Merlin 2:27 “Nom de Guerre”
Of daily course is there only one wyvern on this one day, and only one of Merlin in a depth of sleep. Even if hexed by many thoughts mephitic to which even he if unwieldy inopportune could fracture his mind it is his sole mind, it is whence he will dost his memories into a portent make. Thru beggars into the immediate forest, jealousy of the dark and powerful fear, smoke on the floor to the fog, a billow of fire painless and a diamond in the midnight air nether to lunacy, the phoenix eating a garden snake then snatching the glistening diamond and flying away taking the entire world with it like a canvas from a cloth, revealing a blurred world of lawn that has a mephitic sound in the dreary but not bleak world, the hordes tear from him his conscious from the ground as also from his periphery unstoppable, unforeseeable, untenable, a burning firmament crashes, the sound he doth not recall nor remember and how to be in an ocean of white, knowing thunder is in the world of the lightning’s flash, the music louder and louder while an ocean of silver spears from all directions pours at him, the sharpest points the brightest joints of staring at the sun where each glisten expands like the universe, invisible whispers pour sand and blood from their mouths, he cannot see them but knows there are they, the rain falls to the sky and he holds his own beating heart seemingly perfect of lava.
The ground around his slumbering nightmare is manna forthwith vexed, the grass wilts, the roots grow unnaturally over and under the soil, the dirt’s moisture turns to sand made of frigid ice mixed by the muddy roots and worms.
Blind and in the light while bashing his heart in a fugue of madness and possession a sound of a horse rearing and bucking on stone draws his attention, as he turns about the world is darkness but he sees his body, before him stands three of the Norns, Völvas of the Spákonur, each young in beautiful white Cambrian dresses and carrying a knife to cut the woof of any mortality ethereal they may choose.
Spaewyf: “We found you in the elms and other trees,”
Vala: “—and now with stones…”
Interrupting the other they seem to quandary and quantify the statement, they cannot stand still and choose to pass in ceremonious circle, drifting without steps, but he cannot watch three all without dizzying.
Seithr: “…and with many phantoms.”
Vala: “To only see the half of things.”
Spaewyf: “Sees half of you.”
Seithr: “Or none where the hammer falls.”
Vala: “You must make blood to seethe when you bring the light bearer to severance.”
Seithr: “The dead weather will not rain…because of you.”
Spaewyf: “…of which our family chills your trail.”
Seithr: “…but you needn’t worry yet.”
Vala: “Anent smoke we cannot take unless it is gone …”
The volva tired drift as the ocean of whiteness light begins to fade into a gloomy pasture somewhere near the ocean, they begin gradually to walk in a circle timely worn into the field as they switching depart with the sound of the rain. Spaewyf drifts to him in surprise with a look of discontent and climes from an angry heart.
Spaewyf: “After the harvest!"
She stabs downward in his sight with a flame dagger, he is in a pool of fire in the depths of hell, this tumult has long woken Ana, and the ground has become liquid stone by sight’s worth as she decides to wake him from his fears.
Ana: “It’s time for leaving.”
Merlin wakes as she shakes him in a feckless poise of resistance.
Ana: “You were sleeping scared?”
Merlin: “Norns, drifting with wands, nomadic wiccans made of glass, glowing in the darkness.”
He looks far into the distance and can only see raining knives that startle his better senses and a ghostly drumming in his ears; she waves her hand to and fro his face to garner his vantage.
Ana: “It’s raining and I just saw a rider, we go to call the cavalry before you get soaked.”
Retentivity brings patience and solemn quietness between them earned in the transitivity athwart the voiceless ages among white pines and sedge they have spent hither and tither. A well learned lesson she remembers thereof was when she could first wield fire like the ghosts, it would keep her warm with her feet dry, but it would not keep her clean as the soil enraptures the world. Ere long dithering of hasted hence they happen unto the riders at the cave of Morris Fell, found schism from the night before this and individuated.
Merlin: “What are you doing?”
Aki: “Be on your way druid…”
Ana: “The way to Vanogan?”
The rider points then looks to see who asks of him only to look at the cave with blatant disdain for its darkness.
Merlin: “Of then and when is Vanogan?”
Aki: “Blessed be, girl you are brilliant in this overcast, you can ride with me if you like wild stallions.”
Ana: “I may be too hot for you to handle, but I may need to sleep in your keep when I get there.”
Aki: “Over that forested hill and left in its valley, the road meets with it from the east, follow the road left and you’ll be there in a league wayfaring.”
Ana: “Thank you elder.”
She steps back and turns, pulling a knife hidden from her sleeve to sheathe it in its proper place as she passes the ladies on horseback with arrows ready to drawstring.
Merlin winks and uses his hand to pull the hair from his brow, as his palm passes the grey strands become a youthful natural color as he puts on his cloth hat looking back only once.
It’s up and over the hill, then down into a valley that meets an orchard flushing with apples on branches and on the ground, star forsaken in specious fear the trees keep the last and largest apples from the ground as if to save the best seeds for last. Their footsteps mar the forgotten realm as they see the road on the right, curving to match the terrain hillsides, the road itself shows heavy signs of wagons having pot holes and straight ruts, there is fog and mystery abaft the tenet homes where rural meets the rode of civilization.
