May 2 2005, 12:59 AM
Forgot to post chapter 7 in this site i realized....here you go.
Ahnaressu had been scouring the ashlands for weeks, hunting Valnor. The weeks of hunting proved to be unfruitful, leaving a very angry dunmer boy. Ahnaressu was devoid of all emotion in his hunt. Except anger. Familiar images, images that had never left him, filled his mind. He saw his mother dying, offering one last spell to destroy her enemies. He saw Valnor, the cruel dunmer who seemed so far away. He saw the survivors of the tribe, running for their lives, Ahnaressu still wasn't sure of their survival. What he saw most clearly was his future. And in it, he saw his revenge.
Valnor noted the move of the Urshilku tribe. He had seen the old site and the new. He marked the new position on his map for future reference, and continued his hunt for another army. Seeing another small camp, he made his way towards it, planning to give his well recited speech to whoever was in the camp.
Ahnaressu knew he was not himself. It was as if anger controlled his every step. Anger seemed to be a separate entity that took his body from time to time. Ahnaressu remembered the same thing happening during his fight in the Rat in the Pot. Ahnaressu need only to see Relgar to bring him back to reason. Without the baby boy, Ahnaressu believed, he would not have survived so far. Anger would have controlled him, devoured him. He would not lose himself in his anger. Or so he hoped.
An alit walked around, apperently searching for a meal. It found what it was looking for. A cave rat always cured an alit's hunger. The alit stalked silently (For an alit anyway!) on its two awkward legs.
The alit made a strange jump, catching the rat under its foot on the landing. Thinking it had a meal. The alit turned around, only to catch a dagger in the neck.
Nyph smiled at his own excellent marksmanship. Thinking of the meals he could cook with the alit he killed and the rat that was killed for him. The assassin skinned the two animals right there before taking their meat and the alit's hide back to the camp.
Nyph arrived at the camp to see four new mambers. The assassin politely offered them the alit hide, not needing it anyway.
"What a thoughtful gift." one of them said.
"It is my pleasure." Nyph said.
Nyph honestly liked nobody in the band other than Valnor, but he knew they were necessary for their mission. Therefore, he tried to make a sense of "friendliness" in the band, hoping for less deserters. His plan was working. Nyph Noted an unusual dunmer in the latest small group to join their cause. He was obviously not very strong, as a matter of fact, his body looked very frial, but his eyes glowed with an intensity Nyph had not seen in anyone but a certain young boy. Nyph told himself to meet him, but not now. There was food to eat right now. Nyph sat down by a nearby fire and slowly roasted his meat while sipping a bit of matze. Nyph liked nothing better than killing and relaxing. Killing being his favorite.
May 2 2005, 12:59 AM
The rough terrain did not stop Ahnaressu's angry charge. He was walking fast, no rock or thorn could stop him. He tripped over large rocks, but did not move his focus. He quickly got up, no sign of pain on his face. His focus was on something he could not see. Over the hill, was Valnor's camp. Over the steep, rocky hill, was Valnor's camp.
One of the sentries noted the boy, but gave no alarm, for he figured the boy had come to join them. He did, however, alert Valnor.
"A young boy comes to us." the guard said. "Should we let him in?"
valnor smiled, thinking like the guard. "Yes, we will have yet another person to join our cause....No one is to harm him, and no one is to even speak to him until I do."
"Yes, sir." the guard replied, immediately relaying the message to all of the guarss and the rest of the camp.
Ahnaressu, or Ahnaressu's anger, came up the slope to see about two score of rogue dunmer. One dunmer he recognized, but the assassin was asleep. Ahnaressu did not reach for his blades, but slowly walked to the center of the camp. Ahnaressu made a slow scan of the area, and spotted a large tent, obviously the tent of the leader. Ahnaressu slowly walked towards it, not feeling fear or trepidation, only anger. His hand went for the tent flap, but before he could open it, a large dunmer walked out. Ahnaressu's enemy, the goal of all his travels. Valnor would die this day.
"What do you want?" Valnor asked.
Ahnaressu looked up at the man, suddenly realizing that that was the fourth or fifth time the question had been asked. "I am here to kll you." Ahnaressu said, no hint of fear in his voice.
"Kill me?" Valnor asked incredulously. "I could do a number of things before you could even strike at me. Icould cleave you in two with my claymore, I could pick you up and snap you in half, I could even snap my fingers and two score of the people will kill you. Do you still wish to kill me?"
