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Reluctant Reunion

McIan

Adventurer
The evening drew to a close as the darkening clouds swallowed the last rays of the dying sun. The twin moons had yet to bestow their brilliance upon the starry realm that was Malas when Scar, fully armored and armed, stood at the bottom of the stairs of what he knew as the castle of blood, the ancient citadel erected by his father decades ago. He had known what it was and who dwelt therein but avoided the place for he neither wanted to see his father again, nor incite whatever nameless terrors that stalked its dark and forbidding halls, seeking blood... Human, Elf, Orc, or Lycan, perhaps.

Sighing and saying a prayer to the gods of Light, he strode up the stairs. The door opened for him but no one stood on the other side. A warrior standing in the hall motioned for him to exit the foyer through crimson curtains and step upon the glyph nearest him. "He awaits ye there," he hissed. "Stay thy hand, warrior, and live," he warned.

Scar heeded the man's guidance. Another set of crimson curtains hung over an archway ahead, while two smaller chambers, lit dimly by lanterns, opened to his right and left. He drew in their smells: one of burning coals, fibers and ore; the other of victuals in preparation. Dismissing them both, he pushed aside the curtains and entered a vaulted chamber, surveying the contents of the room. Death. Death and decay. Bones, long lain. All manner of fetid stench and rot assailed his senses. A stone chair positioned in the center of the room ahead, facing two thrones, one of bone and one of blue-green crystal. Upon the former sat a hooded figure, dark, silent, and unmoving. He walked slowly to the chair to stand behind it.

"Welcome my son. Be seated and at ease," the robed one told him in kindly tones, almost with fatherly love. He extended his hand palm upwards to the spot.

Scar sat down, keeping his hand upon the hilt of his sword. "Where is she?" he asked. He had already inhaled the signature aroma of his loved one despite the odors that sought to mask it. She was here, somewhere.

"She is close by. She is safe. I do not keep her against her will. She agreed to stay for want of another means I would have used to bring thee here; one of a more forceful nature for thee."

Scar tightened his grip on the hilt of his kryss. "If you harm her in any way, one, or both of us, you and I, will die today," he warned.

"Ye speak as a fool. I am not so vile as to deprive this wretched land of such beauty... and, may I add... ferocity of spirit and love."

"Then on with it! How do I return to you what I have within me? I give it to you willingly but keep your part of the bargain."

"Ye must say the words. Ye know them. They are that by which I have drawn my power. Place one hand on thy own heart and one upon mine. The transference will be instant. No harm shall come to thee. Once done, I shall honor our pact," the Elder explained, standing up followed by Scar who moved toward him.

"I do not remember the words. What are they?"

The Elder seemed surprised by the admission. "Eh Loh Klah Teh" of course, the mantra of the Necromari which becomes that of which is my desire and intention. They require no mana and no fidelity to any god. They are neither good nor evil. They simply are."

Scar remembered them. He recalled his own use of them; he remembered his father teaching them to him when he was a Necromari himself, steeped in the perverted, chaotic, black arts of necromancy and sorcery. He recalled how they could bring into existence beings of great power and evil from beyond human ken to do their bidding. His father was wrong. They were vile words, unfit for the lips of any honorable person. "I cannot bear to utter them," he said, shaking his head.

"Ye must. Thy life with thine own love is at stake. Which love ye more, her, or what passes for thy pathetic excuse for honor?" he taunted, deliberately.

"She knows I love her beyond life! She also knows that the evil you can bring about outweighs even our love. Would she love me knowing I succumbed to thy extortion? No honor is pathetic, not even mine."

"She has heard these words. I made sure she heard all that transpires between us. Do ye want to know what she is feeling now?"

He lowered his head. His heart pounded. This was a chance, his only chance, to be reunited with her. Clenching his fists momentarily, he extended his hand placing it on his father's heart and the other upon his own. "Eh Loh Klah Teh," he cried, his head angled toward the heavens. "I give you back what is yours," he added.

His head swam and he fell to his knees, weak and wearied suddenly. The Elder took one deep breath and laughed loudly. He sat back down on his throne and motioned to a guard standing by, watching them. "Take him to the cell. Lock him in. Harm him not. I keep my word. When she comes, give her the key. Let them depart in peace; do not hinder them in any way if they go in peace."

The guard nodded, easily picking up Scar from the floor and placing him over his shoulder, taking him to a prison cell where a forlorn occupant stood in the doorway clasping the bars. "Stand back, fool!" the guard ordered. The man, dressed in noble but filthy finery, obeyed and the guard fulfilled his duty.

"Be sure he is fed well. I have work to do. I shall be gone for a long time. Let the others know this. When I return we shall make plans. The Necromari shall rise again," the Elder stated. He vanished as a mist, leaving no wake behind him.
 

