Peace

Peace

Status: Finished

Genre: Fantasy

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Fantasy

Summary

Ten years on from the Shadow Wars peace has seen Severine thrive under the continued leadership of King Titus. Alexander Tor’al has vanished into the footnotes of history while Nathan Drison has retired to the quiet life. For Brent T’elc, Chosen of Heironeous, life has also changed. No longer adventuring beyond the next horizon he has finally found peace in one location. Commander of an army and beloved leader in Land of Zealots he continues to walk the difficult path of Chosen. Yet Brent knows all to well how fickle finding peace can be. I have used the D&D religion of Heironeous and have done so only out of deep and abiding respect and love for it. I have written added my own analects and personality, but have tried to keep as honestly to some materials found in the D&D world as I can. This is, for legal purposes, a fanfiction under the Open Games Licence.

Summary

Ten years on from the Shadow Wars peace has seen Severine thrive under the continued leadership of King Titus. Alexander Tor’al has vanished into the footnotes of history while Nathan Drison has retired to the quiet life.

For Brent T’elc, Chosen of Heironeous, life has also changed. No longer adventuring beyond the next horizon he has finally found peace in one location. Commander of an army and beloved leader in Land of Zealots he continues to walk the difficult path of Chosen. Yet Brent knows all to well how fickle finding peace can be.


I have used the D&D religion of Heironeous and have done so only out of deep and abiding respect and love for it. I have written added my own analects and personality, but have tried to keep as honestly to some materials found in the D&D world as I can. This is, for legal purposes, a fanfiction under the Open Games Licence.

Chapter19 (v.1) - Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: October 28, 2016

Reads: 130

Comments: 1

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: October 28, 2016

A A A

A A A

CHAPTER NINETEEN

 

Fallen leaves swirled in lazy circles as the light wind sent them travelling through the courtyard. The sound of wood hitting wood, the cry of recruits practising strikes against straw-filled dummies, the constant hum of movement. Brent smiled in retrospect, surprised how after all these years he found as much comfort in being surrounded with folk wielding weapons and the art of war as he did in his garden. It was decisively his dearest friends’ influence. Unconsciously he lifted a gauntleted arm to block a backward strike by a falling cleric. Hearing the clang of wood hitting steel the cleric regathered his feet and spun around, his face horrified when he recognised the man he almost hit, but Brent had already moved on. His feet wandered between each area, pausing to guide and correct a stance here and there, listening in on Cadmur’s description of correct posture. For the umpteenth time he wondered if he’d one day remember all the slight variations each striking position had then dismissed it. He had enough to think about anyway.

 

Moving to where the more experienced warriors were he joined their bouts, swapping Truthbringer for a simple wooden sword. The smell of sweat, the heat and slickness inside his Armour, these were things of comfort and familiarity. A shout rang out and a burning pain erupted behind his right shoulder blade. Turning he blinked rapidly, feeling his heartbeat increase, and looked around. Men and women were shouting orders with rapid precision whilst others leapt to obey them. Brent’s eyes skimmed the walls, seeking the threat as he ordered his friends to fall back. He felt a light wooden shield pressed into his spare hand and lifted it without a thought. Another arrow appeared, splintering the wood, its black tipped metal blade barely scratching his chestplate. A cry went up and paladins surged towards the eastern corner. Three more arrows hit the ground in quick succession, glancing off his Armour before the unknown assailant was taken down.

 

Brent went to move forward but staggered. Caught by a fellow warrior, he felt a strong arm hook around his waist and guide him to the nearest stump. Sounds became muted and he looked around for the cause. He felt hands working at the Armour’s joints. He snorted knowing that they could not remove it and batted their hands away. Flicking his fingers over the familiar clasps he felt the shock of cold air blast his skin. A painful twinge erupted from his right shoulder reminding him of the damage. “What are you waiting for,” he questioned drowsily as the poison began to make its effects known. “Pull it out.”

