The Blood Temple: Chapters 5 &6 and now 7!!

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The Blood Temple: Chapters 5 &6 and now 7!!

Post by Unit7 on Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:15 pm

Galwin’s flight from the man he killed, and no doubt soldiers were trying to track him, was easy going for the most part. He had made camp at mid afternoon after his body gave out. He could no longer run, let alone walk. He didn’t even have chance to make a proper camp. He pulled his pack down on the ground and fell asleep.

The next morning, his body aching, he continued southward until he came to a walled city on the edge of a forest. Upon a hill close by he scanned the horizon. He saw a lake and a river to the north winding its way around the forest as if it refused to enter the forest. The surrounding area was mostly flat land with the occasional hill. What caught his eye was the forest itself. For as long as he could see the forest stretched to the distant horizons with no hint of ending. He was closer to Dransik then he had thought. Galwin plopped on the ground and considered his course.

He knew of only one forest such as this. Narrow Wood. He had heard the rumors and legends of werewolves. He had heard of other creatures so foul that no man, not even the best of bards, could ever describe. Galwin knew that any rumors were most likely exaggerated. The city was isolated. The only town closest would be across the river, and the border of Nithdra and Dransik, was a small town that never showed on any map. So what better way to bring in business to the town then to exaggerate the rumors to bring in people seeking adventure? Business must be booming Galwin noted as he carefully studied the walled city.

Galwin had been to many cities. Most of them were in Nithdra, on occasion Dransik, and once to an island nation far south of Nithdra. But he had never seen such an isolated town to feel so powerful. On the parapets a number of guards paced with their white and gold armor glinting as if they had been shown favor by the gods themselves. Only in Nithdra’s capital had he seen guards dressed as soldiers. Perhaps there were greater forces at work here then he had ever thought.
Galwin reached for his coin purse, it was empty aside from a few copper coins. He scratched at the stubble on his face, wishing he had time to shave. He already looked like a drifter. Of course that would only add to the challenge. Glancing over his shoulder one last time he wondered how far away the soldiers were. Did fodder actually care if one of their own was killed? He stood up and walked towards the city. Perhaps while he was there he would bag a werewolf… if not maybe a coin purse or two.

Katherine woke the next morning and stretched out. She could not remember the last time she had slept so well. She pulled on her the white dress, wishing she had at least have left the temple with something more than this. She moved to a small mirror in the room and examined herself. When she left the temple yesterday afternoon it was dazzlingly white. Now the dress was torn in several places she didn’t remember tearing. Dirt stains were everywhere. She let out a low sigh. It felt wrong that the dress had been treated so. She had worn it to her sister’s funeral.
She entered the tavern’s common room and found the place was mostly empty. A few men sat at the bar nursing on a bottle of liquor. Men, were they always drinking when they could? Ignoring the men she approached the bar and caught the attention of the owner of the tavern. At first the man smiled and then it quickly turned serious. He glanced around his hands fidgeting with a rag.

“What can I do to pay for my stay?” Katherine said trying to ignore the man’s agitated state.

“Forget about it,” The man said “you no longer have to pay it off. Consider it a gift.” He shuffled off without a second glance. She could see him let out his held breath. Most would have been pleased to learn that their stay was free of charge, but not Katherine. She felt as if it were something Mordana would have done or demanded of for even considering staying at the tavern.

“Please let me work off my debt,” Katherine said. The man froze in his spot and glanced over his shoulder.

“Ye… ye… ye sure about that?” The man gave her an uncomfortable look and then shook his head. “Only, and I mean only, if ye insist.” Katherine nodded. “Fine! Curse me luck. Alright well as I said I only need ye to do a bit oh house cleaning. Not sure if ye noticed but haven’t had a proper maid in awhile.” As if on cue Katherine scratched at her arm. Looking down she could see a spider bite. She shuddered. “Well what ye waiting for?” The man again shuffled off, this time towards a man on the other end of the bar.

