Chronicles of an Outcast

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T.A.Saunders
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Chronicles of an Outcast

Post by T.A.Saunders » Wed Nov 09, 2016 1:47 pm

I make no apologies for my manner of doing things. Even now, as I look upon the scars on the palms of my hands and consider where my soul will be going when this all ends, I have no regrets. I do not care that I have damned myself and I do not care that every time somebody looks at me, it is with at the very least, fear and revulsion. I made these choices to survive what those same people who would revile me would have likely crumbled upon. Fools. Their judgment means nothing, their ignorance is nothing to me but a thin layer of skin that I will cut through without hesitation and leave the blood of their failings to fall at my feet.

I am Nilharys and I know no fear of death or torment.

I am a half-breed and a bastard; born of the union of a Shadow Elvish queen and Demon Prince out of wedlock and in the shame of a society that does not sanction inter-species coupling and slaughters any child born under such conditions. My conception was a tool of manipulation for my mother, who claimed it to be the king’s son, but whispered in the ears of my father that my birth would be his ascension, so long as he provided the troops for a revolt against the king.

When plot turned to poison against my mother, the day of my birth was to be my execution, but I was rescued by a Baron’s henchmen. I do not know why he did this, as there would not have been any benefit to having a half-breed son, even one who was spat from the womb of the Queen, Arisyeema. I could only determine this to be some sense of obligation to honor, knowing my fate. I wonder if he knew what I would become thanks to his kindness, if he might have changed his mind? The thought amuses me in bitter ways.

I was a dirty little secret; an abomination that the Queen could ill afford to let live. It would expose her sanctimonious preaching of racial purity as a convenient veil to be lifted whenever her schemes required it and it would cause her to lose favor with so many of her precious allies in the Twilight Court that it would effectively ruin her as a respected and adored figure. For this alone, my father and his men were hunted down and slain by assassins and things summoned forth from the darkest places in the world, until there was none left who could secret me away in their basements, or their farm houses, or their mighty castles. The trail of bodies was the only significant sign that I lived and there was some purpose to my being alive.

And when the safe places to hide ran out, over the course of fifteen years, my home became the wild. I had knowledge of language, writing and simple mathematics, but no survival skills, other than the knowledge of how to hide well. It was this one skill that allowed me to survive long enough to suffer the lessons of Hunger and Thirst. I came to understand that I could become a killing thing and I grew to enjoy it. Animals first. Small ones that I could pierce with a sharp stick and cut apart with a sharp rock.

I could survive on small animals and green things that grew, but I always had to eat quickly and leave nothing behind. Between larger predators and the Queen’s hunters that were seeking me still, even in this dark and ancient wood, I could not leave a trail nor could I risk a challenge from something that could kill me for my meager meal. Yet, as I grew more skillful at killing small animals, my appetite for hiding from these hunters waned and the desire to kill them like the small animals grew. They represented my mother and her will to destroy a life she created for nothing more than to twist a man against another man. It is to her I truly attribute my joy for murder.

There was also logic in this red pleasure. These hunters had weapons and armor that I did not and I required these things. A sharp rock affixed to a stick would not slaughter Shadow Elf soldiers in armor unfortunately. When hunting a youth, it was not expected that he would have any desire to kill at all and would be far too timid to ambush them. They did not understand that my hatred for them made me bold, made me smile with thoughts of gratuitous murder. While they hunted me, I lured them deep into the wild, where even they do not normally go and into the dark of the wood I left them. Even with keen eyes and sharp ears, they could not know all things in this forgotten place, where sunlight could not reach. It is here I waited for them to rest and plan for their next move. Inked in shadows like some night-born monster I watched for them to close their eyes and I watched for their deepest breathing.

