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.

Chapter27 (v.1) - Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: November 05, 2016

Reads: 127

Comments: 1

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: November 05, 2016

A A A

A A A

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

 

The days continued to shorten as the middle of winter fast approached. Around him Patrick saw many folk busily preparing meals, preserving food and creating gifts. Normally he would of spoken to Brent about the strange things he had observed but each day after training he would vanish into the library not to be disturbed. At first Patrick had tried to entice Brent out, almost to the point where it had become a game to see how quickly he could get a reaction out of him. However the coolness of Brent’s displeasure quickly culled any desire to continue this pursuit. Instead Patrick found himself accosted every afternoon by a large burly paladin who would drag him out into the cold of the training ground to work on his defence skills.

 

Having tasted dirt flavoured snow for the ninth time that day Patrick stood up and dusted himself off. “That’s it! I can’t do this anymore.” Cadmur folded his arms across his chest and stared at him. Patrick shook his head and glared at the wooden practise dagger sitting innocently in the snow. “My hands are cold, my fingers numb.” He readjusted his shirt and growled, “And now I’m soaking wet.” His instructor continued to stare at him blandly. “Pick it up.”

“No.”

 

Cadmur shrugged. “Suit yourself.” Patrick crossed his arms over his chest and massaged his frozen arms while the paladin approached. “Cadmur, how-” he began but stopped when he was roughly grabbed from behind and held tightly against his instructor’s chest. Placing the practise dagger at his neck Cadmur said calmly, “You think cold or discomfort will stop someone from killing you, Patrick?” He pressed the dagger into his neck for a moment then released him. While his student clasped his neck and coughed he added, “It won’t. Nor will your refusal or inability to fight.” Green eyes glared back defiantly. Cadmur gestured to the fallen dagger. When Patrick retrieved it he nodded in approval. “Now. Try again.”

 

 

 

Several bruises and many claims of frostbite later Patrick’s lesson was over. Having retreated to the communal bathing rooms Patrick soaked his aching body in the hot water. Nearby his instructor lounged about as well. “Cadmur,” he called, “can I ask you a question?”

“It’s your right elbow. Keep it in and you won’t overbalance,” came the gruff reply. Patrick rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Not about the damn lesson.” The older paladin looked at him. “I noticed them dragging a large tree into the Keep earlier. What’s up with that?”

“Newmass,” came the short reply. Patrick shrugged.

“What’s that?”

“Eh? Oh Newmass is the celebration of reflection.” Seeing the young man’s blank expression Cadmur frowned. “Heironeans have four main festivals each year; Valormight, Newmass, Fortnight’s Feast and Justday. Each focus on bringing us to a deeper understanding of lore and self.”

“So does that mean there’s going to be fights and drinking like at Fortnight’s Feast?” asked Patrick. Cadmur shook his head. “Singing, drinking red wine in moderation and tasting good meat. It’s a time to reflect on the year past, see how we measure up and make plans for the next four seasons.”

“Ok. Thanks,” said Patrick stretching his toes under the water. Climbing out of the water he grabbed his towel and quickly dried off. “Same time tomorrow?” Cadmur nodded. Once dressed, Patrick took his leave.

 

 

 

Adjusting where he sat in his seat Brent pursed his lips and tried to focus on the task at hand. The letter to Hote’s daughter in gratitude was not going to write itself. Picking up the stylus Brent sucked in a sharp breath. “More,” he whispered. “Just like that.” Beneath his worktable came a muffled chuckled. The pure heaven of Patrick’s tongue sliding along the length of his member caused him to let out a low groan. “Remind me again why I agreed to this idea?” Patrick poked his head out from between his knees. “Incentive to keep your letter short. I’m not picking up any more scrunched up letters with flowery phrases. This ends tonight.” Looking down at his tormenting siren Brent smiled broadly. “In you, I hope.” Patrick grinned back.

“You better believe it. Now write!”

 

Several minutes passed wherein Brent completed the majority of his letter before lowering the stylus and gripping the underside of the table. “Just wait til I-” There was a knock on the door. “Damn!” hissed Brent pushing Patrick off and pulling his chair right under the table. Focusing he schooled his face into a mask befitting a leader completing serious work, rather than a man enjoying being pleasured by another. “Enter,” he called and made a show of reading the letter before him.

 

“Sir?” The head of a young paladin poked out from the doorway. Without looking Brent lifted a hand and waved him closer. Beneath the table he felt Patrick’s fingers trace faint lines on the inside of his thighs. Brent tried to focus on the soft footfalls of his guest. Hearing them cease he fixed the youth with a gaze designed to instil a sense of interruption. “Ah! Dominic’s little brother. How goes your training? ” The youth smiled. “Michael Philis, Sir,” he reminded his superior politely. “Better since our trip through the forest.”

 

Lowering the letter Brent placed his forearms on the workbench and waited. The youth blinked and stammered, “I was to deliver a letter.” Brent cleared his throat loudly, barely able to contain a groan when Patrick unexpectedly swallowed him whole. Seeing the look of discomfort on Michael’s face Brent relaxed his frown. “The letter?” he enquired tersely.

