Cast Away

Cast Away

A Chapter by Eddie Davis
"

Eleazar mounts a rescue attempt to save Zeatt and Aurei.

"

4.

Cast Away

 

 

Eleazar crouched behind one of two massive catapults that the Emperor had mounted on the quarterdeck of his yacht as the cold rain continued to pour relentlessly from above.  Although frozen to the bone, the half-Drow knight held his position, thankful that the large siege devices took so much of the deck that no-one could see someone slip over the edge as he had done many minutes before.  

 

He was waiting for two sentries that were standing close to the stairs of the quarterdeck, shivering as they secretly shared a small jug of something that both men swore would help keep them warm.  Finally the chilling rain was too much for them, and they left their post for a sheltered spot across on the foredeck.

"Nothing much to guard anyway," One guard told the other as they descended the stairs, "Who would be insane enough to attack us in such weather?"

The comment amused the young Paladin, who waited until their voices grew faint, then slowly peeked over the top edge of the Catapult.   The darkness and rain concealed --even from his dark Elven eyes-- any sight of the foredeck, and so he stood and got to work.

 

Just behind the catapults was a series of winces and pulleys to lower both anchors as well as to pass supplies and even passengers back and forth to the ground below as needed.   As he had waited for the guards to leave, he'd worked out a crazy idea, and commenced to tie one end of a very long cord of rope that hung from a pulley, into a triple slip knot.  He then pulled on the rope with all his might to see if it would support his weight.

 

His idea was to use the pulley to lower himself back over the edge of the quarterdeck, directly in front of the large glass windows that betrayed the undoubtedly spacious quarters of the arrogant 'Emperor of the World' as he styled himself.  If he could push off of the side of the ship with enough force, and if the glass of the windows was not heavily reinforced, he hoped to crash through the window later that night when the man was asleep and then… he didn't know.   That was the problem with his plan.   He wouldn't have long to speak to the man and no doubt Fendoris would be in no mood to parley with an intruder.   There would be guards just outside his quarters and, if the stories about the Emperor were true, several women in his quarters to entertain him.   That was one possibility that the Knight really did not want to think about.

 

Eleazar was confident he could overpower him and his best idea was to quickly drag him over to the broken window, slip the Feather Fall ring on his finger and toss him out the window, and then quickly slide down the rope, careful to dodge arrows, javelins and spears.   Hopefully none of the Imperial guards would think to cut his rope.   Then, if he survived, grab the Emperor, (who by then would have floated down to the ground thanks to the magic ring) somehow throw him over his shoulders and as fast as he could, make toward King's Reach.

 

The Elf frowned at the insanity of the plan, but even more troubling was that, even if successful, it would leave Aurei and Matron Zeatt at the hands of the Emperor's elite guard.   The thought of the Duchess scared and at the mercy of angry Imperial guards was more than he could stand.   So he knew he couldn’t go through with this plan.   He was struggling to come up with another idea when the sounds of a fight coming from somewhere inside the quarterdeck's rooms made him quickly drop down to his knees behind the catapult, as the sounds were growing louder. Apparently the brawlers were taking their brawl topside.  

 

Eleazar peered over the top of the catapult's large iron and wood frame, hoping his glowing red eyes would not betray his presence until he could at least learn what was going on.

 

He didn't have long to wait, for the doors that covered the stairway down into the heart of the ship flew opened as if kicked and out they spilled.

 

Twelve Imperial Guards, wearing their shining silver plate armor, were struggling with a pair of very defiant prisoners.   As he was behind both the stairwell and the catapult, he could not see them until they finally were able to pull and drag the first prisoner out.   Seven or eight of the guards were trying to carry her, her arms, legs and head flaying, swinging, punching and kicking.   It was Aurei -- she ripped a leg free from one guardsman's grasp and buried her bare foot into his face.   The blow knocked the man down, his helmet flying off as he brought down at least six curses on the Drow girl while he clutched a bloody nose.   Another guard grabbed at her swinging leg and was nearly knocked down in her fury.  

"STOP IT, DAMN YOU!"  The guard carrying her head roared at her, but Aurei replied by snapping at his mailed fist like an angry dog.  

A guard on one side swung at her head with a small, but thick, club, catching the girl square on her forehead.  She just growled and tried to pull her arms free, succeeding with one arm for an instant before two guards pinned the arm to her side.

"FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, HIT HER AGAIN, PETTO!"  The guard carrying her head screamed and the other guardsman replied, savagely bringing the stick down on her head twice before her body slumped.   Eleazar felt white rage swell up inside him, and he found his hand reaching for his sword, but stopped himself when he saw the rest of the procession exiting the stairwell.