"I do not care what you could do to me. What more harm could you do?" Ahnaressu asked that question and flinched, remembering he had left Relgar at his small camp. Ahnaressu held his breath for a second and continued. "You and your band destroy my family and expect me to sit idly by while you destroy other families? No, Valnor, I will not stand idly by. You will die before this day is over."
Valnor smiled again, a perfectly wicked grin. With no more words to be spoken, Valnor lifted his claymore for an overhead chop.
May 2 2005, 01:00 AM
This was not the fight in his dreams, Ahnaressu realized. The location was wrong, the dialogue was wrong. That chop was exactly the same. All Ahnaressu could do was jump out of the way, more of a desperate dive than any planned dodge. He recovered well, though, quickly regaining his footing. The boy drew his blades, imperial shortsword in his right hand, tanto in his left. He used much the same tactics as in the fight with the imperial in his old cave. Dodging out of range, and darting back in for a hit. The dodging part was difficult, for the range of Valnor's claymore was a long one. Getting a hit was also hard, for Valnor seemed in perfect defense every time. Ahnaressu wondered if his sword could even penetrate the large dunmer's armor.
Ahnaressu tried to dodge the latest swing, the claymore hit his left side hard. The young boy collapsed on the ground, cringing in agony. He got up, dropped his tanto and held his side while trying his hardest to limp away. Ahnaressu suddenly came to the realization that him dying here would do no good. Not to his cause, not for his brother.
Valnor watched in amusement. He sheathed his claymore and ordered his men to go back to their routines. The men did follow his orders, somewhat. They did not go back to their duties until they had spit or thrown a heavy object at the pitiful creature that had possessed the courage, or stupidity, to battle Valnor.
He made the trip back to his camp. The trip normally would have taken an hour, but with his recent injury, it took him about four. Ahnaressu would have made himself some potions, but he figured he didn't have the time to make the potion, much less find the ingredients. When your guts start coming out of your body, time is short. Ahnaressu crawled inside his tent and scrambled around to find the scrolls he bought. When he found his Scroll of Healing, he quickly read the incantations inscribed on the glistening paper. He felt his skin healing itself, but knew the inside of his body was not put aright. He put Relgar down to sleep and did the same to himself.
Valnor sat in his tent. He regretted having to give the boy a mortal blow, mainly because he had exeptional skill with his blades, it just had not developed yet. Valnor recognized that, and wished the boy had indeed come to join his cause. Not thinking it an enormous loss, he did not worry himself with that particular problem any more.
Nyph had seen the battle, and even though the boy had saved his life, his conscience did not bother him. According to his slight moral awareness, he had not done the deed, and therefore did not concern him. A certain member of his band did, he remembered. He slowly got up from his reclined positions and made his way towrds the curious man's tent. The man with the fierce eyes. He made his way around the scattered fires and finally came upon the man's tent.
"Hello?" Nyph asked.
"Who are you and what do you want?" came a rather rude reply.
Nyph like this man already. "I am Nyph, and I wish to speak with you."
The flap opened, and the man motioned for Nyph to come inside.
The interior of the tent was comfortable. There were nice furs on the ground to sit on, and a small fire in the center, and a hole was in the top of the tent to sserve as a chimney. The floor was littered with notes, sketches, and seemingly random scrawlings. Nyph was pleased. A wizard. He thought.
Ahnaressu was doing some stretches to determine the limit of his ablilities. The injury on his side was once serious, but the scroll and the rest had helped enormously. It still hurt the boy to bend down, jump, walk. or lean to the side. Basically, he could limp around his camp and feed Relgar. There was another scroll, but being as conservative as he was, he hated to use it. He did decide, however, he would use it if this intense pain did not go away. He did odd jobs around his camp. He sewed the holes in his small lean-to tent, made some soup, and even sharpened his shortsword. He regretted leaving his tanto, but he figured getting away with his life and sword was worth it. He would try again. And he would be ready, but first, Relgar needed to be given a chance at life. Ahnaressu regretted it, but Relgar would have to stay with someone. The small child deserved much more than what he was giving him. Relgar needed to be raised properly.
May 2 2005, 01:00 AM
Ahnaressu was bored of the healing process and his willpower could not handle the temptation of a healing scroll. He healed his wound, and made his way towards a city. Looking at his map, Mar Gaan was the closest one, but Ahnaressu knew that often the cities in the ashlands were full of thieves and exiled ahslanders, so voted for the western city of Gnisis.
