Pater Unfamiliarus

Pater Unfamiliarus

A Chapter by Eddie Davis
"

Rori encounters her father, but all is not as it seems.

"

32.

 

Pater Unfamiliarus

 

 

 

Aurei was greatly relieved upon hearing the vote, and left the tavern to tell the others.   They were standing together watching the army march past the city with their heads hanging low in shame as they passed.

The news of the agreement lifted the mood of the exhausted group, but Aurei noticed that Rori seemed distant and unaffected.   She pulled the girl aside and asked her if she was alright.

She nodded, completely unconvincingly.



“Rori, you are lying to me.   What is wrong?”   She again asked, and to her surprise, the girl began crying and would say nothing for a few minutes until she calmed her down.

“Sorry” she finally said softly, “I’m not handling it well.”

“What?   Do you mean all the devastation?  None of us are, Rori; we’re just trying our best to get through it.”

 

She looked down at her feet, “Yes, but it’s not that.   It’s… it’s my father; he’s one of the senators.”

 

“Oh Rori!” Aurei’s hands flew to her face in horror.   She’d forgotten that the girl’s father was a member of the Imperial senate.   “Did you speak to him?”

“No.” She whispered, fighting emotion again.

“Did he see you?”

“I’m sure he did.   He acted as if he didn’t have a clue who I was.”

“Oh Rori, I’m so sorry.   Are you sure he recognized you?   You may have changed a lot since he last saw you.”

“No, I’ve not changed so much that my father wouldn’t recognize me.”

“Perhaps he doesn’t know what to say to you.”

“He’s a secret member of the Necromancer’s Guild, Sir Alvis said.   Maybe he has found out that I know the truth about him.”

“Do you think that would make him act that way to you?”

“I don’t know… he was a proud man; proud of his social status and his family name… I really don’t know.”

“Do you want to go talk to him?   If you want to, I’ll go with you.”

“I… I don’t know, Duchess.  I’m… I-I think I’m… scared.”

 

Aurei patted the girl’s shoulder, “I don’t blame you, Rori.   Amazingly, I understand; I met my birth parents just a few days ago for the first time and they were Vampires.”

 

Rori smiled briefly at the similarity of the two events.

“Duchess, how did you handle it?   You were alone with them and didn’t know anything about them?”

 

“I just trusted in Yesh and let him carry me where he would.   I actually thought I would die when I teleported out with them.   But Yesh preserved me.  Do you want answers from your father? This might be your best chance to find out the reasons for everything.”

Rori thought about that for a short while.  

“I don’t think knowing why would really make much of a difference.  It wouldn’t change the past and if I am not important enough to him to speak to me, then I guess we really don’t have anything left to say.”

 

Their conversation was interrupted by the dismissal of the senators after they had signed the treaty with the King.   Since Sophia had chanted the teleportation spell so many times that her voice was strained, they decided to let the Senators stay the night in the ruined city, to give them a better appreciation for what had happened.  

 

The King arranged a meal for them, but quarters were tents on the ground or, if they were fortunate enough to find one, inside one of the few remaining homes.

 

 

As the Senators were rather meekly shuffling out of the tavern, Sir Alvis surprised everyone by suddenly coming forward and grabbing one of the senators by the arm and yanking him out of line.

 

When Rori saw him do this, she gasped and took a step backwards, for Alvis was roughly pushing her father toward them.   The girl unconsciously hid behind Aurei as they approached the astonished Duchess and her companions.

 

Alvis pushed the man down to the ground in front of Aurei, “This is Karlos Sanyala; it was his manor that the Necromancer’s Guild worked out of when they were in Aeropolis.”   He looked up at Rori who was peeking out from behind Aurei with a look of sheer horror on her face.

“Rori, is this man your father?”

 

The girl quickly nodded and Pectros moved over beside her, putting his arm around her as she trembled.

Alvis lifted up the Senator’s chin and looked into his face.   Karlos glanced back at him calmly and rather distantly, as if he felt complete nonchalance at what was occurring.

“You are Karlos Sanyala?”   Alvis growled at him.

“Yes.” He replied serenely, without even a hint of fear or worry.

