Cire was taken by surprise of the materialization of the spider web. Yes he knew spiders existed in these parts of the forest but they tended to stay well hidden in the denser parts of forest and rarely weaved by the track. This though was different for the web was everywhere and his horse soon got caught up in it easily. Cire too was struggling to cut through the web that was stronger and thicker than any web he had encounter before. It did not take long for both man and horse to be firmly entangled and unable to react.
“Do you have anything you would like to say?”
The web was one surprise but the voice coming out of the air now painted a different scenario, one he had been warned about. He could not fight this but he also knew that he would not be allowed to continue. He had failed his mission but it was not the end. His life was expendable he knew that for it was the life he chose. However his boss would find out about Brastion for that was just a matter of time and when he did no amount of web would stop him in his tracks.
“Your foolish if you think you can stop the inevitable.” He laughed
“Its just a matter of time and then...” pausing his laugh getting louder and sinister
“...you will die.”
"As I thought." Sen says, before unleashing her second spell.
She holds her hand forth, and from it, a large bolt of lightning shears through the trapped man, causing a swift death as she specifically makes it target his heart.
So, I was right after all it seems, Sen thinks, perhaps a bit sadly, In that case, perhaps... no, I shouldn't meddle that far. Destiny has brought me here, and I must have faith in it, even with what it allows happen.
She flies back to Erihsehc, and murmurs in his ear, "As I thought, it seems the other went on ahead to lay a trap; Cire, as he called himself, went to alert them of a second target, this man who just appeared. I intervened, and Cire is dead, however we cannot rest lightly."
Sen thinks to the gemstones provided by Arturo, He was right in giving them to me... how exactly did he know? Oh, well...
"This enemy is resourceful it seems, and knows how to manipulate people... As long as I am unknown, we have a slight advantage, but I won't know if I remain or not, especially since Arturo definitely saw me; that means there are a few people or things that can see..."
Sen's hand reaches into her bag, and touches the gemstone-holding bag inside. She really hopes she wouldn't have to use those spells.
It was some time later that Sen returned to the campsite. In the time between then the stranger had murmured but not woken. Erihsehc kept the fire burning and was in deep thought. He kept looking at the face of the stranger hopelessly trying to remember where he had seen the face. He was desperately in need of a clean and his clothing had seen better days. Still there was something about him. Erihsehc had checked to see if he any items on him that could give any identity. The only real piece of importance was a necklace that had all the grandeur of a man that was once looked upon as a leader or as nobility. Still until he woke he would remain a mystery.
Sen’s return was welcome. The news however was a bit of what he expected and a bit of a surprise. Expected because it confirm that Zenb was expecting his arrival and surprised that it was not only him but they knew of the stranger. The mystery just deepened. The news that Sen had killed Cire was to unexpected. However it proved that she was loyal and dependable. This was not her fight though Arturo did mention they shared the same path. This often puzzled him by what he meant as apart from Arturo no one else had seen his; he now referred to as a friend. Still she did not need to stay but having her there was comforting.
"Sen," Erihsehc whispered "I agree we need to take caution. However I believe Arturo is on our side so if he did see you then I believe he will keep it to himself at least until his brother is released. I appreciate your help so far but will understand if you leave, this is not your fight and I would not want to put you in danger."
Erihsehc stood and checked on the stranger on the floor who was still unconscious. He thought for a moment it was a question he wanted to ask Sen earlier but between the right opportunity and feeling it too impersonal he never got round to it. However with what just happened and if she decided to carry on for the short term he needed to know.
"Sen, I need to ask you something. I respect that you prefer to remain invisible but if you do decide to continue I need to understand what you are. I have never come across someone like you and it has been sometime since I have been able to count upon someone?"
Erihsehc waited for a reply as he looked down on the mysterious stranger.
The cave was dark, the walls dripped and all Brastion could hear was his and Kondrix’s breath heavy to his side. Many battles had been fought, many had been won. “Are you wounded” Brastion asked.
“Aye” said Kondrix
“Is Aemon dead?”
“Aye” said Kondrix.
“Then today is a good day to die my friend”.
The two friends rushed out knowing they faced almost certain death.
Brastion awoke with a start staring into a strangers face.
Erihsehc was pleased that Sen was going to stay, it confirmed her loyalty to the cause and as she had already pointed out as long as she remained invisible it gave them an advantage in the days ahead. He was also pleased that she was willing to show him her identity. However with the stranger starting to wake from his slumber it was wise that she remained invisible. Though they now knew this man was part of the same path he was taking until they were both comfortable with him then it was in the best interests to keep Sen hidden.