The man hadn’t lied to her Katherine thought as she beat several rugs out behind the small tavern. A thick cloud of dust hung in the air. She wished a breeze would come, wished the walls of the city were not so high. When she finally beat the rugs of all the dirt and grime they could possibly hold, she felt happy. It had been years since she had to do any sort of cleaning. Slaves and guys who wanted to impress Serena and Katherine had done a lot of the work. Katherine’s wide smile took in her whole face, as she remembered her mother going about the chores. She felt closer to her mother then she had in years.

The rest of the day went along the same. She went from room to room. Focusing on one task ahead and stripping each room of whatever she wanted to accomplish that day. She wasn’t sure if she should and shrugging she washed the blankets and everything else she could. By the time she was done, even the dirtiest of windows had been polished clean. She returned to her own room and was in the midst of cleaning out a small closet. In the previous closets, when they had them, she had found all sorts of nasty stuff. A mage had passed through sometime, maybe ten years back, and had left behind bottled components to complicated spells. She had pulled one such bottle out and found an eye staring at her.

In her own room Katherine didn’t find anything to strange hiding in her closet, except for an old boot that smelled as if a dog had urinated on it. She was sweeping it out when a carving in the wall had caught her eye. She bent down to examine it. Serena and Melody was written inside of a heart. Could this have been the city?

Katherine remembered Melody. It wasn’t easy to forget someone like her. She had the most strikingly red hair Katherine had ever seen on someone. Her eyes were green and seemed to dazzle anyone who had been caught within their sight. She was also one of the sweetest people Katherine had ever known. Katherine traced the heart and the names. So they were together, or at least Serena wanted to be. She rose from the closet and put everything back. She had done more than enough to pay for her stay, probably could stay for longer if she wanted to. But she couldn’t stay here any longer then she had too.

She was in the common room again, a larger crowed was present. The same two men were nursing on new bottles. She looked for the owner but only found a young man, not much older than she was, behind the bar.

“What can I do for someone as pretty as you?”He smiled.

“Is the owner around?” She said looking around. He was handsome and muscular and probably had all the females swooning for him. But the way he smiled and looked at her made her more than uncomfortable. She wanted to be done with this place as fast as possible.
“Dad? Nah, he left earlier this afternoon.” He replied taking a glass cup in his hand and cleaning it.
“Well can you tell him that Katherine finished the cleaning?” She tried to look him in the eye, but she feared what she would see. It was the look. It was always the look. She had seen it more times then she wanted to remember.

“Is that what they call it these days?” The man at the bar snickered. Katherine shot him a glare that would fell a deer. When she looked at him, she realized it was the same man from last night. “Hey I know you, thought you didn’t do that.” His face scrunched up as if it would help him to try and figure out some complex thought. Then his face relaxed and he grinned. He reached out and tugged her dirty white dress, made only dirtier from the chores. “So how much? If I could I would pay a small fortune for you to do some cleaning.” He winked and laughed. Katherine stumbled backwards out of the reach of the man and heard the dress tear. Men! She wanted to scream. She turned to the owner’s son and he only smiled.

“I don’t do that.” Katherine mumbled and left the tavern and the laughing men behind. She ran down the streets and found a alley to rest in. She felt the pain in her again and suddenly she was thankful to Mother. Thankful for saving Serena and her from the streets when they were younger, when she was younger she thought. It had been too late for Serena. Katherine leaned against the building and cried.

Galwin walked down the streets. He had ‘borrowed’ some fancy looking clothing from a plump lady who had hung them out to dry. He scratched at his stubble wondering if it made him look more powerful looking or if it revealed that he was a wolf in sheep clothing. Galwin wasn’t unfamiliar with pick pocketing, often finding it to be a quick way to get coins, and had discovered that people were more trusting towards a man who looked powerful and of means. When you bumped into the targets no one gives you a second thought. Looking like a haggard drifter or beggar would make people check their purses.

Galwin strolled down the street as if he owned it. As if he was a nobleman or a high official within the city government. It was all in the act, you make people think you own more than you do and they will believe you.