Deminatza

Visitor
WORTH THE WAIT

Ahh, there ye are,” the Elder said almost conversationally. “I am a man, well not technically,” he said thoughtfully, “of my word. What I wished for was returned to me and now ye and thine betrothed may go free. I gave orders that he not be harmed and that ye both may leave in peace and that ye are not to be hindered, should ye decide to leave in peace.”

“Scar,” his name caught in her throat, afraid to believe the Elder’s words. “Where is he,” she demanded. His eyes looked in the direction of the dungeon.

Without hesitation, she bolted down the stairs and found a towering half troll blocking her path. He studied her a moment, nodded and presented a key. Unsure if it was her sheer strength or at that very moment the guard stepped aside, she pushed past him and grabbed the key hungrily from him.

She arrived at the bottom of the steps and immediately looked from cell to cell. Within the core of her being, she felt this strong pull to her left. She turned left. The pull then guided her forward. Pure faith, she did as this invisible guide bade and before long, she saw him lying in the center of the cell.

“Beloved,” she exclaimed as she fumbled with the lock. Scar lifted his head and welcomed the wonderous vision before him. He somehow was granted the strength to rise to his feet as she threw the cell door open and held his arms outstretched longing to hold her.

Deminatza flew into his arms bodily, yet he did not move. He mustered the last remaining ounce of strength he had left to support his beloved. He vowed he would always catch her should she fall. He intended to stay true to his word, now and forever. Once he knew she was steady, both collapsed to their knees maintaining their tight embrace. She sobbed into his chest “Thou art here. I feared I would e'er see thee again,” she managed though her words became unintelligible between sobs. He held her even tighter, buried his head in her hair murmuring, “Aye, my love, I am here”

“Thou art not permitted to leave my side,” she cried into his chest.

“This I can do m’lady,” he whispered gently, his voice rich with emotions.

Then the world went silent. It is as if everything around them ceased to exist. Just the two of them at the epicenter of this stillness. There, they stayed, holding one another. Both enveloped in the warmth of the love. It is as if both were made whole once again. Remembering what true happiness was. How it felt to be loved unconditionally. No words necessary to convey their feelings and emotions. They just were.

He was first to break the embrace to cup her chin so he may adore the face he had only seen in his mind’s eye until now. Their eyes locked. Within his eyes, he pledged to love to her now and forever. Hers, she vowed with him, her heart shall always remain. He lowered his head and solidified their bond with a kiss, both pouring their whole being into. There was a sound of a single bell chime in the far distance.

Suddenly, the sound of the world came crashing back as someone coughed in a nearby cell.

Regrettably, she broke the kiss to inspect him. It was then she realized his state. Immediately, she tended to him.

“Can you stand,” she inquired as she looped his arm around her neck.

“A moment. I gave my father what he desired. I had to speak the words I swore I would never utter again. I gladly would pay the price again,” he said hurriedly as he witnessed the guilt cross Deminatza’s face.

He brushed his lips against her cheek. “Nay, love. Tis not the time for that. Let us leave this wretched place and never come back.” Demi nodded and tried to help him rise, but to no avail. She exited the cell looked around desperately for something, anything.

“Mistress, if you are able to exit the cell, I recommend leaving here at once. There are horrors that occur here that a lady, or anyone for that matter, should not witness or hear.” She turned in the direction of the voice and found a noble man in a nearby cell.

“Guard,” Demi called out and before long the giant half troll lumbered into the room.

“What did thine master command thee to do with him,” she pointed to Scar who attempted once again to rise from his knees and yet again, failed.

“Master commanded to take him to the cell. Lock him in. Harm him not. When you come, give you the key. Let you and him depart in peace; do not hinder you in any way if you go in peace,” he repeated almost verbatim.

“Not to hinder us in any way if we wish to go in peace?”

“Aye”

“Good. I require him to assist us to leave here in peace,” Deminatza demanded pointing to the noble whom spoke to her moments ago. The noble scrambled to his feet to clasp the bars before him.

The guard appeared confused. “Master say you and he,” pointing at Scar, “may leave. Not him,” pointing at the noble.

“The master also said not to hinder us in any way if we wish to go in peace," Deminatza challenged. "We require his aide for us to leave us peacefully. By not releasing this noble to me, thou are going against thine master’s wish. Dost thou with to incur thine master’s wrath for not obeying?”

The guard hesitated a moment, fumbled with the keys at his belt and released the noble.

The noble prostrated himself before her. “I am in your debt mistress. I am yours to command until you decree the debt paid.”

Scar nodded appreciative of the aid, yet bewildered for he did not trust anyone's motive, least ways one who was a prisoner of his father.

The noble rose, collected Scar and made their way towards the exit.

Deminatza walked to where the guard stood, rose onto her toes to plant a grateful kiss on his cheek.

“Thou hath always been kind to me, gramercy,” She smiled warmly and followed the men to their new found freedom.
 
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