Six

Six

A Chapter by Eddie Davis
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Gevin finds himself the prisoner of those seeking vengeance for his crimes.

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6.

 

 

‘Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.’     

--Soren Kierkegaard

 

 

Filthy chamber pot water splashed in his face, bringing his eyes open in disgusted surprise, to the roar of laughter from all around him.   He was hugging a large horizontal pole, his arms and legs tightly bound on the other side, as each end of the pole rested in two large stands.   Finding himself completely naked, he glanced around in horror and complete bewilderment.

“He’s awake now!” A sneering voice jeered and he could see he was in some sort of circular chamber made entirely of wood, a sort of small amphitheater with wooden benches encircling all around him except for a narrow entrance.   Someone from behind him came up and slapped him hard across the face.    His assailant wore metal gauntlets that cracked teeth and lips and cut his nose and cheeks.

“Does that hurt, half-blood?”  Someone called out, “You will feel pain far greater than that soon enough.”

He wanted to say something, to ask what had happened and the usual questions for someone placed in a surprising situation, but he was tied so tightly to the pole that he could barely breathe, so he only tried to glance around.

The faces were vague, hidden by the shadowy firelight of the round room, but he could see that they were soldiers of some sort, or perhaps knights.   But their armor seemed strange in design and their speech was marked by an accent that he could not place, though he knew he had heard it before.

Someone swept in from the narrow entrance, a man in deep green robes, and two other men, both wearing blood red robes followed him.

“He’s awake?”  The green robbed man asked the congregation and they answered affirmatively, so he slowly walked around until he was standing in front of him, with the red robed men flanking him on either side.    To Gevin’s ill ease, he noticed that the men in red wore hoods -also of red- that resembled those worn by the royal executioner of Greidour.   But he knew -somehow- this wasn’t any place in Greidour or any of the surrounding kingdoms.   

Suddenly, without any clue from any of his senses, he simply knew these men were not human men but Elves.   How he knew this didn’t concern him at the moment, but he was completely sure of their identity before the green robed man even spoke.

“My look at you, half-breed, you aren’t such a high-and-mighty knight now, are you?   You don’t even know why you’re here, do you?  I can see the look of a trapped rabbit in your eyes!   It took a lot of magic to snare you, half-breed and even more to keep your mind preoccupied while we brought you here.   It’s dawning on you who we are, isn’t it?   Your worst fears are realized, half-blood, this is the se mar a ’bhreitheanais, half human, and we are your judges and jury.”

Gevin’s mind reeled, trying desperately to connect anything that would explain why he was here.    Something wasn’t right, something was missing.   This wasn’t real.

“Oh, it’s real enough, half-breed, you can count on that.    What happens to you this night will not fade like a nightmare.    Do not mistake that you are dreaming.   Magic brought you to this hall of judgment and here you will be judged, sentenced and then taken out to be executed.    Let us begin.”

The green robed man turned to those seated in the chamber, “Brethren, before you, behold the stench of Greidour, the b*****d of the Black Duke, inflicted upon the body of our sister Princess Ileveil when he destroyed and torched our home in his service of the demonic human king, Corston.   She that was chaste and pure, the light of the forest, the song of all creation, thrown over the flank of a despoiler’s warhorse.”

He turned and indicated Gevin with his outstretched arm, “See the spawn of that unholy union, grown into an abomination of the purity of our race and the depravity of the human kind.    Ileveil imprisoned in the vile duke’s tower, raped and beaten, then quickened with child!  Denied her kindred, denied her homeland, denied her birthright, and denied her future!    Behold, brethren, the spoiled fruit of my late sister, who lives amongst the spoilers of the forest and serves as liegeman the descendant of the human filth which tore apart our land!   He that is known as Gevin, a knight of Corston VI, is brought before you today, brethren, for you to enact judgment and punishment for his crimes.”

The green robed Elf now theatrically turned and bowed, cupping his hand to an ear as if Gevin was speaking softly to him.

“Oh?  You ask what crimes are you charged with, half-blood?” He turned back to the assembly, “Here then!   First, you are an abomination of the nature of all things Elven, a vile mix-matching of pure Elven blood with the dark human ichors.   What do you ask, half-blood?  How could that crime fall upon you?   You stand guilty by knowing your taint but failing to remove yourself from the light of this world, or at the very least fleeing the evil of human society.    Instead, you live amongst those that killed Ileveil and serve faithfully a human king that has strove to cruelly seek out and destroy the remnant of our people.”

Again the Elf turned to him and dramatically knelt and brought his hand to his ear, again acting as if Gevin was speaking in his own defense, though all knew that he was bound too tightly to the wooden pole to do so.