 

The burning pain lasted no longer than it had to, Brent acknowledged at the back of his mind. A positive of living with those of Heironeous’ ilk, all could use the divine to heal. Searing divine energy sealed the wound moments later as Brent’s eyelids closed. He was jostled by other hands, grasping, pinching hands. He felt his face slapped and cold fingers thrust against his neck as his pulse was checked. Whispered words, a snarl of anger, and flame ignited from the arrow wound. He felt the burn course through his blood expelling the toxin that had invaded his system.

 

Moments later he blinked back into reality. Anxious faces encircled him. He gave them a crooked grin and clasped a nearby shoulder. Dragging himself to his feet he rasped, “You’re not rid of me today lads.” He looked around for those that had cast the spells that prevented his death. Clasping their hands he said, “You have my thanks. Your deeds will not be forgotten by me.” Straightening he ran a hand through his black hair and replaced his Armour. At the murmuring behind him over the vanished entry point he commented dismissively, “It repairs itself as soon as the object is removed.”

 

He walked with deliberate slowness, discretely testing out his ability to move. Gathering the broken shield still decorated with a piercing arrow, he covered the distance to where the guards had created a perimeter around his fallen assailant. Seeing the Chosen folk gave way. Within the circle he saw Jules and William inspecting the body. Kneeling beside the high cleric, Brent asked, “Who struck the blow that killed her?” William grunted and shook his head, his hands moving with precision to ascertain the facts. “Poisoned herself,” supplied Jules glancing across at him. “See?” Turning the body over for his inspection Brent let out a low hiss of surprise. Beneath the dark green cloak was an elven woman in non-descript attire.  Her limbs were rigid and pink-flecked foam was drying around her lips. A belt with several pouches connected to it caught his attention. “May I?” Jules nodded and, unclasping the belt, handed it to him. Standing Brent moved several paces towards better light before inspecting the leather. He caught the whiff of oatmeal and steel, of soot and ash, as well as damp paper. Eyeing the stitching he almost cursed himself for being so thick. Leather on an elf.

 

“Check her wrists,” he ordered softly without looking up. He heard material shifting and a pause. “Nothing, Sir.” Brent continued to peer at the belt. Retrieving the broken shield from his side he carefully lifted the arrow to his nose and inhaled. A similar smell. So her arrows weren’t pre-coated meaning the poison wasn’t long lived or highly dangerous in nature. Likely both, he conceived silently.

 

“Sir?”

Brent stirred from his musings. “Sir, it’s not on her wrist but come look at this.” Having pulled back her long sleeved garment to her elbow a pink mark had been uncovered. “She was branded,” hazard Jules.

“Or it was used to hide whatever was under there before,” offered a bystander moving closer. The youth picked up her discarded bow and handed it to Jules. “Elven warriors don’t train with short bows.”

“Nor have leather items,” added Brent. “A renegade?”

“Bloody likely,” agreed Jules rubbing his chin in thought. William cursed loudly. “Dragon’s blood. That’s what she used.” The men looked at Brent in askance. He shrugged. “Your guess is as good as mine. I have no grief with Ives Territory nor its Green Dragon.’ Standing Jules dusted off his knees.

“I’ll take her body away and see if we can ascertain anything else that might help.”

“I’ll send over the few experts I have on toxins and Elven culture,” offered the high cleric. “As for you, Chosen,” he continued with a worried look on his face, “go rest.”

