A heros exile

A heros exile

A Story by Nanaki
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Nier is attending an exile this morning with his Lord father. His hero Ryker is sentenced to face the grey. A barren wasteland where no one returns.

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The morning sky turned to misery as the heavens opened and rain fell. A young man lay in bed watching the grey sky through his window. Nier sighed to himself. He had been awake for some time, thinking. The upcoming events that would take place today had left him miserable. His hero Ryker Hillwolf was to be exiled into the grey for conspiring against the throne. Nier’s belief was that his hero was framed and another was responsible. A knock came at Nier’s door and his father entered.

Lord Hawkham took in the scene before him “Nier, come now. If you are coming to see Hillwolf off? Then hurry up. We will be leaving soon for the arena.” Nier sat upright “Yes father. Ill be quick. I am not looking forward to this.”

Lord Hawkhams expression softened toward his b*****d son. He knew how much Hillwolf had meant to Nier growing up. “I know son. Truth is whether Hillwolf did this or not, his fate is sealed. Hes lucky in a way. They could have killed him on site. No one knows what lays out in the grey, only that anyone who has been out there has never returned.”

The words clung to Nier and released a fresh surge of anger. “He didn't do it. After all these years, why now?”

“We may never know.” Lord Hawkham replied “Now then, get ready.”  Nier leapt from his bed and began to get ready.


In the capital, the rain continued to pelt against the walls of Ravenfell. The city stood tall against the mountains separating the lands of Celes and Lanarshka. In the Ravenfell dungeons, the damp and grim setting had but one solitary window. It offered the chilling winds to the dungeons guest of honour. Ryker swayed back and forth on the chains holding him in place. He had long since lost track of time and his arms had reached a point beyond being numb. The cold winds brought him back out of his daze as he began to shiver. It wasn’t enough that he was now branded a traitor to the throne. They had robbed him of his dignity by leaving him chained up naked.

He kept playing the events of the past month over in his head. The arrest, the torture and the people! The people he had called friends, partners even family. Turning their back on him after all he’d done. “Go to hell!” Ryker had cried out. His voice croaked now from little use. He only interacted with one guard a day. He wasn’t allowed to talk to him. Only to nod in agreement to show he would obey the commands issued. The guard would lower, then unchain Ryker so he could eat the food they served him. He would be allowed to clean himself with cold water and then wash the floor with that same water. That alone was a godsend in itself as he was only able to relieve himself from where he swayed. Another rush of anger and sorrow. The questions at least had ceased and the beatings were fewer. They had in short left him now to rot. Or so he thought.

The bar slid across on the door and the head of the city guard, Captain Eames entered. Eames took in the scene before him. “Morning our honoured guest. It seems your stay with us is at an end.” he spoke with jest. Ryker continued to stare out into the rain and cold. He knew better than to answer now. Eames strode around to face Ryker head on. “The throne have finally decided what to do with you traitor!” He declared. “You will be taken from our generous inn today and cast out into the Grey.” Eames smile was sickening. Ryker shivered at the thought. The Grey was not where he’d wanted to end up but it beat hanging here.

Eames saw his quarry shiver and laughed. “You are going to Hell for your crime and the last thing I want you to see is me leaving you in the arena while the good people of these lands watch from the safety above in the stands.” Eames finished speaking and moved closer to Ryker. He was a head taller due to being suspended. “Anything to say traitor before we get the proceedings underway?” Eames asked.

Ryker smiled as he released his bladder. He pissed all over Captain Eames chest armour while laughing. Captain Eames let out a shriek of disgust “You traitorous b*****d!” Ryker laughed harder still. “I know you city boys call yourselves the golden guard, but I never knew you were into golden showers too!”

Eames marched forward once more and drove his right gauntlet hard into Rykers stomach. Ryker scrunched himself as much as the chains would allow. He coughed and sputtered from the cheap shot. “Bring him down and issue him a loincloth.” Eames called to a pair of guards at the door. “We need to begin escorting this filth to the arena.”

Ryker heard the click of the mechanism and tried to adjust his legs to land but it was no good. Little use had left his leg muscles weak and he crumpled to the floor. Keeping his mind off what he’d landed in, he stared once more up at the Captain. “When will I be exiled?”

Eames looked down at the man covered in his own filth. “As soon as I can get you to the arena.” With that he turned and left the dungeon, leaving the pair of guards to grab Ryker and drag him after Eames.


The arena loomed ahead of him as Nier and clan Havenspire galloped forward on horseback through the rain. The opening of the mountain that served as the entrance to the arena and the only glimpse of the grey beyond. The surrounding mountain was so steep and treacherous that no one had ever climbed it. The jagged rocks acted as defensive spikes preventing anyone getting a firm foothold. Legends described the mountain design were thought up by the gods themselves. The arena though was a different story. The Dwarves of Durle had hewn the rock to construct what was now used as a point of exile. Back then it was used as a guard post against an endless void of mystery that the Dwarves then believed housed unspeakable foes. The Dwarves had long since abandoned the post leaving the capital of Men Ravenfell, to stage exiles there as they saw fit.

Nier loved hearing the stories of the expert Dwarven miners and even though today he wasn’t enjoying the upcoming event. He couldn’t deny the sense of wonder as they passed the colossal columns acting as a support for the mountain above them. On each of the columns the Dwarves had each chiseled their names, to cement themselves into Celes history.