He moved over to the man and knelt by his side just as the man woke.
“Easy friend, I mean you no harm. I am Erihsehc a traveller on my way to Nyadesdew Province.” He reached for his water canister, “Here take a sip of water it will help.” Erihsehc placed the canister to his lips and allowed the man to take a small amount.
“What’s your name and is their anything I can do for you?"
Brastion sipped the water eagerly. Too long had he been without company, too long jumping at each and every sound, always fearing bandits, bears or worse.
The man informed Brastion he meant him no harm and he believed him. The trouble with names is they can get you into trouble or even cost you your life. He seemed genuine if unremarkable but had a wisdom about his eyes as they stared down at him. Brastion had to make a descision, either trust this man with his name or go on hiding forever wondering where his next meal might be. He might even be able to help him reach his final destination….a man call zneb.
The name overwhelmed Erihsehc so much so he almost toppled from his firm stance. He looked at Brastion how could he forget that this man was one of many that had plagued his mind for so many years. Fragments started to piece together in his mind. This man was part of a group that was on a quest, what for he was still not sure but he was certainly part of it and was a paladin...no he was a cavalier one of two in the group. That much he knew about the man, that and he prided himself on his appearance. Whatever was being played out; Erihsehc was now sure that Brastion was apart of it.
“I have been wondering whether you were real or not ever since my nightmares began and seeing you here confirms that there is more going on that I can comprehend. It must mean the others are...” Erihsehc finished mid sentence as drawing closer he heard the sound of horsemen. Part of him wanted to speak out to Sen but with Brastion close he refrained.
“I think we have company” Erihsehc spoke as he noticed a band of seven men slowing down towards the campsite. They looked like local authority and all bar one had weapons drawn. The leader halted the group and as the horse calmed down he and two others dismounted and walked towards Erihsehc and Brastion.
”I am captain La Tverige of the Novian Guard and this man is under arrest for theft. I do not expect you to refuse otherwise I shall have you arrested for harbouring a criminal. Now I hope with have an clear understanding.” The captain gave a sarcastic smile as he raised his hand and gave the command to the others to arrest Brastion. The others had their weapons ready to strike should the command be given and though Brastion was protesting his innocence, Erihsehc felt that this was not a fight he could win not even with the surprise elements of Sen, it was too risky revealing her.
“Wait, might I ask what will happen to him?”
”He is to be taken to the Novo court where he will be sentenced and then hanged for his crimes. Of course if you believe this pitiful man’s life is worth saving then you can always take it up with Lord Peruical but you better be quick as I fully expect this man to be hanging from a noose by noon.”
The band left leaving Erihsehc to consider his next move.
“Sen, we need to help Brastion. I need you to shadow the group and I will follow. If you can let Brastion know that we are looking into his release. I will seek an audience with this Lord, there must be someway of resolving this.”
Erihsehc was disappointed that this was going to delay his plans but if Zenb knew that he was coming then he could surely wait and extra day or so. It was still early and the sun had not even risen fully yet and with time of the essence it was going to be hit or miss whether they could save Brastion from his fate.
"If they want to see Brastion hanged..." Sen murmurs thoughtfully, "Why don't I give them what they wish to see?"
Sen reaches into the bag of gemstones within her pouch, and pulls out three, a violet one, a clear one, and a black one. She examines them slowly; she has to be sure they're the right ones.
"Oh, I forgot already." Sen realizes, "I've grown so accustomed to being invisible, I have to think about being visible in order to change."
Sen hovers in front of Erihsehc, and slowly lets herself become visible. Physically, she looks no taller than a human child, but her proportions are more for that of an adult. She wears a violet silken dress with an open back for an easily apparent reason. Upon her back is a set of iridescent coloured dragonfly wings. She has silver hair, and also wears a few pieces of jewellery, namely two rings, and a necklace, all exquisite pieces of art with clearly coloured and well cut, pretty gemstones. Upon her hip is a simple pouch, carried by a belt.
Sen smiles, "So now you finally see me, and what I am."
