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Author Topic: Avaesthoría Chapter III: Translation  (Read 7143 times)
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Arancaytar Ilyaran
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« Reply #15 on: 04 July 2003, 15:34:00 »

The old scribe walks in with a thick bundle of parchment under his arm. He sits down on an ancient wooden chair, shifts a bit to be more comfortable, coughs slightly to clear his throat, and speaks.

"Good evening my frieds. I have now come to the end of translating the next part of the legendary epic of Master Federkiel. At this rate, it may be no more than a few weeks until I have finished the chapter. But sit down comfortably now, and listen to the tale I have come to tell you."

He takes the bundle of parchment from under his arm, sliding his hand over it a few times to smoothen the paper, clears his throat again, and begins to read...




"Eyrin", the Count began again.

"Yes, your excellency!"

"You can see yourself how difficult it is to instruct you in your task, since the information I must give you is not for the ears and eyes of others. The more difficult it shall be for you to fulfill this quest. I am forced to leave you uninformed about the nature and content of the message you are to deliver - which is not the first time, but this time the matter is of significantly more importance than any other. For this reason, I ask you to follow my instructions to the last letter. You shall see that they are simple, but leave little margin for mistakes and demand your total dedication. Therefore, hark to the few things my guests will allow me to impart on you, and also the information I shall add myself, in order to give you a little background:

"Yester eve these two men arrived at our city. I had expected them several weeks earlier, but their tasks and duties - which are currently taken care of by others - kept them from coming here. As you can see, they are still marked by the arduous efforts they had to make, and their tempers are easily roused if you are not careful; so we will have to have patience with them." He patted Dormetror on the shoulder, and caused him to smile slightly. It was a spontaneous, friendly gesture, which dissolved much of the tension in the room. Eyrin had always marveled at the sovereignty of the Count. With his calm temper he always knew how to regain his humane side. Years of experience and wisdom lay in his words, for which he was admired and envied by many. To acquire all of these, as Eyrin knew, took much time and patience - not least the maturity, that is needed first of all, as old Minna had taught him: The maturity to admit to oneself that fate cannot be forced or commanded, as much as one would wish to do so.

The Count continued in his speech,  now addressing the strangers. "You deserve all our thanks. Not only ours, of the Vardýnnians here in Voldar, but the thanks of all the races populating Santharia. I say nothing new to you in this, but to you, Eyrin." His eyes swept back to the courier sitting opposite of him, and his expression grew stern. "Eyrin, your mission is, like the deeds of our guests, of utmost importance for the well-being of our Kingdom. It is a hard task, certainly, but it is necessary. Every hour that Dormetror and Turcan spend here is a lost hour, and their return may already be too late. At least, the influence we can have on the current events is decreasing rapidly..." He sighed. "From our guests I received unsettling news, following which their efforts are in danger of being disastrously undermined, hindered and foiled. Measures must needs be taken; measures which surpass even my authority and capacities as the Count of Vardýnn. They are too important, and their consequences affect the whole country." The Count pulled his chair a bit closer to the table, and put his hand on that of his courier in a gesture of sympathy, like a concerned mother trying to comfort her sick daughter. "Eyrin...", he said with an expression of resolution. "You will depart before nightfall to travel to the King!" In his tone there was an air of solemnity, but at the same time the bitterness about the events making such desperate measures necessary. Dormetror and Turcan nodded silently in agreement.

"To ... to the King?" Eyrin looked incredulously on the face, and tried to regain his composure. Never before had he been sent to the ruler of Santharia himself - a task that required far more than the mere delivering of a message. Two contradictory sentiments were battling within him: On one hand the desire for adventure, and curiosity to visit the king, but on the other hand the danger and the indistinct, dark peril, which was audible in the Count's words. The situation must indeed be serious, more serious than ever before. But Eyrin had no other choice.

"Yes, to the king", Eyrin heard someone say; the voice sounded far-off to him, and he did not know who had spoken: Too far was he immersed in his own thoughts. When he looked up, the Count was looking at him intently again; he seemed to guess Eyrin's feelings. "We have run out of alternatives, Eyrin. We urgently need the aid of the royal court. And one thing is certain: We have absolutely no time to lose!"
"Does that mean..." Eyrin paused. "...War?" He was suddenly searching for explanations for this strange task. Too quickly did the situation dawn on him; too clearly did he understand the significance of the Count's words. "Are the Orcs crossing the Teiphra again? Are they standing before Nyermersys?" Eyrin spewed out his most pressing questions, completely forgetting to properly address the Count.  

