This is the first adventure one of my hero characters, Hasser, has ever embarked on. He is acting as a messenger for his superiors at the priesthood of the Desi in the city-state Diya'hum. Part 1
A Colorful Situation pt 3
It was quite organized as was apparent when Hasser tilted it forward so that Lord of the House Rant could view its interior. He noticed that the materials came in different forms. In the widest of the compartments was another small vial. Another exemplary piece of tiny workmanship. The liquid inside was clear, or was it yellow? Another compartment held crushed herb it seemed, not fine enough to be a powder although there was both a black flecked white and a blue powder in the box. There was also another larger compartment, and inside of it there was the body of an insect, a locust. Then there were shelves and other compartments that he couldn’t see because the drawer was not pulled out all the way.
Hasser pointed to a crushed herb of which there was a plentiful amount compared to the other ingredients. “An herb that grows in the Biscerna Waste. We call it Erevulah. Mix it with the Desi’rin like you would a tea in water, drink, and within minutes the blood grows warm again. It can stop hypothermia.” He moved his finger to the left and pointed to a tourmaline powder inside one of the compartments. “Here is a concoction perfected by the Elders of the Priesthood. The recipe is hundreds of years old and only upon acceptance into the Brotherhood are we taught to make it, as such I do not know precisely what it is, but it is most effective against blood poisons in combination with the rin.”
Hasser spoke matter of fact. “Each of the materials in the box performs a different outcome. Every priest in the Desi carries it.” He smiled and pushed the drawer back into the unsuspecting box replacing it inside his shirt. He was not finished though. He handled the small vial with regard.
“Of course the Desi’rin is not without its uses alone. Alone it is a powerful nerve toxin. Drink the Spirit of Green and you will be inflicted with numbness throughout the body. Drink of the Sky Wrath,” He shook the vial, “and it is a lethal nerve toxin. Once the fluid turns you have minutes before it once again settles from the Sky Wrath back to the Spirit of Green. The blood itself is what gives the Desi’rin stability.”
Rant was most impressed. A near weightless cure for hypothermia. That would be of the utmost use to the scores of Weltithe soldiers stations in the icy Eastern Barrier Mountains year round. More than one soldier had met their fate at the hands of the Heaven’s Crown. Before this was over he should barter some of the magnificent Desi’rin and some of those boxes to distribute to the troops there. Perhaps it would give him some weight with the Lords of the outpost at Shal’ikur and he could make supply caravans a more frequent sight in the Esson.
Hasser was sitting forward now, his attention gotten and his interest in the moment piqued. Lord Rant was about to say something when Hasser spoke. He spoke with a sunken heart, and Rant could tell by the look in his eyes how sincere he was.
“Your man, I am terribly sorry about that. If not for the luck that is uncertain with commerce, we would never have known he was dispatched. Perhaps eventually you would have come to realize the worst, but it is tragic that a life was lost to bring this meeting into being. I have tried to give you time to mourn and prepare his passing, as I would have liked. I have been at a bit of a loss as to how to approach a situation with such gravity which has already had such negative consequences. I am not a politician.”
At this time, Benjaffe, who had remained so silent near the chamber entrance up until now spoke, his voice full of certainty. “And don’t you worry about his Soul. The lion, she protected it well. He is safe from the Lie and the Chaos. None of Bpoudras devil birds will have him.” Lord of the House Rant hadn’t the slightest idea what he was talking about. He understood the piece about the lion watching over the man’s soul. The birds having him seemed a bit familiar to his own beliefs as well. So that was the purpose of the beast. He had thought it a gift which had upset him. Who would gift a lion to a country estate, it was not a zoo after all. And it would only add the cost of food. No doubt the would be protector was still growling at the poor soul left to tend after it, trying to swipe away something the man needed with those large, razor-clawed paws.
The gesture was sincere though, and for a minute Rant was taken aback. The man, no the boy Elyion had been raised on the estate. Groomed to be the next Man at Arms he had spent much time inside the estate. Practicing the sword with house guards, reading through tome on the protocols of security legislated by the Weltithe and probably more about the numerous adventures of the heroes throughout the empire’s history. Rant had liked the boy and delivering the message was his first real undertaking for Rant and the people of the land. He was to be named Master at arms upon his twenty-fifth nameday, he still had six years for that honor.
Rant nodded his head acknowledging the man’s condolences. His mind pictured it again no matter how he tried not to let it have bearing on the here and now when time was so precious. How could the boy stray so far north along the mountain chain? He was an excellent survivalist. Bairn had seen him trained throughout the summers. Surely he had amassed some knowledge. The Eastern Barrier Mountains all looked the same once you were in the heart of them though. The sun could hide its real location behind a curtain of mountains that twisted the land below in winding, narrow, false passes that sometimes ended abruptly at the top of a cliff, the shores of a lake, or the entrance to caves. They were notorious for rock falls and avalanches as well.
Rant considered that he never should have allowed the boy to be sent on such a vital task. He should have sent Bairn himself instead but regret was not going to take back the dire results of that mistake and shaming himself with guild would only take his mind away from the task at hand. Hasser’s Desi’rin might have saved the boy’s life. His body was found frozen far in the Northern Chord along a traders road that had only cleared of snow a few weeks prior to the discovery according to a letter from the merchants who found him. He pushed the thoughts from his mind and realized that Hasser was talking again.
“…no rituals were performed only because we do not know you custom. We do not know your Gods. How should we know if the boys Penances were up? How should we know if he…” Hasser trailed off. “Well, perhaps that is a bit more of our worship than yours. But do know that we understand the loss and made the utmost haste to get here. By now I’m sure Dulah has finished removing the Petulah. You can perform the proper rights as soon as you like.” Dulah was the second man Hasser had brought with him. An old, sinuous man in a purple flowing robe, who as of yet had not spoken a word. He had spent his time in the stables with the lion at first, but Hasser had instructed him to remove the preservative oil Petulah from Elyion’s body.
That Hasser had remained in solitude for these reasons made sense and helped wipe away the remnants of Lord Rant’s irritations. Benjaffe should have said that instead of the bit about the customs of priests. Rant mourned Elyion very much, as it was Master at Arms Bairn who had schooled the boy since he was a child. He had felt the effects of the grieving far more than did Rant. Lucky for both of them the child was an orphan and they would need to comfort no one else.
Rant cleared his throat. “Well, of course thank you for returning Elyion to us. After two months we had begun to imagine the worst. The funerary rights are to occur at the End of Hours. These matters are left to the family in our society. While I do regret the boys loss as Lord of the House and not the one who raised him in fact, I will not be attending the ceremony. The Man at Arms will, you’ve met Bairn, I believe his botany teacher will as well. You would be welcome as the one who delivered him to us. You will attend, won’t you?” Hasser nodded graciously, Rant could tell the offer affected him very much. When they had both gotten over the moment, it was business at last.
Hasser said, “By that, I say we are here regarding other business.”
The Lord of the Houses’ composure changed. He pushed his emotions aside relieved of his annoyance and happy to hear about the wonders of the Ouvari thus far and he was bound not to let his feelings for the boy get in the way of progress here. What could the Ouvari do for him? For his people?
Beneford Andrews is the pen name of Andres A. V. Meza III. He writes fantasy fiction, short scenarios, and is trying out short stories.