Small farms with fenced fields of mint or alpacas or both anent the small road, homes with white walls and dark beams to show where the frame lies nether, and very steep roofs. The silence keeps the solitude intense yet separated each of the minds that share the same are oft the same, Merlin and Ana walk quietly as he passes her an apple to warm with fire magic and she hands him a silver knife to bless with a spell and not a word in edgewise. Covered in a cheery disposition destined to reconvene in the lower city levels, o’er dusty trace where plebian and poor praetorians fain their common ancestral trade, the screaming sound of hawks lament the rising of the red sun.
Anon forthcoming they will discover the signs of empire and silently pass through the city walls into a fledgling democracy, with a rebellious class of officers eager to assume responsibility to their academy at every turn with great honor, but first they must pass a bridge and a cattle ranch in a chill, this is the enduring they must take beneath the season’s first and last snow.
The city is tall as most, but vast as lest it were, fortified it has seven gates of which each are equipped equally as doors and drawbridges without a moat for the sole purpose of crushing smaller insurgencies within throes. The wall serves many purposes of defense in admixture of tactical stoicism each different in length are lined with large plates of steel and board to a large unit of sentry, above there is a path to patrol hemmed by a knit of steel ivy and thorns and sharpened gargoyles, along the encompassment there are more than a dozen bastions that house the newest weaponry antithetical to sieges that of late includes bolt throwers that fire repeatedly fed new projectiles by an angled tray feeding the first trajectile followed by ten, crossbows the length of great men that are wound by two, and the occasional cannon of last resort proudly on show from choice openings. It is a defensive storm wrapped in war-craft, one of two remaining of the three mighty war colleges on their world, surely there are mightier castles in the kingdom, but this is where they train the finest applicants and powerful recruits.
Merlin and Ana break the silence in an aged debate of philosophy and experience walking on the road in a steady pace. They travel to a place that long ago before the stone age of city spires and the rusting silence was called Gelliwig. Merlin’s memories fade from else then the trivial oddity that the same location would hold the same prestige no matter the stewards.
Ahead of them the college has it’s council, and in rank just below them is the sheriff, Zeke, a man of quality and honor but not as vetted as a member of the high committee, and as any other town he resides over the few civilians whom call this campus home.
The sky is a line of darkness drawn by a twenty mile storm slowly crawling overhead the inroad, and the sheriff notices as he stares out a window of yonder and the forest, there is a place for food and drink outdoors that serves near his office and the people wait and watch the occasional band of children play keep-a-way. The shape shifting Draugur is in the waiting file of questioners and inquisitionists and will ask the chancellor rhetoric. After waiting, with his head through a wool cart-blanket, the creature attains an audience.
Draugur: “If I gave you these black diamonds, could I employ your knights to distrain my serfs from bandit occupiers on my father’s land?”
Sheriff: “Well… let me see them first.”
Draugur: “A second bounty for a thorough investigation of the tramps upon completion awaits your soldiers.”
Sheriff: “I’ll take a stipend and the rest to the city's coffers, we will assist.”
Draugur: “Are you Aesir or Vanir?”
Sheriff: “No, I am only human.”
With a smile the Draugur swiftly kills him and takes his form, his skin peels and a soft wake of ash falls from his face as he hides the body in the mattress, veracity of the scar without sophistry in a deranged smile.
Merlin and Ana beleaguered approach the college on the road that becomes paved, the sides covered with the dead stems of wild charlock and a welter of ash or hoary declamation as the wintry boughs multifarious and broken branches resuscitate midday of the winter solstice. A small bit of formality to make their entrance belated at the checkpoint as they are glommed by guards curious of strangers who would have a smart woman walking by foot, as they begin simple questions and checking for hidden weapons Merlin raises his hands with elbows bent to gather the fabric but slightly showing markings, as one of them pushes down the sleeve they notice a black tattoo on his forearm of a bangle which bears a lone symbol in a circle below the palm. When found the guard forces the arm shown to the gatekeeper who shouts ordering them to be granted passage.
Ana: “What did you just do?”
Merlin: “I merely showed the symbol highest on the gatekeeper’s royal sash.”
Ana: “Try not to harm anyone following you… we should separate and look for him, and meet somewhere at sundown.”
Merlin: “Find a restaurant nearest the brig.”
There is a saloon first on Merlin’s route, he enters and few heads turn to him and more away from the door and much are well except for two parties arguing, forced to illumine the situation a man with a red bracelet demands Merlin to share his opinion in the debate and reinforce the fact to the argumenta.
Merlin declines without saying so and turns but the soldiers are not on duty and having drunk much the man with the bracelet is in ire and thus decides to strike Merlin. Deciding to discipline the unruliest soldier he smatters the drunkard with a punch to the side of the throat causing him to gasp and his eyes to well as he falls. The other party in shock pushes one of their own to his feet and he stands and swings a fist, Nickolas punches him aside the face rendering him instantly asleep, of them their largest stands pushing aside the table with his mere size, Nickolas pulls his right arm back widely to swing a hit but holds his punch notably, when the large brigand punches with his left thinking to have the advantage Nickolas smiles and says, “that was foolish” as he pulls the massive arm passed himself and throws the lummox to the floor to break a table with his face downward and fast-knocked unconscious on the stone and spilled brew. Merlin’s hand begins to rise and glow but Nickolas throws his woolen shall over the arm.
Nickolas: “Some of you have been drinking! Should I get your officer in here and deal with you… perhaps tell them you’re attacking citizens!? …take these two to the brig…the rest of you have had enough!”
Draugur (as Sheriff): “Not on my watch.”