Dormetror interrupted the Count, who was already preparing to speak. "Listen again, courier! We are not authorized to give you detailed information. Though you may think it odd, it is the only possibility that allows us to send you on your way. Believe me, it is to your benefit!" He made a helpless gesture. "It would be better if you did not worry about the details, but try to fulfill your task as best as possible." Dormetror was speaking as resolutely as before, seemingly still in an effort to prevent the Count from rashly answering Eyrin's questions. "Should the worst come to pass – Santharia will doubtlessly learn of it soon enough. As of yet – honorable Eyasha be thanked! – it has not come that far, but the bad omens are increasing, mind you! Meanwhile, in hard times such as these, it is our duty to perceive hope not just as a word, but as a way of living – a way that is now needed more than ever, in both great and little matters, Eyrin.

Whatever has happened, and whatever may yet come to pass, rest assured: Always it is in our hands to hinder the evil. Did not the Fate Goddess Seyella herself speak to Esteban, that it is not she, who weaves the pattern of destiny, but that she only spins the yarn? Whether the thread is torn, or whether a most wondrous melody flows from it, that matter rests in the hands of the one who tries to pull it. But if you do not grasp it, you will never learn what the strand would have held in store for you."

Eyrin remained silent.
       
"The evil does not sleep, Eyrin, but it makes little sense to upset the people with that knowledge - at least not right now.", the Count spoke again. "Alas, if it were that simple..." The hesitation still had hardly faded from Eyrin's face, which the Count did not fail to notice. "It may be that our words only cause confusion within you", he continued. "But this is the path that you must go." The Count gestured to Turcan. "Turcan - please hand me the chest now!"

Turcan, who had inconspicuously  remained in the background so far, rose from his seat. He drew a little chest from under the bookshelf, put it on the table and gave it to the Count. As all eyes were directed at him, the cowl wearer was overcome by a slight shudder in the moment in which he lifted the chest. When he reached the table, he let it slide out of his hands in an almost blundering way. Eyrin also noted that Turcan's forehead was covered in perspiration, and he wondered what was the cause for this sudden agitation.

The Count opened the chest and took out a sealed letter as well as a small casket, and handed them to Eyrin with cautioning words: "This is meant only for the eyes of the King – so do not surrender it to anyone, no matter what might happen and who might demand it from you with a pretence!" He drew up one eyebrow. "Keep both items separated from each other, so that they will not fall into an enemy's hands at once, should any such situation arise in spite of all caution. Also, avoid carefully all areas inhabited by Orcs, and, at night, never ride through valleys where Goblins and Gnomes, and their dark kindred the Trolls, are said to dwell." The Count drew another paper from the chest. "This will be very helpful to you: It authorizes you to exchange your horse at every station on the way from Voldar to Santhala free of charge. Make use of it as often as possible, because you have need for great haste on your way. You will need this document, for you cannot ride with the official insignia of a courier this time, but only in the raiment of an ordinary traveler; it is for your own protection." The Count reached into the chest for the last time, this time his hand appeared with a bag of jingling gold coins. "Five hundred Maengolth metals belong to you in advance, Eyrin, and you shall receive the same amount again when you have completed your task to our satisfaction…" He paused, seemingly in thought whether he had forgotten an important matter.

"The camouflage assignment, your Grace", Dormetror came to his aid at the right moment.

"Oh yes, there is something else, Eyrin. Do not forget that the purpose of your commission is not meant for other ears, not even those close to you. As a cover, you will therefore officially deliver a letter for a Santhalian merchant, who is a close confidant of the court of Voldar. I shall---"




The scribe pauses. He looks up from his papers, and surveys his audience

"Well, that's all for tonight. It's rather late, so I shall stop now."

He notices several people looking at him with murderous glares. He flinches, his face forming a wincing expression.

"There has to be some supense, right? Come back in another week if you want to hear the rest. And in the meantime, I would be grateful if you check through the text so far and correct any faults."

BTW, Arti: In the last line, I took the liberty of putting "I shall", because I think "I---" as a cut-off sentence is just too short. Correct me if there's anything wron with that.