 

 

 

“Brent! Brent!” A loud commotion occurred outside his door. Lifting his head from where it rested in his bathtub, Brent looked across the room. The heavy wooden door opened and closed moments later when a panicked looking young man entered the room, his eyes wide with fear. Spotting the paladin he moved swiftly to his side and knelt by the bathtub. “Brent!” he hissed, green eyes searching his. “I heard-” Brent gave him a crooked smile and sat up. “I’m ok, Patrick,” he reassured him touching his head lightly. “They said there was an assassin, that you were injured,” rambled Patrick gripping his hand and holding it to his cheek. “I’m ok,” repeated Brent softly. Tears of relief pricked Patrick’s eyes. He felt his lover’s hand clasp the back of his head and moved willingly into his tender kiss. “I will not leave you that easily,” promised Brent, their foreheads resting against one another’s. “But what-” worried Patrick biting his lower lip. “Don’t,” warned Brent with a small shake of his head. “Don’t think about ‘what ifs’, my love. Know that I am safe and so are you.” Releasing his hold Brent lay back in the bathtub and watched him with hooded eyes.

 

Nodding slowly Patrick stood up and made his way over to their communal cabinet. Pulling out a bottle of wine he popped the top and took a swig before turning around and resting his back against the bench. Eyeing the bathing paladin he took another sip. Recognising his partner’s emotional state Brent kept a discreet eye upon him while he finished his bath. Standing he dried off and wrapped the towel around his waist. Grabbing a second towel for his hair he rubbed it vigorously back and forth until damp locks clung to his head.

 

Feeling eyes upon him still he looked over his shoulder at his manservant. “See,” he explained pointing to the new small scar on his right shoulder blade, “no wound.” He saw Patrick’s frown and smirked slightly. Dropping the towel he rested his hands on his hips and turned to face him. “I think it’s safe to say I’m still in the prime of my life, Patrick.” Stretching out a hand he said imperiously, “Come here.” Disgruntled Patrick took another swig and eyed him suspiciously when he set it down. The smirk on Brent’s face increased and he lifted an eyebrow while he waited. “Fine,” growled Patrick crossing the floor and taking the proffered hand.

 

Leading him to the bed he pulled Patrick close, lips capturing his in a hungry kiss. At first he felt Patrick clamp his lips shut, his head turned stubbornly away. Undeterred Brent chuckled darkly as he began to nip and suck each tender inch of skin along Patrick’s collarbone to the gap beneath his earlobe. Mere moments passed before he felt a shiver travel through his lover’s body. Arms encompassing him, his hands drew large circles on his lower back before grabbing his backside and grinding Patrick against him. “You are mine,” he murmured by his ear, his teeth tugging lightly on his earlobe. “But you could-” whispered Patrick.

“Mine!” hissed Brent slipping one hand into Patrick’s trousers to pull his shirt free. “You are my dear, sweet siren,” he continued between kisses, his fingers making short work on Patrick’s belt, “and no one is taking me away from you.”

 

Turning his head Patrick caught his lips, kissing him soundly. Their tongues vying for dominance, the green eyed siren struggled out of his trousers, growling with frustration when they caught on his boots. Breaking the kiss Brent looked down and laughed merrily. “Let me take care of that,” he offered tugging Patrick down to sit on the edge of the bed while he knelt at his feet. Taking one foot and then the other in hand, he quickly untied the laces and freed his feet of boots, socks and crumpled trousers.

 

Gazing up at him Brent paused a moment, lost in the lovely vision before his eyes. Long supple legs with thighs he couldn’t wait to kiss, the loose shirt that hid his torso but teased his imagination with every deep breath Patrick took. The hint of dark nipples brushing against the material made his tongue unconsciously flick out to wet his lips as he imagined catching them between his teeth, rolling them between his forefinger and thumb, hearing Patrick’s wanton moans beneath him. His neck, red and swollen on one side where his lips had already ravished him, stook in stark contrast to the pale unblemished skin on the other side. Lips ruby in colour and marked by earlier kisses. The vulnerable look in his emerald eyes. “Those eyes,” whispered Brent. Patrick tilted his head and looked at him quizzically. “Give me a thousand years,” he murmured softly, “and I would still beg for more.”

“Lover?”

