Author: GreyVanity PM
'Magic is God's power passed down to man.' When magic is brought to the country of Tael it is kept within the nobility and abused. However after a century of oppression, tensions between the nobility and the lower castes boil to the brink of conflict. One group begins the revolution, to make magic available for all, or to wipe out its existence completely.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy - Words: 1,215 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 10-07-12 - id: 3063740
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This was an idea that I came up with a while ago and really wanted to write.
I hope you guys enjoy it!
Ferocious flames lick at the brooding night sky, throwing sharp shadows across the charred earth. There is a flapping of wings, a rustle of movement as crows, nestled fearfully in their tree-borne nests, take off in unison away from the angry red glow of the blaze.
There is a shuddering crash as a creaking wooden foundation beam collapses and topples over the burning carcass of a building with a pained groan.
The entire village was aflame.
There was shouting as the people who had managed to escape their homes staggered shakily onto the road, turned back and called out for their loved ones. Others fell to their knees, weeping and wailing at such horrid destruction.
Then the smoke began to sink to the ground, enveloping the streets in a toxic blackness.
The boy crawled along the ground, hastily blinking out the ash from his eyes. He had nowhere to go, no place to run to, he crawled forward only with the primal human instinct to survive. The inky blackness of the ash enveloped him, blocking out his senses. Throwing one burnt arm in front of the other, he clawed at the earth one arm at the time, inching forward sluggishly one arm-length at a time until with a sputtering cough his body refused to hold itself up and hit the ground with a thud.
A whiteness began playing at the corners of his eyes, bleeding slowly into his vision. The ground seemed to pull away from him, the pain began to seep out of his body. As his senses were replaced with a numbing calm, the boy began to feel relief. Slowly, he resigned himself to his fate and as the world around him began to spin away into the distance he began to close his eyes…
The boy widened his eyes again. In front of him, a hand stretched out for him.
It was a voice that called out for him. The boy focused now only on that hand held out for him. He urged his body forward, stretched out his own arm as far as it would go to reach it. But now it was pulling away too.
Panic filled him as he reached out further, trying so painstakingly to reach that hand. It looked so very, very close…
The man woke up with a gasp, sitting bolt upright on the seat in the carriage. His heart was still furiously drumming out a rapid beat as his mind began to register his surroundings. His eyes darted about, fixing on the window of the carriage where the countryside slowly drifted past.
'Man, you alright?'
His eyes flicked over to his right. A man in his late teens looked at him with genuine concern.
'Yeah. I'm fine.'
He said this with a dry-throated croak.
There were a few seconds of silence that pervaded the interior of the carriage. They were not the only ones in it, three other men sat on the opposite seat their solemn faces meeting his and giving him looks of grim concern.
'We've just crossed Hayver Bridge, we'll be at Rutheran in an hour tops,' said the man on his right.
He grabbed his pack and fumbled around in it before pulling out a water canteen and shoving into chest of the man to his left.
'Freshen up Kaelan, you're scaring the others.'
Kaelan grabbed the canteen out of the man's hand and took a few gracious gulps. The water ran down his parched throat as he swallowed, licking the last few drops from his lips when he was finished.
For a few seconds he just sat there, holding the canteen in one hand, eyes looking down at the floor in an empty expression.
'Cadvan, did I say anything?'
He lifted his gaze to the man on his right. He responded with a slow shake of the head.
'Nothing at all.'
A few minutes of silence passed in the carriage as the solemn men inside stared grimly at the floor. Kaelan's pulse slowed as he forced his mind into a state of calm and cold focus. Slowly, he stretched out his fingers, and then his lean muscles which had been cramped into the corner of the carriage for so long. His young body hated carriages, partly because of the constant bumping as it ran along the rugged road but mostly because of the inaction. The vehicle followed the dusty track which threaded through the dreary countryside. The clouds had gathered overnight, painting the sky with a dull grey that sapped at the energy of the men.
'We're about fifteen minutes off the city!' cried a voice from the outside.
Cadvan leant out the window to face the carriage driver.
'Noted thank you!'
Kaelan took another draught from the canteen in his hand and pulled out a small pouch of dried meat. He offered first to the men in the carriage who were initially reluctant but succumbed once Cadvan had helped himself to a piece. After they all had something to chew he spoke.
'You all know the plan?'
Quick nods followed.
'The target cannot be mistaken. He will ride about the square, rustle up the peasantry, start something. We'll be around at all the exits, keep your hoods down at the beginning. We wait until he does something, not just anything though; it has to be an abuse of magic, maybe he throws someone around, blasts them with something, anything like that. Whatever it is, once we see it happen, when everyone around sees it happen…'
He pumped his fist into his open palm.
The unchanging expressions of the men were uncanny however it was all part of their training. They were all focused, they all knew the plan. Kaelan's little talk wasn't really necessary but it got the men into the right mood, the mood of killers.
'Hoods up on the kill, melt away in the crowd.'
There were nods as the men prepared themselves.
The carriage stopped jarringly as the driver hopped down from his seat and popped open the doors. The men walked out of the vehicle with stiff legs however within minutes they had stretched out any cramps that they may have accrued. There was a bustle of neighing as the driver pulled himself back into his seat and whipped the horses away.
Kaelan looked at the men, their faces ready, focused, poised for action.
'I don't want any theatrics today boys; we make a clean kill and everyone gets out. As for the kill itself, make it loud, make it flashy. After all, we want to send a message.'
Then he added in a lighter tone. 'I want to see you all for drinks after this, let's move out.'
There was a collective grunt of affirmation before the men all turned, five black and red coated figures walking off into the crowd of people. Within seconds, they had disappeared.
The next day the city was abuzz with the news.
'Earl Caloran murdered in Cyrian Square! The Arbiters strike again!'