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.

Chapter38 (v.1) - Chapter Thirty-Eight

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: November 11, 2016

Reads: 157

Comments: 1

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: November 11, 2016

A A A

A A A

CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHT

 

A week passed and the Chosen had not been sighted outside his quarters. On the second day of his self-incarceration Sam had tried to coax him into allowing him entrance but was turned away with a snarl. By the third the remaining council members had gone to him to conduct their business and were admitted. When asked, they said they found him subdued but rational until the debating had started on a new policy. Then his anger roared to life with the new target of Taq. The cleric had high-tailed it out of the place along with the rest of the council members bar one who’d paused at the door. “I’m coming for dinner at seven, Chosen. I expect you to be dressed and ready to eat with me.” Ice cold eyes narrowed at her. Aesthyr grinned back in challenge until he gave the tiniest of nods.

 

That evening the Chosen had dined with a woman in his room. A simple meal of soup and bread with no words shared. Brent found himself relax a little, his emotional state echoing that of his companion. When the meal was done he feared she’d loiter but was pleased to notice she gathered up the utensils and stood holding the tray. “I’ll be back tomorrow night, Chosen. Feel up to a side of beef?” He nodded and held the door open for her.

 

Her nightly visits continued and silent meals were shared. Sam and Aly accompanied her on the sixth. Brent’s smile of greeting vanished upon sighting them. “Oh them,” Aesthyr remarked off-handedly glancing over her shoulder, “they won’t talk, Chosen. Now let us in before the food goes cold.” Brent brought two more chairs over while she set out the food. He stared at his plate rather than meet the concerned eyes of his friends.

 

At the meal’s conclusion, his visitors rose to leave but he shook his head, motioning them to take a comfortable seat on the lounge. Serving them tea he spoke with a voice scratchy from misuse. “I need time. That’s all.” Accepting her mug Aly touched his arm with compassion and asked, “What happened Brent?”

“He left me.” Silence greeted his words. There wasn’t really anything to be said.

 

When the fire died down his guests took their leave. At the door Brent caught the young Errant’s sleeve. “Am I a violent man?” he whispered softly. Aly looked surprised and shook her head slowly. “Only in the fact you are a warrior. Never outside the battle field.” Brent squeezed her arm in thanks and closed the door.

 

Rounding the corner Aly said, “That was really weird.” Sam and Aesthyr gave her a look. “None of this makes much sense. Why doesn’t he go whoring or drinking like the rest of us would?” the latter commented.

“No, I mean Patrick hunted Brent for months. I’ve never seen the two of them as happy as when they were together. If Brent’s taking it this hard, surely Patrick would be feeling the same?”

“He hasn’t said anything to you? Patrick, I mean?” questioned Aesthyr. Sam shook his head. “Strange. Maybe . . .” he trailed off thinking.

“I’ve seen him down at the Inn. Perhaps I could keep an eye on him, see if I can shed some light on the matter?” offered Aesthyr. Aly nodded in thanks. “Right. I’ll start tomorrow.”

 

 

The following night Brent had washed and shaved before dinner. Apart from that, the meal was once more passed in silence with no offer of remaining afterwards. On the way down to the kitchens Aesthyr commented, “It might interest you two to know that Patrick had a girl in his room last night.”

“Yeah? So what?” dismissed Aly rounding the corner.

“They weren’t talking.”

“You mean? Oh,” replied Sam colouring slightly. “How could-”

“They weren’t exactly quiet.”

“What are we to do?” asked Aly. Aesthyr shrugged.

“Nothing we can do. Ride it out and carry on. He’ll get over it. Everyone goes through this.” The tray returned to the kitchen she waved her companions farewell.

 

 

Books were a blessing, Brent re-acknowledged once again. Throughout his time in isolation he had been steadily devouring the stories on his bookshelf, burying himself amidst legends, heroes, fairies and humourous tales for children. He was particularly enjoying his current story of a grown man the size of an acorn when there came a knock on his door. Ignoring it at first the incessant knock every minute was frustrating enough that he decided to get out of his chair by the window to investigate.