The soldiers address him as simply ‘sheriff’ as every one of them puts their drinks on the table or pushes it away from themselves, hoping that it seems each mug belonged to the three men on the ground. Merlin is already at distance and leaving as Nickolas kneels before him.
Draugur: “Rise servant. You may go if you leave now.”
Nick hurriedly leaves thru the front door avoiding eye contact with the two guards entering but not before stealing a wooden cup of wine from the table closest to the exit, he drinks then throws it at a chicken.
Draugur: “Guards! …take these three to the brig, the rest of you have just earned yourselves manure duty.”
The off-duty soldiers moan as the guards order them to lift the broad man to a wagon where he and others are shackled by additional guards, with still only one awake.
Nick stands at a cross section staring at an alley, a man puts a crate against the wall and renters a threshold, he blinks staring down the alley and Merlin spontaneously stands at the corner of the edifice only to turn into the quiet cobblestone path and begin walking, Nickolas casually follows.
Nickolas: “Where is sister fire?”
Merlin: “Looking for you I suppose, here is your shoal.”
Nickolas: “Thank you.”
Merlin: “No, thank you, do you mind telling me how you escaped and why it needed be?”
Nickolas: “Oh…well, first they spear your limbs to the ground, and the mudvayne consumes you and crushes until you’re beneath the ground where then it shreds you.”
Merlin: “Revelation! And then the roots consume you?”
Nickolas: “Apparently because I am a gentleman I rise to the top with the ravens picking at my bloody flesh; it is one of my less favorable resurrections.”
Merlin: “I can only imagine.”
Nickolas: “Are we meeting her somewhere?”
Merlin: “At the closest restaurant nearest the brig when the sun sets, but with this overcast it may be sooner than methinks.”
Nickolas: “What about the combatants from our previous encounter?”
Merlin: “Say I was looking to thank you for your heroics for an old man and that’s where we attained meeting.”
Ana from the street and they meet amid the road and she runs to him, salacious greeting of lovers meeting, and then a table at the eatery, there are two large and smoking grills where boars are being turned and toiled and roiled above flames, delicious fats dripping to flicker and flare on the coals and as many tables for which there is space without seating in the street. There is a sound of cheers when stools in heights of tiers are turned then slammed onto a shoddy stage by minstrel peers replete with lutes and violins. With a few seats open they take a seat near the road.
Nick: “Are we taken to eat?”
Ana: “Not just yet let’s feel our welcome.”
Nick: “What news of Troy, spreading wings or burning off steam?”
Merlin: “We’ll know eventually, what tale holds over this fortress?”
Merlin takes his pipe from his pocket and stuffs dried sweet leaf, without fire his thumb over the hole ignites an ember.
Nickolas: “For instance?”
Nickolas: “This is one of three military academies in the world which can be called a war college, where I first saw your status Merlin before we formally met would be another had it not been destroyed. That, there, is a hallway to the brig and lower dungeons and this restaurant is strategically placed to taunt the prisoners with the smell of supper.”
Merlin: “What about the man from earlier.”
Nickolas: “That was the sheriff, he acts as mayor or president if you will, of the people and is highly respected but not coveted by the soldiery, he is a voting delegate lowest in rank of legalities. Most of which to worry is lighting your pipe the way you do, all magic is demonic unless to heal. It’s all a show, in that building thence resides a clergy of the worldly faith but bonded clandestine in names like ‘the order’ or ‘apostles’ which they shan’t share with the outside world.”
Ana: “The council is close to nobility but the clergy is much ado.”
Merlin: “Do you have any money brother?”
Merlin: “Here, take these thirty and see about fetching us a side of hock.” (He gives a bag of coins.)
Merlin: “He knows a lot.”
Ana: “He is starry isn’t he…tell us how he escaped before he comes back?”
Merlin: “I think it’s better if he tells you himself, and here he comes.”
Nick: “What hereabouts dare we make of ourselves, Merlin?”
Merlin: “Well with little to sell and no duals for alchemists, you’ll have to make quick and we clever, without being put to attainder.”
Ana: “I seek a gules sable kirtle for stalking spring and some batiste or cambric.”
Nick: “A good cordwainer, these shoes were made for running and as much as I like swift I like strong better.”
There is a smile for her face to set the resting pace.
Merlin: “I could use a good cobbler and a pie.”
Ana: “…and a mercer to mend me perhaps a vert beret.”
Merlin: “Just be without trouble. I’ll see the apothecary for some drachm and iota.”
In the dark night is time to fly beneath the world of blackened sky, along the fortified plight a crowd of soldiers goes wayside to the lengthy wall, overhead Troy flies on crested phoenix orange but without glowing and silent on the breeze, the avian dips from great heights and turns its belly upward as he hangs from the saddle and releases over the path above the wall. Phoenix Alerion returns into the damp clouds as the leather soles of his boots slide before he tumbles over himself, rolling forward he places his feet on the ground and his hands on the chest of a sleeping guard, reaching back with a fist he strikes the awakened guard into sleep. A nearby bottle of a spirited drink gets poured on the solder then both tossed over the wall into the city night along with the contents of a wool sack, which Troy cuts a slit to wear and hide his armor and taking a soldier’s helmet he begins walking alongside the city. A crowd of soldiers pass by him below the ashlar stones beneath the azure night sky.
Merlin full up by his meal walks to a torch and lights his pipe in a traditional manner, returning to his seat as Nick and Ana intermingle his objective demurral aboveboard, he remains lax but speaks bated.
Merlin: “In the midst of light we fare, it is best to avoid imposts, if a thief were to add an imaginary tax not only would we be had, but it would alert a swindler unnecessarily.”