Gnisis loomed before the young dunmer. He remembered his last experiment in "civilization", and still wasn't pleased. Ahnaressu did this for Relgar, not for himself. He had no luck finding his own people to leave his brother with, and he was intent on finding someone to take care of the boy, or he would delay his revenge until Relgar was older.
Nyph sat on the furs across the tent from the mage, Lergo. Lergo explained the lates spell he was working on. A devastating spel that would control the weather for a brief period of time, sending many large bolts of lightning. Lergo figured it could wipe out a small army in mere seconds.
"This could be useful. I will be sure that none bother you in your studies."
Lergo examined the look on Nyph's face. "You do not believe I speak truth." Lergo stated, almost accusingly.
"No I do not. But I have been wrong many times. I spoke the truth when I said none will bother you."
"Do not underestimate the power of magic. Do not underestimate my power either assassin."
Nyph merely smiled and said. "Prove your power to me, and I wil believe."
"You will see its power when we battle the Erabenimsun." Lergo stated.
Nyph started to leave, but Lergo added. "A task I heard you failed in recently."
Nyph continued to walk away.
Ahnaressu had no idea who to leave his brother with. He trusted nobody he did not know. That was every person in the town. He had no choice but to settle down while he looked for a place to leave his brother. Ahnaressu walked around the town, trying to learn his way around. He came across a distressed-looking girl about his age.
"Is everything alright?" Ahnaressu asked.
The girl looked up, her teary eyes meeting Ahnaressu's. "No...my..." She burst into tears.
Ahnaressu pressed gently. "Your what? What happened?"
She looked down to the ground and said. "My mom. She never came back from her temple chores. I,,,,,I think something bad happened."
"What kind of task?"
"A pilgrimage. The Shrine of Valor is what I think she called it."
"Do you know where it is?"
"No, but I bet you could find out from a priest or priestess in the temple. There is another shrine here in Gnisis so you shouldn't have a problem finding one."
Ahnaressu had decided at the beginning of the conversation to help the girl. He left his brother with her and headed to the temple.
May 2 2005, 01:00 AM
Ahnaressu left the temple as soon as he could for two reasons. One, because of his urgent mission, and two, because he hated the worshippers of the tribunal. The Urshilaku taught all of their young about the false gods. Ahnaressu could not justify worshipping mortals. He went south, where he was told that Koal Cave was located.
He came upon the entrance, and wasted no time walking inside. The shrine was right in the doorway, and beyond was only water. Not seeing anyone's mother in the small area of land he was on, he stripped down except for his shortsword, and jumped into the water. He went straight on throught the watery tunnels, until he came upon two more tunnels. He could continue straight, go left, or go right. Ahnaressu did not take long to make the decision to go straight, his lungs felt like they were going to explode. He spotted a place to come up for air, and he wasted no time doing just that. He gulped in the air, and quickly went back under the water. He continued a bit further, only to find a dead end. Frustrated, he went back to the intersection of the tunnels. he went to his left, and went even further, only to find another dead end.
And two fierce-looking dreugh.
He swiped at one with his sword, but it was much more adept in the water than he, and easily avioded the clumsy swing. The other druegh grabbed him in his claw, and began trying to drown him. Ahnaressu struggled, but realized that it only made the creature squeeze harder. He relaxed immediately, not knowing what else to do.
Nyph told Valnor of the mage, and Valnor agreed that none should obther him in his studies. Valnor began to like Lergo as much as he liked Nyph. It wasn't long before Lergo was at the same station in rank as Nyph. Nyph cared about that about a much as he cared about everything else - he didn't. Nyph did, however, want desperately to see Lergo's spell, even if he wasn't quite convinced of its reality. Valnor's army was growing ever so slowly. He had about forty men, but that number had decreased recently to a mere twenty due to desertion, and Valnor wanted a hundred men before actually attacking another ashlander camp. Valnor was no novice to the slow process, having spent about three and a half years to raise the first army, and now he wanted double the original number of men. He would wait. Revenge had its own patience.
