–Tried writing something concrete for an idea I’ve been playing with for 5 years or so. Not sure I really like the direction it went but meh,
Hopefully this will end up going somewhere but we’ll see.
Fellnort watched the boy running for his life and snorted. “Stupid thing has no chance. Should turn and fight. Better than dying tired.” He was not the first of the humans to be chased down by his own kind in these fields. Not even the first in the last moon cycle. She had across the burned remains of two others, skeletal remains still bound in chains to the stone tree used for these executions. The third she had watched be taken. Curiosity had led her astray that day. Following the trio, the two royal priests and their prisoner all day had seemed at the time to be a fun diversion. She would watch and rejoice as the humans killed their, weakening their tribe, doing her work for her.
She hadn’t planned on killing the priests while they slept. It just seemed to need doing. Anyone who took that much pleasure in needless pain, even if human pain, did not deserve to receive the blessings of the earth. Fellnort did not normally feel pity for humans and she wouldn’t save one dying of thirst with the left over bathing water. She would however put any dying animal out of it’s misery and this boy was dead, he simply didn’t know it yet.
His course had taken him to where the field dropped off, down a sharp hill to the edge of a large water basin. The two riders chasing him would be on him before he reached the water’s edge. He began to scramble down the hill, which would put him out of their sight. Fellnort notched an arrow and drew back, tracking his movement down the shaft. An arrow to the heart was a much quicker and over all less painful way to go than what they had in store for him. Burned alive, a little bit at a time. They would call lighting from the sky and then, somehow, bring him back to life before calling it again. This process continued well after the flesh had started to melt and bubble. It took hours before the girl she had seen stopped being able to rise. No, even if her arrow missed slightly and left him bleeding out for minutes or hours, it would still be a better death. She could be gone before the horses cleared the rise and as long as they didn’t see where the arrow came from they’d never be able to catch up to her…if they could even find her trail in the first place which she highly doubted.
He had stopped moving, half way down the hill. She could see that he had kneeled facing the water, but not much else. Now would be as good a time as any. She drew back the last bit, breathed in, and released. The arrow fell limply from her hands and the bow stayed bent. She looked at the thing in her hand in disbelieve. She shook it and the wood wobbled limply as if made from animal fat.
Just then the horses came to the edge of the drop and she knew her chance was lost. Sigh. She had tried. She would not watch this one…but she would finish the two priests when they slept like last time. She knelt down to pick up her arrow, and so did not see what caused the panicked whinnying from the horses. She looked up to see them sliding and falling down the hill, legs more than a foot deep in loose mud…that had not been there a moment before. The child must have had some ability to speak with the earth. She had thought that lost in the Human tribe. It would explain why the royal priests chased him. They were jealous of all types of magic not their own.
The beasts and men continued rolling, picking up rocks and plants in their descent. They sped right by their quarry who seemed to be in a small area of calm amidst the avalanche. Bodies, earth, and more continued on into the water before finally coming to a rest. One of the horses stood up and bolted, while the other frothed and spasmed in the water. It had broken at least 1 leg and probably it’s back and ribs. It would not survive long.
One priest’s was lying face down on the ground, while was floundering in the semi deep water trying to get his feet. The boy also seemed to be convulsing, rocking back and forth. Finally Fellnort realized he was laughing. He should have been using the time to run. What was wrong with this child?
Fellnort couldn’t help herself. She needed to get closer to see what would happen. She began crawling forward, making sounds only in line with what the wind and earth was making naturally. Her movement blended perfectly to the field. But it was slow.
It was painful minutes before she was in range to hear and see what was happening. As she looked up she saw the boy, who was not a boy, but just a very small and short of stature man. His beard was more patchy stubble than full growth, but that was definitely a man past his changing times. His hair was rough and long, with enough dirty and grease that it was starting to dread. It would take a long time with a brush to set right. This one had been living hard, most likely on the road running, for weeks, if not longer. His cheeks were sunken, eyes hollow and his skin was closer to her grey tone than the ruddy pink a human was supposed to have. But he was smiling now, full of confidence. She was almost close enough for the prey scent, yet there was no fear from him. He was standing near the splayed body of the priest on shore and had pulled his wine skin off of him. She could tell by unnatural the angle of the priests limbs he was at best unconscious and probably very dead.
The other Priest had found his feet and was splashing to shore, his long robes clinging to him in and dragging him down. He would not be able to move well in those and the terrifying look they usually imposed when billowing out in wind from astride a horse was made all the more comical as they tripped him up on his way to shore. He eventually had to hike up all the skirts exposing pale skinny legs. He resembled some sort of blue chicken Fellnort thought.
The priest reach the shore and immediately began advancing on the boy. He reached for his belted on sword and pulled it forth with the rasp of leather on steel only partially muffled by the water soaking into his scabbard. The priest advanced and thrust the blade in front of him, only to discover what had a moment ago been sharp lethal steel was now a large silver trout, the sun glinting off it’s scales creating prisms of light that spilled rainbows everywhere.
The priest stared at the fish, mouth agape, stunned into silence. Fellnort found herself in a similar position. She had seen the handle of the blade sticking out, watched the steel appear, seen the wicked glint on the blade and point of a weapon she could tell had tasted blood before. And at no point had she seen it change but now this hand of the king, this voice of the human gods, this terrible visage of justice, was in possession of no wits and no weapon. Just a large scaled animal, which had also come to realize it was not in fact a sword, and began to flop violently.