And when sleep was assured, I struck with my sharpened stone and discovered that skin cuts much easier than an animal’s hide.

by T.A. Saunders ©2011
T.A.Saunders
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 8:00 pm
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Chronicles of an Outcast

Post by T.A.Saunders » Wed Nov 09, 2016 1:47 pm

My first kill among the hunters sent to erase the sin of the queen was, ironically a woman herself. Her snowy white hair was piled atop her head and only ringlets escaped, like ivy upon a wall, to dangle before an attractive, but unpainted pale face. She was somebody’s beloved, somebody’s wife and perhaps even somebody’s mother. It made me wonder how a woman who could be so many things could be hunting a child, even one who was considered an aberration of all things normal to the Tallis-Vyssian sense of normalcy. It made me want the red finality of her all the more, knowing she could be any of these things, yet still hunting me.

She slept peacefully, no doubt dreaming of her beloved or her family, As I said before, they did not keep watch this night, for they did not find the animals of the deep forest or myself any particular threat. There were no Jackalares this far north and for that I suppose I should be thankful, otherwise murdering them would have been much more difficult for a youth. She truly was beautiful, as she slept. For a moment I was entranced, with watching the way her smallish breasts lifted then fell with her breathing. Lust crept in the corners of my young mind but this was quelled; this was not a woman to be claimed, but an enemy that had to be dealt with. I reminded myself that she was a child-bearer hunting a child and it made taking the sharpened edge of my cutting rock across her elegant throat very easy.

Her very dark eyes flew open as I covered her mouth, to stifle the gurgling sounds her dying made. She knew life was ending and it was I that had done so. Being killed by what was thought to be a very timid child must have disturbed her; she even tried saying something that was incomprehensible due to the very deep cut I made in her throat. I did not dishonor her by looking away. I spent her very last moments looking her in the eye and made sure that I was the very last thing she saw, before the Shadow Ravens came to take her to the Mists of Eternity. So enraptured in the process of watching live fade from her very dark eyes, I had not noticed she struck me quite forcibly a few times before breathing her last. I enjoyed the pain she gave me. It invigorated me to finish what I had begun. The other three hunters, three males still slept in relatively close proximity To kill one as I had killed the dark-eyed beauty I sent to Zorah would likely rouse the other two. As I was then, I would have had a hard enough time killing the woman, had she not been sleeping. The three male Shadow Elves would prove impossible.

My ivory-haired beauty parted this world and left me gifts for her death. From her nearby belongings I found a cloak, a rather elegant basket-hilt saber. Also with this fine collection of items meant for me, was a vial containing what smelled like the secretions of a Billowing Nightbloom plant. It is a naturally occurring paralyzing toxin my Shadow Elf kin use to slow down large prey, or take down fleeing bounties. Tipped to a blowgun dart, one shot would be all that was required to paralyze the victim for roughly a half hour. I knew this, because in my time in the wild, I had a half an hour to stare up at the canopy of leaves and branches, for allowing the flowing blue membrane from a Billowing Nightbloom to strike me in the face. I hated myself then, knowing that I could have been food for whatever had come along and I would have been able to do nothing more than bleed.

It was a lesson I was happy to share with the three remaining men as I removed the stopper from the vial and poured a very little bit into their open, sleeping mouths. One actually choked and roused, but that’s what the saber was for; it and the man’s left eye merged and all life stopped for him before any cry for help could be uttered. The struggle was enough to wake the other two, however their own troubles became evident when they could not move for weapons or call out in disgust that their deaths were at the hand of some child monster.

When my new saber met each of their throats and I was satisfied that no life remained within them, I stripped their camp of anything that would be useful to me. A crossbow, a blowgun and arrows and darts for both, along with food, water and other useful provisions were all now mine to claim, since I was strong enough to take from those who would have taken my life. Clothing better than the filthy rags I wore and armor came from the woman, since at that age she was closer in size than the men were. Though as I removed her clothing and paused once more to regard her now bare, smallish breasts, I noticed a shiny locket nestled between them. Curious, I reached down and snatched it from her body and opened it to discover a picture of a very small child.