“Do you not see your daughter standing here?”   Alvis snapped.

Karlos looked for a moment at Aurei and then at Rori; his expression was one of curiosity but unchanging when it passed from the Drow girl to the Sorceress.

“I don’t have any children.”  He said in a very sure tone.

“No children?” Aurei asked, stepping aside so he could see Rori, who was crying on Pectros’ shoulder.   “Your daughter Rori is right here!”

“I don’t have any children, nor am I married.”   He replied, looking Aurei squarely in the eyes, “You must be mistaken.”

“How could you say that?!”  Rori exclaimed, sobbing as she leaned against Pectros for support. “Why would you say such a thing?!”

Karlos glanced back at her, unaffected in any way by her emotion.

“I think you are mistaken, young lady.”

“Who are you?!”   Rori was nearly screaming, causing Pectros to gently pull her away from her father to calm her down.

The Senator turned back to Aurei, “I don’t know why that young lady thinks I am her father.”

“You are Karlos Sanyala?   The Imperial Senator?” Aurei verified, perplexed about the mystery.

“Yes to both of those questions.”

“And you are unmarried with no children?”

“Correct.”

“You live in a senatorial estate without any family?”

“Yes.” He replied, but his eyes were beginning to take on a distant look.

“How long have you been a senator?” Aurei pressed.

“I’ve been a senator for 17 years.”  Now his voice also seemed distracted and almost hollow.

“Who lives with you at your estate?”

He opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out; instead he made a sound like someone choking.

 

For a long moment he made the sound and Zeatt was making her way over to him when abruptly his pupils dilated and with what looked like a silent scream, he pitched forward to the ground, dead.   

“Yesh have mercy!”  Aurei jumped out of her Aunt’s way as she examined Karlos.

“He’s dead!”   The Matron Mother announced, and Rori fell into hysterics.   Pectros swooped her up and carried her quickly down the street to a partially damaged store that at least hid the sight of her father’s body.   Eioldth, Siris and Alis went with them to help calm the girl down.

 

Aurei and Sophia knelt down next to Zeatt who was scrutinizing the dead senator while Eleazar and Khord kept the other Senators that were leaving the tavern away.

 

“What in the world happened to him?”   Aurei whispered to her Aunt and cousin.

“I don’t know, but something seemed to be controlling him.   His mind seemed too distracted, like he was saying the proper things he was supposed to say, but not what he was really thinking.”

“So you think he was possessed?”  Sophia asked.

“It wasn’t demonic possession.   Aurei, did you sense any evil from him?”

“No, nothing.   But it seemed that when you began really questioning him, he grew more… distant, I guess I’d call it.”

“I noticed that too.”  Sophia commented, “You’d have thought he would have acted more nervous or even angry, but he looked like a person half-asleep.”

“Aunt Zeatt, what could have done that to him?   Was it the Guild?   Were they manipulating him the whole time?  Maybe that is how they got to use his estate �" maybe it wasn’t voluntary on his part and instead he was possessed.”

“Did he act odd when you teleported in to get him?”  The Matron asked her daughter and niece.

The two cousins shook their heads together.

“No, he was in bed, asleep, and when we touched him he awoke looking surprised, but we didn’t chat with him.   Eleazar covered his mouth, in case he tried to scream and we just teleported out.”

“Was he in bed alone?”

“I didn’t see anyone else; what about you, Aurei?”

“No, he was alone, and the room was extremely dark; he didn’t have the windows open and the room was rather warm.”

“I’d call that odd.”  Zeatt commented, “At least this time of year in Aeropolis.   Didn’t Rori mention her mother and some siblings?”

Aurei nodded, “Yeah, I think so.   But I’m certain he was alone.   Of course we really didn’t see anything but the bedroom, and then we were in and out very quickly.   I wasn’t thinking about whom he was at the time, or I might have looked around more.   I wonder if any of his fellow senators would know any recent changes in him?"

 

Zeatt stood up and went over to a group of the men, who stood glancing over Khord and Eleazar’s shoulders, trying to see what was going on.

“Senators, your colleague, Karlos Sanyala has suddenly died.”