 

“Oh, right.” Michael pulled the white envelope from his satchel and handed it to him. Brent cocked his head to the side and ran a finger over the red edging as he read the address. A sharp intake of breath and a clenched jaw escaped his control when Patrick’s tongue caused the lower half of his body to catch fire. “You recognise it, Sir?” asked the youth with a concerned look. Closing his eyes Brent grunted, his seed flooding into the mouth of the wicked siren hidden below. Barely registering the question Brent nodded. Gathering himself swiftly he opened his eyes and said, “Thank you for delivering this, Errant. You may go now.” He watched with relief when Michael bowed swiftly and left the room.

 

Leaning back he looked at the happy man kneeling before him. “All clear,” he announced with relief. Patrick chuckled and licked his lips. “Apparently you can keep up a conversation – albeit a broken one – while I suck you off. Perhaps we should try this again when Hotes next comes to visit?” Brent’s eyes nearly popped out of his head as he quickly fixed his trousers. “Patrick!” he admonished, his face aflame. “That’s scandalous!” The young man winked and crawled out from under the workbench. Standing he stretched. “That’s what you pay me for,” he teased. Brent rolled his eyes and stood. Grabbing Patrick’s belt he pulled him close. “I would,” he said gripping Patrick’s backside and squeezing it suggestively, “take you to bed and make love to you but it seems you have a letter.”

 

Patrick blinked in surprise. “Me? I never get letters.” Together they looked at the envelope resting on the desk. Frowning Patrick picked it up and turned it over. “No return address,” he muttered. Brent moved behind him and kissed the hollow of his neck. Wrapping his arms around Patrick he rested his head on his shoulder. “Likely one of your many admirers. An old lover perhaps?” he mused while Patrick cracked the seal. He felt Patrick stiffen when he opened the folded letter. Giving him a tight squeeze he released him and moved away. 

 

Surreptitiously he watched Patrick move to the seat by the window and sit, his eyes never leaving the letter in his hands. He waited several minutes before approaching. Bending down he kissed his hair. “You okay?” Patrick looked woodenly down at the letter and shook his head. “May I?” Brent asked gesturing to the letter. Taking it he swiftly read over its contents. Handing it back he knelt by his lover. “You have to go,” he said without preamble. Patrick nodded. “You had no idea?”

“She said she had a cough last time she wrote.” Brent raised Patrick’s hand to his lips and kissed it. “I have never attempted planar travel. What do you need?” Patrick stood and walked into his private room. Returning moments later he handed Brent an amulet. “It’s an Amulet of the Planes,” he explained in a subdued voice. “My mother gave it to me before I left home.”

 

“When will you leave?”

Patrick shrugged. “I don’t know. Time passes differently here.” He looked lost. Kissing his forehead Brent whispered, “The sooner you leave the sooner you’ll be with her.” Suddenly Patrick gripped his hand and pulled it to his chest.

“You’re coming with me, right?” Sorrow filled Brent’s face and he shook his head. “While I would dearly love to meet your mother and support you through this, I cannot.”

“It’s your precious Newmass keeping you here, isn’t it Chosen?” spat Patrick, hurt colouring his voice. Quietly Brent shook his head. “I’m a veteran of the Shadow Wars, my dear. I cannot travel beyond my plane.” Patrick’s head dropped. Brent pulled him into a one armed hug. “I’m scared,” whispered Patrick. “What if I can’t help her?” Brent rubbed his back and whispered,

“That’s not your concern, Patrick. She’s not calling to you as a healer but as her son. Go to her. Be with her. Share stories and listen to the wisdom she wishes to impart. She may rally yet. Don’t loose hope.” Sniffing Patrick straightened and wiped his nose. “I’d better get packing.”

 

Brent watched as Patrick moved around their chambers preparing for his journey. Within the hour he emerged, backpack over his shoulder and his face washed. “Before you go,” said Brent standing and holding out a wrapped item, “I have something for you.” Patrick looked at him strangely. “It’s a fortnight early, I know, but I want you to have it before you go. To remember me.” Patrick gave him a small smile.

“You think I could forget you?” Brent returned his smile and gestured for him to open it. Unwrapping the fine blue material Patrick discovered a leather scabbard complete with metal locket and chape, inscribed with Brent’s personal signet. Taking it from his hands Brent helped him slip it onto his belt. “If you return to Severine and it is not here, head to the nearest metropolis and show them that,” Brent instructed quickly. “They’ll see you safely returned to me.”

 

“It feels strange,” commented Patrick. Brent flashed him a quick grin and replied,

“That’s because I haven’t given you the rest of your gift yet.” Walking over to his bedside table he pulled out another wrapped item. Returning to his side he hesitated before presenting it to him. “This is not a toy, nor one with which to practise,” he cautioned. Removing the cover he revealed a well-balanced steel dagger. Patrick reached out and ran his fingers over the smooth oiled leather grip on the hilt. Lifting the blade to his eyes he read the brief inscription and gave Brent a wry grin. “Mine. Really?” Taking it from him Brent slid it home and nodded.