Arancaytar Ilyaran



"When you start quoting yourself, it's a sure sign of senility" Arancaytar Ilyaran

Edited by: Arancaytar Ilyaran at: 7/17/03 0:22
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« Reply #16 on: 11 July 2003, 09:34:00 »

Ok, I'll read it this evening ;)  

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« Reply #17 on: 11 July 2003, 11:19:00 »

Please do!:D

I'm currently working on bringing this to a conclusion, I've been working on this for about 3 months...;)  

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« Reply #18 on: 11 July 2003, 11:54:00 »

Arancaytar, throw a message my eway when you are done, I'll read it, and comment.  (messages can be thrown at evgenij_@hotmail.com, per MSN... or ICQ 111941953... i have trillian, so i got everything)


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« Reply #19 on: 11 July 2003, 15:42:00 »

Sorry, was unexpectedly busy this evening, maybe on Saturday or Sunday!

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« Reply #20 on: 13 July 2003, 02:06:00 »

Just read the last two parts and have to say: marvellous translation, Aran! I wish I'd have had that talent to make a proper translation when I was 16:) Good job, and of course it was also interesting for me to read something I've written a while ago, now in proper, flawless English... In fact I didn't even find a typo or a misspelling or a wrong sentence construction, so you indeed took great care;)

A few things I've noticed, though:

- I guess we should write "Count" with a capital "C", at least he's a person of authority like the King for example.
- We have no orcs anymore in Santharia, so the reference to them has to be removed.
- Maengolth metals also aren't existing anymore in Santharia, because we now have Santharian coins (propose to just write 500 sans instead, we still have to decide upon a proper price list, though, so that we can judge the value better).

These latter 2 things of course aren't the fault of the translation, but are due to the fact that the chapter was written at a time when Santharia didn't exist at all.

But everything else is just fine, Aran, hope you find the time to finish the rest:D


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« Reply #21 on: 13 July 2003, 02:15:00 »

Question regarding the Maengolth metals and the orcs:

Was this a change in the development of the world, ie. Orcs have been taken out of the past, present and future, or are they just removed during the course of history?

The story of the Avaésthoría takes place many years in the past, around the year 0 (ascension of Santhros) when there was that 'arena' prison in Hegedorn. So weren't Maengolth metals and orcs in Santharia common then?

Oh, and I'm going to edit the count to Count everywhere now, only takes a while.:D  

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"When you start quoting yourself, it's a sure sign of senility" Arancaytar Ilyaran

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« Reply #22 on: 13 July 2003, 02:27:00 »

Orcs: Santharia didn't exist at all when this chapter was written (approx. 7 years ago), so aside from a rough idea, I didn't even have a proper map then. The world was just developed in another direction.

Story time: Story takes place around the year 200 as far as I know, so we have to assume Santharian coins already existed:)


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« Reply #23 on: 13 July 2003, 03:36:00 »

So the descent of the Moch'rónn, and the prison of Hegedorn lasted for over 200 years?:eek  I didn't know that.;)

You never stop learning...:lol

So I guess I'll leave the change of the Orcs and the currency to you Arti; it's your story.:p  

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"When you start quoting yourself, it's a sure sign of senility" Arancaytar Ilyaran

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« Reply #24 on: 13 July 2003, 04:31:00 »

Yes, that's correct. The descent of the Móh'rónn lasts for centuries, and whole underground cities are formed in the meantime in and below the dungeon of Hegedorn.


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« Reply #25 on: 14 August 2003, 16:10:00 »

Okay, this sure took long.:o      Was busy with that 4000 word   essay (shame about it, in my holidays no less!:rolleyes     ), daydreaming and playing PC games:o     . Anyway, there's probably no hope of this getting on in the next update, because we still need to do something about those Orcs, but anyway, here's the second-to-last fragment. I'd hold back until I'm done with the last pages, but to be honest I can't wait posting it.:p      Here goes, once more:




        The count never finished his sentence, for a strong gust of wind suddenly seemed to blow through the flames in the fireplace. As though smothered by an invisible force, the fiery tongues hissed and flickered, and lashed out in all directions, before they all died as if on command. The light of the lantern that stood on the table also danced around madly in its casket, but decided to further give light to its surroundings. Nonetheless, it continued to flicker, like to a racing heartbeat, threatening to be go out any moment. All of a sudden, the room was filled with an icy coldness.

