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.

Chapter4 (v.1) - Chapter Four

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: October 22, 2016

Reads: 214

Comments: 1

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: October 22, 2016

A A A

A A A

CHAPTER FOUR

 

Dawn light filtered into the room wakening him with its soft touch upon his cheek. Stretching he opened his blue eyes and surveyed his room. Empty but for the discarded linens that had been stacked by the fireplace. Strange, he thought, that my room should feel so empty after one night. Dressing he packed his bag and emptied the last of the pot’s water onto the last of the dying embers. Returning to his bedside table he picked up the wooden box and put it in the waterproof bag he kept for travelling. Lastly he strapped Truthbringer to his hip and headed down to the kitchen.

 

“You off again, my lord?” asked the kitchen boy. Packing the bread and cheese safely into a saddlebag Brent nodded. “Aye lad. Spring is in the air and Heironeous has work that needs to be done.” Walking out to the stables Brent gave a low whistle and heard his horse whinny in response. Retrieving Aurik’s tack he placed it over the stall door. Patting his stallion’s neck Brent buried his face in Aurik’s white mane. “I didn’t think he’d leave,” he said nuzzling his beloved mount.

 

Throwing the blue blanket onto Aurik’s back he quickly readied him to travel. Strapping on the last saddlebag and a blanket roll he threw his leg over his haunches and climbed into the saddle. He was heading for the open doorway when a shadow detached from the wall and moved to block the way. “Did you really think I’d abandon you so quickly?” rebuked the shadow wagging a finger at the paladin.

“Patrick! What are you doing here?” exclaimed Brent. The young man smiled and pulled a saddled horse into view. “I’m not letting you go by yourself, Chosen.” Scrambling into the saddle he gingerly sat atop his mount as Aurik pulled up alongside him. “You’re crazy,” he uttered shaking his head.

“Yeah,” agreed Patrick riding beside him, “but you like it.”

 

 

In the dawn light the roads were clear and the Land of Zealots was soon left behind. Facing the great savannah plains of Primus Brent smiled and lifted his face to the breeze. “Smell that?” he murmured. “The hint of tall grass and crisp air from the western mountains. Makes you want to ride as fast as the birds.” Turning his head to his companion he dared, “Want to race?” In response Patrick dug his heels into his steed. Rearing slightly the chestnut coloured horse took off across the plain, leaving nought but hoof prints and scuffed grass behind him.

 

Bending low over his horse Patrick was soon hanging on for dear life as the horse thundered down the road. Laughter reached his ears and he tilted his head back to peer over his horse’s neck in time to see a white stallion flying past with a joyous man, his Armour gleaming in the early sunlight.

 

For Patrick the race lasted only until the next rise where, puffing and panting, he was finally able to rein in his horse. On shaky legs he slid from the saddle and staggered a few feet away before collapsing. Ahead the paladin had been glancing back and noticed the lack of another rider. Circling around he approached the exhausted manservant and slid from the saddle. Kneeling by his side his eyes scanned Patrick’s body when he asked, “Were you thrown?” Patrick shook his head.

“No. But I didn’t feel that good when we stopped.” Leaning back on his heels Brent looked back over the land they had covered. “Not bad for a first timer,” he commented handing him his hip flask. Taking a small sip Patrick pulled a face. “It’s water!” he spluttered.

“Aye it is,” replied the paladin taking a swig too. Getting to his feet he held out a hand and hauled the young man to his feet. “On your feet lad,” he ordered. “If you’re serious about being my manservant then I’d best teach you how to ride like a man.”

 

 

By late afternoon they had ridden many leagues to the south and while they had passed many small villages they had not stopped. His legs and back aching, Patrick’s eyes grew heavy and he stifled a yawn as he listened to his master’s instruction on folding his reins so that he could guide his horse one handed. There was a low whistle beside him and he was lucky that his horse turned off the road to follow the other.

 

Dismounting Brent stripped Aurik of his gear and called for Patrick to make haste on his own steed as well. Within minutes Aurik was brushed down and quietly munching away at the new grass of the season. Walking over to his manservant Brent watched him reach on tiptoes with the brush to tidy the withers on his horse’s neck. Smiling his eyes travelled down his back to his firm backside, his lean legs, then he let his mind wonder for a moment if his skin would be pale, tanned or chaffed from his coarse clothes.

 

“A little help?” called Patrick as his horse once more stomped his hoof and laid his ears back. Stepping up behind him Brent leant into his warm supply body and placed his hand over his. “Like this,” he murmured by his ear brushing the horse with firm strokes. He noticed Patrick’s surprised look at his closeness but ignored it. I am teaching him how to care for a horse, he told himself. It has nothing to do with how much I want to run my hands over every inch of his skin. “There. See?” nodded Brent towards the horse. “His ears are lifting now. They prefer a firm hand to a light one.” Patrick grinned and leaned back into his body. “They’re not the only ones,” he commented suggestively. Instinctively Brent glanced down and coloured. “Yes. Quite,” he muttered stepping back and returning to his own saddlebags. “Tie him to the saddle horn for the time being. I’ll get the tents up.” Pulling the canvas bag free he looked over to the young man. “Where’s your tent?” he frowned already suspecting the answer. Patrick smiled innocently at him. “I’ll get some firewood and start dinner, shall I?” Shaking his head Brent muttered under his breath and got to work.