Wench: “Care for a drink my love?”
Merlin: “Egad beautiful woman, yes! Put me into bacchanals.”
Wench: “Cut along then?” she asked Nick and Ana.
Nick: “…but of course!”
Wench: “Give over.” Nick leaned in to reach the first cup for Ana and the second cup for himself.
Wench: “Chasing the dragon are ye?”
Merlin: “What dragon would that be?”
Wench: “In the fog, besotted plodding in the swamp several pass at dawn, perhaps fine fellows as you are the sort.”
Ana: “I would hope not.” (sarcasm)
Merlin: “If it were here we would fight, but no lassie.”
Wench: “I’ve tied the knot sir but nice of you to think me so young, holler if be you in need of something.”
She goes to pour drinks for another table, into the night the Draugur stares at the darkness without oath or affirmation over a plate of the dead sheriff in a box, mocking him even in death and in doing so is distracted from his foes in triumvirate eating below him in the commons among the soldiers steadfast to the law of nations.
Draugur: “Oh please don’t eat me…but I must eat you I am hungry…you mustn’t eat me, no, noo…”
Below a somber dirge without lyric plays in the mood of a latter hour, the conventions of commission and vested interests devolve into capitation until they boisterously relinquish solemnity and become fete. It is soon become night and the trundling hay wagon comes for the most inebriated ones lying on the ground with knaves sweeping around them.
At morn the sunlight shines into a room with Merlin sleeping on the floor, just too long for the bed his pillow are the blankets and his feet toward the fire, waking with a groan and alone he replaces the room as was given and makes to public for news and his desired shops among the rustic city-town. The apothecary he seeks is near the main market, passed the twine binders for the spring hops fields and the blacksmith with an arrow through the plated surname on the door, a place with a garage swing door to load portioned seed in the fall, and delve it accordingly in the spring.
Merlin: “Do I need license to shop keeper?”
Mazew: “Only for reliquiae, for all retinue I have amethystine, powders for the induced requisition of temporal power needed for the ladies, seeds for a drastic deceit now become, and for the youth I sell the leaves and buds of incredible listless taunts and jeers.”
Merlin: “Behindhand a spot of tea, would you have a list of your keep?”
Mazew: “Alas it’s in hidebound, but you’re welcome to buy anything on my shelves.”
Merlin: “No worries, I’ll just have to look around.”
Steadfast in only days the Draugur has brought a polity of recrudescence, putting traction to a plan of regicide with a corrupted captain now tainted with bribery of wealth and power, and with him, a tract of feckless malfeasants. The creature still in duty as the sheriff stares at the landscape.
With knowing disregard for law in a day Draugur and his wicked viziers his corruption strengthens itself with new civil and military ordinances in occurrences of secrecy and fiat. In a week the prisoners imperial emersion by pardon without pleas, supporting atypical conservative resinous reforms to the clergy that serve only to isolate if not only to serve as a new regulation. Nearing a month the first parricide of the city, in secrecy to one and then several who would not give oath or disorder, all treasonous instances fueled by the looting of the treasury. It was of first a poignant obstinacy when the hops where not sewn, the delinquency births a rebellion which seeks a reformation of which Merlin, Nickolas, and Ana as wayward heroes aid the innocent unaware of a contingency for those desperately abiding survival.
Draugur: “It’s mine…all of it is mine. Go into the city and bother some shiftless children.”
The Draugur’s vehemence displays turpitude spoken as if he were with malicious family, but without looking anyone in the eye when speaking. When the door closes Lynn witch of the mist sets in his chair behind him unapparent as he walks to the door and looks for folk with questions. To startle him she speaks.
Lynn (Mist): “In war you are destroying or defending, either one is the other to another, for you the word for attack is the same as identity, if you can hide you can consume…”
Draugur: “It’s all mine your majesty.”
Lynn: “You said it, but I don’t believe it.”
Draugur: “I have chosen to take power and promise to shield the political wars of the nobles, and with enough promise of gold was able to persuade the captain to sedition…instead of battling crime that opportunity fuels, the movers and shakers now have revolution.”
Lynn: “I put many good weeks planting the vision of that wyvern in the caves and now they are occupied. Tell me your plan servant imposter.”
The room becomes darkening and her eyes swirl with black ink, he trembles as he speaks.
Draugur: “Disjointed and remit of duty, I am a remiss demagogue lurching and yearning for power of a city that grasps its freedom as fast as it turns against them…, removal, death, resignation and inability are the shared genres of a coming insurrection, for sacrifice until disability is removed.”
Draugur: “How the troubles of society have given an ode to dejection.”
Lynn: “You have an insane logic, be sure you serve me before you cross me, twisted soul.”
Draugur: “Wait, spirit queen, why not strike this city like a plague beset?”
Lynn: “Poison is the sweetest conflict.”
Out goes the mist controlling witch thru a clouded step, from charnel association to a renaissance and the inherited patrimony and thus betakes clarity to druthers, whither and emulsion into the city. First of place to advance evil by the guise of a holy cloak, accomplishing a feign of grace for new power, merciless in disputes and often siding against clergy for days in favor of the fraudulent denizen occultists, faithless in fervor, cruel in carnalities including the familial bonds of the sheriff, and yet as ever careful to keep civil to his perceived services.