Once They had the mounts stabled Nier followed his half brother Alec and their Father to their section of the arena. A lot of people had shown up for Hillwolfs exile, Nier noted. Guess it’s not everyday a hero is thrown to the Grey, Nier thought to himself. The King was not in attendance nor was the Prince. Nier noted the other two Knight clans of Ravenfell nearby each taking their place. There was houses Ghoundras and blackbane already sat. Their Lords nodded in Nier’s Fathers direction before returning their focus to the arena.

Each clan lived in a fortress much like Havenspire that was outside the Ravenfall perimeter. They acted as a secure defence line, protecting the capital from invasion. In four millennia no one had ever reached Ravenfall. The Family name running eah fortress though had changed over the years due to them being wiped out or no legitimate heir to succeed and carry on the family name. Nier’s great Grandfather had been given Lordship of Havenspire for service to the crown and their family had stood strong ever since.

Below their seats a sheer drop of a few hundred feet and then out in front  was a marble circle.It would be upon this marble circle that Hillwolf would be declared exiled and sent out into the grey void stretching out beyond. Hillwolf would be given a weapon of his choosing and basic supplies. He would also be wearing a grey clothing which symbolised being a traitor.

The cold wind swept into the arena sending a shiver through Nier. He wrapped his fur cloak around tighter. Least in here there was a roof to shelter them from the rain. Nier turned to his father “How long do you think until..” The gold horns sounded to announce that the exile was about to start. “Now my son. Now.” Lord Hawkham replied.


Ryker was stumbling down a tunnel, two guards behind him and Eames out in front. He worried his legs would collapse through little use. Although each step he took became a little easier. Ryker didn’t want to give in. He wouldn’t give the b*****d up front the satisfaction because they hadn’t beaten him. Not yet. The grey clothes they had given him itched but they were definitely an improvement to the month of being suspended naked. The fur cape was actually warm. A small rucksack on his back carried some flasks of water and enough food for two days he had been instructed. The urge to mock them for being so kind at the end was so enticing but Ryker came to the conclusion that in order to survive he’d take what he could.

On the ride here in the back of the carriage, He had tried stretching his body to get it ready as best possible. It had earned him a couple of whacks from a sword hilt and a bloody nose for punching another guard in the face for stopping him. The guard was still unconscious outside the arena. The memory of it brought a smile to Ryker’s face and he strived on. If this world had given up on him, he wouldn’t give them the time of day to see him beg for mercy.

Up ahead the horns sounded signalling his arrival and he heard the crowd. The dark tunnel was nearly at its end. The light blinded him despite the grey sky as he emerged into the arena. He straightened and marched toward the marble circle taking in the scene. The three clans were here. He saw the Lords Hawkham, blackbane and Ghoundras banners way up in the stands. He was surprised at how many had came to witness his exile.  The real question he asked himself though was, how many of them think I did commit the crime? Ryker saw ahead Eames had reached the circle and was opening the weapons rack. It would be here that Ryker would choose what could assist in his salvation or his damnation.

He stepped past the captain who was wearing a smug look on his ugly face. The weapons rack was as bad as Ryker had thought it would be. The weapons were old, unused and well s**t. Looking over each of them carefully, Ryker finally chose a shield, longsword and a staff. He was also relieved to find a few small stones he could use to sharpen the blade of the sword. With that he turned to the arena and ignored the Captain as he started to address the crowd.

“To everyone gathered! Today we see justice. Justice for an attempt on his highness’s life from the wretch you see before you.” Pointing a finger at Ryker the crowd jeered. Ryker rolled his eyes at Eames “Sod off captain for crying out loud, five more minutes and I will be free of your presence and can live in peace.”

Eames laughed “Yeah or die alone!”

Ryker moved faster than he thought he was able the crunch of his fist connecting with Eames’ face echoed around the arena. Over half of the crowd in attendance cheered. Eames led on the marble floor out cold. Looking up at the stands, Ryker cleared his throat. “It’s nice to see some of you still believe! I am innocent of the crimes I have been accused of. Yet the throne says otherwise despite my whereabouts being nowhere near the capital on the day in question.” He saw the crowd look at each other contemplating what he was saying so he continued. “I stand here branded a traitor but i'll walk out into the Grey there!” He turned gesturing to the barren land before him. “An innocent man.”


Up in the stands Nier had cheered as loud as he could when Ryker had punched Captain Eames in the face. He now stood clapping with tears in his eyes as he watched his childhood hero. The slayer of the iron mines dragon Asotau. The general of the East army that broke through the Orc rebellion to slaughter the Orc King Lazschnik. The man Ryker Hillwolf who now stood branded a traitor but stood with his head held high taking his first steps out into the Grey. “Gods protect this man.” Nier breathed. His father next to him clapped him on the back “Indeed son, may the gods protect him.” Nier didn’t leave until the Grey swallowed up the solitary figure in its midst.


Out in the Grey, Ryker looked back once more. The Arena opening was barely visible through the mist that had formed the further he’d ventured in. The mountain range both sides of the arena stretched as far as the eye could see both sides. It was quiet. Nothing moved. And as far as he could tell nothing out here was growing. Just rubble and mud. It was however getting a lot colder. Minutes turned to hours as he walked into further into the Grey. Time seemed non existent here. Ryker was so sure it should be dusk by now but his surroundings hadn’t changed at all. “Now what do I do.” He trudged on, his hopes of salvation quickly disappearing.


© 2019 Nanaki


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Added on February 19, 2019
Last Updated on February 19, 2019
Tags: fantasy, fantasy novel, exile, hero, heroes, murder, adult, castles

Author

Nanaki
Nanaki

United Kingdom



About
just me. Have a avid interest in fantasy more towards medieval and magic rather than sci fi. more..

Writing
Chapter 1 Chapter 1

A Chapter by Nanaki