At first the Priest tried to hold onto the creature, desperately grasping with one, then both hands, running around and following it’s wild wiggling and flopping. However his feet got tangled in his robes and he dropped face first. A booming laugh echo through the basin. He was still holding onto the fish, apparently hoping it would return to a sword in his hand. He lifted his head, saw it was still fish and let it go. It continued to flop around on the shore as the man lifted himself up and brushed as much mud off his robes as he could.
The priest turned to confront his quarry who was smiling and leaning on a sword propped up in the sand. At first Fellnort thought it was the standing Preist’s blade, but then she noticed the empty scabbard on the priest still face down in the mud.
“How dare you laugh at a royal agent of his Majesty Larrame Risstun the 4th. I-” The priest started but the was interrupted by his one time prey.
“I wasn’t laughing.” The voice was light and high. Perhaps he wasn’t all the way through his changing after all? Or maybe it was just what small humans sounded like.
The priest was clearly not used to be cut off as his face flushed with anger. Far more dangerous though was the ball of light that began to appear in his hand. White and angry it looked like the breaking sun of dawn, only without the pretty colors. Just the violent angry illumination that killed the night and made bare everything that you may wish to hide in darkness.“You are in serious trouble. We know you are a vile heretic user of dark witch-”
“Would you like a drink? I think I’d fancy one.” The man’s voice was not loud but it cut in so sudden that it felt like a force, ending any chance the Priest could have had to speak over him. He took a quick pull of the wine skin then offered it out with the arm he wasn’t leaning on.
The priest stuttered a few syllables before slapping the wine skin from the outstretched hand. The wine began to pour into the lake swirling around, making ruby colored blob. “You dare….” He seethed for a minute, lips pulled back in a snarl, breath coming fast and hard, some spittle actually spraying his intended victim, he remained calm, leaning on his appropriated sword. “I’ll see you flayed for you actions. Proffressing a false god. Claiming to be his profit. That heresy would be bad enough…but you take advantage of the poor populace out here, to far from the church’s influence to know better. These good people sit on the edge of civilization, the first to face the orc raids, those brave few willing to bring forth the message of King and Gods…and you…you pervert there ways…and then stand here and drink the blessed wine? You aren’t worthy to exchange words with me, let alone drink from the a vessel containing the god’s gifts.”
As the priest continued to rant, the light in his hand continued to grow bigger and brighter. It burned away all the shadows in a circle around the two humans, it lit the lake down to the bottom, scaring all the fish away into deeper water. The wine began to evaporate and the red blob almost became face like as holes appeared.
“You take their charity, eat their food, knowing what it will cost them, but of course you don’t care. 3 villages had to be purged because of your filthy lies. And you sit here unphased by the dozens of families, men, women, children, that had to be silenced.”
Fellnort became aware of the first change to the youth’s face since she had come closer. This whole time he had leaned with a small smirk to his face, a smile that hinted he knew more than he was letting on. But now, as the priest lectured, as his power became apparent, that face grew less placid. The eyes opened wide, the mouth started to drop, there was even a sharp intake of breath. Fellnort noted the hands clench and muscles tightened. Everything indicated he was preparing for sudden movement, a last desperate attempt at fleeing… Only she still smelled no fear.
The boy stood up. He closed his eyes and walked up to the priest, who continued yelling about how the suffering he would endure for those he had made the priests kill. It wasn’t until the other man placed his hand on the priest’s chest. The royal hunter blinked for a second caught off guard as if he had stopped paying any attention to the his quarry. The light dimmed slightly and a shadow began to form as the water in the lake rose.
The boy looked up into the Priest’s face, his eyes half lidded and a sad bearing on his lips. “If you don’t want a drink…perhaps the drink would want you.” The priest stared quizically and lifted his hand with the burning light, a sphere almost as large as his head. Before he could bring whatever destruction it contained to bear, he was shoved and the shadow from the lake grew to encompass the entire hillside. The water formed a wave and on the front of it was the wine stain, grown to the size of a large house, shaped in intricate detail like a human face, ridges for the eyebrows, cheekbones of water splashing out, and a yawning open mouth full of blackness.
The priest stumbled towards if from the push, his feet hitting water, which began to pour upwards drawn inexorably towards that maw. The horses were pulled in and disappeared, the whinnying of the live one continuing for what sounded far too long. The priest fought and clawed at the ground, as the water around his ankle tightend and began to drawn inward. He through his ball of light, which hit the water and exploded blinding Fellnort. She felt the rocks and water land on her a second later from the explosion it had caused, but when her vision cleared the awe inducing face was still there and the priests was halfway inside that mouth, desperately holding onto a vine in the now dry dirt.
The boy strode up and made eye contact with the priest, who’s face was now an animalistic mask of terror. He reached up, patted the priest’s head, stroked his cheek, kissed his forehead, then whispered something in his ear. The priest’s face went slack for a second and the boy nudged the vine with a boot. It was enough. A sudden loud pop and the vine broke. The priest disappeared into darkness followed by the last of the water in the lake. All that remained was the boy, the face down priest, and this floating in mid air liquid red giant’s face. It began to laugh a booming laugh, before floating up into the sky. As it did, tendrils of the red wine wisped off and it became more and more translucent.
Right before it was completely vanished, it turned suddenly to look directly at Fellnort in her hiding spot. The face winked, then exploded, raining red liquid down on the valley. She stared up in amazement. Her training abandoned her and she jumped uselessly, when from behind her she heard the boy’s voice. “Hey, there’s an injured man down there. Can you help me with him?”