 

Shaking himself Brent flushed crimson. All business he placed his hands on Patrick’s shoulders and pushed him back on the bed. “Back you go. You don’t get to watch this next part.” Patrick laughed and shook his head, lifting himself on his elbows so that he could just see over the edge of the bed. “Is that so?” Brent gave him a winning smile and ducked between his open knees. Stroking his inner thighs Brent said conversationally, “You know Patrick, whenever one has a brush with death, one’s libido goes on the warpath.” His fingers brushed over Patrick’s sack. He felt Patrick jump and grinned as his lips began to lick and suck their way up his inner thigh. “S-sounds terrible,” observed Patrick watching him inch closer to his groin. Brent’s fingers wrapped around his cock and began to slowly stroke it, pulling his whole length then rubbing his thumb over the swelling head. “Oh indeed,” agreed Brent starting by his other knee and working his lips closer.

 

“Wh-what might be done to ease this, ah, problem?” Patrick asked spreading his legs wider as the dark haired man between his legs brushed against the underside of his cock once again. “Oh,” murmured Brent tugging lightly on his sack with one hand while continuing to massage his cock with the other. “A tasty cock to suck might be a start.” Patrick grinned wildly and lifted his hips invitingly. “I don’t see a problem with that.”

 

Brent bent his head, his hot breath wafting over the swollen cock as his hands still. “Oh but there is,” said Brent pausing and leaning back. Patrick pursed his lips in annoyance. “What?” Licking a finger Brent rubbed the pad over the over tip of his cock teasingly. “If that someone’s lover doesn’t trust them to survive, how will they know they’ll stay faithful?” Patrick growled and moved to grab his hand but stopped at the small shake of Brent’s head. “If the big idiot would realise,” Patrick panted, “that it’s because he loves him maybe he won’t tease his lover so much?” Brent smiled warmly at him. “Lie back then.” Grumbling Patrick did as he was told.

 

The moment his back hit the sheet warmth enveloped his cock. A loud groan escaped his lips as liquid heat pulsed up and down his length. Threading his fingers through Brent’s hair he heard him echo his groan, the vibration making his cock twitch. “More, more,” he gasped. Sucking in his cheeks, Brent bobbed his head along his length, his tongue moving in concentrated circles on his shaft. When Patrick began to buck his hips off the bed Brent lifted his knees over his shoulders. With difficulty he wet his finger and quickly slipped it between Patrick’s arse cheeks before he could respond, seeking out his hole. “What the-?” gasped his lover before a keening moan took over when Brent pressed his finger into his hole and flicked it back and forth. Feeling Patrick’s sack tense Brent took a deep breath and sucked hard, his finger thrusting deep into his lover as he howled in bliss. It took but a few more thrusts of his finger and mouth before Patrick lost control and came hotly in his lover’s mouth.

 

When Patrick began to soften Brent lapped his remaining seed and delicately pulled his finger and mouth away from his lover. Stepping back he wiped his hand clean and eyed the beautiful sight of Patrick half-passed out on his mattress. Patrick must have been aware of his gaze because a small smile appeared on his lips. “You’re next old man,” came the droll comment. Glancing down at himself Brent was surprised at how aroused he had become without a touch. 

 

Crawling onto the bed, Brent positioned himself above Patrick’s head. Kneeling with his knees just beneath Patrick’s armpits, he looked down at his young lover. “Really think you can handle this huge thing?” he teased gripping his cock and giving it a few tugs. “I’d rather handle it in my arse,” replied Patrick with a cheeky grin, “but I’ll swallow it too.” Leaning over Brent lined up his cock with Patrick’s awaiting mouth and moaned loudly when he felt soft lips caress it.

 

Within minutes his legs shook with the strain of keeping still, the pliant warmth that teased his length destroying any train of thought beyond the need for release. Hands caressed his back, his arse, kneading and drawing circles. “Gods damn it, Patrick!” Brent hissed, dropping his head to the mattress, trying to maintain some sense of control. “I want, I want-” he groaned, his hips moving involuntarily to thrust into Patrick’s willing mouth. He felt an answering grip on his backside, an incessant pull-push. Tears of relief stung his eyes as he let the iron grip of his will fall away and he began fucking the beautiful mouth that was pleasuring him.