May 2 2005, 01:01 AM
The dreugh squeezed the last of Ahnaressu's breath out. He was drowning and he knew it. His sword was at the bottom of the underwater cavern now, having dropped it. He knew he would speed up his death by struggling, but he had no other choice. He decided he would rather die with air in his lungs than with water. He tried his best to wiggle out of the druegh's grip, but it was not successful. The boy let go of the claw that held him and grabbed one of the tentacles of the druegh's bottom half. That only made things worse. His neck was bleeding from the claw's grip. He struggled for air, and couldn't even get in a position to gulp water. Unconsciousness threatened to take him.
Valnor decided to let his men rest for a week or so. All the traveling was not good for morale, much less his numbers. He organized large hunting parties to kill beasts for meat and to scavenge for fruits and vegetables. Valnor figured that a feast was in order not only for morale, but because many of the men had not eaten in two days. No fighting had occured, and the men were restless. He large dunmer hoped a feast would cure it.
Ahnaressu was out of choices. He would die. He closed his eyes and hoped it would pass quickly. It didn't. Something hard smashed against his face. He opened his eyes to see the other dreugh in front of his face. The dreugh slapped him again. Ahnaressu fought hard against it, but the rage was coming. The young dunmer's right hand shot out, his thumb dug into the dreugh's right eye, and the dunmer's index finger was inside the dreugh's left eye. The dreugh let out a gurgling sream, and swam away, its arm covering its face. Ahnaressu smiled a pefectly wicked smile.
The Urshilaku had been in their new location for quite awhile, and wer aching to get back to their usual site, even though they still feared an attack from the rogues. Nibani Maesa and Sul-Matuul had talked many times, and after much objection from Nibani, the ashkhan decided to go back, but told Nibani that the tribe would be more alert to an attack, and would be prepared to deal with it appropriately.
"Why leave these defensible walls?" Nibani asked.
"You know as well as I it is hard to come by food around here. I think we need to be alive to handle an attack." Sul-Matuul argued. "We were only defeated last time because we were caught by surprise. Next time, we will be ready."
Nibani only nodded. Knowing that the ashkhan only did what he thought was best for his tribe.
The dreugh struggled, but it did not seem to disturb Ahnaressu in the least. The claw still held him firmly, but Ahnaressu's fingers held firmly in the creature's eyes. The dreugh's grip relaxed, And Ahnaressu pried open the claw and shot up for a small air pocket. He went back under, feeling refreshed. The young dark elf went to the bottome to grab his sword before running the cringing dreugh through. The hardest part of his job seeming through, Ahnaressu swam back to the intersection and took the only tunnel he hadn't so far.
Ahnaressu came up into a small cavern, and the only way in or out was the underwater tunnel. He saw a dunmer priestess with soaked and tattered robe. She was huddled in a corner shaking. Ahnaressu could not tell if it was from fear or the cold. Ahnaressu felt embarrassed that he didnt leave his clothes on, but he got over it quick, knowing some things were more important than others.
"Are you alright?" Ahnaressu asked.
The woman looked up, noticing him for the first time. She did not answer him.
"I talked to your daughter." Ahnaressu stated flatly.
The woman's face lit up. " Let us leave, then."
Ahnaressu almost agreed, before he remembered the surviving dreugh. "Wait here. There is a dreugh out there that I have to take care of first."
The woman smiled. "Thank you."
Ahnaressu nodded and dove back into the water.
May 2 2005, 01:01 AM
After searching almost the entire cavern, Ahnaressu found the missing dreugh in the water by the entrance of the cave. It immediately attacked him, but Ahnaressu quickly pierced its armored head with his shortsword. Ahnaressu swam back to the batterd woman, and Ahnaresssu led her to the door. He slipped into his pants, but left his shirt in his pack, wanting to dry off first. He wiped his wet, black hair out of his face and opened the door for the woman.
The woman was first to break the awkward silence. "Thank you for saving me from those dreugh..." The woman started, obviously needing a name to finish the statement.
"Ahnaressu." The boy finished for her.
"Well met, Ahnaressu. I am Trielle." The woman said as they came upon the entrance to Gnisis. They found Trielle's daughter, and Ahnaressu gladly accepted Relgar from her. Ahnaressu watched as Triellle and her daughter reunited. It brought up many emotions inside him. He thought of the good times he had with his mother, Zaldin, but the image of her death struck pain in his heart at the same time. Ahnaressu Started to walk away, but someone called after him.
"Ahnaressu!" Trielle yelled at him.
He turned around.
"You may stay with us at the temple if you would like."
Ahnaressu could not turn down shelter for the night, and with that shelter probably came food. Ahnaressu accepted the kind offer and walked with them to the temple.
