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.

Chapter40 (v.1) - Chapter Forty

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: November 11, 2016

Reads: 169

Comments: 1

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: November 11, 2016

A A A

A A A

CHAPTER FORTY

 

His head felt heavy. For a moment he wondered why his right shoulder was tight and his hands felt numb. Waking he began to catalogued the sensations that wracked his body. It kept him from going mad. The pain in his left eye had lessened to a dull throb but it was too swollen to open. He moistened his mouth to spit the dust and blood out. He felt it rub back against his chin due to the hessian sack that covered his head. He strained to hear a noise, even the quiet voices of his captors would have been a blessing, but there was nothing. He wept knowing he could not free himself. Wept that he would likely die here in the dark for some unknown reason. Wept that he wouldn’t get to see his friends and loved ones again.

 

A loud creak caught his ear and he sniffled, a cough catching in his throat from the stale humid air in which he was confined. Heavy footsteps entered the room. Several large wooden containers were dragged across the ground. “Who’s there?” Patrick pleaded for the umpteenth time. “Please. I’ll give you anything you want.” He didn’t know the blow was coming until he felt it. He heard his nose crack as his head flung to the side. He tasted blood and fell silent. Liquid was poured on the ground and on his lap, his head. The fumes were over powering. Fuel. Oil. He coughed and gasped, quickly becoming light-headed from the smell.

 

A commotion was heard outside. The loud noises of men and horses. A warning shout and the footsteps retreated to the door. Patrick heard the scraping sound of someone lighting a fire. “No! Wait! You can’t! I haven’t done anything!” he screamed, terror making his voice shrill. He struggled violently, causing his chair to fall sideways onto the wooden floor. Wriggling he managed to pull his head out of the loose sack only to look around in horror at the orange flames that licked the crates that filled the room around him. “Oh gods,” he wailed twisting his feet in a hopeless attempt to free them from their restraints.

 

Suddenly the door burst open. White light momentarily blinded him and he was picked up, chair and all. He felt his cracked rib scrape when he was deposited boldly over a cold metal shoulder. Heat burned the sweat from his face before it formed. Wisps of flaming ash moved in the air. Some landed on his head and he felt patches of his hair burn away. Yet he barely noticed as he escaped the inferno.

 

The ice cold of the night sky shocked him as he continued to bounce painfully along. Slowly his eyes adjusted and he watched as the shack’s roof collapsed in. His chair was deposited roughly on the ground while his saviour ducked behind him to cut the rope. “Can you walk?” the gruff voice asked grabbing his arm and slinging it around his neck. Patrick shook his head. “I don’t think so,” he whispered, his throat raw and scratchy. The man gathered him up bride-style and continued to move him further from the danger. After several minutes the man noticed how Patrick clenched his teeth against the pain. Soft words were muttered and the searing heat of a healing spell passed into the young man’s body. The relief was palpable. Patrick felt the darkness of sleep call to him yet he tried to resist. “Rest now,” the man said soothingly. “I’ve got you.”

 

 

 

The next thing Patrick knew was the sensation of cold water being splashed on his face. Coughing he moved to sit up but found his shoulders pushed back to the ground. “Stay,” the gruff voice commanded. Eyes wide and frightened he felt his body unwillingly obey the spell. “Close your eyes.” Water continued to pour slowly from a container over his face and hair. His nose crinkled in recognition. “Apple soap?” he croaked. He heard the man grunt with amusement and felt him scrubbed what remained of his hair. A light breeze rose and with foggy recollection Patrick realised his lack of clothing. “What-” he began but the man poured a little water over his face in warning and he quickly hushed. He lay there in the cool air as the man gently washed his chest, arms and legs in silence. He tensed when he felt the unfamiliar hands move upwards passed his knee yet the man didn’t take liberties and he slowly relaxed. The man helped him sit upright and moved behind him, washing his back.

 

Patrick blinked his eyes open. Everything felt surreal. Stars twinkled and the smell of fire came from the east. He could see a column of black grey smoke and the bright spark of the dying fire. “They’re letting it burn out,” the man said behind him. Patrick nodded cautiously. He felt his shoulder clasped from behind and squeezed gently. “I believe your mental faculties will return shortly. The potions and drugs I had to pour down your throat to stop you dying had several unexpected side affects.”

 

When the man finished, he wrapped Patrick in a towel and helped him stagger over to a dry patch of ground to sit. “I don’t presume you have some clothes for me in there?” Patrick asked indicating the backpack and saddlebags. “Yes,” came the short reply.