Clinging to power the feudal heirs are all slaves within the façade of nobility or ranking servants, loyalists desperate for known freedom are impossibly corrupted and utterly useless when turned for their pride of the region, best rattled by random isolated lies their followers are few and far between and equally discordant, these minions of misery love their surrogate military companies and are stoic in danger. They even appease priests with their lies of injustice reconciled by promised vigilance or discontinuous fairness, more petty than desperation their lies roll from their deceitful tongues. Complicit the soils of Midgard will be tilled by the sounds of marching the rows and sowing the seeds of life, fallow if left to the delusional call to arms, ousted only to err remain too removed and incredible, adduce a community of putrid bias.
Windswept to subvert and conquer more states and enslave more factions, greed by the corruption of markets enfeoffed, enfeebled, or dead, and often as promised doublespeak. Strafing the out way while harassing en hoard and claiming to be inspecting the scene and or circumstance agglomeration, often a censure and their feigned escape or punishment complete with puerile acting guards for they, the overflowing months of fuck-rate looting. While Ana shops the storefronts and swindles old men Merlin and Nickolas watch one of these events unfold to denouement with disdain
In the latter day Merlin writing an epode on a small booklet bound in white notices Troy sleuthing along the city wall unwitting of reconnoiter by the wizard waywardly below and behind him. To lose a spy supporter he begins to leave forcing him to follow or forage, but not stay found stagnate without passage rite.
In the darkness that is fear supposed affluent in division even the evil go and fight deferent to the rebellion, with commerce stunted to be revenged collectors and revenue tariffs once apportionment gathers at two of every five coins of opulence with a glut oft of henchmen who’ve filled the vacancies of resignation and otherwise. In this war of civilities occupational jurisprudence masks the curt unrest of skullduggery and propaganda. A very elder soldier who cannot walk sits watching the gallows explaining to himself the scenarios of sedition, having never taken council seat nor clergy elite as each were a bit of both and never the wiser. The elder watches a crow take an egg from a nest and toss it to a plummeting demise then leave in flight and return with its own egg to roost, on the ground a thatch garden snake swivels scales to slither a rat hunting sleuth but is snatched by the graven raven.
Using a limn remittance the Draugur watches the bird kill the snake from his office, recreant of all honor in temporary ley contemplating the escheat he has created, from his window he sees the good soldier Bodvar approaching the office, determined and frustrated by the turn of the city walking fast and leaning forward, with eyes coeval narrow and brow angrily furrowed. The imposter’s understudy disciple in the war on morality comes closer to the window to pose a question.
Reetur: “What do we do?”
Draugur: “If ruler of the realm cannot see evil, unless too late, he is not truly wise.”
Reetur: “What do we do from here?”
Draugur cuts his throat and stabs him in the heart.
Draugur: “You’re supposed to stop the evil.”
Draugur throws thy Reetur into the door causing a loud sound, Bodvar seeing the door slam shut from the noise on the other side rushes to open the door, the Draugur quickly slides to the floor and pulls the dead body over himself as the door pushes open. The blood pours onto his face and in his mouth and he tastes jovially then screams of bloody murder, even Bodvar screams for help.
Malfeasant displeasure the creature is a perpetual traitor and when the guards finally enter with a look of presumption he grabs their shackles and cuffs Bodvar, his instant resistance to arrest is nabbed by the soldiers in a fit of opposition.
Draugur: “He is one of them, a trip to the gallows for this devil…secure the bastion!”
One of the outside guards points to the wall and signals with a fist then a melody of bells around the wall.
Draugur: “Fie adulterated commiseration and loquacious magniloquence seems churlish whence profane!”
Bodvar: “Ye addled work; I will take your time with the spies you ignore!”
The grey skies make more noise than the smiling Draugur, of the fold and firmament the sorcery and sleek works of blithe disregard for the rules of the realm, and on the sidewalk Merlin notices allies of Bodvar urge and attempt to usher his release, but there are more guards convened from the walls and of relent there is none.
The conflict continues to motivate the marshals to see crime and culprit from the word of the lying evildoer.
He begins speaking from the stage of the gallows pole. Long before the victim can speak the throng holds irrational logic of their marauding efforts, all of them waiting to watch the execution.
Draugur: “Knowledge come of learning kept, spoiled if else, tell the people why you are here!”
Bodvar: “To be pure in meditation for my faith, discourse on the first of our enemy!”
The crowd shouts, “tell it to the cenotaph,” and, “bestrew him,” with other taunts and obscene jests, the small entertainment of a big city.
Draugur: “An idle soldier is a poison ivy immortally timeless so long as the elders of class war rely on material rather than on moral forces, we are succors to simplicity and greed, concealing vices laid stripped and barren.”
Allies kith and kin watch from the ablated stone parapets and cobbled street corners while the feckless crowd grows restlessly longing for a sacrifice before sunset.
Draugur: “My guidance doesn’t come at a cheap price, invaluable is our honor to this city, this murderer expected me to pay with my life, if it were any denizen no abjuration would absolve you.”
Bodvar: “Or your mightiest children!”
Draugur: “Traitor, have ye any final words?”
Bodvar kicks and screams as the cord is tightened around his neck.
Bodvar: “Deception, I am dead to rights but you will die by friend of foe, his is not the magistrate!”
Merlin pondering has a moment to wonder if it is discrimination in favor of able-bodied people, relativism, or an innocent abnegation. Bodvar’s allies hide whereat bodily and humbly abide to the din of sorrow. As Merlin looks in a twist left, then right, for his friends he sees Nickolas with a tepid jaundice color approaching, this appearance is a deception. Nickolas is as immortal as the arrogant speech overhead; this impostor has a scar on his face to the side that Merlin cannot see and the real Nickolas is a stone’s throw drinking a sample of the city’s popular fermented export.