His first target was a man who actually did look like a nobleman. He was wearing black and gold embroidered tunic and pants. His coin purse, too Galwin’s surprise, was hanging at the man’s belt ready for the picking. Galwin corrected his course so that he would collide with the nobleman. Acting as if he were busy he slipped a small knife into his hands and walked straight into the man. His hands worked independently of each other. His right secured the coin purse and his left searched his pockets. So light and so fast were his actions that only the most cautious of men would have noticed he was being robbed blind. Galwin apologized for his actions and the nobleman only seemed to glare at a bumbling fool.

He turned a corner and was running from his easy target. He turned another corner and was laughing as if he had just bedded the queen herself. He entered a tavern and looked at the barkeep who was a young man talking to two gentlemen who were nursing a little too fondly on their bottles. Perhaps before the day was over he could persuade the two drunks to giving up their own purses. What was left of it anyways. He found a table in the back of the common room, right next to the stairs that led to the bedrooms.

Galwin took out the leather purse and poured the contents into his hand. Galwin let out a small whistle. Staring up at him were twenty gold coins, ten silver coins, and thirty copper. There was also a gold medallion strung on a metal chain. Thanking the gods for his fortune he placed the coins back in the purse and started to go up to the bar keeper. That is when she came down. She was wearing a dirty white dress and dirt clung in her blonde hair. But her face and those blue eyes! Galwin tossed the purse up and down in his hand. A hot meal, some fine wine, and perhaps he a whore for the night.

He watched the interaction between the whore and the man at the bar. He didn’t hear it all but he got the gist of it all. She wasn’t a whore. Galwin slumped in his chair. Well all the better he thought, who actually wanted to be with a girl who slept with half the townsmen? He watched as the girl left the tavern and could tell she was going to cry. Woman, they were always crying it seemed. Worth it. Completely worth it in the end Galwin chuckled to himself. He watched the man that had approached the girl in the white dress with more than passing interest. Something felt off. The way he moved in his seat, the way he fumbled with his bottle.

“I’d go find her if I were you.” A voice said behind him. Galwin looked around and saw a young boy standing there. “Just a suggestion.” He shrugged.

“Who are you?” Galwin asked.

“Andy’s the name.” Andy said sitting down next to Galwin. The boy reached out for the gold purse faster than Galwin thought possible from such a small frail looking kid. Galwin’s hands were the faster as they caught him on the wrist. “I sell information amongst other things. I believe I just sold you information you will find interesting. Only fair that I get a gold coin.”

“Silver.” Galwin said. He wasn’t sure why he was bartering with this kid, especially on a service he had no use for. He was intrigued by the kid, and interested in the girl, but not enough to actually pay for any information. But he found that he liked the kid’s style, almost reminding himself at a young age. “So why should I follow her?”

“Hmm tell you what I feel generous. I honestly haven’t a clue who she is or why you should follow her.” Andy admitted with a shrug. “But I fear for her. That man at the counter has tried to buy her services and twice he was denied. Men around here don’t like to be rejected. She seemed like a nice enough girl and should be treated better.”

“No deal.” Galwin said as he released the boys wrist and tied the stolen purse to his belt. “What happens to her is none of my concern. Now if you were to pay me, then maybe I would just go and help.” Andy slumped in his chair for a moment as if his whole body went limp. His eyes were distant and far off, but just as fast as it happened he was back to himself and left Galwin wondering if he had imagined it.

“Fine there is one last thing I didn’t mention,” Galwin said. His voice had lost its bored tone and was more of a frantic one. “I offer this information for free of charge. Mostly because Mother tells me too. Moms, what you going to do about them? Just… please follow him?” Andy whispered.

“Him? I thought I was going for the girl.” Galwin looked down at the boy. He was lying.

“Well you could follow her, but it be easy to just follow him.” Andy pointed towards the man at the bar who had set down a couple silver coins and was leaving.”For my Mother… please?” Galwin watched as the man left and didn’t even notice as he got up that Andy had stolen his purse.


