Exiles

Exiles

A Chapter by Eddie Davis
"

As they ride toward Westmark, Eleazar receives some surprising advice from the Orc Captain.

"

10.

Exiles

 

 

The sky cleared some as they rode west across the icy ground, and thankfully melting made the road somewhat easier to traverse.   Aurei rode on Dorthellus' fine horse behind Queen Eioldth and Zeatt, who were quickly becoming good friends.   The two women were discussing the repercussions of Fendoris' capture by the Necromancer’s Guild.   Both ladies were very concerned, not only for the Emperor, but for his empire, as well as for the Drow faithful in Aeropolis.    The Queen constantly talked about her husband and her desire to be at his side while he and his men attempted to weather the storm that raged against his monarchy.  

"Where will you head, Your Majesty?"  Zeatt asked Eioldth as they rode side by side.

The Queen glanced over her shoulder at Aurei and smiled.

"I am hoping The Duchess will allow me to winter with her in Westmark."

"Absolutely!"  Aurei said enthusiastically.  "You are most welcome there, Your Majesty, and I am greatly honored and most excited to have you and your men stay with us."

Vinth looked over at Aurei, "Your Grace, forgive me for inquiring, but are your people… accepting of other races?"

Aurei laughed, "Captain Vinth, they are mostly humans, I'm their Duchess and I'm a Drow!   Some of my closest friends in Westmark are non-humans.   In fact, we have a very lovely Orc lady living there with her husband, who is a Half-Ogre.   Her name is Siris and she-"

"Siris!"  Vinth interrupted, surprise showing on his face, "I'm sorry, Your Grace, but did you say her name was Siris?"

"Yes, her husband is Lute."

Vinth grinned a wide, toothy grin, "Wonder of wonders!   Siris and Lute lived amongst my tribe in the south for many years working as Blacksmiths.   When our tribe split due to mixed feelings about loyalty to the King, they led the fraction that was loyal to the King up to King's Reach and recommended us to His Highness.   I owe both of them a huge debt for my people's current status."

"Well, you will certainly be welcome in my Duchy, Captain Vinth.   I'm sure they will be very happy to see you and your men and proud of your advancement."

"I'm most relieved to hear that, Your Grace.   I hope our rather motley group will not overwhelm their accepting spirit."

"I'm sure it won't; they've put up with me for over 70 years and I'm certain you will be most welcome."

Zeatt looked back at her, "What about another Drow joining them?   Will I be too much?"

"I doubt it, Aunt Zeatt.   You'll take some of the stress off of me."

"What do you mean?"

"Some of the human men are… really fascinated with exotic looking females, especially the younger men.   They'll be very interested in you, but at the same time a bit scared of you as well when they hear that you actually lived in the Underdark."

Out of the corner of her eye, Aurei saw Eleazar shift slightly on his horse with a slight frown on his face, probably from her mention of the Underdark.   She immediately regretted her words, for the underground realm of the Drow held very painful memories for the half-Drow knight, and she may have just opened up a wound.  She glanced over at him, and he looked back at her with some of the frown fading as she smiled sweetly at him.   They didn't say a word and the moment was gone at once, but not before both Zeatt and Eioldth witnessed the silent interaction between them.   Zeatt raised her eyebrows and Eioldth laughed, causing both Aurei and Eleazar to turn to face forward, embarrassed.

"What are you two laughing about?"  Aurei asked, nervously blushing.

"I feel a touch of spring in the air."  Zeatt said wryly.

"Spring?   It's very crisp out here!" 

"Maybe it's just something you can't feel yet.   I come from warmer climates, so I'm more attuned to warmth.   I suspect soon enough you'll feel it too."  Zeatt glanced from her niece over to the very uncomfortable young knight, who looked around like a trapped rat.

Finally, he cleared his throat and addressed the three Elven ladies, "I think I'll scout ahead for a while, to make certain that the road is clear… Captain Vinth, would you like to accompany me?"

"Certainly, Sir Eleazar."  The Orc smirked, understanding the young Elf's discomfort and a moment later the two were riding ahead with two of the Orc guards.    Aurei watched them go feeling some strange and conflicting emotions.  

Eioldth leaned in near to Zeatt as Aurei stared off into the distance after the two captains, and in a soft voice said, "So she's…?"

Zeatt nodded, "Head over heels, it seems to me, though I'm certainly no expert on that.   She's never said anything to me about it, but it's obvious to even me.   It worries me, though, for he's a Blood Knight Captain and a Paladin under vows and for her it is merely puppy love."

Eioldth glanced back at Aurei, who was oblivious to their conversation as she stared off into the distance.

"I don't think so, Matron Zeatt, I think her feelings for him are stronger than that.   Not that this will make it easier, for you are right about that young man, I doubt he would betray his vows, even for your niece."

"She'll be heartbroken, the poor child!"

Eioldth smiled, "Maybe not, Matron Zeatt, it is my personal experience that love always finds a way, and I think it will this time too.   But first both of them have to accept that they have feelings for each other before anything else can occur, and right now I'd say neither one are willing to admit that."

