A Chapter by Isemay

Cyran rested his hand on Atos arm, “Grandfather, would the answer to those questions bring you less pain?” 

Atos’ jaw clenched and then he drew a breath exhaling slowly, “No. I loved Zyulla and she…” 

“Uncle Odos tried to explain something to me.” Cyran glanced at Zyulla as she sat with her head bowed. “He said that you and Uncle Hevtos were once the same god. As Syreilla was once Syreilla Hammersworn.”

“Syreilla Acharnion.” Hevtos corrected quietly. “She became Syreilla Hammersworn and Syreilla the Rook as my brother and I became Atos and Hevtos. Once, we also had another name.”

“She doesn’t speak of that name.” Cyran smiled wryly but before he could continue his point Atos breathed a laugh.

“Nor do we.” Looking him in the eye, Atos placed a hand over top his. “You wish to say that perhaps what she did was not so wrong because we were once the same? It is worse than if she had chosen someone else entirely, child. She loves something that I once was and that I am no longer.”

“Syreilla Hammersworn and Syreilla the Rook were not so different.” Cyran shook his head, “I was told that Hammersworn was softer, less volatile, and a little slower than the Rook, but she was also known for her temper and her skill as a thief. There may have been things that one had and the other didn’t but there were things they still shared.”

“Yes.” Zyulla sighed, “It was not your fault, Atos, but when you stepped away from us to take a joint place among the elven gods I felt alone. Your brother has all of your good qualities.” She looked up with a sad, tired expression on her face, “You have different faults, but you share the same beauty. I loved you still, but I loved him as well.”

“It still wounds me.”

“I am sorry for wounding you.”

“Why were you spending time with my brother if you felt alone and not one of the other goddesses?”

Cyran considered trying to stop the questions about the past again but perhaps his grandfather did need to know.

“I was also alone.” Hevtos folded his hands and leaned on them. “I was envious of you, you had so much that you could walk away from it without a thought. When I saw her loneliness, I offered my company. It gave me the peace I try to give to the deserving dead. My love for her grew too great to contain.”

“No one…” Atos’ hands curled into fists, “No one encouraged you? No one aided you in seducing my wife?”

“I was not seduced.” Zyulla shook her head.

Hevtos frowned and leaned back from the table meeting his brother’s gaze. “Rielle told me of Zyulla’s loneliness. She told me that she believed I was the better brother and it was baffling to her that I was so alone. I have come to doubt her reasons for offering kindness and friendship to me. She tried to seduce my grandchild to wound Syreilla. Rielle did not succeed in her seduction but Syreilla was wounded just the same.”

“Sweet Syreilla is a goddess of vengeance?” Zyulla frowned slightly. 

“She is the goddess of righteous vengeance and a protector of gentle souls. I allow her to intercede on behalf of those who come to me with her name on their lips. I’ve noticed that she sees things differently. Hers will be weighed by a different measure.”

“Uncle Odos said that all of his Rooks saw things strangely.”

“She saw your grandchild’s desire for Rielle.”

“I believe she saw more than that. She wished to bathe Rielle in dragon’s fire and her loathing for her is immense.”

“Why didn't she?” Atos’ brow furrowed. “My rage boiled my blood and I could contain none of my fury when I learned of your betrayal.”

“She had her task and she prides herself on never failing. Syreilla the Rook held her fury as well as she could until she delivered the stone to me. When she had the opportunity to indulge her desire to pour her rage out onto the goddess, Finwion prevented her and sent her to where you caught her.”

“Perhaps I can forgive her for pushing me so forcefully. It may have been the goddess she wished to punish. When she made her fury felt, I thought it was unwarranted.” Atos’ eyes flickered with flame. “It was Rielle who told me of your betrayal and sent me to see for myself.”

Zyulla looked stunned, “We were all manipulated.”

“So it would seem.” Atos scowled into the middle distance, “I will discover why. Syreilla has not yet grown into her gifts fully, with her new eye she will see more clearly than she ever has. I will have her tell me what it is she sees when she looks at Rielle.”

“She and I share a…” Cyran frowned and cleared his throat, “a disdain for… brothels. Vezar explained the place that this elven goddess keeps.”

“Her disdain may color her view if I ask her directly.” Atos inclined his head. “I will find a way. I may not be as clever as I thought but I am more clever than she thinks me.”

A laugh escaped from Zyulla, “She was such a sweet, gentle girl when she spoke to me.”

“She’s that way with children.” Cyran glanced at Atos with amusement and saw the speculative look on his face.

“The innocent. She is sweet and gentle with the innocent.” Hevtos smiled faintly. “The child has your temper without question, with those who have done anything to deserve it.” 

“Has my granddaughter turned her anger on you?” A smug smile played at the corners of Atos’ mouth.

“She has. I tried to keep her confined to a single chamber.” 

Atos folded his arms and the smug smile came out fully, “You could not succeed.”

“No. She only remained in the chamber when my grandchild was with her.”

“Ha! Odos said the only way to keep her confined is to hold onto her yourself.”