The men looked surprised and hesitated to say something in response to Zeatt, from fear that perhaps the man had been killed.

Finally one of the other senators asked, “What happened to him?”

“We don’t know; we were questioning him about his involvement with the Necromancer’s Guild, and he made a choking sound and fell over dead.”

“He was involved with the Necromancer’s Guild?”

“His estate was their base in Aeropolis.”

 

The Senator that had spoken up was surprised at the news and glanced back at his fellow senators all who reflected his surprise and unease at the news.

“So his association with this guild is surprising to all of you?”

“We had no idea.”   Another of the Senators spoke up.   “He always voted as the rest of us did; against anything promoting or protecting the Necromancer’s Guild.”

“Have you noticed anything about his personality that seemed to change recently?”

The men again glanced to each other briefly and one of the others spoke, “A year or so ago he was greatly grieved at the disappearance of his daughter and it seems like not long after that he just withdrew into himself.   He never spoke much to anyone after that.”

The other senators seemed to agree with this summary and Zeatt was troubled.   “When he did speak to any of you, did he mention his family?   His wife or other children, maybe?”

They all shook their heads.   One senator spoke, “He never mentioned them after his daughter disappeared.  He kept to himself; we assumed it was grief for her, but he would only participate in official duties.   When there were social gatherings where all of us were invited, he would decline.”

 

“He’d never have guests at his estate, either.”  Another Senator added.

“Have any of you seen his wife or other family members since his daughter disappeared?”  Zeatt asked them and they responded with shakes of their heads.

“That doesn’t sound good.”  Sophia mumbled to Aurei as they listened to Zeatt talking to the Senators.

“No, it doesn’t; we need to see if his family is still alive at his estate.”   Aurei replied softly.

“I agree; we’ll have to get those other senators home first, then we can investigate his estate, but it will have to be tomorrow morning, as I can barely talk now.”

 

***

 

They moved the body of the Senator into the basement of the tavern and covered it, then spent some time caring for Rori.   Though she had been estranged from her father for a while, seeing him die before her eyes had nearly drove her mad.   At Eioldth’s suggestion, Sophia teleported Rori back to the Autumn Maid, along with the Queen, Alis, Siris and (at the King’s suggestion) Pectros.

 

Haroldris agreed with Aurei and Sophia’s idea to check out the Sanyala estate as soon as the other Senators were taken back to their homes.  

The group split up to escort the Senators to their overnight lodging and by the time they all had reassembled at the tavern, it was late.   The King requested that they all lodge aboard the Autumn Maid and Sophia cast one last teleportation spell for the day, her voice a mere whisper, but it worked and they arrived safely.

 

Rori had been placed into a gentle sleep by a spell Eioldth cast upon her, and she slept quietly in one of the cabins, with Alis sleeping in a chair nearby to attend to her if she woke up in the night upset.

 

The Autumn Maid’s quarters were not enough for everyone in the group, so several of them bunked in the airship’s great room that also served as the bridge.   Eleazar claimed a couch for both himself and Aurei and they lay there rather uncomfortably in their chainmail undersuits, too exhausted to even softly chat with each other.  

 

They dreamt together, selecting a familiar theme that they often revisited when they shared dreams; a quiet forest meadow with a tranquil bubbling brook running through it.  

Even in their dream they simply sat down by the brook, their feet dangling in the cold water and just listened to the forest sounds while their bodies relaxed.

 

 



© 2014 Eddie Davis


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Reviews

The first sentence seems a bit lengthy.
"You many have changed a lot..." I think you were wanting "may" rather than "many."
"Aurei jumped out of Aunt’s way as she examined Karlos.”" I think you're missing "her" before "aunt's?" Also, there is an extra quotation mark at the end of the sentence.

Posted 10 Years Ago


Eddie Davis

10 Years Ago

Thank you, as always, Elina.

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Added on January 28, 2014
Last Updated on April 15, 2014
Tags: Sorceress, Drow, Elf, Undead, Necromancer, relationships, Good versus evil, fantasy, magic

The Chronicles of Aurei Book 3: Bane of the Necromancers


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