Last edited by Unit7 on Mon Nov 15, 2010 3:20 pm; edited 2 times in total

_________________


Sometimes, late at night, I sit here and I wonder. The things I wonder vary from night to night. Sometimes I wonder about the stars and other nights I wonder about what tomorrow will be like. But recently I have been wondering what my life would have been like without you...-Samantha Greene
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Chapter 6

Post by Unit7 on Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:07 pm

Andy arrived at King Lotor’s private chamber within seconds of meeting and requesting Galwin’s help. He lay back on the giant bed that was covered in a deep red covering. The irony of the color choice didn’t escape the boy. Here Lotor was fighting a war against the ever elusive Blood Temple, whose favorite color was blood red. He felt warm on the bed, felt protected. It had been one of the few places where he had felt alive.

“I wasn’t expecting you for another few days.” The voice came from the foot of the bed. Andy shrugged at that and turned over not wanting to give up this paradise.

“My investigation was faster than I expected,” Andy said with little interest. In truth, the whole thing didn’t really interest him. In the end did it really matter to him? Andy shook the thought form his head. It did matter to him though. A single word echoed in his mind. Mother. “Here take this.” Andy fished the purse he had stolen from Galwin.

“What, are you paying me now?” The king asked skeptically, “I would figure you would empty out my coffers before this day ever arrived.” Andy shot him a glare enhanced by the boy’s cold gray eyes.

“The coins are mine.” Andy grabbed one of the many goose feather pillows and scrunched it up before placing it over his head. It was indeed paradise. “You can have whatever is left.” King Lotor took the purse and emptied its contents onto his palm and for a moment he looked confused. Andy smiled.

“I don’t understand. They are the coins of a Nithdra but I don’t see…” His voice trailed off as he noticed the necklace with the gold medallion. “Where did you get this?” The king dropped the coins and in one swift motion caught the medallion. The coins fell to the ground with silent clinks. Andy glared at him. More work he thought bitterly.

“I stole the purse from a thief who stole it from a nobleman.” Andy said trying to hide the venom in his voice as he heard a coin roll under a cabinet. “I was following the nobleman for about an hour. His day is boring and none too bright from the looks of it. Had his purse stolen from him under his nose in the middle of the day. So your suspicions were correct after all. It appears that the King, or at least its noble are in league with the Blood Temple. The way they showed their allegiance to the Crown in such a remote place seems that there is indeed a Temple within Narrow Wood forest.” Andy closed his eyes wondering if the King would leave him for a bit of rest in his own bedroom. Andy sighed. Such a pity how people throw their lives away, didn’t they know how wonderful it was to feel alive?

“What are you?” The King said. “You come and go as you please and distance doesn’t seem to bother you. You can travel great distances within hours.” Andy thought over the question. It wasn’t the first time the King had asked him this and he doubted that it would be the last.

“I am just a simple thief or well a little thief.” Andy lied. “Probably best if that is all you know.” Andy let the hollow threat hang in the air for awhile. It wasn’t often he could threaten such a powerful king but enjoyed every chance he could get to rattle the young king’s nerves. The king only laughed at the notion. Not for the first time had Andy wondered if King Lotor truly believed no one could punish him.

“Your threats do not disturb me, my little thief.” The King turned his attention back to the medallion that was swinging easily from his finger. “So it looks like I have to inform my generals that I plan to strike Narrow City.” The King looked back at Andy and then turned his attention elsewhere.

Andy stayed in the bedroom wishing he could sleep. He wanted to fall away into this small paradise, but the events in Narrow City that were unfolding as he spoke kept him here. Was he right in leaving Galwin to take care of Katherine? Andy reluctantly got out of the bed and to a mirror. He pulled a black medallion from under his shirt and chanted the words of scrying. The image of the boy disappeared and was filled with swirling fog. He felt the spell pull on his already drained energy and wondered if he had enough energy to fulfill the simple scrying spell. He shook his head and was about to dismiss the endlessly swirling fog when the picture cleared.
She was leaning against a building wall in some alley. Her hands were in her hands and she was crying. Andy felt a pang of guilt. Had he been too late? It wasn’t often that he felt any real emotions towards anyone but himself. She was different, she was favored above all else by Mother. To fail her haunted his every thought. After a moment he let the image be clouded by the swirling fog and then released the magic altogether. There was nothing he could do anymore.

