|THORÜSA: A Medieval Fantasy Tale
Author: Vyrazhi PM
In Thorüsa, a "missing place" in the afterlife that lies between heaven and hell, can our narrator help two lost souls find their way before angels and demons find them? Rated T for language and themes.Rated: Fiction T - English - Spiritual/Suspense - Chapters: 16 - Words: 12,787 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 01-11-13 - Published: 11-14-12 - id: 3074405
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: OBSIDIAN EYES
"I'VE NEVER HEARD of either of those groups," I tell Salek't as we continue to follow Anyuta, her raw recruits, and the fiends. "Our church has never spoken of them, even as traitors to the Harrower."
"Of course not." His voice is curiously flat. "Have they ever spoken of me, either, or the sage Voranti? Once heretics are duly punished, they are erased from ecclesiastical histories, wiped clean off the slate of our faith! We remember them, but our clergymen don't. They choose not to, and over time, their forgetting becomes reflexive instead of conscious. Who knows? In another five years, perhaps, they won't even remember poor Anya - that is, if they know what she's planning to do." Through the continuing storm, we keep pace after Salek't's sister and her literal followers, their plated boots sloshing through thick mud. Onward we march until I at last see the spire of a tower in the distance. Even though I'm in spirit form, I still shiver. If this is the same one Salek't saw in his vision, I don't want to go in there, even to save Anya! To my immense relief, however, the tower is familiar, and not constructed of obsidian. It's a granite watchtower that one of our realm's previous kings had used, with spacious living quarters underneath. "Hold a moment, this can't be right," murmurs my friend and guide. "No one visits this place anymore, mostly because it's one of the strongholds of our last dynasty. The Heretic King's men haunt this tower…"
"You mean Vyecel?" It's a good thing that no one but Salek't, not even the fiends, can hear me whisper. That name is accursed round these parts, because he was the last of our kings who dared to be a pagan - a true one, worshipping the ways of nature instead of the ways of our god, and spreading his faith openly! He was hanged, drawn and quartered by Inquisitors who had lived during my great-great-grandparents' time. Back then all heretics met this fate, but the Harrower, in his mercy, prescribed purification by fire for them after His Majesty Vyecel's death. His clergymen spread the news, but I daresay it hasn't brought much comfort to those of us who have since been executed - Voranti, for instance, and Salek't himself.
"Aye, I mean Vyecel, the Harrower damn him, and why is everyone going in here?!" Apparently, he's just as scared as I am as we follow Anyuta and her disheveled army through its massive wooden door. They march inside, not missing one cadenced step, and disappear from sight. At this point, I would have preferred it if we would have seen a tower of obsidian, because then it wouldn't be this one! Before we follow them down a flight of stairs after they shut the door, I notice the fiends outside. All of them are circling like vultures, in a great moat of glowing leech bodies, teeming round and round as if the tower were the center of a giant whirlpool. "They're watching and waiting for the right moment, because Anya's far from dead," Salek't hisses. "When the time comes, they'll be pouring in, so we have to be careful!"
Before I can ask him how and when his sister's going to meet her untimely demise, the fabled Anyuta starts barking orders: "You men, set tables, and you women, light the fires! We dine, but march tonight!"
"Where, Knight Captain?" asks one of the lads who had been commanded to prepare tables for an evening meal. "If we attack the church of the Harrower, this place is nowhere near its main sanctuary."
"I know that." Anya smiles, closing her fingers into a fist. "However, it's not the church we're after…yet."
"What d'ye mean?" asks a muscular, red-haired matron, who then remembers to salute. "Knight Captain?"
Anya strides closer to the woman, gazing at her with obsidian eyes. Completely black, they are! People say that eyes are the windows of the soul, but it appears that Salek't's sister has none. Other than the whites of the orbs that allow her to see, their only other color is that of pitch - or the Abyss. "Morrigu?" she asks, with the u having the same half-guttural tone as the one in Thorüsa, "How long have I known you?"
"Ever since you were a lass, and your new-divorcèd mother brought you to the Harrower's holy chapel."
"Which both of us have spurned and blasphemed," Anya continues. "You of all people should know how to keep private matters private, and when you ask me what I mean by that, you're not doing so!" She places her hand on the hilt of her sword, intending to draw it, when Morrigu kneels before her and bows her head. "That's better. Where we march, you all shall know, but not now. Not until you realize for what we fight!"