Sunday, 1 May 2011

#SampleSunday – 1st May 2011

A short piece from Prison of Power.


     Allay Yhar’sharem had not felt the attraction in thirty years and had not expected to sense it ever again, not since the last of Liandis’ line of bastard heirs had been found in Jervak. Thirty years of fruitless journeying from kingdom to kingdom, town to town and settlement to settlement. Decades of fruitless searching. Now Allay sat on a crumbling wall in a side street beside a disused and overgrown plot of land where Oran hunched over a side of rotting meat. He found the tearing and slobbering as noisome as ever.
     “You are a loathsome creature, Oran.”
     “Yes, master,” Oran slobbered. “But useful. Very useful.”
     Allay stood and walked a few steps to the mouth of the side street. On the far side of the road and a short way down the street stood a large dwelling, mostly on one level but with a defensive area that rose two floors higher. Inside, Allay thought. Somewhere inside there is one of the blood. A descendant of Yhar’Harran. An Heir. The sensation of the presence tugged at his consciousness, an almost physical thing, demanding action. He repressed the desire to seek out the chosen one. He had no knowledge of who the Chosen One was, or of what friends he might have. He alone might not be strong enough to simply take the chosen one if opposed. One thing he did know for certain, and that was that he was the only one who knew; his kind were sensitive to the blood of Yhar’Harran, able to feel it calling out for over a mile. But this one he had stumbled across by chance, had felt nothing and then had felt the blood calling from less than a hundred yards away, strong and clear. The conclusion was obvious. Someone had shielded the chosen one from him, from all the Yhar’sharem. Someone didn’t want him found, and thus must know what was being hidden. So he must be cautious. In some way he must make contact, get on the inside, where he could appraise the situation. Then cut the chosen one free of his companions, friends and family, cut him free of any allegiances he might have, from whoever had hidden him. Somehow he must get the Heir alone. He would wait and watch. An opportunity would present itself. He returned to Oran, secure in the knowledge that should the chosen one move he would know it.
     “Go to the inn and fetch our belongings.”
     “We are sleeping in the cold?” Oran was reproachful.
     “Yes, we sleep here if we sleep at all.”
     “I don’t like the cold, master.”
     Allay said nothing, and after a moment Oran wilted under his gaze.
     “I am going, master. I will get our possessions and bring them.”
     “Yes, Oran.” Allay said. “I know you will. And while you are at the inn find out whose house this is.”
     “The one we watch, master? Yes, master.”
     He watched his tame ghoul scamper off down the side street, admiring the illusion that he had created and which allowed the atrocity to mix with people unseen. The foul stench of him would be enough to tell his origin if Allay had not hidden it under an avalanche of scents. After a moment he returned to the main street and watched the house of the chosen one through a thin fall of snow. It was going to be a long, cold night.


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