Erihsehc was left dumbfounded upon the initial appearance of Sen. He had seen many races and heard about many more but seeing Sen and her true image he now understood why being invisible would be for the best. Her beauty was breathtaking and would indeed attract a lot of attention not all of it for the best intentions. Standing there he could feel his body temperature rising, sweat beginning to build up on his hands and neck. Thinking of his own unshaven worse for wear appearance he shamefully diverted his eyes and went about packing his horse.
Taking a deep breath and clearing his throat he finally spoke keeping his back to Sen.
“You are a Sylph right, I heard of your kind but never came across one until now. I guess it does explain a few questions. If others knew of your presence I fear your safety would be in greater danger than mine.” He paused and feeling he had his composure under control and felt it rude to have his back turned on someone who had gone out of there way to help him, he turned around to face Sen.
“Well it is a pleasure to meet you Sen, I am thankful of your presence.” He smiled and gave a slight bow. “However we need to deal with Brastion and unless you have any ideas I feel requesting an audience with this Lord Peruical should be considered. We do not want to draw to much attention to ourselves but again I believe Brastion has a part to play in the events that are unfolding so he might be worth pursuing. I wish I could explain better but at the moment my thoughts are very muddled and most of it is not making sense but when Brastion spoke his name visions appeared in my mind as clear as day that only ever happened previously in my nightmares.”
Erihsehc looked down towards the dirt and rubbed his eyes with his fingers. He was tired and confused but mustering up his best smile he looked to Sen once more.
“So do we leave Brastion to his fate and continue to Nyadesdew or seek Brastion’s release?” It was wrong of him to expect Sen to have an answer but there he was with no one else to seek support from.
Sen giggles, "You seem quite nervous and self conscious around me," She says playfully, but then returns to the task at hand, "Well, we could go after those who had taken Brastion, however, my intuition tells me their lord that they work for won't really care about whether he is guilty or not. Another possibility is that they too are after you, maybe in league with Zenb or seeking to get a reward from him, and are just waiting for you to intervene."
Sen pauses a moment, considering the three gemstones in her hand, "There is another way."
She looks back at Erihsehc, "Provided what that man said is true, that Brastion would be hanged tomorrow, there are a couple of ways I could mislead them. The easiest way would be to teleport him out of whatever jail they'd hold him in, but that'd be quite noticeable. The hardest way, but most believable, would be to let them think they are hanging Brastion, and he appears to be, but in truth I'd be sustaining his life, holding it in a stasis where it cannot be harmed, despite his apparent lack of life. Then, when they throw the body away, I simply teleport him to you, releasing the stasis."
She examines the crystals again, "There is a slim possibility that my magic might be blocked if they too have access to magic, however... crystals and gems, depending on how they are cut and made, can be used to amplify different magics, particularly in the hands of a Sylph."
Sen closes her eyes, thinking. There were a couple of ways this could go wrong, but... she couldn't think of anything better.
Brastion was pushed heavily onto a cart that had been crafted into a makeshift gaol. His weapon was torn from his grip and greedily snaffled onto one of the guards saddlebags. They must have thought Brastion a weak old man for he was not even chained and nor was the other occupant of the cart.
He took one last look at the campfire before burying his head in his hands and weeping like a child.
“What ails you son?” the man asked. He was dressed in green robes and looked like a beggar.
Brastion managed a pitiful smile before noticing the mans beard was well kempt and his nails were clean. He was no begger.
“My name is Brastion Ge’Harde, I have been wandering the wilderness and god forbidden towns for many years searching for a way back to my own world, for I am not from these lands”
“I know”, the man smiled sagely.
Brastion was shaken by a knock to the head from the butt of a spear.
“Who you talking to fool?” one of the guards spat.
Brastion smiled sweetly, “no one sir”.
Erihsehc listened to Sen and her views were very astute. It could be a trap; they could be in league with Zenb or have seen an opportunity for a ransom. It could simply be a case that Brastion is a thief and they are going to punish him for his crimes unaware of his wider importance. Whatever the reasons behind it all they needed to get him out and Sen’s ideas were a better option than having to risk confrontation and exposure.
“Okay if you are reasonably confident that we can pull Brastion out undetected then that is the way to go. I feel we will need to do this the hard way as it will create far less attention in the long term, well at least until we get to Zenb’s estate.” Erihsehc looks at Sen and admires the risk she is prepared to take for a complete stranger. “First and foremost is that is at any point you are detected or feel threatened you get out of there even if it means letting Brastion hang. I will travel as close to the where ever they are taking him and wait for you.”