Behind the guards and the now unconscious Duchess came four more guards walking on all sides of Matron Zeatt, the one behind her holding a very sharp sword against her throat as they walked.   Her eyes burned nearly orange in anger as she saw the scene in front of her.

"If she is dead, I swear to Yesh I will call damnation down on the lot of you!"  The Matron hissed, causing the guards around Aurei to back away at their approach.

"Silence!"  The guard with the blade to her throat ordered.

One of the guards around Aurei leaned over and felt her neck.

"She's alive, Reverend Mother!"  He said with fear to the Drow Matron.

"No thanks to you!   Are you all so subservient that you find no shame in what you are doing?   Sending two helpless women to their deaths to fuel the vanity of a madman?!"

"Helpless?"  The guard holding the sword to the Matron's neck responded, "It took seven of our men to get your damned niece up the bloody stairs!   She started this, Matron Zeatt -- the Emperor wasn't planning to use her as shot tomorrow, but she wasn't smart enough to hold her tongue."

"All she said was true, and you know it as well.   If we both have to die as martyrs to open the eyes of everyone; so be it!"

"I'll talk to him -- when he calms down, later this evening.   Until then you and your wildcat niece will just have to pray to your god and try to keep warm.   I'll be sure you have cloaks over you."

"Thank you so much!"  Zeatt spat sarcastically. 

"You should have fled with the rest of the Bishops - then none of this would have happened."

"No?   He would have had Aurei killed when he found her on that burned-out airship."

"As hot as her fire burns, she'll not live long anyway."  One of the other guards said, and Zeatt spun toward him, causing the sword blade to slightly cut her.

"Better to burn with life then grow cold in death!" She quoted the words of Yesh and the guard lowered his eyes upon hearing them.

"Tie up the hellcat while she's out cold, then we'll bind the Reverend Mother here."  The guard pulled his sword away from her neck, "I don't like what I am doing, Matron Zeatt, but I have a large family still in Aeropolis and I don't want my own family killed any more than you want yours' killed.   I give you my word that I'll speak to his Excellency and try my best to get him to free you both.   Until then, just stay calm -- if your god favors you, then no danger will come to you."

Matron Zeatt held her chin high and looked the guard square in the eye, "Nothing escapes the eyes of God, His throne is eternal and all will submit to His authority.   If Yesh wishes to save us, we shall be saved, but know this, the will of the Almighty will be done even in our deaths."

"Hopefully it won't come to that.  I'm going to bind your hands and feet Reverend Mother, and then gag you -- His Excellency's order."

Zeatt did not reply but with defiance in her glowing red eyes, held out her wrists.  

 

Eleazar was trying to think the best way to safely save the women but more guards poured out of the stairwell and he decided that the safest course was to wait until the excitement had died down.   Five minutes later they had bound both women arm and leg, and they were then tied together so that they could both fit within the large cup of the catapult. Just as Aurei began to regain consciousness, both were gagged.   Thankfully none of the guards came to the front of the catapult or they would have found yet another red-eyed Elf waiting anxiously to act.

 

The cold rain began to solidify into sleet as they finished binding the two Drow women and, true to his word, the apparent captain of the Imperial Guard carefully spread two thick cloaks over the women's bound forms.

A guard was posted at the doorway to the stairwell as well as the stairs down to the main deck, and the half-frozen guards descended below, leaving the two sentries to guard the two women.  

 

Eleazar waited until the footfalls of the armored guards could no longer be heard on the stairs then slowly and quietly drew his longsword.   He really hated to have to kill the two sentries, but there was no way he was going to leave the two women in the catapult while the Emperor calmed down.   He had actually started around one side of the catapult, creeping carefully so as to not make any noise, when suddenly the stairwell door burst open again, flooding the deck with torch light for a moment.  

 

The half-Drow quickly squatted where he was and heard the fall of boots crossing the deck toward the catapult.   The sound of two guards coming to attention then came to his ears.

"Both of you leave us here; I will speak to these Drow witches in private."

"But your Excellency-" one guard stammered.

"LEAVE US!!   HOW DARE YOU HESITATE TO DO EXACTLY WHAT I TELL YOU TO DO!!  INSOLENCE!  I AM SURROUNDED BY INSOLENT REBELS!!  AWAY, AWAY!   LEAVE US!   GO WAIT ON THE FOREDECK UNTIL YOU ARE SUMMONED!   HESITATE ANOTHER MOMENT AND I WILL THROW YOU IN THE BUCKET WITH THE WITCHES!  AWAY!"    