        "What in the name of the Twelve...?"

        In the curious dim light, Eyrin glimpsed that the Count and Dormetror had risen from their seats. Both of them were intently gazing at Turcan. As Eyrin followed their looks, he was alarmed: The eyes of the monk were wide open, and turned upwards like in a trance. Seemingly, he was having a fit. His heavy body lurched on the chair like a leaf gripped by storm. Finally, the monk toppled to the floor; a small, unarticulated scream escaped from his mouth as if his throat was closed by something. Then he was still. The coldness in the room increased rapidly.

        Eyrin jumped up and kneeled down next to the fallen man. But when he touched Turcan, he recoiled instantly: The body was hard and rigid as iron, and it was cold as ice. Eyrin did not know whether it was just an illusion caused by the flickering light, or horrible reality, as he watched another phenomenon: In the back corner of the room, something slowly formed out of the shadows; it soundlessly glided out of dark, nearly invisibly. A shade, a nothingness, which started to move on its own accord. With what might almost be called determination, it drifted towards the unmoving Turcan.

        A hissing followed that set the teeth on edge, making it clear for Eyrin that what he was seeing was not an illusion, but a nightmare that had come true. Unable to move, he followed the horrifying happenings with his eyes: The gliding shade slithered forwards, finally engulfed the unconscious Turcan, and slowly merged with him. The freezing cold intensified and became almost unbearable. It emanated from the shade, as Eyrin finally understood, but his fear was too deep to think clearly.

        Possessed by the strange power, Turcan opened his eyes. His gaze was directed at Eyrin, wrath and hate shining in his eyes.

        He rose to his feet.

        In his strangely stooped stance, Turcan resembled a wild beast, ready to pounce on its prey. His huge, strong hands were extended like claws. Large beads of sweat were running down his face in spite of the icy cold; and the color of his face had changed: Blood was suddenly pumping through the frozen face, making his features look artificial, like paint spread to thickly on a canvas.

        "Give it to me, doomed one! Release it or die!", he yelled, seemingly in a mad intent to destroy the message for the king.

        Turcan threw his left hand out like a hook to grasp Eyrin’s, which desperately clung on to the message; he clasped Eyrin’s wrist with a grip like iron. His right hand was struggling to force Eyrin’s fist open, and remove the letter. The youth resisted, his face with a strained expression distorted by pain. But the sudden attack had hit him unprepared, and he was not able to free himself, let alone engage Turcan in a counter attack.

        When Turcan realized that Eyrin was not going to submit without a fight, he pressed Eyrin aside with the weight of his stout body. Eyrin slid of his chair and pulled his attacker with him in the process, who was seemingly not willing to release Eyrin’s wrist for anything in the world. In an instant, Turcan leapt onto Eyrin lying on the floor stunned, and again began attacking the hand which was closed around the document.

        His strength failing him, Eyrin let go of the letter at last. But ere Turcan could rise to his feet, the youth had thrown one arm around his neck and was dragging him to the floor.

        "Let go, misbeliever!", the falling monk choked, lacking the breath to shout. Without releasing the letter, both his hands were struggling with the arm that was closed around his throat. "I will destroy you, ignorant one!" His voice sounded strange, merciless. No, this could no longer be Turcan.

        Eyrin was overwhelmed by fear. In a matter of moments, the situation had completely changed, and he did not know whether what he was doing was right, nor  which side he was on. Turcan – was it even still Turcan who he was fighting? – seemed to possess strength beyond Eyrin's reckoning. Ever more vehemently he struggled against the choking grip, and Eyrin felt his own strength waning rapidly with every second. Helpless and desperate he looked up to search the faces of the other men in the room. He found them: In shock, the Count and Dormetror were standing unmoving and watching the fight, bewilderment and incomprehension were written in their faces.

        Finally, Dormetror approached. He went towards the raving Turcan, kneeled before him and looked into his face. "Turcan, what have you?", he asked cautiously, as if his words could soothe Turcan. In spite of the cold, icy sweat was also running down his face in beads.

        "Begone, traitor!" yelled Turcan and furiously spat into the other monk's face.

