Author: Kionanovanion PM
Aarkys was the Shadow Rogue. After leaving that life behind, he began to start another. When one of his farmhands begins asking difficult questions, he may just have to risk everything he has to keep the horrible truth from seeing the light of day.Rated: Fiction M - English - Angst - Words: 1,176 - Published: 11-03-11 - id: 2966947
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Are you sure this is going to work, Tyrl?"
The lone figure stood in the rain, eyes raised to the crumbling old house that stood on the hill. It was a depressing sight, what with all but a few of the tiles missing from the roof and rotting boards covering the front entry. It stood two stories tall, leaning dangerously to the left on sunken foundation blocks. Maybe once there had been a small stone wall around it where a small ditch ran, though the only evidence was a few scattered stones. Weeds now grew like a forest over the forgotten yard and crept up the walls in a choking hoard of vines.
Aarkys sighed heavily, shuffling his way up onto the crumbling porch. It offered only a few dry patches from the rain, instead only dampening him a little. This was supposed to be his new home. A large, affordable house, Tyrl had said. Plenty of room with a few fields, she had said. He snorted at the thought. Yeah, a few fields of brambles and thistles. How was he supposed to start a new life like this? The only thing his guide had given him was a tired old nag, a flint stone, a woolen blanket, a bag of thrown away tools and a bid for good luck. Apparently, she was coming back with a few volunteers to help start his new farm, but that seemed highly unlikely now.
With little else to do, Aarkys ventured into the house, squeezing his way between the boards covering the doorway. It was dusty inside and smelt of moist fungi and other unpleasant things usually found in a swamp. He shivered. The rain outside was sucking the heat out of the world and the house was poorly insulated. Still, he found himself wondering about, inspecting rooms with little to no furniture. Some were large, some were small, and there was one tiny enough to be a broom closet. He found the layout confusing and obnoxiously complicated. The urge to knock the house down was burning in the back of his head until he found the most beautiful mirror he had ever seen.
It had been covered by a heavy velvet cloth, which at some point during its days there, had fallen to pool around the ornately carved legs. Beaten gold held the silvery surface upright, having been inlaid with silver. It must have been worth a fortune. Why had it been left in a place like this? Eying it suspiciously, Aarkys stepped closer. Behind the dust that clung to the reflective surface, he could see his blurred silhouette. With a curious tilt of his head, he began wiping the dust away. He watched himself in the mirror as he cleaned it, noting how the dank light made his tanned skin take a purplish hue. In fact, everything took a purplish-blue hue, making his normally golden eyes somewhat dark green and his auburn hair a slight magenta. Standing up straight again, Aarkys almost fell over backwards when the image in the mirror flickered. It had only been a moment, but that was enough for him to see the change. His hair had greyed, his tail had become crooked, his claws had blunted and scars had littered his wrinkled skin. But most disturbingly was the arrow that protruded from his chest. And in the next moment, it was back to normal. With a scramble, Aarkys hurriedly threw the velvet cloth back over the mirror's surface.
"Damnit, Tyrl! What have you gotten me into?" he breathed, leaning against one of the walls. It was magical for sure, but he knew very little of magic. It could be black magic and that would threaten his soul. A demon could have slipped in when the image changed and taken up residence inside of him. On the other hand, were it not black magic, it would severely increase the value of the mirror. He was technically owner of the land and all upon it, and that would mean this mirror was his. Aarkys' eyes lit up with the prospect of it. With just this mirror, he could make enough gold to build his house and still have some left over. The idea excited him.
The next day, the excitement had dwindled some. Tyrl had returned as promised, but the bunch she accompanied were not a welcome sight. It were as if she had broken into the local dungeon and promised riches to the biggest and brutish looking rabble she could find and then shoved them all into the back of a wagon. There was a naga who wore an eye patch, an orc who had a mane of scruffy black hair, two of the biggest humans he had ever seen and another Reptorian who openly leered at him. At some point, they had all began working on the house under Tyrl's instruction, peeling it back layer by layer. Whilst they were busy, Aarkys pulled Tyrl aside.
"There's a mirror inside one of the rooms. I'm fairly sure it's magical and worth a lot of coin," he breathed, suspiciously eying their workers. "Can't tell if it's black or not. It bloody well scared the life out of me."
Tyrl raised an eyebrow expectantly, crossing her slightly too muscular arms over her chest. "Do go on," she all but purred, leaning closer.
Throwing another distrustful glance at the working men, Aarkys lowered his voice into a droning hum. "I was cleaning it off and I look up, right. I see myself, but it's not me. It's like an older me, but I got an arrow sticking out my chest!"
Chuckling to herself, Tyrl petted Aarkys on the back. "My reptilian friend, you've found yourself a Soothsayer's Mirror. What you saw was your own death."
Aarkys paled considerably, sucking in a sharp breath through his nose. "No shit," he murmured, his eyes losing focus. He could almost feel the cold steel of the arrow's head buried somewhere in his chest. A rather disturbing thought.
"Yeah, and I hear they're worth a fortune! Must have had a mage living hear before you bought the place up. No wonder rumors spread that this house was bad luck." Tyrl's eyes also became glazed with thoughts of wealth, something she herself had been seeking for many years.
Suddenly, Tyrl spun around in a fan of her ridiculously long hair, marching into the house. Even from where he stood outside, Aarkys could hear her stomping around inside, searching for the mirror. After a few moments, the stomping stopped and was replaced by a chorus of curse words and other foul language that Aarkys cared little for.
When she appeared in the doorway, Aarkys suppressed a chuckle. She appeared to have been thrown through all hell and back again. "The petching mirror is stuck to the floorboards! Someone get me a pickaxe!" She was breathing heavily, pausing to take another gulp of air. "And a petching mage!"