(Faux) Nickolas: “There’s something about that scar…”
Merlin: “You’ve noticed it too…?”
(Faux) Nickolas: “Are you going to do something?”
Merlin: “I am…, have you your knives?”
The deceiver is gone and in the shadows, still watching with cerulean eyes from the office of the Draugur agent provocateur.
Merlin: “Can you cut the rope from…?”
He turns again and Nickolas is merely walking from the countertop, he finishes his vintner’s verdelet and joins the wondering. Merlin turns to the stage to verify if the rope is in slipknot and not a noose, he doesn’t wait for him to arrive and begins passing thru the crowd dropping tiny bottles in benignity that begin to smoke, little vials not spewing smoke but small wafts that grow to be a damning fog.
A guard on the wall thinks to have seen Merlin’s distraction, but is stopped by Troy before able to sound alarm, while others are distracted or repelling down ropes he throws a stone into a window and panic advances through the crowd, as the people hectically scatter the Draugur watches Nickolas reach high and throw a knife and kicks the stool from beneath Bodvar before he lets the blade go. Scurrying to skirmish the sound of swords clash in the fettering cloud, a small blond child moves thru the smoke till bound in confusion and falling, approaches Ana who can see through smoke better than the wind.
Ana: “Give me one of those…”
Merlin hands them to her, combined with her magic she uses them as mortars, the first explosion scares even soldiers, the second is a group of three cascading explosions that breach the gallows pole, the blasts only grow the haze and the demon is angered but can see Nickolas approaching and draws his sword to battle heartily. A small blond boy climbs the stairs to help Bodvar from his bondage, Draugur moves to stab the boy but Nickolas pushes him over the backstage then is pierced-thru and falls with a laugh and drops a dagger as Bodvar tumbles over the stage’s forward edge with the rope cut but still around his neck and his hands bound.
As the executioner looks for the boy in arrears, Draugur looks for the source of the massive amount of smoke. Merlin is in the haze and tho stern he infuriates the demon by mere existence and there is anger in the dusk. The stocky brutish sheriff bewitched jumps to the ground steeped in furor enough to speak to the escapees and hunt ditherers in the smoke.
Draugur: “You’re having help.”
Merlin: “I’d like to know who it is.”
As if to rather assume that the demon spoke an answer to an unspoken question, Merlin’s reply is an implication with certainty save inferring. With a circular motion Draugur swings his sword to Merlin, who catches the blade by hand, the print of his skin scrapes with sparks like sandstone as the surface enlightens and cracks. Disappointed to waste it, Ana throws a phial she wishes a chance to save from her pocket, it lands and explodes on impact just a moment before the glass can crack wide.
The fires comport what cannot acquit conduct, they deport their anger to behave and savor survival, the Draugur relishes his stagger to adjust then totters while respecting being caught off his guard, this foreshow is the harbinger of recidivism as he makes his way to the dungeon.
Draugur: “Kill the prisoners then come to my quarters, bring your finest men.”
The Draugur demon passes thru two stone gateposts some thirty feet apartness, in death harmonic and spiritual rites.
Bodvar a patron to survival masks his appreciation for newfound life with anxiety and haste, moving toward the center of the city as if to the other side with the hechicero de viento, la bruja ardiendo, and a nascent victor, following behind him. As he moves hectically his path wavers from side to other side searching for something sharp to cut the cord from his wrists, Merlin puts his hand on Nickolas’s back and points to Bodvar and he espouses help.
Daylight dies and a storm begins, the pounding from the maker of thunder thralls the night watch as the brink of deluge hugs the dying horizon. Dirty farmers bring in their wagons their day of setting lines for vines of hops at end, what warmth had done to dry the surface after the melting sun the water now seeks to seep and fill closed drop by drop. Merlin’s hand stiffens as the admixture of melted blood and bone cools, the argentine skin hides a soft white glow beneath blue fracture lines, and it brittlely chips and flakes as he hides it from view.
Ana: “Does it hurt?”
Merlin: “The storm, slewing withal to fill the air, levin to me no more than old wounds and impulse. It will heal.”
The pennons flutter from the ways as his hand dims and darkens in scarred abrades. Nickolas sidles Bodvar and cuts his bonds only to be evaded in consternation and rejection, but Merlin having leapt a distance affronts immediate retreat standing before him obstruction.
Merlin: “Where are you going?”
Bodvar: “To kill the abomination.”
Merlin: “Wait, we’ll go with you.
Nickolas: “Firstly tell us about these sorrowed walls.”
Bodvar: “That is not Zeke, he is something false, his skin is grey and his face hangs like the dead.”
Merlin: “So you’ve noticed not for nothing.”
Bodvar: “Hope rests with the laity, but that tetrarch has turned and put ford and vassal in and under trees, they are missing or dead if not fatuously taken oath to the feudal futility.”
Merlin: “Sound familiar?”
Nick: “Dog in the manger.”
Ana: “To cut to the quick?”
Merlin: “With a fair wind and following seas.”
Bodvar: “What say you shall we shove off?”
Merlin: “Take us to him, we test our mettle.”
In very short time, being endowed with wit and vigorous spirit the palace waits for them in the rain.
Ana: “Can you get into the sheriff’s quarters?”
Bodvar: “Yes, after I get the others.”