 

***

 

Not far ahead of the Elven ladies, Sir Eleazar was engaged in a huge battle within his mind.   He simply had to leave; he had to get away from the girl that was causing him to lose his focus before it caused great harm to both of them.   He knew better then to respond to her flirts, for she was nearly a child, and was using him to learn the art of flirting.   Not that she meant to use him -- in fact he suspected that she didn't even know what she was doing.   After all, she had grown up in the midst of humans, so Elven adolescence was completely alien to her.   Never-the-less, she was greatly affecting him and that terrified him.   When he was around her, he found himself drawn to her like a moth to flame and it took all of his willpower to keep up the façade of aloofness around her.   

He couldn't sleep at night for thinking about her and what little sleep he managed was more frequently haunted by dreams of her.   Not a healthy situation for him.   He had to focus on his duties and responsibilities, and he couldn't do that when he wrestled with the angry bear of temptation.  

 

But the mere thought of leaving her and returning to Aeropolis made his mind violently rebel at the thought, and he knew there was no way he could leave.   Sooner or later, duty would demand it, and Yesh help him, he knew what he would do and how he would choose; all for a Drow girl.   A breathtakingly beautiful, charmingly sweet, girl.   He was smiling a somewhat silly looking lovesick grin when finally Captain Vinth broke the silence of their ride.

"She's quite lovely, isn't she?"

"Yeah, she is… wait, what?"

"The Duchess -- she's quite lovely."

"Oh… yeah, I guess."  He replied much too unconvincingly.

"It's different for Orcs, you know."

"What's different?  What are you talking about?"

"Most uncivilized Orcs just let their physical desire lead their minds.   They see a female and lust after her and if they are strong enough to defeat any other suitor, they take her.   Then they jealously guard her against any rivals.   Most of the females feel the strong instinct to have children, so they tend to pursue the males who seem to be the best candidates to sire strong children."

"Why are you telling me this?"  Eleazar asked, though he actually knew the reason.

"With civilized Orcs, it is somewhat different."  Vinth continued, ignoring the Elf's question, "Civilized Orcs try to win over the affections of a female by showing their strength, courage and intelligence, usually in battle or in the service of an army.   But for these Orcs, quite often strong bonds develop between the couple, and -- though few would admit it-- deep love.   It is because of the light of civilization helping them leave behind much of their savage ways.   With Elves -- even Drow-- it is different, Sir Eleazar.   Your race has centuries to court and woo and yet I've heard that among at least some of the surface races of Elves, they feel a strong pull toward a mate that is usually felt by the other side as well.   When this occurs, I have heard, this bond is harder than steel and so strong that often when one member of this couple dies, the other one soon joins them.   Have I heard right?"

Eleazar nodded uncomfortably, "Yes, I've heard of that in old Elven legends, but never for the Drow.   There is no love amongst the Drow; it is more like your uncivilized Orcs, only it is the females who select the males."

"I wonder, Sir Eleazar, if that is due to the environment of the Underdark?   Once removed from that environment, would Drow -- like Orcs that are civilized-- feel emotions differently then their brethren still living in the dark?"

Eleazar frowned, "What are you getting at, Captain Vinth?"

"Just this, Sir Knight -- you are half Drow and half surface Elf and you have spent a considerable time living on the surface.   Duchess Bugley is a Drow that has lived her whole life among humans.   I suspect that both your situation and Her Grace's situation would jumble up the way both of you feel."

"So you don't think we know what we feel?"

"I think you may be feeling something that you have never been taught how to handle."

"Such as?"

"That legendary Elven bonding."

"Preposterous!  The girl just has a silly crush, you know 'A knight in shining armor' sort of thing, nothing more." 

"What about you?   Don't you feel it too?"

"I… I don't know.   I've never really… I don't know."

"How long have you known her, Sir Eleazar?"

"Less than a year."

"Yet you both seem strongly drawn to each other."

"Like a moth to flame."

"Do you think you'll burn her, or she'll burn you, Sir?"

"Captain Vinth, I asked you to join me in scouting the area ahead, not delving into silly crushes."

The Orc bowed slightly in his saddle, "I apologize if I have offended you, Sir Eleazar.   I just noticed that you seem tormented."

"I'm fine, Captain.   Come, let's ride ahead and see what lies over that yonder hill."

With that said, the two, along with the Orc guards rode ahead in silence, though Eleazar mulled over the surprising wisdom from the Orc.

 

 



© 2014 Eddie Davis


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"...made the road somewhat easier to transverse." I think you were meaning to say traverse, rather than transverse.

What a delightful chapter. My heart was all a-flutter. Haha! I cannot wait to see how things unfold between Aurei and Eleazar.

Posted 10 Years Ago


Eddie Davis

10 Years Ago

Thanks, Elina, you are an amazing proofreader, Aurei and Eleazar have quite a story ahead of them.

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Added on November 5, 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