“Mine. That’s what you are, as much as I am yours.” He held his eyes before pulling him into a tight embrace. “Stay with your family,” murmured Brent. “But once she is well, hurry home.” Patrick kissed his cheek and hugged him back tightly.

“I will,” he vowed softly.

 

Sharing a final kiss, Brent stepped back. No more words were needed. Lifting the amulet Patrick spoke the incantation to help him reach the necessary location. A swirling vortex opened before him and he stepped through. Seconds later it vanished. Swallowing Brent wiped away the moisture that threatened to escape his eyes.

 

When he went to bed that night he opened the box containing his most precious items and withdrew a black lock of hair. Touching it to his cheek he whispered goodnight to the small reminder he held of his lover before turning out the light and drifting off to sleep.

 

 

 

Newmass arrived and there had been no word from Patrick. Brent threw himself into preparations for the festival, from decorations to ensuring food was set aside for the poor. Having listened to the sermons, sung the traditional battle hymns and shared in a hearty meal with various members of his Keep, he made his way through those gathered to the chapel on the third storey. Finding it blessedly quiet after the humdrum of activity below, he found a place to sit and stared in contemplation at a tapestry depicting Heironeous standing in a deifying light surrounded by cheering common folk.

 

The peace and stillness of the room helped him relax, his shoulders loosen and his alertness drop. Without meaning to, he found himself coming to stand before the tapestry. Falling to his knees he closed his eyes and submitted himself to his vigil.

 

 

 

Time passed. How long he did not know. His legs had gone numb hours ago and the quiet beating of his heart became the pattern of his thoughts. Within his mind’s eye a hand touched his shoulder.  “My son,” the Voice spoke with possession. The paladin beamed with pride and bowed his head with humbleness. “Lord Heironeous,” he greeted. “How may I serve You?” An image appeared in his mind. Trees and a creek that ran lazily passed a small village. He recognised it as a small outpost within the Land of Zealots. “My brother is about. The north is stirring.” The paladin nodded and found himself walking beside his god. “Shall I go, Invincible?” offered the paladin yet Heironeous shook His head. “Not yet, My Chosen. Soon.”

 

The image changed to the grass planes of the north. The wind whipped the tall grasses yet touched them not. “What is this feeling that you have been focusing on?” questioned the deity. The paladin blinked. “My lord?”

“I experience humanity through My worshippers, Alex. I have felt many emotions, endured pain unimaginable as well as deep joy. Yet yours is unique in its singularity.” The paladin flushed. “I am unsure as to which emotion you mean, my Lord. When do you sense it from me?”

“When you are with your lover.” His colouring darkened further and he stammered a reply. “You know I seek comfort in the arms of another male, Invincible.” Heironeous chuckled. “You are not the first to do this, Alex. Nor are sex and passion as distant an experience for Me as once they were.”

 

The landscape shifted to the battlements at Cyndr’s Hold. Below them a woman with flaming hair stood at the forefront of a platoon relaying orders. The paladin cocked his head to the side and stared at the figure. “I know her,” he muttered. Heironeous smiled with pride. “Your predecessor,” He informed him, “and My lover.” The paladin’s eyes widened at the knowledge. “I didn’t think-“ he began then silenced himself swiftly. Heironeous’ eyes twinkled with merriment. “A story in its own right, but not the focus of this discussion.”

 

The paladin’s mind turned to his absent lover. “That one,” remarked Heironeous. “Name it.” The paladin swallowed and nodded in acquiesce.

“As you wish, my Lord.” He paused to consider his response. Relying on his memories of Brent, he discarded the more intoxicating sensations of love, lust, excitement and drive. “It is shyness.” His god raised an eyebrow.

“I have felt your timidness before, little Alex, on more than one occasion.” The paladin shook his head. “Nathan calls it a sweet shyness – one born out of love and its preciousness, rather than fear or a sense of unworthiness.”

 

His god looked at him, considering his response. The landscape changed again, this time to one that the paladin did not recognise. He stood on the edge of a metal platform that dropped away to the clouds below. In the distance stood a metropolis curved into the circular form of a ring. A shield of glass surrounded it. Within the glass the air was tinged gold with flicks of sparkling light glittering at random.  The paladin stared in awe at the strange sight, of people going about their daily business like they were on flat ground yet from his perspective were upside down. “How? Where?” he asked astounded by the strange sight.

 

“The mages on Ring constructed this millennia go,” answered Heironeous. Recognising the name the paladin turned and looked at his god, sensing that He was hiding something. “My Lord, what is it that you wish me know?” Heironeous’ chainmail clinked as He placed His hands on His paladin’s shoulders. “Be true upon whom you deliver justice.”  The paladin’s eyes widened and he swallowed nervously. “I shall do my best, Invincible,” he promised. Heironeous smiled.

“Remember ninety percent intention.” The paladin grinned sheepishly and nodded.

“I remember Your lesson.”

 

The image faded away from his mind’s eye and Brent found himself once more floating in the quietness of his solitary vigil.


© Copyright 2017 Justin Fyld. All rights reserved.

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