“She has your determination.” Zyulla smiled ruefully, “While I am grateful that her efforts may have freed me, we should encourage her not to put that tremendous will toward theft.”

“I will not return the stones until you are freed, Zyulla, and I will send her for the rest if I must. My Golden Rook will have the elven gods trembling in fear as they wait for her coming.”

“My cousin is formidable, they would be wiser to give them to you.”

“She impressed Nimphon. He has a new vessel to cross his black waters because she brought him a boat of stone,” Hevtos tone was approving.

“What friend did the child upset so greatly she needed to steal from me to put it right?” His grandfather’s brow furrowed.

“Finwion. He was kind to her and when she lashed out-”

“They wanted him punished.”

“She told him to say that she deceived him and to place all the blame on her shoulders; she would return the stone lent by Bone White and allow him to say he stole it back from her. The stone was returned when Nimphon requested it to be, it was the punishment for Syreilla’s behavior, but I believe he’s fond of her. Finwion certainly is.”

Atos chuckled and nodded. “The others play politics amongst themselves but Nimphon has the most power of all of them. Finwion is under his protection and if he requires punishment it will be meted out by Nimphon. They do exclude them both often. I don’t understand why Nimphon allows it.”

“If he disagrees with their decisions, he overrules them. Like a father overruling a group of children who have decided there will be mead cakes for dinner.” 

Both gods smiled at one another and Cyran began to wonder if his presence was necessary. Zyulla gave him a warm smile as soon as he had the thought. 

“As a god of mediation your presence makes such matters easier, son of Imos. I am so pleased that my most rigid son has a child who strives to be understanding.”

“I’ve been learning a great deal since I was sent to Syreilla to learn from her.”

“Your father believes you wish to replace him.” Atos shook his head. “After we finish our discussions I will take you to speak to him. And I would have you speak to Syreilla, Odos has asked her to call him ‘Father’ and she refuses.”

“He wounded the child by abandoning her. She needs to be loved and looked after.”

“Allow him to do it.” Atos scowled at Hevtos and the room felt cooler as the god of death returned it.

Cyran intervened carefully, “I will speak with her. She loves him but he has not been trustworthy.”

“She is a goddess of vengeance, not forgiveness.” Hevtos inclined his head, “It would do her good to learn a little, she takes after you in that as well, brother.”

“I want the child to visit me.”

“She is free to come and go as she pleases. I will have tasks for her, she is not content without purpose, but I will not prevent her or discourage her from visiting you.”

“I will prepare a room for her with enough gold to entice a thief.”

“The only furnishing in her bower is a nest bed of gold-toned wood. She steals for the challenge of it not for the treasures. Gardens, birds, and a place for her guests are all she wishes.”

“What of her audience chamber?” Zyulla tilted her head curiously.

“A shady place beneath the trees on her roof. Her throne is a forked tree.” Hevtos’ eyes sparkled and Atos laid his hands on the table with a pleased smile. “It is in my realm, no one who is not invited can intrude on her and I will keep her safe.”

“I will create a chamber fitting for a sweet child.” Atos exhaled. “I would not have expected that of her.”

“She tries to hide her soft heart,” Zyulla glanced at Atos, “to keep it protected.”

“Wound her soft heart and she will not rest until she’s made you suffer.” He inclined his head and reached out to squeeze Cyran’s shoulder. “I have made you both suffer, and your sons. I am willing to try to be civil now. There will be a council held. The elven gods have been clamoring for it. 

“At the council I will summon you both and publicly release you. The stones will be returned to their proper owners at that time. If you will stop Syreilla from burning all of Imos’ temples and wiping his name from memory, I will command him to leave you in peace.”

“I would have the curse placed on my sons lifted.” Zyulla looked at Atos with determination. “You should not have been wronged as you were but neither should they have been.”

There was a moment of silence and Atos inclined his head, “Agreed, it is done. I will discover why Rielle has done this to us all and punishment will fall on her. I will see to it.”

“Ask Syreilla to see to it.” Hevtos smiled faintly, “Your grandchild intimidated Isca.”

Atos broke into laughter, “She put herself in the path of my anger without flinching. Seeing her eyes flicker with flame and no trace of fear on that child’s face, I could think she believed she would be able to stand against me.”

“I’ve seen my cousin fight, Grandfather. I would be more surprised if she couldn’t.” Cyran gave him a wry smile as Hevtos broke into laughter. 

“My granddaughter shouldn’t be fighting anyone so much older than she is. Rielle may deserve to have a goddess of vengeance visit her but Syreilla is too young and needs more time and education.” Zyulla’s look to him and to Hevtos was faintly chiding.

“Agreed.” Atos, at least, seemed pleased. “I will deal with the matter, though, I may allow her to assist me. You will be summoned to the council. I will tell Nimphon all that has been decided and ask him to have Gilither call the council. She will keep things civil in Cyran’s absence.”

“In my absence?” Cyran frowned, studying him.

“You will be speaking to your father. I will join you for a time and see to it he listens. He also must be told that punishing his uncle is no longer permitted.”

© 2021 Isemay

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Added on February 3, 2021
Last Updated on February 3, 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

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A Chapter by Isemay