Abner closed the door, carefully barring and locking it. Touching one hand to the wall, he spoke an incantation under his breath.
As he finished, he heard a faint moaning from behind him, and turned. He watched impassively as the man on the floor, feet and arms bound, struggled slowly to his knees.
His breath rasping in his throat, the man caught sight of Abner for the first time, standing silent, with his red hood concealing his face and a knife grasped in one hand, a long blade for skinning animals, that shone dully in the light of a torch on the wall. The man's eyes widened, and he couldn't speak except to sound like he was choking in pure fear.
"Do you know what a trouble I had finding you," Abner spoke quietly, "Three months, and in the end I even had to stoop to associating with beggars."
"Who are you?"
"You don't know?" Abner shook his head, "I am... was, rather, an Anchorite."
For the first time, Abner momentarily showed emotion, a bitter malice that came over his voice as he spoke of his past.
" But... that is neither here or now. You are Lek Gavin. You once, in a place far from here, served under the banners of Loht, the would-be usurper. As to your crimes, I have no doubt they are many, quite apart from what I already know of your history," he paused for a second. "Now, you know as well as I do of the war. One particular thing interested me particularly about you, however.
Near the end of the war, you were sent, along with a small group of Loht's best men, away. Looking for a weapon of power... the Epitoria. All of the others whose names I discovered are either dead or gone. You are going to tell me where the Epitoria is."
Abner spoke a word of magic, and a whip, a cat o' nine tails, appeared in his other hand.
"Please," the man on the floor said, fear making his words difficult to understand, "I can't tell you, don't know. We spent five months looking, until we were almost all dead from starvation, or killed by monsters and bandits. I ran away, knew I'd be followed... Please..."
Abner didn't answer. He lifted the whip, and with a crack, he brought the lash down on the prisoner's back...
"You know, my spell prevents anyone from hearing you, " Abner said conversationally.
Lek lay on the floor, his body cut open all over by the lash of the whip, his mouth open in what was, at the moment, a silent scream.
"Let's try again, shall we? Where is the Epitoria?"
After a few seconds, Lek drew a ragged gasp, and began screaming again.
"No? Perhaps with more encouragement?"
After a while, Abner finally let the whip drop.
"It seems I was wrong about you, " now his voice was cold and taut with frustration barely controlled. "Well, I can't just leave you here."
Abner lifted the carving knife.
"The light sanctify my blade. Justice be done."
About an hour later, Abner walked out of the room, shutting the door quietly behind him.
As he stepped out into the street, he heard a scream in the distance. Quickly he spoke a word of magic, and he disappeared.
He reappeared, knife raised in one hand, eyes scanning the street warily. Off in the distance, he saw an old man with a bird on his shoulder, and beyond that a figure in black walking along the docks.
Last edited by shadowsworn; 10-30-2006 at 10:19 PM.
Ophelia hunched over the fresh corpse and finished her work vigourously, thick blood coated her hands and her frock, some had even splattered upon her smooth ivory skin.
Stupid man made such a ghastly noise when I took him, she thought with a frown, someone might have heard, possibly that damned barkeep.. thinking he's such a hero. I shouldn't have taken one so close into town. The aching in her arm muscles stopped her mind from wandering any further. Just a few more, and I can hide until daybreak.
Though it was just past midnight, Ophelia knew that a few rays of sun would soon peek behind the clouds, shining upon that wide sea. To uncover a lovely treasure that I have left behind! She giggled under her breath, standing back to admire her work.
The man's body, was now contorted and butchered randomly. At any first glance it would look as if the man had encountered a ferocious animal. It was the victim's face that betrayed him, his eyes were wide in fear, paralyzed in that fateful moment. All of his teeth were missing, savagely sawed off with a short blade, his mouth left in a bloody grimace.
Smiling down at the teeth in her hands, shiny from the wet pool of blood they sat in, Ophelia held them to her face in a silent moment of bliss. Time to run..
Rina stared at the ship untill it sailed into the local Merual port, the moon shone high in the sky, most likely around midnight. "Wonder if the local fish shop is open..." she mumbled to herself, deep in thought.
Rina soonafter began her walk to the docks, "Really shouldn't have been out this late." her thoughts itched at her, she looked left and right every few seconds out of nervousness, even pulling out her staff ( Which was rather like unsheathing a sword ) at the start of a sound that sounded rather eerie, but soon strapping it once more, concluding it just to be a cat or an owl of somesorts.
She finally neared the docks, and the same ship was there, the man on the ship must've already been on his way. Rina sighed deeply, then entered the local fish shop.