The sounds of running armored boots told Eleazar that both guards had dashed off to obey the Emperor's orders.   An idea came to the Knight and he quietly rummaged through a pouch on his belt as he heard Fendoris yank back the cloaks covering the bound Drow women.

"My, my, my, look at you now!"  The Emperor said with a pleased laugh, "The mighty Reverend Mother and the fiery Duchess, bound and gagged like common thieves.   Where is your defiance now?   Have you nothing to say against me?   It seems as if I have found a solution to this rebellion, at least.    I should cast you both forth from here right now -- but I think perhaps a night spent in the cold and ice will cool those fiery red eyes and teach you where your loyalty truly lies."

 

It was at that moment that Eleazar acted.   He rose up like a ghost, to Fendoris' right.   The Emperor jumped in surprise and had only time to take in breath to call out to his guards before the half-Drow's dagger's pommel crashed down full force onto his right temple.   The agile Knight gracefully caught the Emperor's body and gently slid it down to the deck, then dragged it to the back of the catapult.

"Excellency?"   There came a voice from the far end of the ship where the two guards waited.   They had no doubt heard the blow and rather cautiously called out to check on their lord.   Eleazar knew he didn't have much time.   He slid the slip-knotted rope around the form of the Emperor.   Then wound the rope around the man’s armpits for added strength.

"Your Excellency?"  There now came the second call, again with some hesitation out of fear of the man's wrath. 

 

His hand firmly securing the handle of the winch that the rope was attached to, Eleazar pushed the body of the Emperor off the back of the Quarterdeck, his unconscious form easily sliding underneath the railing of the deck, aided by the ice rapidly forming on the wooden planks.  

 

The rope went taut at once and with a deep breath, he quickly began turning the handle of the winch, to hurriedly lower the man to the ground.  The winch squeaked and squealed loudly.

 

"Your Excellency?   Emperor Fendoris?  Sir?"   There came a pause, and just as Eleazar felt the rope connect with the ground, he heard the sound of running feet coming across the deck.

 

Immediately the half-Drow ran to the side of the catapult as the guards called out the alarm.

 

Looking in the large bucket of the catapult he was greeted with the wide eyes of both Drow women looking at him.   He quickly cut both of their gags and grabbed Aurei gently but hurriedly by her cheeks, "Aurei; do you trust me?"

"Laz…what-"

"No time!  Do you trust me?"

"Yes, I-"

"Are you both bound together?" He asked Zeatt as the guards reached the stairs to the quarterdeck.

"Yes.  What are-?"

"Trust me!"  He cut her question off and reaching down, he quickly slipped the Feather-Fall ring on Aurei's finger, and then spun just in time to parry the first guardsman's sword thrust.   Both men's eyes went wide in fear when they saw that another Drow -- this one armed-- stood before them.

"GUARDS!"  Both men yelled and Eleazar knew that already more guards would be rushing up the stairs to their cry of alarm.  

"Get back!" he hoped to play on the men's fear of the Drow, but they only hesitated in their attack, perhaps hoping others would join them at that moment.   But a moment was all the half-Drow needed.   He feigned a swipe at the guard in front, who flinched backward, just as Eleazar knew he would.   In a flash, the Elf spun to his left and brought his sword down hard on the securing rope of the catapult.   With a snap of the rope, the arm of the device flung upward, tossing Aurei and Zeatt high into the icy air, off into the dark sky, their loud screams filling the air as they were flung into the night.

Eleazar smiled as he heard their terrified shrieks, for their voices very harmoniously matched as if they were purposely singing some odd duet.   The guardsmen froze in horror at his seemingly evil act and Eleazar took advantage of their stunned moment to turn and run to the rear of the deck. Snatching the end of a rope hanging from a pulley, he wound it a few times around his arm as he ran, then jumped from the railing with a silent prayer that the rope was not longer then it appeared.   He felt the lurch of falling, but only for a moment before the rope went tight, jerking his arm as he came to a stop, still hanging in mid air.  He had no time to gauge how far from the ground he was, but releasing the rope, he prepared for a long hard fall, just to receive a jolt as his body covered only about four feet before landing on solid earth.  