The convention of everyday combat whence anon follows immediately a terrible war, revolution in civil technique, atavism thereunto stunting the consciousness of new packmen with help from the children discontent without peace, thereto the towers on the wall locked from points of entry and the patrols of which watched by disgruntled shops with avid attraction, theretofore the gates reposted to seal in the devil and keep the streamers waving old colors with conservative wave, thereunder the dungeon looted and polluted with rebellion and immolation, therewith the weapons of game hunters and wistful cavalry militia, therewithal a manic Draugur watching the city purge itself by his evil.
Draugur drinks an artisanal theriac for his waning leather skin as pharisaical motive sways malediction and formless hatred. He is notified of Bodvar’s involvement by a scout.
Scott: “The servants of Bodvar attempt to siege.”
Draugur: “He is an unlucky wight, protect the city, and find the origin of the virulent suggestion.”
Dint sanguine the fall of ideals métier mitigates the castle foyer and causes their foes to mewl in the miasma, the heroic insurrection soldiers infiltrate the turncoat guards whom arrest the servants in the name of suspicion, as they force the innocent to the dungeons their paths intercede and separated enemies become severed threats. Another lot storms the sheriff’s keep but is caught by diligent guards who have not tinctured bias but solely internalized their beliefs as proper defense of a sensed coup de tat.
A row of imperial guards are the front for an ambush from the curtains and shadows, they are caught with Nick dying by battle en route. With a sword put into his heart from his back he humbly plays an addition to the death toll with a faint, closing his eyes until the darkness becomes silence, which is broken by the sound of him being dragged by his feet. A stipend of life is granted to him in his prayers of disbelief, he pulls back his foot and kicks behind the knee of a guard while pulling a long sword sheath bringing the guard halfway to the ground, he draws the sword from the hefty soldier and in a circle beheads the other and turning the large blade overhand he stabs the innards of the other behind himself without looking. He bends and takes the head with him toward the sheriff’s fane.
Telling of intolerance the guards rummage thru the insurrectionists before they are dead, Nick walks toward them with the head held by hair still behind him.
Nick: “Do you know this man!”
Nickolas tosses the head through the air as he runs toward them in a great stealth while his opposition cannot stand and deliver to survive preparedly, catching the lopped head they are scared and attack, but a leap kicks one thru the window far to the promenade and three men scrimmage and fatally scathed in only seconds. He looks to the door between him and the Draugur and begins collecting weapons which can cord or cut or both.
Bodvar: “You should cut your losses old man.”
Merlin: “I mustn’t avoid this conflict unless it saves everyone.”
Merlin’s eyes glow a strange and stringent blue not hiding his pupils but coloring the vitreous hue, he turns the corner they encroach by pivoting on his foot nonchalantly to follow Ana who walks the red carpet in her new clothes as if the bell of the midnight ball. Placed on the wall are achievements, fore shields with four accomplishments on each of them of which one upon one is a steel mace without spikes. She takes it and parades the dark hall with the vapor of water in the dark air and lightning in the storming sky flashing before the window she watches as she walks showing signs of hectic fever.
Valor and prudence of temporal power in the ether encourage Bodvar and the others to follow them. They are mostly silent in their killing path, when Ana finds a foe she plays advocate of distress as the others pounce or of duress and pointing the way to the rebellion, only to bash the clueless guards on their skulls. Merlin assists by using glowing eyes to scare his foes to fatal direction or hitting them with hands full of iron to aggrandize partition between the Draugur martinet and his corrupt sentinels, passing by a window overlooking the macabre gallows before the final flight of stairs to the abode of treasonous machinations.
Draugur stands before a swivel mirror tilted slightly upward admiring himself, staring at wavering vessel with narcissism of the first magnitude, draconian malcontent unable to admit defeat careened to his reflection, yet aspiring at all costs causing evil and aspersions these days strange. How some want to end the campaign against the cult of death will have it either way and soon ever always at the demon’s price. Handsel to a spell of haptic fire the despot’s room is hauteur of intimist paintings, with a slight intervocalic language internecine insurrection is a tale to writ of insurrection. This malaise is deepened by him speaking to the mirror and to himself while the lighting strikes outside the windows in the heavy strafing rain.
Draugur: “How do I love me? How do I not love me?”
He hears their many boots on the stone the instant they enter the doorway to the floor. To stop the pharisaic prerogatives of despots and tyrant nations hard to take yet easy to hold once done by usurpation cannot be beckoned by heirs apparent, the attempts to cause revolution by dissolution designed to cause internal insurrection for those in nobility compelled. The sky cracks and thunders thru the dark hallway where the burning oil lamps are running low, there stands Nickolas leaning against the wall before the door.
The doorway quietly opens and before he can be warned Nickolas is grabbed by Draugur, with one arm around his neck the other hand holds a glass ball, within it ebb of blue electricity with tides of light. When Merlin takes a step the demon raises the orb, but the wizard has not aversion and walks against the tumultuous night air as the demon retreats with a hostage into the room.
Merlin: “Appointing nobles when the magistrates are gone for holiday?”
Draugur: “Adroit infiltration orison and colonel relate a most prudent individual to the greatest renown, and who said I let them leave?”
Nickolas: “We will fight this battle valiantly unbeknownst forsook to them.”
The Draugur pushes Nickolas forward but keeps the electrical sphere held in the air.
Draugur: “You’ve been overrun, robbed, ravaged and insulted…can you save all of Midgard with such incompetence?”
