Funeral Mass

Funeral Mass

A Chapter by Eddie Davis
"

Zeatt conducts a Yeshian funeral for the fallen Orcs, as the group realizes that one of their own is missing.

"

8.

Funeral Mass

 

Vinth was about to speak when the sound of the Yeshian chant of Redemption filled the air.   It was Zeatt, her voice beautiful and solemn as she sang the death chant, not in the common tongue, but in Boric's native Orc tongue.   Though she did not know Orc, Aurei, still holding the weeping Queen, sang along out of reverence, her mind returning to the day of her adopted human father's death.

 

The chant ended, and Aurei saw both Eleazar (who stood at attention behind the line of Orcs) as well as Vinth, who stood facing his men, wipe a tear away from their eyes.

 

Zeatt held her hands to the heaven.   "Lord Yesh, Savior and Light!  We give to you the mortal remains of our brother, Boric, who died in honor, in faith of your mercy!   We commit to fire his body and commend his soul to your courts.   Take him unto you, Holy God!"

Suddenly there was a flash of brilliant light, almost like a lightning bolt, but made up of a gentle straight beam of light.   It fell upon the form of the fallen Orc, surrounding it with white light and in a flash it was gone, taking along with it the body of Boric.

 

All the Orcs forgot their discipline upon seeing the sight and sank to their knees in awe.

"YESH THE HOLY!  YESH THE LORD!!"  They roared and even Vinth joined them.   Eleazar bowed his head and Eioldth whispered praise to Yesh for the display of his favor.   But it was Zeatt that Aurei had locked onto at that moment.   Her aunt stood with her arms stretched out wide, her chin heavenward, but though it continued to sleet, nothing touched her.   She seemed lost in ecstasy; her eyes closed as she chanted something that Aurei somehow knew had to be in Drow.   A faint white glow seemed to cover her as she prayed and after a few moments all the others in the field turned and beheld the sight.   The Orcs, their yellow eyes wide in wonder, held their kneeling poses and even Eleazar seemed rather stunned by the aura around the Drow priestess.  

"It's the mantle of Yesh!"  Eioldth whispered to Aurei and the words made the hair on the back of her neck stand up.   She had heard tales of how the saints of Yesh were sometimes enveloped in white light as they communed with their God.   Now Eioldth was claiming that was what was happening to Zeatt.

Before Aurei could think of anything to say, Zeatt's commune with Yesh ended and the glow slowly faded.   The Drow matron wiped her eyes and then noticed everyone looking at her.

"What's the matter?"  She asked.

No-one knew what to say and everyone looked at each other.  

"Oh.  That."  Zeatt finally understood.   She shrugged her shoulders.   "I sometimes get lost in my fellowship with Yesh.   I meant no disrespect to Boric."

"Matron, do you know what just happened?"  Eleazar asked her, standing back from her in reverence.

Zeatt smiled, "Of course I do.   Yesh blessed us with a sign of his favor by taking up the body of Boric."

"Yes, that is true, but that is not what I was talking about."  The half-Drow knight glanced over to Vinth and the Orcs and then to Aurei and Eioldth, all of which gave approval with their expressions.  "Matron Zeatt, you were covered with the Mantle of Yesh."

She just laughed, "Sir Eleazar, you are mistaken; I was simply filled with the presence of Yesh."  

Zeatt, still laughing, walked over to Aurei and Eioldth, but could see their slightly frightened expressions, and stopped in her tracks.

"Aurei?   Child, surely you know the truth!"

"Yes."  Aurei replied, "I saw it.  Look down at your arms, the glow is fading but you can still see it."

Zeatt glanced down at her arms, blinked a few times and brought her hand up close to her face, then looked over to Aurei and the Queen with a somewhat panicked look in her eyes.

"It looks like Faerie Fire… I may have accidentally cast that spell upon myself when I was praying in Drow to Yesh.  I used to know the spell, years ago.   That's what it is, I'm sure; an accident.  We have much more important things to concern ourselves with right now.   Who of our number is missing?"

It seemed to Aurei that her aunt was quickly and almost desperately trying to change the subject, but it worked.

"The Emperor Fendoris was taken." Aurei answered and for a long moment they all just looked at each other.

"There is no way we could find him on foot."  Eleazar finally stated.

"Will the Wyverns kill him?"  Eioldth bluntly asked. 