Ahnaressu felt strangely out of place in the temple. Most of the priests and priestesses were dressed in fine robes, while all he had was a dirty pair of pants filled with holes, a threadbare shirt, and a tattered overcoat. None of the inhabitants of the temple seemed to mind. It was as if they thought he was merely the lowest temple custodian. Trielle showed him to a room where he could stay and he quickly went to the bed for some sleep.
Valnor watched as his men feasted. There was enough laghter and drinking that one might have mistaken the gathering for an enormous bar. Valnor did not take part in the drinking, however. He did not like having anything dull his senses. He did not like being vulnerable, so he avioded drinks and narcotics. That ws one of the reasons he was such a great fighter - he did not like being vulnerable, and trained himself so that he would never be. He liked to be in control of himself and those around him. And he did a good job.
Valnor acknowledged Lergo, interrupted from his thoughts. He noticed the mage held his claymore out for him.
"Ah, so it is finished." Valnor said, almost giddy.
"Yes, it will now scorch your enemies with a magical fire." Lergo said.
"I will have to try it out soon." Valnor said, and evil smile widening across his face.
Lergo was fearful of what that evil smile meant, but did well hiding it.
May 2 2005, 01:01 AM
Ahnaressu woke up and put his clothes on. After checking on his sleeping brother, he walked out of the temple for fresh air. Leaning against the temple wall, the young dunmer got lost in his thoughts. He thought it ironic that he would sleep in a temple of the Tribunal. The Tribunal, mere mortals who thought of themselves as something more. As his thoughts continued, he realized that he was guilty of the same sin. He had thought himself a god, the way he roamed the ashlands for revenge. He had thought that Valnor could not kill him, that his anger would somehow see him through the battle.
"What's wrong?" Trielle's daughter, Cali, asked.
Ahnaressu was startled, being thrust from his personal thoughts. "Nothing." Ahnaressu said.
It was obvious to Cali that he was hiding something, but didn't press the point. "Well if you need anything, my mother will be in the temple."
"And you will be where?" Ahnaressu asked, almost accusingly.
Cali merely walked away, but turned around to flash him a mischevious smile. "I'll be around."
Ahnaressu watched her go before walking back into the temple to get his brother.
Ahnaressu put Relgar down and sat down beside the toddler, and began playing with him. It wasn't long before Relgar decided to take another nap, and Ahnaressu took the time alone to lie down with his head propped up on a rock. He fell back into his thoughts. He was scared, he realized, scared to lose his brother. That was why Relgar could calm his anger, that was why he could not bring himself to give him up, even though he had just found a person to take care of him. Ahnaressu sighed, life was so much easier when his family consisted of more than two people. He slowly stood up, grabbed his sleping brother and went back to the temple to get his things.
Nibani sat in her recently constructed yurt, thinking of the visions she had. She wondered how Ahnaressu could help after the danger was over. Maesa used her magic to find out that the same force that assaulted the Urshilaku had been obliterated by the warriors of the Erabenimsun. She had not had a vision since, but did not know why she had it in the first place - her visions had never proved wrong before. It worried her, but not enough to keep her from sleep.
Ahnaressu wondered if he was being rude to leave without telling Trielle and Cali goodbye, but didn't want to be talked out of leaving. He was walking out the temple door with his pack and Relgar in hand when Cali popped in front of him.
"Leaving so soon?" Cali asked, genuinely worried.
"I have to." Ahnaressu answered.
"Why?" Cali asked.
Ahnaressu had no answer, so he was relieved when Trielle walked up. Before he could even say "hello," or even "farewell," Trielle asked him to travel with them to the next shrine, located at the Fields of Kummu.
Ahnaressu had no idea where he was going anyway, and decided to go. "I would be glad to." Ahnaressu said.
"I see you are already packed," Trielle said. "but Cali and I are not. we will not be long."
It was less than an hour before they were on their way. Ahnaressu had no idea why Trielle would invite him to go with them because a thirteen year old boy was not exactly ideal protection, no matter how good of a fighter he was. Ahnaressu still wondered what he was going to do - Relgar's life demanded his attention, but so did his need for vengeance.