Katherine’s mind was swirling with distant memories, memories she had buried deep down in her heart. She couldn’t believe that she had came to Narrow City without so much as realizing it. She stood up, forcing back the tears and trying to control the small hiccup, and stumbled out of the alley and wandered down the streets.

The city was different during the day. The streets were packed with merchants selling exotic items from distant lands. Fruit stands lined the streets on some part of the city and a few times Katherine saw a little boy snatch one and run off with the stand owner shouting curses at the boy. It was an all too familiar sight to her. How many times had she and Serena been chased off? She shook the thought from her mind. She couldn’t think of that now. She had to get back to the Temple. She had to get back to the place she belonged. They couldn’t be monsters. Serena was one, she was one, and the Sisters of Blood had saved them from the streets and far worse.
She found herself in a deserted part of the city, not too far from the Tavern she had spent the night and much of her childhood at. She looked around and this place looked familiar and so foreign at the same time. Back then it was the slums of the city. It was a place where the poor were forced to live, where the local black market and the criminal underworld had taken root in this part of Nithdra. Now it was a ghost town, as if the residents had just vanished.

She turned a corner and found the gruff man casually leaning against the wall of an abandoned house. His face was wide with an evil grin. She could feel his eyes roam her body; feel them as they crept along her flesh. She shuddered at the thought and turned around without a thought.

“Where do you think you are going?” He said as he pulled on her arm spinning her to face him. “I don’t like being rejected. You should be paying me to bed you.” He laughed, sending a chill down Katherine’s spine. She tried yanking her arm free but his grip was too tight, to powerful for her to break from. Her body went limp for a moment. “I am George Swift Blade and I am the Captain of the Guard of Narrow City!”

“Do you know who I am?” Katherine shot back. Her strength had returned to her. She would not let this happen. She stared into the man’s greedy eyes without flinching.

“All I care about is that you’re beautiful and I want you.” The man grabbed her shoulders and pulled her close. She gasped for breath as her body slammed hard against the man. He was strong! Struggling against him she tried to keep her wits about her. When his mouth went in for a kiss, she turned her head but was only shaken. She felt her bones rattle within her body. She was then dragged into a vacant alley. She wanted to scream for help, but if his claims were true then who would help her? This was the reason why she hated men. They didn’t give a damn about anything about themselves and who they can bed. When they made their conquest they would leave the poor girl the first chance they got. They left them alone and if they got pregnant… they didn’t give a damn. When a girl didn’t give in to their charm they would take what they want by force.

She bit her lip as she felt the white dress being pulled up high over her thighs, she tried desperately to keep her pathetic whimpering from escaping her lips. She was a High Priestess of Mother! But she could feel the man’s breath on her neck, the sickening way his cracked lips kissed along her neck. To her horror she felt his, luckily still clothed, groin press into her and she could feel the bulge.

“I believe she said no.” A man called out from the street. Why did it have to be a man, Katherine fumed. But given her circumstance she let it slide. “When a girl says no, she tends to mean it. Well I did know this one girl who…”

“This is none of your business.” George barked. “I am George Swift Blade and I take no orders other then those from the Noble John himself.” George continued to assault her neck with kisses and press his bulge harder into her. Katherine realized the more she struggled the more he was into it.

“Well when a beautiful girl is being forced to do something against her will, it becomes my business.” The man shrugged and then unsheathed his sword and readied his battered shield. “Tell you what Swift Blade.” Katherine couldn’t help but notice the heavy sarcasm in the man’s voice. “We will duel. You win you have your way with her. I win I will let you walk away.”

