Steel and Silk

Stoic to a Fault

I feel like it could have gone worse. Not by much. I mean the stairs was not a place to fight. I did need to get to the archers. I fought somewhat poorly, though given the situation… Pretty well. When that captain asked me who I was, and who I was working for. I don’t know why Marshal Vashka came to mind… How was that better? Well, now I’m sitting here… In a cell. The pain in my arm is overshadowed by my will to escape. They missed my knife… That will be their downfall. Well, I should probably hesitate when the door opens, what if it’s Ahriman? Who knows what that man is capable of. When the opportunity reveals itself, I will be ready.

I don’t know how long I had to wait. But eventually I heard footsteps, so I sprung up hitting my wound to give me a jolt. I grasped the knife, and stood ready. The door swung open. But no one entered. My heart skipped a beat. Ahriman… It has to be. A voice came out of the hallway. No… It was not Ahriman. It was Marshal Vashka. I was sure this was how I died. Failing them. But I held my knife, took a breath into the shit drenched air around me. If I go down, I’ll go down fighting. Except… He said he wanted to thank me. Thank me? What? As it turned out, due to my statement that I was with Marshal Vashka, some of the soldiers of the keep had taken the opportunity to desert. I was greeted as a hero, of sorts. I had been through this dance before, but this time I felt that my suspicions were well founded. I’m in enemy land, an enemy stronghold even. Boyar Belgaru or Marshal Vashka… Does not matter. He seemed honourable, but was still a Hyperborean slaver. I’ll play along, but sooner or later, I need to escape. He offered me food and drinks. I… I am ashamed to admit that my hunger lead me to indulge. It was not until me head started getting woozy that I realised my mistake. Poison… How did I not see this coming?! I stumbled back, and toppled over. Preslav rushed up to me. Get away! I tried to fight him, but strength was leaving my body. What did he say? I was wounded. Well, yeah! So what? My sight blackened before I could hear what he said.

I woke up in a place I did not know. I saw a person I did not know. I felt a pain I knew, however. My wound had been treated. It’s burning… Similar to our medicine, but this is Hyperborean witchcraft. I spoke to the woman, whom I learnt was a sort of Hyperborean Shaman. She said that I was not poisoned, but in fact my wound had been infected. Oh right… Open wound, in a shit and piss drenched cell, all night… Perhaps… Maybe she’s telling the truth. I felt a bit silly. I’ve always had an easy time hiding my pain, much the chagrin of my childhood tormentors. But perhaps… This is not a time, nor a place to hide such things. My people seeing me as a strong warrior is all I have. But pride alone will not be enough to survive out here. I can open that door… To Ahriman, Zeynep… Not Manduhai… Not yet. I liked this woman. At least after she said she wasn’t actually a witch, thinking that made my skin crawl. Before I could get better acquainted with my predicament Marshal Vashka arrived. Now that I was getting a better non-woozy look at him. He looks… Good. Strong. Determined. Honourable. Kind. Kind? What? I got up, and it wasn’t until he commented my body, that I realised that I was bare. Such things don’t bother me. I’ve feigned being bothered, as it puts people off not to be. But I… I didn’t mind him. We spoke of what was happening, and the current state of Hyperborean society, and his thoughts on it. I don’t know why… But I trusted him. He reminded me of my father… Baatar? Yes. Bishtak? Yes?… No. He reminded me of myself. I opened my mouth, and out came… All of it. I could’ve told him everything. Anything. But, I managed to filter it. I did not tell him who I truly was, until it seemed like he would aid us against the sorcerer… SORCERER! Grigori Yefimov… I learnt his name, and what he did to make sure that Jeshid would remain in Hyperborean lands… I must tell Ahriman. Ahriman… Where are you? No… I can’t count on Ahriman, I am far afield… I’m in a cottage who knows where… Vashka seems to allow me to leave and find my friends. For now, I will go with this man… For now.

Comments

Riklurt MrGreany

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.