"I see you're open John!" she said quite happily. "Aye, I am me' mistress." Rina smiled, "Now, you know I am not part of the council just yet, but wish me luck. I came here for some fish by the way..." She said, eyeing a rather large trout curiously. "I'll have this one John." Rina said, pointing towards the trout. "Has it been salted yet?" John's response was a somewhat dissapointed shake of his head, "No mistress, ran out unfourtunately." Rina nodded lightly as he passed the fish towards her, she took it into her left hand, pointing one finger at the fish, salt started lightly sprinkling upon it, apparently from no where. "There we go, many thanks John."
The walk into the middle of Merula was rather long, and almost as odd, or so Rina felt it to be. "Bloody rumours, all probaly lies..." Rina had a bad habit of talking to herself, not something that was an attractive feature of her's. Almost home, she caught sight of a pub, smacking her lips as she entered it, maybe for the fact that some company would be good on such a night, or that she was rather thirsty. "Good day to you Jack." she said to the barkeep, who looked as if he had seen a ghost, "G-g-good evenin' Rina." Rina frowned lightly at his stuttering, but asked for half a pint of ale and took her seat, not inquiring about it.
Jack hurried back to her, half a large cup of ale in one hand. "Mh... Thanks Jack." She said after sipping a good bit of the ale. The pub wasn't too empty, only a few seats not filled, most of the others sat good men of Merula. Just then Rina had imagined she heard a sound, not from the pub, but from the alley next to it. "Imagination, imagination..." She said, calming herself, apparently no one else had noticed it. Then again, people told Rina she had rather good hearing. She eyed to the door behind the bar table, leading to the back alley and shrugged lightly. Rina hummed lightly to herself as she sat in the little corner of the wooden building, the inn of Merula.
"Markov! Letz go back! Zis iz anything but a good idea!" Ivan scanned their surroundings as Markov continued his way to the source of the scream.
"Look, maybe someone fell down on something lethal. A knife maybe?" Markov said, trying to reassure Ivan. "You know me chap. It is my duty to march in, potions ablazing, to save these bumbling fools!" Markov said without even a sign of humor.
"Crockpot wizard till death...." Ivan muttered, not facing Markov's head.
"Now im sure it was one of these miniscule alleys... who knows how long the lad would have been without hel-"
"BY THE DECENT GODS!" Ivan covered his beak with a wing "My appetite.. oh crap.." He covered his face in Markov's hair.
"What, seen another vulture's meal? I assure you my shoulder is the safest pla-..." Markov gazed down, shocked at what was in front of him.
A corpse was hunched behind a building. Blood flowed freely like a steam over the cobblestone floor. Markov checked at the body, the surroundings, and placement of blood. Street murders should never be this brutal. The face of the man was what really got Markov. His eyes were wide, shocked, even suprised. At one point he was expecting death, but nothing like this. No teeth, maimed beyond identification, it was all sickening to think this could happen in a town built for the passerby.
Markov turned to face the backdoor of the pub in front of him, his face filled with anger and pity. "How could they not hear a man be slaughtered right outside!"
He was about to slam open the door when he turned to Ivan. "What is it?"
"Nothing.." The bird was still shocked. "Thought I saw a figure down zat alley."
Markov was too angry to listen. He slammed open the backdoor, suprising all of the patrons. "Just so theres no suprise later on, theres a mangled corpse out back here. But dont mind it, you youngsters were too busy drinking while he was being murdered in the first place!"
Ophelia was at the end of the tunnel when she heard an exclamation behind her. Instinctively, she crouched, and tried to identify what was in the alley. Oh no.. oh my no. This is not good, not good. She mumbled to herself, they have found my little treasure, oh yes, surely they will cry. She clutched the teeth that were in her hand, and shoved them into a pocket in her blood-soaked skirt.
Her mind racing, she pressed herself against the wall of the alley and slinked around the corner. You cannot be seen like this, not covered in blood. Sweet, sweet blood, they will know it was you Stealing a look around the corner, and into the alley again, she was alarmed to see that whoever had been in the alley was gone. Instead, she heard shouts from the local inn.
Oh no.. oh no no no no. You're dead. You are dead! Pressing her face into her bloodstained hands Ophelia sank to the ground. All is lost.
There was no way she could reach her makeshift house by the seashore in time to change her clothes and get the blood off her skin and hair. The townspeople would be on a manhunt in a short while, nowhere would be safe.
She could picture herself, being found out, being arrested and executed. Shaking her head violently, she cast the thoughts out of her mind.
Everything inside Ophelia screamed at her to run, so she did, through the alley and over the body. Already she could hear a commotion from the inn, but she wasn't sure if it was real, or just her panicked mind.