        Dormetror was not put off that easily. Although Turcan was frantically struggling with all his force, Dormetror laid one hand onto the other one's forehead. He closed his eyes and seemed to concentrate. After a few seconds, in which Turcan was thrashing even more frantically, Dormetror's hands began to emit a blue glow, and to vibrate slightly.

        'A magus!', the thought went through Eyrin's head. 'The Gods be thanked!'

        Eyrin felt the resistance of his opponent decreasing. Just as unexpectedly as Turcan's wrath had erupted, his struggling ceased in a moment. The letter he had fought for slid from his fingers, and fell to the floor soundlessly. A last wheeze, and the room was silent apart from Erin's heavy panting and the innocent crackling of the lantern. The candle had ceased to flicker. Eyrin felt no movement in the body of the monk, who almost seemed relaxed. He watched Turcan's hands slide off his arms, which they had just tried so forcefully to remove, then he saw the head nod down and remain there motionless. Respiring in relieve, he loosened his grip, without completely releasing it.

        Wordlessly, Dormetror – still kneeling – drew near, lifted Turcan's chin and closely examined the sweat-drenched, worn face, as if trying to recognize something in his features. Finally he closed his eyes. His expression was more and more apathetic, trancelike. Eyrin did not move, his chest rose and fell rhythmically in the unabated beat of his anxiousness. Only one thing Eyrin still noticed: The whole body of the monk he was holding felt strangely cold, far colder than ever before...

        "Careful, Eyrin!" It was Dormetror who had shouted, suddenly waking from his trance. In an instant he stood up, jumped two steps backwards. "Let go of him immediately!", he shouted at Eyrin. "Let go!"

        Without further explanation, yes, as if he was not even aware of what was happening before his eyes, Dormetor lowered his head, closed his eyes again and laid the extended fingers of both hands on his forehead. 'Almost like a ritual', Eyrin thought, before he came to the conclusion that there was magic involved once more...

        Ere the youth could form another thought, his own voice cut through the room formed to a piercing scream: Within seconds, Turcan's body had frozen with an icy cold. A crystalline, shiny aura emanated from him, an aura that had already engulfed Eyrin, who was unable to escape from it on his own: His hand, his feet, his whole body was out of his control. A terrible pain pierced him, a pain more dreadful than a hundred needle stings, a pain that was so intensive and fierce, that after a few seconds he stopped even perceiving it. He did feel the pain anymore, and without it, not even himself. For the pain was pure coldness.

        Then everything grew dark.

        "Agra nem!", a familiar voice reached his ears, but he was unable to determine its origin. Although he did not recognize the voice, and the meaning of the words was unknown to him, he understood that it was calling him; calling him back: Calling him back from a void, a darkness which contained nothing but crystalline ice.

        "Agra nem!" Eyrin's blurry vision recognized Dormetror standing at some distance. He, like Turcan, was now surrounded by an aura, but it was a bright, shining glow – he looked as if he was burning. Both of Dormetror's hands were pointing at Eyrin, and Eyrin understood that the fiery rays, that were emanating from them, were the reason for the sudden comfortable warmth that was once again flowing through his body. Each of these rays  was like a salve for his painfully searing wounds. Slowly, very slowly, Eyrin felt life flow back into his body.

        Turcan rose to his feet. He seemed to be more lively and bloodthirsty than ever before. Without even hesitating for a moment, he gave the heavy oak desk a kick with his foot, which sent it flying in the direction of the Count. The Count had no chance of evading it, and the desk with all its contents buried him under hit with a crash. Glass shattered: The lantern was broken, and its oil was running over the carpet. Flames darted high, and greedily licked around the heavy carpets on the floor.

        Desperately, Eyrin attempted to move, but his body only reacted with stabbing pain. Neither joining the fight, nor escaping was an option. He was condemned to watch the events helplessly.

        Before his eyes, the situation was becoming critical. The tide had seemingly turned. Turcan was now facing only one last serious opponent: Dormetror, who Eyrin had counted among Turcan's closest friends only minutes ago.

        Resolutely, Dormetror was glaring at the quickly spreading flames. "Agra szem! Karong szem!" Once more he raised his hand and spoke sharp words to the ever more threatening fire, that was already drawing dangerously close to the count, who was unable to escape. He repeated the formula several times. His voice grew louder and louder, and the air around him began to hiss and whistle. Finally, the incantation seemed to take effect, and a mighty blast of wind raced through the chamber.