 

Heart racing, sweat coating his back he strained against the desire for release and to keep going. Recognising the loosing battle Brent pulled back and grabbed the base of his cock. Kneeling above his lover he let himself cum all over his face, watching as Patrick opened his mouth to catch it on his tongue. “Oh gods,” gasped Brent jerking the last few drops from his cock. “Patrick, how could you?” Blinking open his eyes the green eyed siren grinned and licked his lips. “You taste divine so how could I not?” Flushing Brent fell to his side, panting and exhausted for the moment, watching as Patrick cleaned himself up. “Come here,” he called softly and smiled when Patrick happily slipped into his arms and rested his head on Brent’s chest. “Now this,” he heard Patrick comment sleepily, “is a place a man could get used to sleeping.”

 

 

Sleep came easily but it was not long before Patrick stirred from his slumber. Blinking tired eyes open he queried his lover’s name whilst reaching out for him. Beside him on the mattress lay Brent, breathing hard, his muscles strained, still stuck within a dream. “Oh gods not again,” muttered Patrick pulling back the blanket and turning on a nearby flameless torch. “Brent,” he growled shaking his arm. “Wake up. You’re having a nightmare.”

 

Gasping Brent woke, lifting slightly from the bed before falling back amidst the pillows. Panting and wide-eyed he looked around the familiar setting then blanched upon sighting his lover. “Patrick,” he stammered struggling to sit up, “what are you doing in my bed?” Patrick’s frown intensified. Crossing his arms he replied scathingly, “Oh you know, the usual. Just getting fucked up the arse by a sexless man parading about as a paladin.” Brent visibly cringed and covered his mouth to prevent himself gagging. “What, what did you say?” Patrick rolled his eyes and put his hands on his hips. “Gods damn it, Brent! What in the hells were you dreaming about this time?”

“I, I,” Brent looked every way but at the man in his bed. Breathing heavily he turned away from Patrick and slipped his legs over the side of the bed. Covering his face with his hands he tried to slow his breathing.

 

Seeing his distress Patrick’s heart softened. “Brent?” he murmured crawling closer. Kneeling behind him he slipped his arms around his broad chest and kissed his collarbone. “My love, speak to me.”

“Did, did I?” hazard Brent in a shaky voice.

“Did you what, lover?” soothed Patrick holding him close.

“Did I fuck you?”

 

Patrick grinned a little and kissed the side of his neck. He could feel Brent’s rapid pulse. “Not for my want of trying,” he reassured him. “Although I think I still have some of your seed on my cheek. Awfully sticky.”  Brent swallowed and nodded slowly, taking the information on board. His voice lowered as he asked, “Was I being false?” Patrick frowned in confusion then shook his head.

“It’s just been the two of us here, love. No one else.”

 

Dropping his hands Brent took one of Patrick’s in his own, kissed it and held it to his shoulder. “I need to get some air,” he announced disentangling himself and reaching for his trousers. Patrick watched him for several moments then, grasping the sheet around himself, stood and blocked the door. “Wait, Brent. You need to talk about this.” The paladin flashed him a cold smile that didn’t reach his eyes.

“I think you’ll find that I don’t.” Brushing him aside he unlocked the door.

“You go out there and I’ll follow,” warned Patrick. Brent snorted with derision.

“By the time you’re dressed you won’t find me.”

 

Exiting the room Brent headed south down the corridor to the stairwell. Moments later he heard the unexpected sound of bare feet tapping along the cold stone floor. “You do remember there was an assassin here earlier today?” hissed Patrick gripping the sheet tighter to his body so that he wouldn’t trip. Brent barked and replied, “You do know it’s night time and you’re walking around in bed cloths?”

“Then let’s go back to our rooms and discuss this like adults,” suggested the young man. “My rooms,” corrected Brent automatically. Patrick rolled his eyes.