“What happened?” he asked pulling his towel more tightly around his frame.

“What do you remember?” the man retorted just as quickly. Patrick frowned and turned to look at him. When he realised Patrick’s intent the man stood and moved behind him. “I can’t see you?” complained Patrick tactlessly. “Seems like a bit of a dick move to do to someone who’s just been kidnapped.”

Self-deprecating humour coloured his companion’s voice. “Seems I’ve been called that often of late.” He rummaged around in his pack. “Here,” he said handing Patrick a flask of water and a chunk of bread. “Eat.”

 

“The men responsible for your injuries and incarceration have been apprehended,” the man said taking a seat beside Patrick. “Stop it,” he growled feeling Patrick’s eyes on him again. Patrick reached out and laid a hand on the man’s knee. He saw him tense. “I haven’t thanked you yet,” he whispered. “I’d be dead without you. I thought I was.” He saw the man’s jaw tighten and heard his breathing catch in his throat.

“Don’t say that,” he whispered back.

Patrick blinked. “Why?”

 

“I couldn’t – I can’t.” He buried his face in his hands. Patrick was shocked to see the man begin to cry, his shoulders shaking from emotion. Feeling compassion for his saviour, Patrick moved closer and slung an arm around his shoulders. “I thought I lost you. Then I found,” the man whispered between unmanly sobs. “But then that fire! To get you out only to have you die in my arms- I couldn’t let that happen.”

 

Memorises lazily reached out inside Patrick’s mind.  Looking around he recognised the sword that lay beside the man lap. It had a name. “Truthbringer,” he said unknowingly. The man quietened, his face still hidden while he dried his eyes. Silver Armour sat on the other side, decorated with a man’s hand grasping a blue and yellow lightening bolt. “Oh,” gasped Patrick, his memorises returning in a flood. He turned and gripped the man’s shoulders in both his hands. Black curls and tanned skin. Broad shoulders and muscular arms. “Look at me,” he said without preamble. The man dropped his hands and met the bright green eyes of the man kneeling before him. Patrick smiled in recognition of the familiar blue gaze that greeted him.

 

Raising a hand he touched his face gently, lightly tracing the line where hair and skin met. His companion sighed and leant in to his tender touch. “Kiss me,” whispered Patrick leaning closer. The man looked back in surprise. Patrick gave him a crooked smile and slipped his fingers into his dark curls. Dragging him closer he chuckled, “That wasn’t a request, beloved.” Meeting his lips he added just the lightest of pressure, keeping it chaste as they shared one breath. He pulled back only as far as necessary to rest his forehead against Brent’s. “I missed you,” he whispered.

 

Brent groaned and pulled him boldly into his lap, wrapping his arms around his lover and hugging him tight. He heard Patrick’s gasp and lessened his hold slightly. “Too tight?” he asked softly. Patrick shook his head.

“I think I need tight right now,” he replied. The frightened look that hid at the back of his eyes found itself mirrored in his companion’s. Burrowing into Brent’s shirt he grabbed fistfuls of the material and laid his face into the curve of his neck. “Did they,” Brent started, his body tense. “Did they touch you?” Patrick kissed his neck softly and shook his head. Mumbling against his neck he replied, “Only with their fists and boots.”

“I - I don’t want to ask but,” Brent hesitated. Patrick lifted his head slightly to meet his eyes. He saw a scared man trying valiantly to hide it and failing abysmally. “What do you need, lover?” he asked kindly.

“I –I need to kiss you, to taste you, know it’s really you.”

 

Patrick lifted his head and closed his eyes, relishing the gentle pressings of Brent’s lips across his brow, nose and lips. A calloused hand caressed his cheek and he felt hot tears fall. Opening his eyes he kissed them away. “Hush love,” he soothed between kisses. “You saved me. You healed me. We’re going to be alright.”

“Oh gods,” whispered Brent gripping Patrick in a tight hug and rocking them gently. Kissing the top of his head he pressed his cheek to Patrick’s dark hair and inhaled his scent. “Never leave me,” he begged. “Never.” Patrick melted in his arms and submitted to every light touch. “Never,” he promised. “I love you, Brent T’elc.” He felt Brent’s tension at the use of his name and added dryly, “I could have said ‘I love you, Buckets’ or ‘I love you, Crazed-Sex-Fiend-Who-Likes-To-Do-Me-In-Front-Of-Mirrors’ but,” he dropped his voice, “I’m not certain who’s around.” He felt Brent’s grin and answering playful bite on his earlobe. “We’re alone, but not that alone.”