“You protest that Ileveil killed herself?   Liar!   She who walked in the twilight of the silver trees bore you as a prisoner in total disgrace.    Could you not have died in her womb, half-blood?    But human seed always flourishes, corrupting that which knew no corruption.    She bore you, half-blood, beholding a baby of her flesh, but also of the flesh of her abuser, and the paradox tore at her tender nature!   Yet she knew when the Black Duke died and his vile soul was cast into the pits of the lowest hell, that she could not go back to her world, for all that she had known had been pillaged and destroyed.   As the land withered and died, so too did Ileveil.”

The green robed Elf brutally grabbed Gevin’s chin and yanked it up, “Brethren, see his face and the dark shadow of the devil that was his father upon him.   This too did fair Ileveil see in her b*****d child and any motherly affection turned to vile disgust and hatred of the spawn of he that destroyed all that she had cherished and held holy.”

The Elf squeezed his jaw as if trying to crush it in half, spit from his hate infused words splattering upon Gevin as he glared banefully down at him while bringing his indictment upon the prisoner.    

“I charge him guilty of murder of Ileveil!  Guilty by blood, guilty because he lived!   Guilty because his very existence tore at my fair sister’s tender heart and drove her, in sheer desperation and a righteous desire to rid the world of the abomination that she had been forced to birth, to sacrifice her immortal life in a gallant, but tragic attempt to kill herself and this maggot b*****d half-human!”

Gevin felt as if his jaw would crumble like chalk, but his accuser abruptly released him and paced in front of his fellows, speaking now in a more somber tone.

“Ah, but he lived, this spawn of a human, as all unnatural cancers thrive, succored by those who pillaged our fair land.   Did he flee those who enslaved his mother?   Did he curse the memory of his ruthless father?  No!   Behold, the King’s Champion of King Corston IV!   How many years, whelp, how many years have you served the human kings of the dynasty that destroyed all that was fair in the world?”

He paused for a moment, to let his words sink in to the minds of the other Elves gathered to judge him.   Then the green robed Elf continued.

“That alone is enough for his execution, but alas, brethren, there is more.   Recall Tamcia, my youngest daughter, pure of love of her people and fuelled by a hatred of humans no less intense than my own.   Tamcia, she who could so masterfully hide her hatred and infiltrate the governor’s court, gaining his trust until she was included in a delegation to attend the despot Corston’s installation of his namesake as Duke of Albsidhe.    She burned with indignation at the abomination of a human bearing the holy name of our lost kingdom.    So she valiantly maneuvered herself to gain access so as to kill the son of Corston and perhaps even the king as well.”

“But then she encountered the b*****d of the Black Duke, burning in perverse lust for her as his father had for dear Ileveil!   Yet she never wavered and even charmed the abomination to gain access to Corston’s spawn.”

The green robed Elf spun and pointed at Gevin’s head, “But what did this creature do but thwart her righteous mission!   Coming to the aid of the son of his vile master, this half-blood attacked Tamcia and threw her from a window, impaling her alive on an iron fence and watching her die!”

“My sister and my daughter, dear brethren, have died due to this abomination.    Their pure blood is on his vile hands.   Is there any doubt of his guilt?   Shall we need to hear his pathetic defense?”

“NO!” reverberated the chorus of outraged Elves from within the chamber.

“Shall he not die to pay for those who died because of him and the line of kings that he serves?”

“YES!” Again the voices roared in agreement.

“He must be extinguished from this world.    He has even dared to venture into the heart of the Great Forest, defiling it with his stench and filth!  Shall we not destroy him?  What sayeth the assembled?!”

“DEATH!  DEATH!  DEATH FOR HIM!”  Howled the jury all around him.  Gevin tried to speak, tried to free himself enough to say anything at all, but he could not move within the bounds and they were so enraged that they would not have heard him speak anyway.

Their rage burned for what seemed like forever, but when it finally did, it died down almost instantly.  The green robed Elf smiled smugly as he once again knelt beside Gevin and slowly shook his head.

“Ah, Sir Gevin, your judges have convicted you and sentenced you to immediate death.   Reflect on those whose lives were ruined and all the destruction and pain you have caused as you are led to your fate.    You eye the fire in this room?   Perhaps you are thinking we should roast you on a spit and let you burn to death?   Your stench would contaminate this sacred house.   No, your fate is something far more chilling, I’m afraid.”

He laughed cruelly, nodding to the two red hooded men flanking him.    Each approached Gevin, one positioning himself at one end of the horizontal pole and the other man at the other end.    Putting their shoulders under the pole, to Gevin’s amazement, they lifted it up off the brackets as if he was a pig about to be taken to a barbeque.  

Carried beneath the pole like a piece of tenderized meat, the two hooded men carried him with incredible ease, out of the assembly hall and out through a narrow doorway.

On the other side, a fierce howling wind buffeted him, sending an icy wind chilling his soul and revealing a large forest clearing surrounded by snow covered evergreens that swayed in the raging blizzard.   A strange eldritch glow highlighted another set of thick brackets that he knew as soon as he caught sight of them would be used to hold the pole he was tied to.    They were going to weather him, naked in the middle of the brutal winter storm.

