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Security and Serenity


"So ye simply let him go?" the Elder inquired, standing in front of the empty cell that only days ago housed both his son and a prisoner, a nobleman of Britain who was being held for ransom. He spoke to Gurtog, a hulking half troll who wore red-tinted bone armor several sizes too small for him.

Gurtog nodded slowly. "She say him need help other man for her, so I do. Them not fight so I let go like you say do," he explained confidently. He had no inkling that his master might be displeased by his actions.

The Elder laughed, a somewhat gurgling cackle that sounded like a cross between a bubbling brook and a viper's hiss. He turned away shaking his head. He waved his arm in the air, "Close the door my trusting friend," he said as he sat down on his decaying throne. The henchman obeyed.

"Um do bad master? Do wrong?"

"No my simple friend. Ye did no wrong. She did as I thought she might but it matters not. No one was going to take his place as ransom. Let this be a lesson to us both; true love and sacrifice has not really existed in this pathetic realm... until now," Scaramandine stated.

"She kiss face; say I was good to her," Gurtog confessed.

The Elder smiled. "I am not surprised my friend. Not surprised at all."

* * *​

With determined effort and the therapeutically reviving administrations of his long-lost love, the weakness of the transference diminished and Scar was soon able to resume normal activities. They had a lot of catching up to do and spent most of the time together yet alone. Nothing had changed between them. Time and distance had not diminished their love, only empowered it. They spent the days eating and drinking beside a waterfall that flowed not far from the Shrine of Justice. Sometimes they swam together in the nearby lake. Whatever they did, it was together, just like old times.

"We shall never be parted again," he had promised her. "The only thing that remains is for me to be free of this curse, or at least learn again how to control it better. I have a group of friends who are helping me - the Emerald Fist. Their leader, Lord Chanticleer, a great and powerful man, has concern for his people... all people really. I know they will do all they can to find a means to help me."

He had been looking down, picking at blades of grass next to her as he lay on his side. When he looked up he saw a flicker of concern. She was chewing on her bottom lip momentarily thinking of how to pose the question. “Is this the same Lord Chanticleer that ordered peoples’ homes to be burned to the ground?”

Scar started to reply but hesitated, opening his mouth only to close it again.

Sensing his uneasiness who shifted the topic of conversation. “I baked some bread,” she said cheerily, reaching into the picnic basket and handed him a lopsidedly round loaf. “Here, let me know what you think,” her eyes beaming with pride.

Scar forced a smile hoping it would be enough to deceive her. He remembered when she lived in Papua and baked bread there many years ago. He also remembered that it lacked something akin to flavor. He took the bread, pulled off a piece, and stuffed it into his mouth to begin chewing, and chewing, and chewing. He restrained a wince. Nothing at all had changed.