 

 

Patrick had kept up a running commentary whilst he was cooking but had fallen silent once he had served out their meal. Sitting opposite by the fire he observed how the paladin’s eyes went distant while he sat staring off to the south. Frowning he waved his hand in front of the Chosen’s face to no avail then sat back considering. Moments later a pinecone popped in the fire and Brent blinked. “You’re not a bad cook, Patrick,” he complimented taking a bite of his potato. “Maybe you do have some skills after all.” Patrick chuckled,

“I have many skills in organising; paperwork, cooking, cleaning, handling difficult customers and throwing out drunks in the wee hours of the morning. People have also coined me,” he added with a wink, “a scandalous flirt.” Grinning Brent shook his head mockingly. “You? A flirt?”

“I know!” dramatised Patrick placing his hands angelically before his chest. “Sweet innocent me - a harpy to more base desires.”

 

“Tell me Patrick, do you have any family?”

“Mum left dad when I was a baby and hooked up with my step dad, Razon Owins. They got married and raised me,” answered Patrick adding another log to the fire.

“What about siblings?” questioned Brent.

“Nah just me. Dad said it was because he was always busy with his laboratory and mum didn’t want to loose her figure – but I knew the truth,” Patrick grinned. “They couldn’t make perfection happen twice!” Brent rolled his eyes and snorted in contempt at his statement. “So where are they now?”

“Well dad past on a year ago but Mum’s still back at Ring. She’s happy running her classes at the college there.”

 

Hunkering forward he turned the tables on his master. “But what about you: the great Brent T’elc. Any family? A million bastard children running amok across Severin?” The paladin ran his fingers through his black hair and once more cursed his façade. He’d have to watch his words carefully. “As far as I know,” he admitted at last, “my seed has never given life to any boy or girl. As to family . . . They died when I was a child.” Patrick laid a hand on his knee in sympathy. “It was a long time ago, Patrick, and I do not mourn them. If I stay true to my faith then I shall be with them again in Celestia.”

 

Patrick collected the dirty plates and piled them to one side. “I’ve been meaning to ask about that: your faith. What’s it all about?” A small smile creased Brent’s lips. “And I thought this trip would be different,” he joked. “No, no it’s okay,” he hurried to add, seeing Patrick’s face fall. “Come sit by me and I’d be happy to tell you.” Lying on his back the Chosen looked up into the vista of the night sky and motioned for his manservant to do the same.

 

“See the stars? How they twinkle and shine on a clear night. It was on a night such as this that Stern Ali, the mother goddess, gave birth to two boys. While both brought joy to Her life, She loved Her firstborn most of all. He was brightness and sincerity, strength and gentleness. Skilled in the arts of war He most often bore a magical mace by His side to protect those that were unable -but willing- to defend themselves.”

 

“But the second son was not like His brother, was He?” hazard Patrick. “All dark and wicked, malicious and cruel, right?” Brent turned on his side and rested his head on his hand. “What makes you think that, Patrick?” he queried. “They had the same mother, the same upbringing.”

“Well,” thought Patrick, “isn’t that the way of stories? One is good and the other evil?” Brent sighed softly and looked at him with sorrow.

“But this is not a story. The truth is usually more wondrous and more terrifying than any tale a bard could spin. Listen and listen well,” he cautioned. The firelight flickered over his serious face. “What I teach is truth but it holds not with many Heironeans. Heironeous and Hextor grew side by side, They played together, learnt the art of war together, loved one another as brothers frequently do. While They have different philosophies on how order and peace is achieved Their goals are the same. Hextor is not evil.”

“But I thought His followers and yours didn’t get along? Isn’t that what you told me about the big battle years ago?” queried Patrick in confusion. Brent smiled as only a teacher with a questioning student is wrought to do. “Aye. I never said His followers weren’t evil,” he replied. “Nor am I foolish enough to claim none of ours have crossed that line either.”

 

Patrick stifled a yawn behind his hand as they sat up. “Go to bed lad,” Brent ordered gently. Shaking his head Patrick countered, “I’ll wait with you.” The paladin grunted with amusement. “You’re no good if you fall into the fire or off your horse’s back with exhaustion tomorrow. Go. I’ll be in in a little while.” Gathering his bedding Patrick unzipped the tent. His last glance outside saw his companion sitting silently by the fire, his knees drawn to his chest and his eyes set on the southern horizon.


© Copyright 2017 Justin Fyld. All rights reserved.

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