He tried to scream, to flinch or flex his muscles; anything to get his executioners’ attention, but they moved with such a detached indifference that he wondered if they were actually living men.

With a harsh jolt that pulled fiercely at his joints, they set the pole in the heavy brackets, then turned and disappeared into the blizzard.

From somewhere in the storm, he could hear the voice of the green robed man speaking to him supernaturally clear and loud.

“Freeze, half-blood and feel all the warmth of the Elves who died due to your wicked life.   Feel your limbs lose their blood and rot, all alone, unwanted, unloved!  Die slowly and feel your worthless soul spin downward into the fiery pit of hell.   Abomination, you do not belong anywhere and now the world is rid of your filth!  Freeze, half-breed, Freeze…”  His voice seemed to merge into the brutal cold howl of the wind.    Terrified and helpless, Gevin somehow yelled, but his voice was lost in the raging blizzard.   Ice and snow began encasing him, his hands and feet stung from advancing frostbite and even the spit in his mouth was turning icy.

His eyes rolled around, unable to find anything in the eerie white glow of the storm.   Death approached and he looked up, lost in agony.

There above him was a woman’s face, huge against the sky, but that was not it at all, she was actually near him and he was looking up into her fair face.    She looked down at him with sad, soft pale blue eyes and an equally sad half smile on her pale pink lips.   Her rich blonde hair was pulled back from her face, revealing delicate, sharply pointed ears and he knew then that he was seeing his mother, who held him tightly against her chest.  

Yet there was no warmth from her body, though she looked down at him with loving eyes.   She was walking up a flight of circular stairs and hummed a tranquil lullaby as she ascended.   The tune lulled him, though something deep within him cried out a warning of something that was to come.

Out onto a stone platform they walked and he could hear the crash of water against rocks far below and the call of a bird.

Not just a bird, but the call of ravens.    He looked up at his mother and her eyes touched his gaze as she glanced benevolently down with maternal affection.   But as he stared up at her, her features suddenly became those of Tamcia and he tried to scream but an infant’s cry came from him.   He thought she would leap from the tower parapet with him in her arms, but she held him above her like someone about to throw a heavy stone, and with a great enraged scream that seemed to be that of a bird of prey, she flung him from her arms.  

He spun through the air; the sharp rocks and ocean rushing up to meet him as he heard the insane tinkling of her laughter.   Closer and closer the rocks came and then…

 

Something thick but soft covered him with a gentle thud.

He jerked himself awake, wild-eyed, scared and confused.   Orange firelight revealed the dim form of Applemint kneeling next to him, covering him with his own woolen cloak.  

“What…” he mumbled, his voice thick from the remnants of deep sleep.   She turned and smiled much as his mother had in the last part of the nightmare, but she didn’t say anything.   He realized that he was very, very cold and the warmth of the cloak was very welcome.   His head was on something soft, which he suddenly realized was the same empty leather canteen he’d given her to use as a pillow.

“Apple?”

“Shh!  It’s okay; you were shivering…” she tucked the cloak around his legs and he was about to ask her what she was going to do after giving him the cloak back, when she answered his question before he even asked.   The girl took the top part of the cloak, holding it behind her as she gently crawled onto his chest, pulling the cloak behind her.  

“What are you doing?”  He asked as she nestled down against his chest, the cloak wrapped around them both, with only the upper half of her head peeking from it.

“I’m keeping you warm, sir, and me as well.    You were having some sort of terrible nightmare and shivering like a trapped animal.   It’s alright, go back to sleep.”

“Apple, it’s not proper for you to-“

“Shh!” She silenced him, “I don’t really care right now, sir; who is going to see anyway?   I’m not too heavy am I?”

“No, not at all, but-“

“Shh!   Go to sleep and don’t have any more of those nightmares, please!”

“Apple-“

“Shh!” She hissed and laid her head against his chest in exactly the same way that Lyssa had done as a little girl.   The memory was so real that he found himself protectively curling his arms around her.    She adjusted slightly with a soft sigh and said nothing.   His thoughts rushed back to his timid little cousin, so scared of the dark and yet reassured with him holding her against the dangers in the night.  The same lullaby he’d heard in his nightmare returned to him.   It had been Lyssa’s favorite and he’d hummed it softly each night as she fell asleep safe in his arms.   

For the first time in many years, Gevin hummed the tune softly, the warmth of Applemint’s body against his own bringing back such a feeling of contentment and companionship that he fell into a peaceful slumber before he’d hummed the tune twice.

 

 



© 2020 Eddie Davis


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Added on November 15, 2020
Last Updated on November 15, 2020
Tags: Synomenia, Nihility_Gate, fantasy, elf, sword_and_sorcery, magic, knights, Halflings, Drow


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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