As I rose from the shadows made of firelight and tall trees, I laughed.

by T.A. Saunders ©2011
T.A.Saunders
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 8:00 pm
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Re: Chronicles of an Outcast

Post by T.A.Saunders » Wed Nov 09, 2016 1:48 pm

There was a time in my life that I was not a free, killing thing, or an instrument of a dark divinity’s will. I had been trapped by one who thought himself clever to capture me as I murdered one of my many hunters. He found me burying my knife into the skull of one of my Shadow Elf kin. I was distracted by the last scream as it rang loudly in my ears, filling me with the strange elation I always felt when slaughtering those my mother sent to bring me to death. I did not hear him until he was upon me and as skillful as I had become at murdering, none of that mattered when faced with one who could call sleeping magic without much more than a thought and a touch. Even as the magic swam over my frame, I fought, swung blindly and growled my outrage like a savage thing. The darkness drank me and silence replaced the lust for death.

When I had awoken, I had discovered the air was different. The scent of leaves had been gone and the air was much drier. My hands touched the floor and found cold dirt and the sounds of distant agony echoing off walls. When I lifted my hands, the sharp clank of shackles told me that I had been taken prisoner. I knew this could not be my mother, the Queen’s doing, for it had been so, she would have likely all ready taken my head, for the very thing my existence meant.

When I rose to stand and appraised my surroundings, I only found stark, painful light streaming from between the bars and all else had been dark. I am sensitive to light, for being kin to a people who dwelled in underground cities for well over a thousand years and it was enough to blind me for a moment, to the one that had I unwittingly shared this cell with. I heard him first and the sound was enough for me to find him without seeing him clearly. I turned and reached for the voice, only to be denied the joy of crushing his throat by the taut pull of the chains that now held me.

His voice mocked me, knowing that I could not fulfill my fond wish of that moment. When my eyes finally adjusted to the light, I knew then the one who captured me was a Shar`Vaire. Tall, reedy thin and graceful, they are one of two tribes that descended from the original Asyndi who fell from grace of the Old Gods, eons ago when the world was young. And, like any fallen celestial, they had no wings, but did not require them; most suffered enough hubris to hold them aloft in the heavens of their own minds. I committed the smiling face to memory; one day I would see that same smile on his severed head.

He told me his name was Theocrat Hivrion Kasayr and that I was now his dueling slave. He continued to explain to me that I would kill the champions of those who challenged him and those he challenged, or he would torture me until my body could take no more. I nearly welcomed him to contest my willingness to endure pain, but I did not want him to believe me unbreakable. It would mean I was useless and my life would be ended, before I could kill either him, or Arisyeema. I lowered my head and murmured my compliance. I knew he smiled, though my eyes were lowered, because I could hear it in his pompous voice. He could never know I was the snake coiling around his neck, rather than the trodden ox made to pull his bloodied plough.

It was then he clicked a collar around my neck and explained that it would merely take him speaking a word of arcane meaning to trigger this collar that was now around my neck to inject poison into my veins that would kill me within seconds. I smiled as the collar clicked and he spoke his warning; it was his knife to my throat that made me crave for his death in a way I usually reserved for my whore mother.

Daily, I was wakened before dawn and given meals that tasted foul and water that had been pissed in to drink. I was expected to eat and drink these things or suffer beatings. Some days, I chose the beatings over meals, so I could increase my endurance for pain. I knew that if I were to face those similar to I…meaning those who killed without compunction, that I would need to relish pain. It was not a far place in my mind from where I was now; every time I fought and killed those who sought me in the name of the Queen, I suffered injuries and took wounds with a strange, empty glee.

Sometimes, I would fight the champions of those who insulted my master, other times, I would be pitted against those my master thought I could kill so he could profit. but always, there was blood and bodies piled high in the name of Theocrat Hivrion Kasayr. This pleased him and in his pleasure, he rewarded his killing monster that was I, with better food, a room in the basement of his estate and with a sword. He had told me this sword was made of a metal called Infernium, that cut metal as easily as the meat and bone of a body and left wounds only magic or prayer could heal. It was with this sword I understood my freedom was close at hand.

The master was growing comfortable with his pet monster and assumed that control was his. This was a fatal error on his part; I am Nilharys and any servitude I accept is for my own sake. I cannot be broken, not then and not now, least of all by a pompous fool who gives a murderer a weapon and does not expect his own death to come of it.