Galwin smiled as he watched the man release the girl. He looked down at his sword and battered shield. They felt inadequate compared to the man’s stature. He was muscular and he doubted the self proclaimed ‘swift blade’ was not too far off the mark either. George unsheathed his sword, but not before sending a vicious backhand slap at the girl sending her flying and unconcious. Galwin flinched. Why did he listen to that damned thief? He should have just ignored him, what did it matter what happened to this girl? Curiosity killed the cat, or so they say. Galwin mused as he watched his enemy approach. He knew even if he wanted to leave he would be tormented by the look in those girls’ eyes for the rest of his life. It was one thing to ignore the injustices of the world when you were not faced with them. He had perfected such an act. But now being faced with such injustice he couldn’t turn back and Galwin had to act.

George came in with a low thrust and Galwin parried it with ease. He smiled. Perhaps it wouldn’t be to hard after all. As if on cue the man exploded into action. His sword came in with quick and precise thrusts and Galwin was forced to step back trying to deflect them. He brought up his shield just in time as the enemies sword came hurtling downwards. Galwin felt his knees almost cave and his arm go numb from the impact.

Jumping backwards he glanced briefly at his steel shield. A large wicked gash ran across its battered face. He grimaced and was once again put on the defensive as George’s quick and deadly burst of thrusts came on. Galwin blocked and parried most of them, but felt as the blade nicked his side. Immediately his side burst into pain forcing Galwin once again to stumble backwards. He glanced at the man’s sword wondering how such a nick could cause such pain. Who the hell was he facing and for what? Galwin spat at the ground and then regretted it immediately. Again came the wicked blade coming downwards. Galwin threw his shield up in defense and was relieved he was fast enough.

George backed up now, a cocky grin on his face. Galwin wondered if he would ever get the feeling in his arm again. As if on cue, the shield that had seen him through more scrapes then he could remember, well into two pieces.

“Looks like your shield is useless.” George laughed as he twirled his blade, which was now glowing a soft red, with ease. .

“So it would seem.” Galwin shrugged and tossed the useless shield away. “Been needing to replace it anyways.” Galwin charged in as the last syllable left his lips. He came in low with a thrust and the force that parried his blade was immense! He felt his arm rattle from the impact and forced his grip tighter on the hilt in fear of dropping it. “To think someone with your prowess would have to force a girl to be with him. I suppose Swift Blade isn’t some innuendo after all.” Galwin laughed at his own joke. He had pictured his death a thousand times. His most preferred way to go in battle was laughing and making fun of his enemy right up until his dead body hit the floor. George didn’t find the joke amusing and came in once again with a burst of thrusts. Galwin danced out of his way all the while counting the number of thrusts. An odd thought came in, if he wasn’t so strong would such a simple tactic work? When the tenth thrust came in he was prepared.

George gripped the hilt of his magic sword and with all the strength he could muster, sent in a downward slash that could split the skull of a giant. Galwin had expected the attack. Galwin jumped backwards and then with his own downward slash his sword plunged downwards to the man’s exposed head. But the fatal blow never occurred. Instead Galwin found his pitiful sword blocked and to his surprise George’s magic sword was slowly cutting through it! Galwin yanked his sword back.

“Leave me to my plaything and I will let you live. Today is a victory for you. You lived against George Swift Blade and lived!” Galwin just laughed at the words. Despite his numb, and probably broken, arm. Galwin had found a challenge and realized he was going to see it through.
Galwin twirled his blade in his hand charged right for the gruff man. Before Galwin could even get close to the man, before his blade could shatter against Georges, the girl was standing up behind him. Galwin fell back realizing what the girl was doing. He dodged George’s thrusts and eventual downward slash. The routine had become too predictable but his focus was elsewhere. That girl was a magic user, and Galwin had known enough mages and priests to know you don’t take magic users lightly.

Katherine woke to the sound of the clash of steel against steel. Her cheek burned and could taste the blood in her mouth. She saw the George fighting off the mysterious man. She thought of running right then and there. Let the two men kill each other, the world would probably be better off without them. But she couldn’t run. The man had saved her and without knowing it he had saved her virginity.

Katherine felt the magical power flow through her body; she loved the way it tingled on her skin and the deep and harmonic hum that floated within her. She had experienced the magic countless times in her study to become a high priestess. She had basked in the joy of being able to manipulate the magic energy that flowed all around them.