 

Separating him slightly he gave Patrick a final kiss. “We need to get some clothes on you.” Getting to his feet Patrick finished towelling his hair dry while Brent retrieved a change of clothes. “So how come I couldn’t look at you before?” Patrick questioned buttoning his trousers. Slipping his arms around him from behind, Brent kissed his bare shoulder. “I had to keep control somehow,” he admitted quietly. “You’ve always been good at reading me and I was so frightened. I didn’t want to scare you further, especially if you couldn’t remember me.” Baring his neck he sighed with pleasure at the comforting kisses and familiar caress of his lover’s hands on his chest. “Look,” whispered Patrick noting the change of light. “The sun is coming up.” Brent stood tall and smiled when he felt Patrick lean into his chest. 

 

Together they watched the sun begin to rise over the smouldering wreckage. Gradually Patrick’s eyes picked out the camp of paladins and clerics that had gathered nearby. “Are they?” he asked, nudging his companion. Brent followed his gaze and nodded. “I didn’t order anyone to come with me. Half of them left last night to take those bastards back to gaol. The rest will travel home with us today.” Patrick paled and swallowed hard, sinking into Brent’s comforting embrace. “I don’t like the idea of them being near us,” Patrick whispered. Turning him in his arms, Brent kissed his forehead and held him close. “Your kidnappers? I don’t like the idea of them still breathing,” he admitted coldly, “but I can’t kill them outright. It wouldn’t be just.”

“I know,” whispered Patrick.

“You’re going to have to talk about what happened, you know.” Brent stroked his hair with tenderness. “And not just with me. There will be a court case.”

“Can’t I just –” he gestured letting something go. Brent shook his head. “Oh.”

 

Patrick watched as Brent turned away and pulled on his Armour. Seeing him strap on his weapons belt Patrick blinked and pointed at the edge of his sword sheath. “Is that?” he asked. Brent glanced down and noticed the brown stain of dried blood. “No,” he answered curtly grabbing his backpack.

“Then who’s?” pressed Patrick. Brent paused, his face hardening into a look Patrick knew well as his warrior’s mask. “One of them refused to surrender.”

“Tell me.” Brent’s eyes narrowed. Patrick tried again. “I need to know. I mean, I know you don’t want to hear this but I, I want to know at least one of them suffered. Please Brent.”

“I sliced his head clean off,” he said coldly. “I thought I’d cleaned it but I must have missed some in the dark. Think no more on it, Patrick. The man who lit the fire found it to be his pyre.”

 

Patrick waited until Brent had moved passed him to let the warring emotions of justice served and his revulsion of violence appear on his face. Quickly he hurried after Brent. Upon checking Patrick was safely in the saddle of his horse, Brent moved to mount his white stallion. Wheeling him around he signalled the company to head for home.

 

 

 

Court judges came from Primus at Brent’s request. He kept himself as far from the proceedings as he could, attending when required to give evidence and as moral support for Patrick. The court heard how Patrick was grabbed without Adan’s knowledge while they were crossing back over the border from Halerin. The man who impersonated him quickly recanted and willingly assisted with the court case after a private meeting with Patrick Owins. He was released on Patrick’s insistence. The three of the five remaining men who had manhandled Patrick were taken away to be incarcerated in Primus.

 

Most shockingly to those hearing the court case was the announcement that their employers were people of the Land of Zealots. Tolin and Messela Thessle had plotted to get revenge. Their two sons, Gen and Kerr, led the kidnapping. They had been the ones that had refused to surrender at the site of the burning wreckage. In the shocked silence of the courtroom after their confession Brent’s disbelief was clearly heard. Messela turned in his direction and explained her motives. Brent felt sickened and would have left the courtroom if not for the friends who sat around him touching his shoulders and knees in support. A chill came over Brent with the knowledge that Patrick’s murder had been hastened when they had arrested the Thessle’s as they couldn’t get the next payment to the kidnappers.

 

The Thessle family were sentenced to execution. Patrick watched from the council chambers high up in the Keep with his friends. There were no cheers, no cries of pleasure. All knew that death was a solemn occasion. Upon their sentence being carried out their bodies were taken away and buried in the forest. When Brent reached the room where his lover waited he wrapped his arms around him and kissed the top of his head. “Now it’s over.”


© Copyright 2017 Justin Fyld. All rights reserved.

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