        A loud hissing noise followed, and the flames died. For a few moments, utter darkness enveloped the room.

        One mere gesture from Turcan's hand was enough to ignite the fireplace again and give light to the battle scene. Slowly, the silhouettes of the two opposing men again became distinguishable from the darkness around them.

        "You can still do it, blasphemous one – but not for long…", the strange voice from Turcan's mouth penetrated the darkness. The bearded monk laughed aloud. Then he approached Dormetror again. The sight of the two bent opponents seemed almost uncanny to Eyrin, like to a grotesque duel between two overgrown gnomes.

        Suddenly, Turcan drew a dagger from under his cowl. The blade glittered dangerously bright, as if bloodthirsty.

        "Resist him, Turcan – By the One! Fight his power... You have strength enough to resist! Turcan! Take away his power!" For the first time, Eyrin saw genuine fear in the eyes of Dormetror. He yelled in panic, at the top of his voice. He had no time to counter the attack of his enemy with magical means; and he possessed no weapon with which to defend himself.

        "Turcan! Halt! Resist!" Dormetror was seemingly trying desperately to wake Turcan, to call him to his senses, to appeal to something inside him which Eyrin did not understand. But his desperate pleas sounded hopeless, like the cries of a drowning man in the middle of a wide ocean.

        Turcan's features had changed to a twisted, unnatural grimace, that looked as if it belonged to a daemonic creature that had found its way into life through dark magic, and which was now indulging itself with the pleasure of dragging all life down with it, into the abyss from which it had come.

        "I will kill you too, you traitor!", spoke the deep, croaking voice out of Turcan's mouth, emanating hatred.

        The dagger shot forwards toward Dormetror. It sliced through the heavy cowl of its victim as if cutting through paper, but it missed Dormetror himself by inches, who had jumped aside in the last moment.

        "Wretched one!" A series of wild thrusts cut through the air, uncounted curses accompanying them.

        The panic granted unexpected speed to Dormetror. He ducked swiftly in spite of his encumbering clothes, and also dexterously took advantage of the dim light to dance backwards, step by step, and evade the unceasing stabbing thrusts. Aware that they were directly aimed to kill, and that a single mistake could cost him his life, he managed again and again to dodge the mortal stabs by a nailsbreadth.

        But as Dormetror reached the door, he realized that there was no escape for him from the room: The door was the only exit, but it was magically sealed and there was no time for a counter charm. And the options he had of defending himself were limited...

        With his back against the wall, he saw Turcan approach him. One last step brought him so close that Dormetror had no hope of escaping to either side.

        Eyrin closed his eyes.

        A piercing scream told him that Dormetror had been hit.

        Eyrin opened his eyes again, expecting the worst, and prepared for a gruesome sight.

        But still the fight was not wholly over. Dormetror was cowering on the floor. An open wound was throbbing at his shoulder, the floor was covered with blood. He was whimpering.

        Again the dagger rose, its blood-drenched blade was thirsting for more. The madly petrified grimace above it knew no pity, and no mercy. With a speed that the eye could not follow and which united all the wrath Turcan could muster behind it, the hand shot downwards, toward its target...


Arancaytar Ilyaran



"When you start quoting yourself, it's a sure sign of senility" Arancaytar Ilyaran

Edited by: Arancaytar Ilyaran at: 8/23/03 23:40
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« Reply #26 on: 15 August 2003, 03:21:00 »

Last part. Gonna edit in the bits as they come in this post, then when it's all finished I'm going to cut/paste all the parts of this to the first post in this thread, to make correction easier.;)            




       Again a scream cut through the room, but this time it was Turcan who had yelled. With his last remaining strength, Dormetror had dragged him to the floor. The dagger slid from Turcan's hands, shot along the carpet and forcefully collided with the opposite wall, as if it still contained the fury of the insane monk.

       Turcan did not let this distract him. He immediately leapt on the wounded Dormetror. Without leaving the mage time to defend himself, he placed several hard fist blows directly into his face.

       Eyrin hear the uncontrolled, high-pitched laughter that Turcan emitted in his sadistic joy, saw the relentlessly continuing rain of blows, which Dormetror was helplessly exposed to. The brutal cruelty, and the pleasure he displayed, were of a degree Eyrin had never before seen. He was disgusted.

