A Missing Piece ~Awakenings~

Discussion in 'The Salty Dog Tavern' started by The Watch, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. The Watch

    The Watch Well-Known Member
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    Zeddar watched as the man shuffled down the street, his back bent and his head hanging low. The beggar wore the remnants of a tattered robe that was, in several places, actually tied to his body. Long, greasy locks fell forward, obscurring his face, but the tangled mass of a wild and unkempt beard fanned out over his chest. The man stumbled and caught himself on the old boarding house. His hand left a grimy smudge on the stone, and Zeddar could smell the reek of him across the street.

    Then, briefly, the man raised his head, and scanned the dark alleys around him, peering into the shadows with surprisingly keen eyes. When that gaze swept past him, Zeddar felt his blood run cold and his pulse began to pound in his ears. The face was different, but those wretched eyes never would.

    Zeddar whispered the words of power, "An Ex Por," and crushed the reagents in his hand, willing the paralysis net into existence and casting the spell at the man. He was careful with his aim, though, and the man toppled forward, his head spinning this way and that, trying to catch a glimpse of his attackers.

    "GUARDS!!! GUARDS!!!" The man called, but no one came.

    Zeddar stepped calmly out of the shadows and crossed the empty street. This corner of Occlo rarely saw any foot traffic, and Zeddar knew there would be no prying eyes at this hour...only the occasional stray dog and the stars to bear witness. Zeddar knelt next to the frozen man, who was now watching him with wide, hate filled eyes. He brushed one greasy, tangled lock of hair out of the man's eyes, and placed a hand calmly on his shoulder.

    "The guards won't come, Fiorn," Zeddar whispered softly.

    "My name is not Fiorn," The man spat, "I am Wilke, an humble beggar."

    Zeddar's grip tightened, and the man winced, "Your face may have changed, but it is you. I name you Fiorn, the Wanderer...Fiorn, the Oathbreaker....Fiorn the Kinslayer. Names have a power...you taught me that, all those lives ago. And now, I know yours."

    Veins on either side of Fiorn's neck bulged as he strained against the paralysis net, but nothing below his chin moved. He was held tighter than if he'd been bound with good steel chains. Finally, exhausted, Fiorn slumped against the spell that held his body rigid, and he wept silently.

    "Yes, names have power," Zeddar whispered, bending so that his mouth was next to Fiorn's ear, "You were my teacher once...when you wore a different man's face. You took an oath to my family...an oath sealed in blood....your blood and my father's. I've always wondered, did it pain you when you drove the enchanted spike through my mother's eye and killed her and all of the children she birthed? Did you feel that oath then?"

    Fiorn sobbed, and Zeddar released his grip on the man's shoulder. He stood, and stared down at the broken, wretched creature at his feet. He pitied Fiorn, though he wished it were not so. The paralysis net waivered, but solidified. The spell would evaporate soon enough, so Zeddar had to move swiftly.

    He drew a dagger, and with a series of words whispered in the ancient tongue of the Mystics, Zeddar made a small cut on his left palm. He let the blood sprinkle over Fiorn as he spoke.

    "By your blood you are bound to my family, Fiorn," Zeddar said, "And by that blood I call you to service. Your body may have changed, but the words you spoke bound your eternal soul. And by that oath I call you. Go to your master, whatever rock he is hiding beneath, and tell him that Zeddar has awakened. Tell him that Zeddar walks again."

    "I won't!" Fiorn shrieked, struggling once more against the spell that barely held him, "I WON"T go back THERE!!!"

    Zeddar knelt and put his face so close to Fiorn's that he could smell the beggar's rank breath, "You will go, Fiorn, and you will deliver my message exactly as I gave it to you. I don't know if your oath still holds your soul or not... but if we're going to test a magic that was already ancient when both our souls were young, then I'm glad it's your soul we're testing it with. Who knows what deep and dark powers you might call forth if you refuse a blood summoning, but I'm sure it will be spectacular. What do you say?"

    Fiorn stared at him, eyes wide and full of fear before finally nodding. Zeddar smiled and released the paralysis spell, which crumbled as soon as he let it go. Zeddar took a deep breath to steady himself. So much exertion had nearly drained his strength. It would do him good to remember that he was a long way yet from his former power. He stood and pulled Fiorn to his feet.

    "Discharge this order, and I will release you from your oath," Zeddar said, "You will be free."

    Fiorn grimaced, "Free?" He turned his head and spat, "You know nothing of the prison I've suffered. So long it's been since I was free.... I can't remember what it felt like now. You were supposed to die too. I remember you...sniveling little welp. Can't believe I forgot that you were cut from your mother's belly, not born. The spell couldn't touch you....couldn't take your soul. You were the one who was supposed to die most. And I've paid... paid so much for my failure."

    Zeddar took a step toward Fiorn, "What do you mean, 'take my soul?'" Zeddar asked, his eyes suddenly full of rage.

    "The spike," Fiorn said, cowering back a step, "It was enchanted. Cursed. It stole your mother's soul and all of her children. Kept them locked in the spike to feed the Dark Lord's power."

    Zeddar felt as if someone had stabbed him in the heart. He stumbled, and fell to his knees. His mother, his brothers...his sister.... all trapped and at the mercy of that monster. Fiorn saw his opportunity and took a step forward, attacking the weakness.

    "I understand your sister lasted the longest," Fiorn hissed, hatred thick in his voice, "She held out for more than a century before her essence flickered and finally went out. I wonder what that must have been like for her... a hundred years and more of being slowly devoured, one bite at the time."

    Zeddar shot to his feet, his fingers closing around Fiorn's throat. He lifted the beggar easily off the street, and the man's feet kicked in the air. Zeddar was a breath away from crushing Fiorn's larynx and watching him die. But, slowly, he brought himself back under control. He set Fiorn back on the ground, and the beggar stumbled, coughing and wheezing.

    "Go, Fiorn the Betrayer," Zeddar rasped, "Deliver my message to your master, and let his fear become your own. The next time I see you, I will destroy you."

    Fiorn opened his mouth, but the summoning held him. He spat a vile curse, and shuffled off down the street, muttering to himself. Zeddar watched until the wretched creature turned down an alleyway out of sight. Zeddar thought of his mother....her face....her smile.... he thought of his three brothers, and their honor.... he though of his baby sister, and her laugh.

    Zeddar tried to take a step forward, but he fell to his knees. The pain and the past washed over him, and Zeddar wept.
  2. Jupiter

    Jupiter Well-Known Member

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    This story has been added to the oral history of Paws.

    MEMORIZED!​

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