"I doubt it, Your Majesty.  I suspect that was the reason for the attack; to snatch up Fendoris.   There is probably an airship or two nearby that they'll take him to, and I think we all know that this does not brood well for the Emperor.   If they change him into some sort of undead creature, it would send his empire into utter chaos."

"Maybe we could find his airship -- I mean his own airship that we just escaped from-- and they could rescue him."  Aurei suggested, remembering her encounter with a Necromancer Guild airship.

"I'm not sure."  The Queen said with a sigh, "While our battle with the Wyverns and wizards was going on, I noticed a few weird flashes of bright blue from the south.   It was up in the air, as if some battle was being fought at the treetop level.   I couldn't make out what it was, and certainly didn't have time to watch, but from what you have told me, I wonder if that could have been two airships battling a few miles away from us?"

Zeatt groaned slightly at the news, "They would attack while it was still night to best utilize their undead.   Their power is much greater at night and if you are correct, Your Majesty, then I can assure you that the Emperor's airship is no more."

"Well, we can't risk finding out."  Vinth spoke up.

"I agree." Zeatt looked around her, counting quietly for a moment.   "Someone else is missing from our earlier number.  Eleazar, where is your squire?"

The Half-Drow looked around alarmed, and then scanned the battle ground.   Everyone fanned out in the icy darkness, scanning the ground for the young squire.  But it was Aurei who actually found him, covered by part of the barn wall that had exploded outward when the wizard's fireball had blasted the structure.   The wood had burned in the fire, but had shielded his body from being consumed.   Shouting for the others, she had begun pulling his body out of the smoldering rubble when suddenly his form stiffened as if the muscles had tightened.   She stopped and looked down, wondering how he could possibly be alive, when with inhuman speed Dorthellus' foot shot out and kicked her hard in the face, knocking her end over end into the snow.   He was on her in an instant, hissing as he flashed long fangs and swooped in onto her neck.

Aurei punched the vampire hard in the nose, but the blow only made him flinch back a foot.   He replied with a swipe of his hand, a backhand blow that nearly knocked her out.   He dove over her, again going for her neck, but suddenly a huge ghostly hand materialized between them and he was thrown backward into the burning remains of the barn.  

A shrill screech went up and at once the form of a huge bat flapped frantically away, into the cover of the night, his form still slightly on fire.  

 

Two Orcs nearby were able to get two arrows shot at the vampire, but both shots missed and as the flames began to burn out he disappeared into the night.

 

"Aurei, by Yesh, are you alright!"  Eleazar outran the others, skidding to a stop in front of her on the ice.

She nodded; her face was too painful to try to move her jaw.

"What was it?   Was it Dorthellus?"

She nodded.  "Vampire" she said, spitting some blood into the snow.

"Vampire?!   Did he bite you?!"

She shook her head, and he pulled her head up to gaze into her eyes, "Are you sure?"

She nodded, sniffling back blood draining from her nose.

Eleazar placed both hands gently on her cheeks and surprised her when he began chanting a spell.   Suddenly she was filled with warmth as the pain disappeared at once.

"Thanks."  She replied as the others joined her.

Minutes later she was seated on the ground and washed in Holy Water by Zeatt, which, aside from getting her wet and colder then she already was, had no other effect to everyone's great relief.

"He was a vampire." She addressed Eleazar who shook his head.

"Impossible -- we travelled by daylight all the way here, and I would have detected his unholiness."

"Not if he had just been turned." Zeatt suggested as she wiped the dried blood from her niece's face with the Holy Water, carefully watching for a reaction to the blood.

"So you think he was taken during the battle?"

"Or before; when we were talking in the barn, he may have been ambushed by a vampire and killed."

"If that's the case, then the master vampire would still be around."  Aurei glanced around, her eyes wide with nerves.

"I doubt it, child."  Her Aunt replied with a soothing pat on her shoulder.  "It will be dawn soon and I think they were after Fendoris."

"Uh, friends?"  The Queen interrupted, glancing across the barn lot.   "There is a group of four people coming this way."

Immediately Vinth and the surviving Orcs surrounded Eioldth as Eleazar went to stand with them and Zeatt helped Aurei to stand.

"Who's there?"  Vinth gruffly challenged the approaching forms.   "Identify yourselves!"

The four forms stopped and Aurei's superior infravision could make them out to be four humans, all four carrying clubs or pitchforks.  