       But Eyrin noted something else: He saw the dagger flying from Turcan's hands, being flung through the room, bouncing off the wall and sliding towards him…

       The weapon was now lying less than one fore from his left hand. Eyrin excelled at the use of thrown weapons, but he was unsure if his current condition would allow him to make efficient use of that skill. But it was the last option, the only possibility that he had, and he must seize it.

       And Eyrin did. Without hesitation. Grinding his teeth together, he extended his arm slowly. With the utmost strain, he managed to carefully pull the dagger towards him. His joints were burning with pain as if they were on fire, but he had to bite back the pain. His only chance required that he keep his nerves, be quick, and – throw precisely...

       Eyrin strained to shut out the shrill laughter of Turcan and the weakening yells of Dormetror – at least for the few moments that he needed to concentrate. With great caution and an expression distorted by pain, he passed the dagger over to his right hand. It was as nerveless and numb as the left, but it still possessed enough strength to securely grip the dagger's point between thumb and forefinger. Very gently, he used his left hand to move the handle over the back of his right hand, and back. Then he drew back his arm, and slowly took aim...

       "Seyella, help me!" Eyrin yelled loudly, but the strain of shouting caused the scream to end in a choking noise. But it was yet enough to alert his enemy, and cause him to react. Indeed Turcan, who was just bent over Dormetror, rose. His eyes met those of Eyrin, and he noticed the weapon, prepared for throwing.

       "Hah! You don't think…", Turcan started to say. A buzzing noise interrupted him. As fast as lightening, the dagger pierced the air. The noise that followed was a short, hard thud.

       Eyrin looked up. To his dismay, he saw that he had missed his target. The dagger was deeply embedded in one leg of the oaken table that Turcan had ducked behind.

       "You forced me to do this, courier! May Queprur be delighted by your mangled corpse!" Turcan said acidly. He rose up once more. His eyes were glowing greedily, hungrily. He concentrated for a moment, and suddenly a blinding, deadly bolt was flying towards Eyrin.

       A last, uncannily intensive feeling of mortal fear gripped the youth.

       Then he closed his eyes. As if he could thereby make the spell vanish. As if he could make himself vanish from this fateful room. As if he could make reality itself unreal. As if he could change the fabric of the world. As if...

       Something was happening.

       Instinctively, Eyrin opened his eyes once more. He saw that the lightening spell had suddenly, inexplicably changed its direction and was flying back towards its originator.

       Turcan's eyes widened. His hands were twitching. Their instinctive reflex to protectively cover his body came too late – the deadly missile had already penetrated the monk's chest. He was staggering, then he fell to the floor with a thud. His heavy head crashed loudly against the wooden floor. Only moments later7 his body dissolved and dissipated, as if it consisted of nothing but dust. Only the grey cowl and the snake-shaped ring, which fell to the floor with a chiming noise, remained.

       The nightmare was over.

       At the other end of the room Eyrin saw Dormetror rising cautiously to his feet. "Daín artanhé!", he hailed Eyrin in Elven custom. "Seyella be praised that we had you among us, Hár'fachón!"

       Eyrin nodded, though he did not comprehend the words. A silent prayer flowed over his lips, and he reclined backwards, relieved.


*  *  *


       It was almost noon. Most people in the streets were already looking ahead to mealtime in wishful expectation, and the mood of the crowd grew, proportionate to the sun and the weather, steadily more heated and frolicsome.

        Eyrin had already completed all necessary preparations for his journey. But before he left for Santhala, he was drawn into the city one last time. Taking a small detour, he had reached the westernmost quarter of the city, Little Varincia, where the buildings were less imposing than in the city center, and where life was a whole lot calmer and more peaceful, out of the way from the bustling rush of the traders. Eyrin enjoyed to ride through these narrow, silent, plastered streets of the town – almost as much as he enjoyed wandering through the forest, allowing himself to be entranced by the wholesome, vibrant scent of nature and listening for the noises of the wakening morning. Contrary to the virtues of nature, the atmosphere of the small town quarter had other charms: The sociability of the families, hospitability and openness were among the otherwise rare virtues in the city life. All this Eyrin had found in the people in this region, and appreciated it. In the streets of Little Varincia there was little poverty and still less jealousy, everyone shared the worries of their neighbors and could expect help if they themselves were in difficulties. That made the ride through the quarter into a heartwarming and pleasant experience: The people knew and appreciated each other, and every stranger who respected the life of the Varincians was just as welcome. But Eyrin had long ceased to be a stranger to the inhabitants of the quarter.