Merlin: “The freedom of this market is science; to go against science is to go against god.”
Draugur: “There is no god for demons, priest.”
Nick: “So you’ve decided to annex law, the unity of crowds.”
Draugur: “Religion, politics, morality, affections, antipathies, I am monarch of all I survey, my right there is none to dispute.”
The torches fluster in the gusts of storm wind, moribund lost in recalcitrant arrears.
A small hall of free worship and speech abstemiousness of altruism adulate, abstention of simplicity with a view of cerulean surreal billows from the mountain verge, without civilized manner the Draugur lives in prosaic decorum to the propriety of cleaned bones and piling melted candle wax in several places, including his table where the paraffin covers plates and cutlery and more bones. Blatantly does the Draugur admonish an era of the crowd and in this absonant reign, he pauses in lieu of insult waiting for his fascist allies, distraught he looks to the nebulous storm abandoned commensurate to phlegmatic chaos.
Draugur: “You bastardize a great venture.”
Nickolas: “Or another common fail.”
Draugur: “I, Am, Not, Common!”
Allowing the euphemism to relinquish Merlin walks along the wall to keep elusive and distanced, by the corner he stretches his hand from his sleeve, holding it toward Draugur only a few fractures in the palm remain. He walks along the next wall but pauses before crossing the window.
Merlin: “Before making much ado funerary deceit.”
Draugur: “We were to hold the clergy as educators who should share the treasury of their knowledge.”
Merlin: “Loved by evil, the painful execution?”
Draugur: “I cannot be held responsible for my anger.”
Draugur sickeningly smiles with shallow evil and the eyes of a wolf, as Ana steps toward him he quickly points his stretched arm with the electrical glass ball, in the distraction Merlin passes the window safely. They stalk the Draugur toward the wall.
Merlin: “Oftener of mephitic lies.”
Draugur: “Don’t move!”
The pieces of a game the knight Nickolas throws a dagger with fierce accuracy into Draugur’s wrist causing it to painstakingly drop the ball, as it reaches for it the queen Ana with both hands swipes the demon with her mace, it tries to take it from her but the steel is too hot to handle. Nick puts his foot to the hilt of a spear and the point to Draugur’s chest, pinning it against the wall as bishop Merlin nears.
Stringent accretion panoply of disproportionate odds pernicious he stands without his ennobled vitriolic ranks as concomitants, notwithstanding exacerbated plenary liberalism, the demon restive waits frothing of ire and scoffs as they surround him.
Draugur: “The problems arise and the king executes any dissenters, for the outlaws, the whole thing is plenary.”
Nickolas: “At least you’re telling the truth about it…”
Merlin: “What…, do you want?”
Draugur: “What can the old man do?”
Merlin’s eyes turn to glowing white. The fear of Draugur doth impinge to lost alluded bedizen demons of sacrilegious contradiction, lest eluded irenic sacrifice returns them to their maker a failure. Secretive telling by actions yet influencing such motives sinister by choice with such underwhelming authority at this point drive a panicky abandonment to the point of subconscious lies seeking escape, but the crude facts are a trove of damning minutiae, the demented malefactors put bane to base. Draugur is confronted by a spell-worn Merlin whose conjurations have made him greyish and aged.
Draugur: “How are an old magician and a woman going to stop what is orchestrated?”
Nick: “Still waters run deep.”
Merlin: “A sign of the times even if putrid.”
A draft of wind, the occasional spark in the air beneath the steady rain, Ana’s eye flickers a kindler’s flame and of concern budges toward the window, a fear wakes that barring leniency she could be envoy for Etain the fire witch yet spy among Merlin’s band.
Draugur: (to Ana): “Magdalena several paces different, avert on them, release me.”
Ana: “Just you give us the answer foil.”
Draugur: “Witches, in their covens, they have chosen their motions, and, their masters, to a warlock servile to a sorceress of the fortress sovereign.”
Merlin: “From this a list of throes for our enemies?”
Draugur: “In favor to face repletion and our opposition buried without effort.”
Draugur chooses to gloze in opportunity over Ana’s figure rather than be taker of her threat, she walks away in disgust and Merlin walks closer as she paces. The Draugur’s skin is dullish grey as is hanging from the scar on the neck, beneath it the healthy cords of muscles but the flesh is worse to wear, further subtle traits show yellowing bloodshot eyes and a demonian blackening tongue.
Draugur: “My contract signed in blood, and lost in the sorcerer’s storm, the trinity shall eclipse the faith in the sun. Your quorum shall have to take queue.”
Merlin: “Your contract with whom?”
The Draugur spits at Merlin, the gasp of next breath expands the chest hiding blackguard heart enough for wariness to the spear Nickolas holds, with a look from Merlin Nickolas moves the spear stronger into the demon at the first rib below the black heart.
Draugur: “There are several! In all your cities! Awaiting message and soundly sleeping in deceit…!”
Merlin: “An innovator has enemies, all those who have done well under the old conditions, what is your plan?”
Draugur: “Think on death, think on it often. I know what is in the darkness of war, for it will come to know you.”
Ado entrepreneur equation Nickolas scratches the stubble on his neck, allowing Draugur to see the moment and slice the spear point thru his chest and dash for the window in full career. Merlin extends his fingers and electricity seeks through the air to scorn the demon but not in sufficient time, he takes the metal scepter from Ana and throws it over the balcony and between he and it lightning leaps to scorch, but not only does it miss intended mark the demon flees into the metis storm-fall.