“Back to that, are we?” Slowing his pace Brent paused and half-turned to his companion. “Force of habit,” he apologised quietly. “Our quarters.”

 

Reaching the rooftop Brent let out a sigh of relief. He made his way over to the inner turrets that looked out over the training grounds within the Keep itself. “I can’t keep going on like this,” he grumbled.

“How often does it happen?” asked Patrick. Brent shrugged.

“Used to be bad. Got over it. Barely had them for years. Now?” he glanced at his companion. “More often than I’d like to admit.”

“Care to tell me about it?”

“No.”

 

Patrick sighed and wiggled closer so that his leg and hip pressed against the unwilling paladin’s. “Remember the first day I got here?” Brent glanced down at what he was doing and cracked a brief smile. “Hussy.”

“Religious prude.” They both smiled at one another. Then the smile on Brent’s face faded. “Don’t take this the wrong way, Patrick,” he began. He saw his companion tense, his jaw jut out, and he sighed. “Go on,” Patrick urged when he faltered.

“It’s just,” Brent searched for the right words and came up short. “You’re the best and worst thing that could have happened to me right now.” He laid a protective hand on Patrick’s arm and squeezed it tightly. “Don’t ever think I want this to end – I don’t – I thought it would take some time but it doesn’t seem, well, enough.”

 

Confused Patrick shook his head. “I don’t understand what you mean. Brent, can’t we just go back to our rooms? Talk there? In private.” Brent shook his head.

“I can’t risk the spell in my room with you there.” Patrick froze when the words sank in. “You mean,” he growled gripping his upper arm and forcing Brent to face him, “that you don’t want to be honest with me?” But Brent shook his head.

“I don’t want to tell you about my nightmares. If we were there, you’d ask, I’d speak and you’d be able to put together too many dots to paint a picture. No just, leave it alone, will you?”

 

The fire in Patrick’s eyes was the only warning Brent had. The sting in his right cheek burned and caused his eyes to water slightly. “You slapped me,” Brent whispered in shock. Patrick’s hand met his other cheek. “Damn straight!” he hissed. “And I’m going to keep slapping you til you tell me what’s so gods-damned wrong because nothing else has worked and I’m tired and frozen and outside in the middle of the night in a blasted sheet on top of a freakin’ castle!”

 

Snatching the raised wrist Brent stared him down in silence. “Finished?”

“If you tell me what’s going on,” came the sulky reply. Pulling the resistant man to his chest Brent sighed and hugged him close. “These nightmares that plague me won’t stop me loving you, being with you, Patrick. They come from a time in my life when I was young and very much in love.” He felt Patrick lean back and met his open gaze.

“Then why the theatrics?”  Brent shrugged with embarrassment.

“Been told that all my life. Doubt it’ll stop me now.” He saw Patrick’s frown of annoyance and sighed. “It’s part of my old life, Patrick. Let it stay there, in the past.” Patrick shook his head and leant into the warmth of his embrace. “It seems determined to interfere with the present.”

 

Listening to the steady rhythm of his heart Patrick said softly, “Tell me one thing, honestly and wholly, and I’ll drop this.”

“Permanently?”

“For a month.” Brent grimaced.

“Is that the best I can hope for?” Patrick gave him a rueful grin.

“I could make it two weeks instead.”

“Fine, fine. But I might refuse too.”

“If these memories come from a time when you were in love, why are they causing you nightmares?”

“Not all love stories are happy ones, Patrick.”

“What? Did she die?”

Brent hesitated. “No Patrick. He didn’t. Not then.”

“Then what?”

 

Ah, the crux of the matter, thought Brent. Well why shouldn’t I tell him? Denying the evident damage it’s done to me hasn’t helped matters. He glanced down at the sweet man in his arms. And at least then he won’t think he’s the cause of it.

 

“I was abused.”


© Copyright 2017 Justin Fyld. All rights reserved.

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