 

“Hello Brent,” Sam said shoving his foot into the open door and barging through. “I’ll only be a minute.” Folding his arms Brent watched as his friend bee-lined for the separate quarters that used to house Patrick. Sighing he shook his head and returned to his seat. Several minutes later Sam re-emerged, gave him a friendly wave, and left.

“Crazy,” muttered Brent licking his finger and turning the page. “Crazy.”

 

 

 

The mess hall was buzzing by the time the midday meal was served. Jason and several other recruits were conversing when he was approached by a flustered cleric. “Cleric Aamin, to what do we owe the pleasure?” he greeted with a smile. “Someone knock over a vase or trample a rose bush?”

“Not funny, Gallant,” grumbled Aamin. “I need you to come with me.” His piece said, Aamin turned and started headed back out of the mess hall. Rolling his eyes Jason hurried to catch up. “What’s this all about?”

“Something about Mr Owins. Now do be quiet,” hushed Aamin as they passed several other people. Reaching the edge of the temple he quickly gestured his companion inside and down the left wing. “Third door,” he said half pushing Jason through before locking it behind him.

 

“About bloody time you showed up,” grumbled a voice.

Taking in his bearings, Jason saw that the small prayer room contained two other people and a small water font used for baptising or giving blessings. “Lay off him Sam,” warned Aly. Gesturing for him to join her by the font she held his hand and pointed to the water. “You ever see one of these before?” Jason gave her a confused look. “She doesn’t mean as is, boy,” complained Sam looking heavenward.

“Oh don’t mind him – he’s cranky because he’s sleepy,” explained Aly.

“Just explain what’s going on,” said Jason, not bothering to hide his exasperation.

 

“It’s a scrying pool,” explained Aamin. “Mine in fact.” He cleared his throat before continuing. “It seems that Sam here realised something was not right and decided to do a little spying of his own. However he couldn’t get the image to form. Luckily for him I’m a much better scryer than he is.” Sam grunted and rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Where do you think Patrick is right now?”

“Whoring some guy in a dark alley more than likely,” dismissed Jason scathingly. “Why would I care? You saw what he did to our friend. I’d tell him to go suck a dick but he’d bloody enjoy it.” Sam folded his arms and growled,

“While we all appreciate the sentiment, surely even your overly bashed around skull can deduce that Patrick isn’t acting like the Patrick who left.”

“Boys!” rebuked Aly fiercely. “We’re here for both our friends. We don’t have time for this.”

“Right,” agreed Aamin fiddling with the cleric ring on his middle finger. “We find ourselves in a complicated situation.”

 

When Sam and Jason ceased glaring at one another Aly spoke. “Sam got some hair from Patrick’s old room and brought it to Aamin for the spell. I went down into the town while they were performing the ritual and followed Patrick around until I convinced him to have a meal with me.”

“But instead of seeing the two of them together in the bright morning light we had a very different image.” Sam adjusted his footing and glanced back to the water font. “The image showed a man in the dark. Water dripped and there were muted voices. Worse,” Sam frowned, “was the raspy crying sound and the metallic smell of blood in the air.” Aamin took up the tale.

“Our Patrick is in trouble. That man masquerading out there is an impostor.” Jason paused and nodded slowly. “We have to tell him.”

 

 

Once the substance is harvested from arrowroot it can be effectively used for the recovering and convalescing patient as it improves the digestive system. However it needs to be monitored in case extraction retained ill humours in its fibrous strands. Brent paused and rubbed the bridge of his nose. Having no more novels left unread he had retreated to healing journals but they didn’t hold his attention for long. Sighing he stood. The discarded book fell unnoticed to the floor when he crossed to the window and leant on the warm stone of the window’s base. Sunset bathed his face in its gentle rays. Red and yellow merged in the sky while the countryside began to slow its natural rhythms in preparation for night. Brent scratched his chest absentmindedly, letting the memories rise and go rather than actively fight against their presence. Stripping he headed for the shower.

 

Heat. Heat and the action of water washing away sweat and filth, like washing away pain and grief, soothed him. Scrubbing his hair clean he luxuriated in its presence and wondered if he’d just move into his shower full time. A ghost of a smile graced his lips as he imaged council meetings held in his bathroom and the discomfort many of them would display. A banging started outside but he didn’t care. He wasn’t leaving the reviving heat yet.