"It's the farmers who own the barn." She called out to Vinth.

"Is that who you are?"  Vinth asked the four forms.

"Who are you?" A scared young man's voice asked them.

Queen Eioldth pushed her way through her bodyguards with her hands opened widely.

"I am Queen Eioldth and these are my bodyguards.   We were taking shelter in your barn from the sleet when we were attacked by Mages and Wyverns from the Necromancer's Guild."

The four forms looked at each other then back at Eioldth and the Orcs, obviously unsure about their story.

The young queen walked forward, motioning for her Orc guards to not shadow her.

"They are gone now -- we lost several of our number in the battle and if you look over there you will see one of the Wyverns we were able to kill.   I will pay for the damage to your property."

When the farmers were able to see her clearly, they all took several steps back and all four rather awkwardly bowed.

"Your Majesty, you are not safe here."  An older man said.

"We are leaving here soon."

"Pardon me, Your Majesty, but you don't understand what I mean.   There have been men riding around here the past few days calling for your execution."

Eioldth stopped in her tracks, "My execution?"

"Yes, Your Majesty.   They said you were an Elven witch vexing our King and were dangerous.   Now we see you in the company of Orcs and… other creatures."

"We are not 'other creatures'!" Aurei stood up and walked over to where the Queen stood with the farmers.   "I am Duchess Aurei Bugley of Westmark and I am a Drow as you can plainly see.   Sir Eleazar, a Blood Knight, and Bishop Zeatt, a priestess of Yesh, are with us, and they are Drow as well.   But you have nothing to fear from any of us, sir."

"Begging your pardon, My Lady, but please don't come any closer… any of you.   I don't know quite what to believe right now.   All I can see is that my winter feed for my animals has been lost and my barn lot is full of non-humans."

Eioldth motioned for Aurei to stop and the Drow girl complied.

"I understand your fear, sir."  The Queen said to the farmer with gentle respect in her voice.   "We won't trouble you any longer.   Let us get our supplies together and we will leave your property.   I have enough gold in my saddlebags to pay for the loss of your barn and feed for your animals.   Also, I think part of your fence has been damaged, and I will pay for that, as well."

"I don't want your money, Your Highness.   I just need you and your 'friends' off my property."  
         "We will leave your property immediately."

"Thank you.   Keep your money, Your Majesty."

"I do not want your family or your animals to suffer due to us."

"My neighbors will help -- that is how we do it in the country, Your Majesty.   We take care of each other."

"Very well, come Aurei, let's break camp."

The Queen turned and left the farmers standing there, gently taking Aurei's forearm and leading her away with her as she passed.

"They were certainly disrespectful." Aurei mumbled to Eioldth when they were out of range.

"Mostly they were just scared and I certainly don't blame them.   I will leave a bag of gold by their gate so they won't have to suffer this winter."

 

***

 

The four farmers were soon joined by neighbors and family members who had witnessed the last part of the battle and had succumbed to curiosity.   As the daylight began to lighten the sky from behind thick clouds, a group of about 20 farmers in a tightly packed group stood watching them gather up their supplies and capture their lost horses.   The sleet stopped as the daylight finally filled the sky with enough light to see what they were doing.   They picked up all the weapons that had been dropped and searched the body of the wizard that had fallen in battle as well as the body of the mage that the Wyvern had dropped while trying to escape, stripping them of every possession and then tossing their bodies onto the dwindling fire of the barn, which caused a murmur to come from the farm folk who witnessed the deed.   

 

To calm their fears, Zeatt chanted a common prayer of protection from Evil over the crowd of farmers (from a distance) which, after a few moments apprehension, seemed to calm them when they heard the familiar words.

 

 



© 2014 Eddie Davis


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"As the daylight began to lighten the sky from behind think clouds..." Think should be thick, I believe.

Posted 10 Years Ago


Eddie Davis

10 Years Ago

Wow, you are awesome at proofreading! I swear, I really did proof this!
Elina

10 Years Ago

Oh, I believe you! I cannot tell you how often I read through my writing and still find something th.. read more

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Added on November 3, 2013
Last Updated on May 29, 2014
Tags: Orc, Drow, Elf, Knights, Paladins, Undead, vampire, sword and sorcery, fantasy, adventure

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..

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A Chapter by Eddie Davis


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A Chapter by Eddie Davis