Chapter 1 : A Hero's Lament  

rm_XTheJesterX 38M
282 posts
9/28/2005 1:24 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Chapter 1 : A Hero's Lament

(If you remember, I said there'd be some fantasy. Well I didn't necessarily mean the sexy kind. Here's the first installment of a little tale I'm working on. Its kind of a Lord of the Rings fantasy type story. Although nowhere near as good.)

"Hey watchdog!", the angry voice called from the darkness, "You want me
to drown down here?"

The guard walked toward the bars of the shadowed cell more than a
little cautiously. The Prisoner in this cell had already proven to be
a bit more dangerous than most. Fitting then, that he was being held
this deep in the prison. Only two kinds of inmates were housed here;
the extremely dangerous, and those who'd embarrassed someone very
important. Prisoner number 276B had the notorious distinction of
being both.

The guard called into the cell from what he believed to be a safe
distance. "What's the problem now 276B?"

"Well where to begin? The fact that I'm being held in this pit is
as good a place to start as any...but I know there's nothing you can
do about that watchdog."

"Then I assume you have a more solvable grievance then?" The guard queried.

"Actually I have a list watchdog. First...this food isn't fit for
an Orc." A bowl of porridge came clattering through the bars from the
darkness within the cell. A few beads of the slop landed on the
guards boots after splattering all over the floor.

"Damn it 276!" The guard huffed. "Look what you've done!"

" Shut it watchdog I'm not finished! Secondly the rain up there
is falling so hard I've got a damn sea forming in here. These
conditions are appalling, I demand a dry cell!"

At that moment the guard caught a glimpse of a shimmering light
from the shadows within the cell. He'd heard about 276B from a few of
the other guards, but he still had yet to actually see him for
himself.

"I'm not authorized to move you 276B. And frankly I'm not even
sure we have any other available cells. Seems you have a lot of
colleagues down here these days."

The shimmer glowed again, and there were sounds of movement. A
figure started to take shape out of the shadows. 276B stood over six
foot and was as broad at the shoulders as the guard expected any
powerful man of war to be. But his size and shape weren't what
disturbed the guard. It was 276B's face. The left side was normal
enough, handsome even. His eye was a deep piercing blue and his hair
was a light golden color...from what the dismal light showed. A
chiseled jaw and cheek with a few days growth of stubble grew on his
dimpled chin under a thin lipped mouth. Indeed, the left side of his
face was noble. The right side however, the right side was
unknowable. It was covered from cheek to scalp by a blackened iron
mask with sharp angular features, and where the right eye should have
been was set a jewel the color of blood. The jewels facets were cut
in such a way as to mimic the organic features of a real eye. The
mask was held in place by what looked like silver rivets around the
edges. 276B leaned against the bars and fit his arms through the gaps.
He smiled.

"Was that a joke watchdog?" He tilted his head slightly "I
certainly hope it was, because I would be ever so ashamed if you truly
believed that the criminals you keep penned in down here have anything
remotely in common with me."

276B wrapped his fingers around an iron bar on the cell door and
squeezed them into a fist. Little flecks of rust fell away from the
bar as it groaned and shifted. The guard stepped back half a pace.
If 276B could warp iron in his grasp even slightly, he couldn't bare
to think of what that grip could do to his throat.

" My name is Captain Gabriel Archidiem. Commander of the 14th
Cavalry Redguard of the Redgulus Army. I've led my men to one hundred
thirty six victories, and have personally dispatched ten times that
many of this kingdoms's enemies. I'm responsible for the fall of
twelve enemy cities, sixteen enemy fortresses, and I've captured
thousands of enemy prisoners. I've wielded a sword and rode into
battle for Redgulus for near a decade. I've spilled more blood
for this country than any other hundred men. My service to this
kingdom and its people are not only a matter of record, but are also
dark rumors in all the corners of every encampment the enemies of
Redgulus maintain. Before a week ago, I was the man your son
pretended to be playing soldier in the schoolyard. What do I possibly
have in common with these maggots and miscreants?"

The Guard let out a quiet sigh. "Well sir, you're locked away in
here." For a moment, the jewel glowed brightly, then faded. "I'll see
what I can do about getting you moved to a drier cell."

"Don't bother watchdog." 276B stepped back into the shadows. "I
deserve this hell. You're correct I am no different than the rest of
this filth."

The guard nodded somberly and went back to his rounds................


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