Erihsehc glances over his horse and is ready to move.
“We should get going, I shall keep my distance.” Erihsehc mounts his horse and sets off.
Ahead the horsemen lead by Captain La Tverige enter the large town of Nova. Brastion is placed in to the prison and the Captain meets with the Lord.
“What news of the outlaws?” The Lord speaks with a brash loud tone that reflects his manner.
“The one we believe is Brastion is in prison awaiting your command. He speaks but not what we require. However with your agreement I believe a bit of torture will loosen his tongue.”
The Lord nods. “And the other….Joneth?”
“No sign as yet your Lord but I have men still searching. He could not have gone far.”
“Well Good work Captain. I expect to see you later for the banquet we have an importance guest that I like you to meet.”
“Very well your Lord. Now if that is all I shall go and speak with Brastion to see what information I can get out of him.” The lord waves his hand dismissing La Tverige who promptly marched out of the room with a glint in his eye.
Sen nods, and within a mere blink, becomes invisible once again. She flies after the group, keeping her distance by staying far above them; there is no point in giving anything away.
In her mind, she runs through the incantation of the spells she'd have to use... it would be tricky, but she remembers... she has done harder spells before.
Still, she was taking a big risk. A spell of this magnitude may alert... them. Sen's heart rate increases as the fear enters her mind. No, she would try anyway, and if they showed up, she'd be the target, so she would have to run.
It seemed, whenever she became involved with another world's destiny and time, they would follow her. They always followed her, and Sen is growing tired of running.
La Tverige was waiting outside of a dilapidated building fit only for rats and beggars both of which had been evicted for him to carry out his sadistic pleasure. The door opened and in the doorway stood a burly man whom by just looking at him had all the demeanour of someone whose sole purpose in life was to inflict pain on people. It was a task he particularly relished and La Tverige was more than willing to supply him with endless supply of victims.
La Tverige stepped into dark interior and as the door closed it left only beam of light that was directed on to a spot in the middle of the room to which sat there was a naked, bound and gagged Brastion.
"Now Brastion," La Tverige cracked his knuckles and walked nonchalantly towards Brastion, "I shall make this as easy to understand as possible. I shall ask questions to which you will answer and should I be dissatisfied with any of the answers my associate here will be more than happy to extract the information from you." La Tverige gave a nod to which the burly man strides menacingly with a clenched fist and deals Brastion a heavy blow to the head almost knocking him and the chair over.
"Now you have had a taster we shall start. So stop talking riddles and let me know where you came from and how you got here?"
Erihsehc travelled behind and left Brastion in Sen’s hands. She would know what to do should anything untoward happen and had agreed that he remain just outside the towns boundary and await there return.
It allowed him time to think about the past few days. He was sure he was now on the right path the path to his past, where he came from, who he was. He could only remember the last few years yet his subconscious mind seemed to be that of a man that was wise to the world. He knew names and places as if he had already been there but he always got the impression whenever he visited a place it was for the first time. He did not even know his real name. It was a traveller who had mercy on him all those years ago that gave him his current name. As for his nightmares maybe they were not nightmares but visions of his past life. Brastion was real enough and if that was the case then maybe the others too were here and able to provide answers. He needed Brastion back he needed more answers and it was with that he decided to enter the town. It was a risk and Sen might not be able to locate him but he could not take anything for granted. If Sen got in trouble then he would feel much better being on hand to help rather than sit idly and wait.
Back in Kint.
"Well what news?" Nasur commanded as he poured a returning Tlek a flagon of ale.
"Cire has met up with the target and Zenb has been informed. As long as Cire carries out his part then all is ready. As for us I am to accompany you to Bofkrak." Tlek picked up and knocked back the ale.
"That’s quite impossible; you know how the Dwarves loath humans they’ll never let you enter, plus..." He paused as he looked at Tlek who began choking, "You’ll be dead before then." Tlek looked towards Nasur his hands now around his own throat and coughing blood. The poison swiftly kicked into effect and Nasur watched as the man he had to entrust for so long collapsed to the floor choking and coughing before finally succumbing to his evitable death.
From the shadows Arturo emerges. "Tell Belnox to clear up this mess and prepared yourself for Bofkrak, your time hear is finished. And Nasur, remember you still have much to do." The dwarf could only watch as Arturo left.
Posted on 2008-08-02 at 18:26:58.
Edited on 2008-08-02 at 18:27:36 by Cheshire Cat