May 2 2005, 01:02 AM
Ahnaressu smiled as he watched Relgar play with his new friend, Cali. They had been spending quite a bit of time together as of late, and it gave Ahnaressu a break from the constant feeding and cleaning. He moved his eyes towards Trielle, watching her as she studied one of Vivec's sermons. Ahnaressu doubted that Vivecactually said or wrote the stories, but kept his opinion to himself. Ahnaressu suddenly realized that it was getting late and they had not eaten.
"I'm going for a short hunt." Ahnaressu said while getting up. He picked up his bow and strapped on his shortsword before disappearing over a small hill.
"Don't be gone too long!" Trielle shouted after him. The way she said it made him think of his mother.
Ahnaressu did not bother to reply, but merely continued walling.
It was not even an hour before Ahnressu had killed a nix-hound with his bow. He stripped the beast of its meat and walked back to his friends with his prize.
Cali looked up from her game with Relgar and greeted Ahnaressu. "Ah, The Great Hunter, back with his trophy."
Ahnaressu hated the title he had somehow earned, but hid his embarrassment. He was unsure of whether or not she was being sarcastic.
"Ah, the mother, still at home with her baby." Ahnaressu said with a smile, hoping she was being as playful as he. The playful banter continued, while the four dark elves were unaware of the eyes watching them
May 2 2005, 01:02 AM
"We need to stop in Balmora for a day or so. I haven't had a proper bath in over a week." Trielle said.
"Why?" Ahnaressu asked. "We could just bypass the town, and just continue southeast as we are already doing." The boy made up reasons not to go, trying to avoid civilization. Even though most never noticed he was an ashlander, he felt as if he was being scrutinized by everyone he passed.
"I would like a rest, and I don't know why you don't want to go to Balmora, but your reasons are not enough to keep my daughter and I from needed rest." Trielle said in a tone of finality.
Ahnaressu nodded, practicality overcoming his petty fears. He took his mind from the argument and put his attention towards the setting sun.
Two nords, a breton, and a redguard watched the four dark elves with more than passing interest. They kept out of sight of the dark elves, but never let the dark elves out of their sight. They too watched the setting sun, but with much more earnest.
Night fell, and the four dunmer lay down to get some sleep. Usually Ahnaressu would stand watch, but Trielle noticed his tired, bloodshot eyes and would have none of it. So everyone in the camp was in a bedroll, ready for sleep.
Ahnaressu heard stirring from Trielle's bedroll, and turned around to see what was happening. He saw her get up, and figured she was only going to relieve herself. Thinking nothing of it, he went back to sleep.
A loud scream brought him to his feet. He put on his pants and strapped on his sword belt, running in the direction of the screams. In the dark night, he saw four dark silhouettes beating another dark silhouette he knew to be Trielle. He heard running footsteps behind him. He turned to face Cali. the girl noticed what was happening and started to run into the fray. Ahnaressu acted on instinct, and tackled her to the ground before the four highwaymen could notice her. Ahnaressu put his hand over her mouth to prevent her from screaming, but also left her enough room to breathe. He held her to keep her from running into danger, but also hugged her to offer what little comfort he could. It wasn't long before the screams stopped.
"There's nothing we can do." Ahnaresssu whispered in her ear. "There's nothing we can do."
Cali did not answer; she had fainted.
Ahnaressu went back to the camp, carrying an unconscious Cali. He put her down on her bedroll and made sure Relgar was safe. He could not sleep that night, he would make sure no one else was hurt. He wanted to move the camp, but could not carry a girl and a baby. his only choice was to watch over his two companions.
May 2 2005, 01:03 AM
The night proved uneventful, no sign of danger appeared. Ahnaressu just sat against a rock, waiting for Cali to awaken. He knew what it was like to lose a mother, and he told himself that he could help her overcome her grief, but if a conversation developed, he would never find the words to say. Ahnaressu hoped that she would not blame herself for Trielle's death, and he feared more than anything that she thought it his. With another death, he was responsible for another life.
Cali awakened, only to have a faraway look in her eyes. As if she was denying what was in the present and dwelling in the past.
"I'm going to get her body...would you like to come?" Ahnaressu asked in the kindest tone he could muster.
She sighed and closed her eyes, trying to decide. She nodded her head, apparently not wanting conversation.
Ahnaressu looked into those eyes, eyes that showed pure horror in the last moments of life. Ahnaressu used his fingers to close those eyes for the last time, and said a prayer to the ancestors for the protection of Trielle's soul. Cali walked up behind him, and Ahanressu was glad that she had not seen her mother's fearful eyes. Ahanressu dug the grave while Cali watched with tearful eyes. Ahnaressu put the last bit of dirt onto the grave, and quietly left Cali to her thoughts.