 

After several minutes the constant racket had begun to intrude on his solitude. Numbly he turned off the water and stepped out, wrapping a towel around his hips. The noise was louder in his room, almost making his head hurt. Yanking the door open he stood impassively, water dripping down the back of his calves, the moisture making his midnight hair curl more than usual around his ashen face. The paladin that awaited him stood frozen with his dagger hilt still raised, ready to bash yet another chorus from the wood of his chamber door. Mustering as much disregard and disinterest as he could Brent uttered a single word. “What?”

 

“We need to talk Brent,” said Jason hurriedly.

“No.”

“Not an option,” replied Jason, sheathing his dagger. “Patrick’s in trouble. Some men have him and-” Brent cut him off and snorted.

“He can fit more than one man inside him – he prattled on about it enough. Let him waltz a whole fucking platoon until he drowns in their liquid. I can’t do anything about it,” hissed Brent stepping back and slamming the door closed. The vehemence of his words and tone set Jason back as he stared at the unyielding wood once again. Growling under his breath about him having had his chance, Jason pulled out the key Sam had taken from Patrick’s room. Unlocking the door he carefully opened it enough to slip inside.

 

Brent sat on a comfortable chair by the cold fireplace. His shoulders deflated, his face was buried in the wadding of his towel that he’d scrunched up to dampen the quiet howls of pain emanating from his throat. On silent feet Jason crossed the floor and laid a comforting hand on Brent’s shoulder. Lightening fast Brent grasped the unknown hand and spun out of his chair. The force of his turn gave him the momentum to throw his assailant against the back of the chair and trap him. Jason’s wrist was forced up against his back while another hand twisted into his golden locks. His legs were trapped by the man pressing in behind him.

 

Heart hammering from shock, Brent took several moments to recognise the intruder bent over in front of him. “J-Jason?” he stammered. “How’d you get in here?”

The dampness from Brent’s skin had soaked into his clothes, bringing the awkwardness of the situation most firmly to the front of his mind. “I used his key,” Jason said as calmly as he could, his voice muffled by the chair. When Brent still didn’t release him he added, “I’d like to get up now.”

 

His brain kicking back into gear, Brent released his hold on his friend and stepped back, his arms held apprehensively at his side. Jason extracted himself from the chair and stepped away, discreetly trying to keep the chair between them on the off chance Brent might attack him again.

 

“Look Brent, I gave you time to do what you had to do. I get it that you need privacy when you’re upset but,” Jason’s words trailed off. “Would you put some damn clothes on?” Brent raised an eyebrow.

“I didn’t invite you into room, you know.” Jason folded his arms across his chest.

“Being a friend means I’m going to ignore the fact you are at half mast, but I expect, as your friend, that you’ll cover yourself at least a little.” A ghost of Brent’s wry smile touched his expression. “You’re one to talk. We’ve wrestled in the water before, you know.” Jason looked confused for a moment then recognised the incident to which he was referring. “You cannot tell Aly about that,” he growled as he watched his friend cross over to a chest of drawers and retrieve clean clothes. Brent glanced back as he tightened his belt. “She’d hate to know you have more than one memory to warm yourself up at night.” Jason rolled his eyes and folded his arms across his chest. “At least your sense of humour has returned.”

“It never left,” admitted Brent, “I just didn’t have anything to bounce off…. Or grab.” Jason slapped his shoulder playfully in warning when he returned to his side.

 

Gesturing for him to take a seat Brent sat opposite and leant forward, hands clasped together, while he looked at him. “You heard what happened.” He saw his friend nod. “Let me level with you, Jason. Patrick –”

“Stop,” interrupted Jason lifting a hand. Brent looked surprised. “You’re wrong,” continued Jason. He shook his head when Brent moved his mouth to speak. “Anything involving Patrick you have completely, totally and utterly wrong.” 

 

Brent narrowed his eyes, his tone all business. “Enlighten me.”


© Copyright 2017 Justin Fyld. All rights reserved.

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