 

Not bothering to look up to see what was going on at the airship, he raced over to where he hoped the body of  Fendoris would be found, only to stumble over his form in the dark.   Taking his dagger, he cut the rope that still attached the Emperor to the airship.   The man was beginning to regain consciousness, so the Knight quickly used the excess rope to bind his hands behind his back.   Before he had fully regained his facilities, Eleazar had him up on swaying feet, pushing him forward through the darkness as he scanned the ground ahead.  

 

From the airship, he heard sounds of voices calling out.   A few glow staves were being waved to illuminate the ground before the ship, but they had already moved beyond the range of the light.   He knew there would soon be a ground search party, though, even with the inclement weather, which seemed to be growing worse as the night deepened.

 

"How dare you!"  The Emperor had regained his senses and had stopped, turning halfway around to glare at Eleazar, "Another crony of the witches, are you, Sir Eleazar?"

"Shut up and move, Your Excellency, or I'll whack you on the head and drag you by your feet."

"My men will have you hanging from the rigging of the ship by sunrise."  Fendoris spat as Eleazar pushed the man forward, his hand tightly holding the rope binding him, in case he should try to break free.

"Well, then I've got a lot to do before I'm hanged.   Now move!" 

"You haven't thought this out, Paladin!   What will you do now?"

"Well, I'm thinking of putting a gag in your mouth if you keep talking."

"It's hopeless; you've forfeited your life and those Drow witches' lives as well."

"Yet you’re the one tied up and being led away, so I wouldn't be planning your victory parade just yet, your Excellency."

"Oh, I'm going to enjoy torturing you, Drow, and tossing both of those witches over the wall of King's Reach."

"Keep that happy thought, Emperor, but keep moving."

He pushed the man forward, careful to watch the terrain in front of them as they went.   The ground was beginning to get crunchy with an accumulation of ice.   Thankfully Fendoris fell silent, perhaps planning some sort of escape plan, but at this moment Eleazar didn't care, for he was anxious to find the two Drow ladies.

 

A few minutes later he heard them calling out and he pushed Fendoris forward at a jogging pace until the half-Drow's infravision made them out, lying on the ground, still tied up and partially covered with ice, but alive.   

 

Eleazar pushed the Emperor to the ground near Aurei and quickly went over to her and cut her bonds with his dagger.  

 

"Are you okay-?" he managed to ask before the palm of her hand smacked him hard on the forehead.

"What in the name of Yesh is wrong with you!?" she yelled, her voice hoarse from screaming, "You tried to kill us!"

"No, I knew-"

"You tried to kill us!"  She shouted, smacking him in the forehead again, "You launched us from a catapult!"

"But-" he began, but again she smacked him in the forehead.

"You tried to kill us!"

"You're alive, aren't you?"  He blurted out.

"Thank God!   It was a miracle we didn't die!"

"You floated down gently, didn't you?"

"No thanks to you!"

"The ring I put on you was a Feather Fall Ring."

"A what?"

"A Feather Fall Ring -- it makes you fall like a feather from any height!  That is why I put it on your finger!"

Aurei just frowned and shook her head, "You tried to kill us.   Go free Aunt Zeatt before she freezes to death, I'll watch your prisoner here… who is it, anyway?"

"The Emperor."  He said flatly, rushing over to the Drow Matron.

"Ah, great.   You're trying to kill us as well as yourself.  You're insane, totally insane."

Eleazar ignored her reproach and knelt down beside the still bound Drow cleric.

"I am very sorry for my unconventional way of rescuing you, Matron Zeatt, but I had to quickly improvise the plan."

Free of her bounds, Zeatt rubbed her wrists and smiled, "Actually, I found sailing through the air like a feather rather fun." 

He wasn't sure if she was being sarcastic or not, so he just nodded and helped her to stand, and then rushed back over to where Aurei stood in front of Fendoris, who was struggling to stand up with his hands tied behind him on icy ground.

"I'll have all of your heads for this!" he said in gasps as he kept slipping back down on his butt on the slick ground.

"You were going to throw us out as catapult stones, so forgive me if I'm not too intimidated by your threats, Emperor."  Aurei snapped back without the smallest bit of respect.

"Are you cold?"  Eleazar asked her, knowing that the question was ridiculous, but lacking anything else to ask.

"Extremely.  It seems that His Excellency had Aunt Zeatt and I to dress up for a fancy dinner and it was all for his fun so he could amuse himself at our expense in front of his nobles."   Aurei reached out with her foot just as the Emperor had managed to get to his knees, and pushed him over, causing him to fall flat on his face.

"Aurei!"  Zeatt exclaimed from behind her when she saw the action.

"He needed to cool his hot head down a bit."  The girl said with a wicked grin, her red eyes glowing.  She then turned back to Eleazar.

