Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sketch in My Notebook: The Order of the Blackened Glaive (Part 7)

Our story so far...

Drakar has been forced from the Sentralian Military Academy because of his half-demon heritage.  However, angels of the goddess Nyx visited him in a dream, commanding him to seek out Fortress Abbadabas and the fabled Order of the Blackened Glaive.  Drakar traveled south to the city of Jakara, where he met a girl--a young wizard named Elaina Emboo.  Having saved Elain from certain death, Drakar is now headed to confront Safras, the man who tried to have Elaina killed.  

Drakar feels compelled to visit justice on the wicked for reasons he does not fully understand.

“Safras’s hideout is just ahead.”
Drakar nods.
The hideout turns out to be a small tent set apart from the rest of the slum.  There are four guards standing out front, each with his hand sitting lazily on the hilt of a scimitar.  Like the others, the guards wear robes, but their heads are exposed, showing bearded faces and bad teeth.  They look visibly surprised to see Drakar and Elaina emerge from the crowd at the center of the slum.  Two start forward slowly, saying something in the same language that Drakar has heard them use up to now, but Drakar is not listening--and would not be, even if he understood their tongue.  
The nearest one starts to draw for his blade, but Drakar is upon him before his fingers can close fully around the hilt.  The Hellglaive strikes, slicing hand from arm.  Blood splashes across the sand, and the man starts screaming.  Drakar still is not listening.  He steps forward, plants his foot in the second man’s chest, and sends him careening backwards into one of his fellows with a snap kick.  The two tumble, and Drakar turns, finding the fourth man with his scimitar halfway out of its scabbard.  Fear has made the last man clumsy, however, and Drakar sweeps through with Hellglaive, slicing the man from shoulder to groin.  The man’s screams die in a gurgle and froth of blood.  Drakar turns back, finds that the two who tumbled have recovered, and blocks a clumsy strike from the man he kicked.  He turns the man’s scimitar with the Hellglaive and ripostes, lunging to take the man through the neck.  He falls, and Drakar turns to the last of the guards, but by then, he has fled into the night.  Drakar turns back, sees the first guard--the one whose hand he removed--and dispatches him with a straight thrust to the chest.  The man gasps, his eyes wide as dinner plates, and then he is silent.
“Great goddess Athena,” Elaina mutters.
“What?” Drakar asks.  “Dispatching that man was a mercy, surely.  How would he have made a living in such a place without his dominant hand?”
“It’s not that,” Elaina says, shaking her head.  “It’s just…  You really were with the Legion, weren’t you?”
“I told you that I was.”
“I’d forgotten how terrifying you all can be.”
“I am no longer a legionnaire,” Drakar says.  “I never was one, truth be told.”
“Is that supposed to reassure me?”
“I would never hurt you, Elaina.”
“Are you sure?  Do you know that?”
Drakar considers.  He realizes, finally, that Elaina may have a point.  His actions are driven by forces he does not understand.  “I do not want to hurt you,”  he says at last.  “Would you ever give me cause?”
“I suppose that depends on what you consider ‘cause’.”  
Drakar does not know how to answer this, and it must show because Elaina turns away.  But he can’t let it end like that.  He doesn’t want to, nor does he want to believe that he is nothing more than an extension of his demonic heritage.  The power of the Pit of Tartarus may run through his veins, but can he not still be his own man?  He takes a step towards Elaina, but when he puts a hand on her shoulder, she flinches.  
“I won’t hurt you, Elaina.”
She looks at him, and he can see that she wants to believe him.  “Do you promise?”
Drakar nods.  “I do.”
But something in his blood burns at this.  He wonders if he has just told his first lie.


Sorry this piece is so short.  I wrote it last week when I was in Albany, and I've not had time to add anything since I got back.  

The good news, though, is that you can follow the further--actually, the original--adventures of Elaina Emboo in my book, Sneakatara Boatman & the Priest of Loki.  It's available for the Kindle and Kindle app for a mere $2.99.

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