        Eyrin stopped in front of a house whose front door was decorated by the picture of a pair of scissors. It was the house of the Martens, the only tailoring house in Little Varincia.

        The courier had hardly dismounted, when a dainty figure rushed from the house to greet him eagerly. The welcome was cordial – two short arms threw themselves around Eyrin's neck, and a pair of tender lips pressed themselves on his cheek –, but Eyrin's grave expression tarnished the joy of their reunion.

        "You are going to leave – aren't you, Eyrin?", asked Iolanda as she let her arms slide off Eyrin's shoulders to intently gaze into the unusually disturbed looking face. Familiar with the customs of a courier, she had seen the black stallion at the youth's side, and knew that his journey was going to take him far beyond the neighboring towns. Otherwise Eyrin would surely have given Chin the preference. The sparks in Iolanda's dark eyes betrayed, how excited and yet worried she was about this.

        "Yes, I am leaving", Eyrin replied, almost laconically. Reluctantly he had to acknowledge that his back had not recovered at all, for the hug with Iolanda gave him a devious pain. "I am riding to Santhala", he added. He did not look at Iolanda, but let his gaze wander over the roofs and towards the azure-colored sky and the few clouds. The blue color was soothing, it seemed almost as if nothing had happened. But Eyrin found himself unable to meet Iolanda's eyes.

        Iolanda was visibly shocked. It was a long journey to Santhala. "How long will you be gone?", she asked.

        "I think it will be at least two weeks ere I reach the capital", Eyrin answered. "A month in total maybe. But I will hurry." He tried to smile.

        "But why so sudden?", those naïve two eyes were asking. Eyrin was ashamed that he was not able to do anything else than evade the sincerity of this gaze. "Didn't the count know about it earlier?"

        Eyrin remained silent. Finally, he only said, unoriginally: "I don'tt know. I can't change it. It's his decision. Somebody has to do it. And it's very important." He spoke in short, chopped sentences, and with great difficulty. It all sounds like a bad excuse, thought Eyrin silently and kissed the long, straw-colored hair, in an attempt to make up for it. He hated telling lies and half-truths to Iolanda – they were too close for him to hide something from her without feeling guilty. But the pledge on the Kingdom which he had long ago sworn to the Count, and the events which had occurred only hours ago, made it easier for him to keep his silence.

        "Watch Chin for me", said Eyrin.

        "I will", Iolanda promised. Her voice sounded soft and consoling. She looked up. Her hands slid over Eyrin's sturdy arms carefully. "But… but you are shaking all over…"  

        "That's just the excitement", Eyrin said in an attempt to cover up his worries. He hugged Iolanda one last time, inhaled the scent of her hair, felt the wholesome gentleness of her being. "Just the excitement", he repeated to himself, while holding Iolanda in his arms, as if he expected to lose her forever soon. For the first time since long ago he had tears in his eyes.

        The lips of the two lovers met.

        "Have no fear, Iolanda", Eyrin whispered into the small ear. "I will be back as soon as possible."

Arancaytar Ilyaran



"When you start quoting yourself, it's a sure sign of senility" Arancaytar Ilyaran

Edited by: Arancaytar Ilyaran at: 8/15/03 16:04
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« Reply #27 on: 15 August 2003, 12:12:00 »

Cool... I guess now only a small final part for this chapter is missing, right, Aran? I hope you can provide that as well soon, then we're completely done and I can do the final check and put it up... - Yay!


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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
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« Reply #28 on: 16 August 2003, 08:08:00 »

Yep. Last part put up.:D  

(Problem is, my parents cut my internet connection for the next few days, and I now have to post this last part from their PC while they're away...:rollin  )

Arancaytar Ilyaran



"When you start quoting yourself, it's a sure sign of senility" Arancaytar Ilyaran

Edited by: Arancaytar Ilyaran at: 8/15/03 16:09
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« Reply #29 on: 17 August 2003, 00:08:00 »

Ok, I've copied it all in one piece for final check, so we'll see if it's possible to integrate already this update... :)  


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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
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