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.

Chapter35 (v.1) - Chapter Thirty-Five

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: November 11, 2016

Reads: 116

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: November 11, 2016

A A A

A A A

CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE

 

Knock knock.

Opening his eyes Brent looked across at the door and took a deep breath. Crossing the room he opened it. “Damien. Jules,” he acknowledged. “Come in.” He watched them like a hawk, keeping his face deliberately blank of emotion. “You were right,” whispered Jules to his companion whilst his eyes swept the room. Damien flashed him a small grin. “I’d appreciate it if my actual interior decorating remain a non-discussion for the moment,” Brent commented signalling for them to take a seat by his workbench. Remaining standing he waited silently. Jules looked at the letter then at the other writing. “You found a sample then,” he said reaching for it.

“Don’t.” The order was soft but curt. Jules paused mid stretch and looked askance. “Would you recommend he touch it, Damien?” The undercurrent of hidden meaning was thick in the atmosphere. “Why wouldn’t I?” the Courageous replied. “ I handled it myself earlier when I gave it to you.”

“No. You didn’t. You handed me an envelope.”

 

Jules leant back in his chair and eyed the two paladins with suspicion. “What’s going on here?”

“That’s what I want to know,” growled Damien. Brent stared at him.

“Why give me the letter, Damien?”

“I told you; we wanted a sample of Tolin’s writing to get enough evidence to take to Culin.”

Brent continued to stare from his side of the desk. “You could have found that in the public files.” Damien fell silent. 

 

Brent swallowed. “Jules, did you know he was bringing it to me?”

“Yes, sir,” nodded Jules. “Made sense to keep a low profile on it.”

“Have you personally handled the letter?”

“Yes, sir.” Brent’s eyes meet Jules’.

“Are you loyal to me?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Do you trust me?”

Jules thought for a moment. “On supernatural stuff, faith or on your personality, yeah I trust you. Not really when you deal with people. You’re not suspicious enough to make good choices when it comes to people.” Jules frowned and cleared his throat. “What I meant to say, sir is . . . ” He coughed again. “I . . . ”

 

Brent held up his hand. “Damien?”

The paladin shook his head. “What in the nine hells is going on, Brent? What’s with the drama?” Brent continued to wait, watching and staying silent until Damien threw his hands into the air. “Of course I’m bloody loyal. I was loyal when I came and will be until the day I die unless you fall from grace. You’re the ruddy spokesperson of our god for Celestia’s sake!”

 

Brent pointed at the letter. “It’s written using an atropine.” At their blank looks he pursed his lips. “A poison. A very nasty poison.”

“Really?” questioned Jules looking interested. He leant forward to inspect the letter more closely. “How can you tell?” Brent sat opposite them and rested his chin on his hands. “I felt the effects when I accidentally ingested some this afternoon. Smell the aroma?” Jules sniffed at the paper hesitantly. “Reminds me of a pumpkin patch after rain.”

Brent nodded. “Likely atopa belladonna. The paper’s dusted with it too. It’s highly probable the ink has been produce using the flower and its roots too.”

 

“How does this help us?” asked Damien.

“Have they deliberately poisoned their correspondence?” interjected Jules.

“Doubt it. It’s a cumulative poison, although I could easily kill someone with it quickly using large doses,” mulled Brent thoughtfully.

“What does it do?” asked Jules. “Beside death.”

“Increases and decreases heart rate, nausea, diarrhoea, coma, itching – all depends on the quality and quantity of the dose.”

“How’d you know all this, Brent?” said Damien with astonishment. Brent gestured towards his cupboards. “I’ve studied healing and plants for years, Damien. Written several short books on them too.”

 

“Could a large enough quantity be given to incapacitate a cow but not kill it?”

The paladins looked at the guard. “Possibly,” agreed Brent slowly, “but it likely wouldn’t last long comatose. Say five, maybe eight hours, before damage set in. You’d have to keep it alive several weeks afterwards to ensure the poison isn’t passed on when eating it too.” Jules slapped his hands together.

“The wagons! We haven’t searched any of them because we had no reason to suspect them. Knock them out, load them up and wheel them right passed our very noses!” He grinned toothily. “If we catch them at it he’ll face gaol, he and his wife. This is the break we’ve been waiting for, Damien!” Jumping to his feet he bowed quickly. “With your leave I’ll be gone.”

Brent nodded. “Let Culin know and take back up. Grab Cleric Sam and some others – hold person may come in handy.”

“Will do, sir.” With that Jules gathered up the evidence and departed. Damien stood and shook Brent’s hand before quickly following suit.

 

With the ease of a lifetime spent working with deadly plants Brent sterilised and cleaned the workbench surface before climbing into bed. As he did every night since their separation, he opened the travel book and looked for a response from his lover. Finding none his brow creased with worry. Quickly he penned a short note, relating his concern for Patrick’s safety and that he missed his company. Moments later the paper shimmered as a short message appeared in an unfamiliar hand. Damn roads, it said. Came off my horse when she skidded in the mud. Sprained wrist, Adan scribing for me. No need to worry though. Will return once roads are passable again. Patrick.

Touching the page with a gentle hand Brent whispered his goodnight, returned the book to the nightstand and fell asleep.

 

 

 

A week passed. Brent received a copy of the report on the Thessle cattle crimes. The arrest of both Tolin and his wife had stirred the Keep into an uproar. Their two sons were unaccounted for and presumed fled. Accusations, recriminations and furtive glances became a common sight amongst the remaining council members.

 

Belladonna had been found growing in their garden. Evidence of heavy pruning was linked to the presence of poison in several brass pans inside their house. The cattle reclaimed from the wagons were heavily drugged but were well on their way to recover their full health.

 

Yet there was one thing that struck Brent as oddly discomforting. He was in the yard practising when those involved were escorted to the nearby gaol cells. Messela Thessle had cried out to him. Approaching, he was struck by the animosity and undisguised hatred she held towards him. Her words were secondary to the shock he felt and flowed over him. Revenge. Freedom. Release her or else. The usual tirade of convicted folk. Jason told him to pay no mind to such things and he chose to follow his advice. He watched and listened to the public hearings along with the rest of the inhabitants of the Land of Zealots.

 


© Copyright 2017 Justin Fyld. All rights reserved.

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