Cali came back to the camp about an hour later, while Ahnaressu fed Relgar. Ahnaressu nodded to welcome her without shattering the silence she seemed to need so much. Cali merely layed down in her bedroll and cried herself to sleep. Ahnaressu woke her up, and forced her to travel with him, lest she lie in a bedroll crying for eternity. Ahnaressu felt bad for having to force her at a time in her life such as this, but did not want to risk the bandits coming again to kill them.
Balmora was not where Ahanressu wanted to be, but for Cali's sake, he had to go. He led Cali towards the temple, hoping they might help Cali's utter hopelessness. If not that, at least they could provide a warm bed and hot food for three weary travelers. Cali cried herself to sleep in the bed the temple had provided for her, while Ahanressu went to a tavern called Eight Plates to see if he could get some food for himself and his brother.
The warm kwama eggs were delicious, but the savory taste of the food did not register in Ahnaressu's mind. He hated death, he hated that he was now responsible for another person's life. Zaldin's death had left Relgar in his care, as Trielle's death had put Cali in his care. He hated it. The responsibility took a toll on him, even if he was too proud to show it. Not only that, but another responsibility was another obstacle in his thirst for revenge. He longed for the simple, joyous, life he once had, where the only worry was what beast to kill for the next meal. He grabbed an abandoned greef beside him to dull the renewed pain that washed over him.
May 2 2005, 01:03 AM
"I am willing to work hard." Ahnaressu said.
"Can you swing a hammer?" Thorek asked.
"No, but I can learn." Ahnaressu replied.
"I'll give you a chance, but if you can't pull your weight, you will not work here at the Razor Hole very long." Thorek warned.
"Thank you." Ahnaressu said. "When do I start?"
"Now." Thorek answered, handing Ahnaressu one of the smaller hammers. "I'll show you how to make some smaller weapons, then maybe you can advance into some more complicated works."
Thorek showed Ahnaressu how to make small daggers and arrows from iron. Ahnaressu struggled with the job, and the dagger he worked all day to make was the most pathetic weapon he had ever seen. His muscles hurt from hammering the tough metal, but still wanted to continue; maybe to prove himself able to do better than his first pitiful iron dagger.
"It's dark. You should go home and get some rest." Thorek told Ahnaressu.
"But I can do better, I swear." Ahnaressu pleaded."
"I know, but I would rather you save your strength for tomorrow."
Ahnaressu nodded and walked out of the door.
Ahnaressu walked into the Tribunal Temple, his home for the time being. He walked into the room the priests reserved for Relgar, Cali, and himself. He smelled the wonderful aroma of hound meat being roasted, and it reminded him of the fact that he had not eaten since breakfast.
"Hello Ahnaressu," Cali greeted cheerfully, "You're just in time for some dinner."
"Good. I'm hungry." Ahnaressu said.
"Well I already fed Relgar, and he is sound asleep." Cali continued, "So you can eat dinner without worrying about him - Oh! I almost forgot! Did you get a job?"
Ahnaressu nodded. "I work at the Razor Hole as a blacksmith's apprentice."
"That's great!" Cali said gleefully. Cali then grabbed Ahnaressu's hand and led him to the food.
"Now turn it over and and hammer the edge." Thorek instructed. "No, no. Don't make the edge so thin, you use the file to sharpen the blade, not the hammer."
Ahnaressu continued to work on his latest dagger for about an hour before holding it up to Thorek for inspection.
"Hmmm...nice work, but you could straighten the bladea a bit more. All you have to do is heat the metal again and use the prongs to straighten it."
Ahnaressu did as he was told and started heading out the door.
"Wait." Thorek called. "Here's your pay."
Ahnaressu accepted the hundred gold and continued back to the temple. Thankful that he finally got paid for his week's work.
Ahnaressu became a fine craftsman as the years went by. He could forge weapons from almost any resource. Iron, steel, silver, glass, and even ebony. He got more pay, and took good care of Relgar and Cali, but the lust for revenge still burned fiercely in him.
May 2 2005, 01:03 AM
End of Chapter 7. Hope you liked it.
May 2 2005, 03:01 AM
Greatawsomenactizzle!!! Keep it up.
I was wondering when your other chapters were going to show up here..