"Now, about that rescue attempt that nearly killed us…"

Eleazar opened his mouth to again protest his innocence, but before he could draw breath to speak, Aurei had grabbed him by both cheeks and pulled him to her.   Suddenly he felt her rather cold lips warmly kissing him, and he stood there dumbfounded as the kiss went on for several moments before she pulled away.

"That was for saving us, and so I could warm up a bit.  Don't get any mistaken ideas." She explained with a sparkle in her red eyes.   "If you ever try to save us in that manner again, I swear I will kill you.   Now what in the world are we going to do?"

Eleazar just stood there, his lips tingling from the after effects of the kiss, "Uh… well…"

"Please tell me you have a plan all worked out, Laz."  She looked at him expectedly. 

"I had to modify my plan when they brought the two of you out."

"What was your original plan?"

"Talking to the Emperor; reasoning with him."

"Well, that avenue of diplomacy is now long gone."

"What in the world happened?   Why would he want to shoot you out of a catapult?"

Aurei explained the whole occurrence, leaving out her aunt’s addiction, as she stood there shivering, and Eleazar wished he had something to wrap around her to warm her up.   As she finished telling about her removal from the dinner party, Zeatt joined them, holding out one of the two cloaks that the guard had placed over them when they were still in the catapult. Eleazar wished he had remembered them, but was very glad they would have something to wrap around them.

Fendoris had once again got to his knees, panting like an animal, his face covered with ice crystals.   This time Aurei pulled him to his feet.

"Cooled off, hot head?"  She asked with disgust and he just glared at her.

"What are we going to do with him?"  Aurei asked the half-Drow and her aunt.

"Well, first, we are going to treat him with more respect."  Zeatt said firmly, but with a slight smile, "Not that he really deserves respect, but it is the will of Yesh that we treat even our enemies with kindness.   Paladins do not take advantage of bound prisoners, either, my dear." 

"Mother Bugley said that respect has to be earned."  Aurei replied with a sour look at Fendoris.

"So will your actions to him cause him to respect you?"

"He doesn't respect women -- they are his toys to fondle and abuse.   Look what he did to you."

"I choose to take the higher road and forgive him."

Aurei gave her aunt an incredulous look, "Why?"

"Aurei, Yesh is merciful and forgives us with the condition that we are to extend mercy to others, even those who have shown evil to us."

"Maybe so, but I can guarantee His Excellency won't have mercy on me -- or any of us-- if he regains control of his empire."  She leaned in close to the man, who had sullenly listened to the exchange, "Will you, Emperor?"

The man just glared at her in reply.

"Well, for now we need to hurry to get as far away from here as we can, and find some shelter." Eleazar suggested and he came over to stand in front of Fendoris.

"If you want to live long enough to take revenge upon us, it is in your best interest to cooperate with us right now.  I intend to hand you over to King Haroldris and he will decide what to do with you.   If you make trouble for us on our journey to King's Reach, I will tie you up in some barn on the way and let his knights come and retrieve you.   The choice is yours, Your Excellency."

Fendoris just looked away from him and so with a sigh, Eleazar took the ropes binding the man and pushed him forward, gesturing for the two Drow ladies to follow him.

 



© 2014 Eddie Davis


My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register




Reviews

"A guard to on one side swung at her head..." Not entirely sure what this was supposed to say...?

What a great chapter! Such fun to read...

Posted 10 Years Ago


Eddie Davis

10 Years Ago

I think it was one of those 'brain fart' moments, where I changed my wording but left a bit of the s.. read more
Elina

10 Years Ago

Haha! I know the feeling! It can be a tad overwhelming to try finding every little mistake, especial.. read more
Eddie Davis

10 Years Ago

I'm a quick reader too, so I often skip over words that I guess I 'assume' are there. It sounds c.. read more

Share This
Email
Facebook
Twitter
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

413 Views
1 Review
Added on October 30, 2013
Last Updated on May 29, 2014
Tags: Drow, Knights, Paladins, airship, fantasy, adventure, magic, relationship, romance

The Chronicles of Aurei Book 2: The Knights of Northmarch


Author

Eddie Davis
Eddie Davis

Springfield, MO



About
I'm a fantasy and science-fiction writer that enjoys sharing my tales with everyone. Three trilogies are offered here, all taking place in the same fantasy world of Synomenia. Other books and stor.. more..

Writing
One One

A Chapter by Eddie Davis


Two Two

A Chapter by Eddie Davis