.” Odos sighed and moved to take a seat on a stone bench. “I wore her face while she remained in the mine. Both you and my little magpie had a taste of the education I gave her while she earned a promise of support from the dwarven gods. She was sour with me for making you both have a poor opinion of her.”


Folding his arms, Cyran gave him a frigid look that reminded Vezar strongly of Imos. “I’m disappointed in you, Uncle. And I notice that my cousin doesn’t call you ‘Uncle’, why is that?”


“I haven’t had time to break him of his decorous habits.” The god looked old for a moment, “I wasn't abandoning her and I didn’t abandon you, I knew the goddess I left you with would be kind. With my father you have to step back and let him calm before you approach. I’d talked him to the point he was willing to be gentle with her. After she’d slammed him into a wall and provoked him over the paintings in the bower she found you in, Vezar, that was a task.”


“Divin-”


“Uncle. Call me ‘Uncle’, Vezar.” Odos lifted his face from his hand with a growing smile, “Or ‘Father’. Humans take their spouses' parents as their own.”


Vezar studied him carefully, “The goddess confessed she wished to seduce me to have a hold on my treasure. You wish to do the same.”


“I’m not seducing you. We are family and I’m not asking for something without offering you something in exchange. I’ll help you get back into my Rook’s good graces if you’ll help me do the same. I need to know when she leaves and where she goes. It’s the only way I’ll be able to see her, my uncle made that clear.”


He took a breath and gave a curt nod, “Done. Zyulla will be free soon, the divinity is certain. The stones will need to be returned.”


“At least one she’ll take back herself. The goddess of war-”


“Bone White.” Vezar interrupted him. “She gave her word to return that stone personally, the divinity sent me to speak with him to thank him for the lend of it and to be clear that she is his Golden Rook. The elf god with large eyes wishes to steal her away. Bone White said her only concern is for the task she was given and she would not be stolen as long as she had one. He was impressed with her.”


“My rooks are loyal.” Odos looked grimly proud for a moment. “I’m not surprised the clever boy wants her. I knew they’d get along well, at least until she tried to rain dragon’s fire on the goddess who seduced you.”


“The clever boy…” Vezar felt a little ill remembering the stories, somehow he hadn’t connected the elven god of wits to the clever boy, the personification of mischief and madness, the wildness of the wood. Either way, he was known for getting what he wanted.


“I… I don’t know the gods you’re speaking of.” Cyran’s brow was furrowed as he watched them both.


“I can tell you of them, Cyran, but another time.” Vezar smiled faintly, “Syreilla had to be taught who the gods were. She had to be prodded to pay attention and I doubt she remembers all of the names. Her eyes glazed over and she fidgeted like a child during her lessons. The plans of the temples held her interest more.”


“You have to let her do something with her hands.” Odos stood from his seat. “I had to teach her about resins and how to mix sleeping powders to put in wine. She did the same. One of my suppliers came to sell me on some new concoction he’d put together and I had her working locks while we spoke. My little rook was able to mix the powders and recite what had been said as if she’d been sitting and studying under the man.”


“How did she learn to mix dragon’s fire?” Cyran tilted his head slightly, “Would the mage have let her play with a lock while he taught her?”


“Who can say? He probably let her mix it as he spoke. I would have been concerned she’d maim or kill herself with it if she wasn’t paying attention but… Zylius had no such concerns. That she's quick and lucky…” He looked as if he were remembering something, staring into the middle distance. “If you want a gift for her, she likes to browse libraries. The next time you take Uncle a lich, bring its books back with you.”


“There are a few who need to be collected. I was told to wait until she could go with me.” 


“Take your cousin.”


“Syreilla dispels the wards-”


“I learned how to do it from her.” Cyran inclined his head. “I can try to help you, it’s a noble task, sending them to death.”


“You were formidable when we last met.” Vezar found himself smiling and he bowed. “I will try to keep you safe.”


“Take this.” Odos offered the man the stone on a chain. “You can draw from it as you need to, and it may help you see the wards before you trip them.”



© 2021 Isemay


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Added on February 3, 2021
Last Updated on February 3, 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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A Chapter by Isemay


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A Chapter by Isemay


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A Chapter by Isemay