My purpose as Hivrion’s killing pet was not yet complete. His daughter, Livisya enjoyed the look of my body and would come to my chamber in the basement to pleasure herself upon me, as if I were some toy she could amuse her passions upon. It was to my liking as well and offered me an opportunity. I complied to her lustful wishes, on the condition she would teach me her people’s language and bring me books of it to read. She was unusually honest for a Shar`Vaire and kept her promise, spending months teaching me their language and bringing me books of their culture, their lore and their magic.

Magic. In the time I spent roving the wild, I had never considered it nor did I desire it. The clean air and the warmth of a victim’s blood washed upon my face as I split them open was all I craved. As I watched this noble Shar`Vaire, his noble life and read of their history, I understood then that I would need more than the sword I now had, to accomplish what I desired. I would need to learn magic to defeat the Whore Queen that spat me from her putrid womb. She was a well-guarded queen and knew arcane craft herself, I had been told by more than one in my youth, by those who sheltered me.

Now, within this Theocrat’s estate I had access to all the knowledge I required, so long as I pleasured his pretty little daughter. This continued for five years, under the highly raised nose of my master, who did not seem to notice that his precious, adored daughter was feeding his killing pet monster things she ought not. Books of rituals and rites were of the greatest interest to me; to call upon those who exist beyond this dimension, to glean knowledge upon those I seek, or to set them upon those I wish to perish had an appeal I could not ignore. I was but one, in a world where allies were fleeting and enemies blossomed like black flowers with eager, sharp thorns.

The end of these servitude came on a night that had been like any other. I had murdered a champion of a great Theocrat and the blood of that champion was still upon me. I had not taken much relish in the killing, for he had been a vastly inferior opponent. I do not learn much or grow strong by killing those who have little skill. Yet, while the champion had been weak, this great Theocrat had not been and this loss was a great boon to my master’s house. I had sought my bath, when I was stopped by Hivrion and his three bodyguards.

Here, in the basement of his own house, he smiled and spoke of how I have earned my freedom, for this greet deed. The smell of wine was thick upon him and I knew he spoke a drunkard’s promise, but it did not matter. Even a drunk Theocrat’s command is a binding one and one of his bodyguards hesitantly removed collar from around my neck. It was strange not having it there, after enduring it for five years, but it was not a sensation I dwelled upon, since the time for murder was once again at hand.

To their credit, the bodyguard realized, having watched me in the arena, what I was capable of doing and that I enjoyed it. They knew the smile that I wore when I ended lives and it was the smile I wore for them now. But they were bodyguards, not people who understood how to kill with swift brutality. One of them managed to draw their sword even as I drew the sword my master had given me. I knew, that even drunk, my master was a powerful mage and to allow him to even gain enough composure to think would be my end, so it was he that tasted the metal of his gift to me first, with a swift cleaving of his head from his shoulders.

The bodyguard who had drawn his sword to protect the now decapitated Hivrion was also braver than his stunned comrades, who were only now fumbling with their weapons. He engaged me and parried aside two of my strikes, before his sword was cleft in two by the Infernium weapon I had been given. Likewise his torso had been split open with the momentum of my swing, sending the familiar warmth of blood spraying onto my face with welcome satisfaction. Strangely, neither of the two that remained called out for help upon witnessing this; perhaps it was Shar`Vaire arrogance again that prevented them from doing the only rational choice they had to them, which was cry out before death came.

The other two died much as the first had, leaving the corridor near my chambers left in a ruin of slumped over bodies and spilt forth viscera. From this collection of gore, I claimed my master’s head and carried with me, along with the very many books Livisya had given me to read, to the servant’s exit to the estate, where I had left unnoticed, while others were occupied with wine, celebration and lascivious behavior. I had placed Hivrion’s head here, with a letter to Livisya, explaining my actions. She, wisely never sought my blood in vengeance, so I can only assume she understood that I am Nilharys and I cannot be caged without consequences.

by T.A. Saunders ©2012
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