She could see Galwin dodging the thrusts and the downward slash. She felt the words leave her lips in a gentle whisper. Before her chant was complete she sensed something different. The magic that flowed through here had an aura. She knew that priests and priestesses magic came from their deity and each one felt different as the magic they possessed was an essence of the deity’s power. This did not feel like Mother’s it was a different power a different aura.

She wasn’t sure where the power came from, which God or Goddess had taken pity on her but she immersed herself in the magic and started her chanting again. When the spell was finished she released the magic with a thanks to Mother. When nothing happened Katherine stumbled backwards wondering what she had done wrong. Then a great bolt of lightning crashed across the sky and fell to the earth between her rescuer and George separating them.

“Enough!” Katherine shouted and titled her head to the sky. It had been sunny a perfect day as any and now it felt as if a storm was coming. Dark clouds rolled down from the north bringing more thunder and lightning. Katherine knew she hadn’t created the storm, knew she didn’t even bring the lightning. The power she felt was immense but she knew such manipulation was beyond her. Thick rain was pelting the earth now drenching Katherine and the two men who had stopped fighting.

Only instinct had told Galwin to leap backwards and it was an instinct he almost didn’t listen too. Then he was thanking whatever gods or goddesses that there were for not letting him deny his instincts. He glanced from George who was lost for words, and to girl. Could she have summoned the storm and lightning? He was now ignoring George, who was running away, and stared at the girl. He was going up to ask her if it was her doing when he saw it clearly in her face. What the hell have I gotten myself into? Galwin wanted to shout to the thundering heavens. Instead he picked up the remains of his shield and sheathed his sword and only wanting to be as far away from here as possible. As he ran through the streets in the down pour all he could think of was finding that kid and strangling him.

“Are you alright?” A voice came from behind her. Katherine glanced down and saw Mordana watching her closely. “When I learned you were attacked by a werewolf and stayed the night here I came as soon as I can.” Katherine swayed on her feet. Her spell had failed but it had taken a mighty toll on her body. Mordana was by her side in an instant allowing her to lean on her. Mordana led her into an abandoned building.

“Was that you?” Katherine asked after a long silence. She had been reliving the events of the past half hour in her head. She had felt the magic, could feel its power course through her. But why hadn’t her spell worked?

“I only redirected the lightning.” Mordana said, “The storm was only just beginning when I arrived. Not even I have that much power. What happened exactly?” Katherine stared at the High Priestess for a long time. She wasn’t sure how to begin her story or what it truly meant for Galwin to save her, to save her virginity like that, even if he was unaware. She looked out a dusty window and could only just see the rain splashing against the side. A loud clap of thunder rattled the building then and then she turned to Mordana and stared into her eyes. She was surprised by the tears in her eyes, the empty feeling she felt.

“I haven’t been able to perform magic for awhile now.” Katherine admitted at long last.

“As I told you yesterday your grief.” Mordana started but was cut off by Katherine’s cold laugh.

“Even before then I have felt Mother’s presence slipping.” Katherine wrapped her arms around her. “I am weak; I couldn’t even defend myself from mere males.” She expected Mordana to lash out at her to do anything then what she did. Mordana hugged her and whispered into her ear that all great high priestesses doubt Mother at some point. That at some time in their life they even consider rejecting Her altogether. Katherine leaned into her then and she wanted to desperately believe what she was saying. Because she hadn’t felt this helpless, so powerless, since she was a kid.

_________________


Sometimes, late at night, I sit here and I wonder. The things I wonder vary from night to night. Sometimes I wonder about the stars and other nights I wonder about what tomorrow will be like. But recently I have been wondering what my life would have been like without you...-Samantha Greene
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Re: The Blood Temple: Chapters 5 &6 and now 7!!

Post by Unit7 on Mon Nov 15, 2010 3:19 pm

Katherine spent the next week alone in her room praying. After the rain storm died Katherine was led back to the temple by Mordana and while the short journey was uneventful with one sighting of a werewolf lurking in the distance, Katherine had made a vow. She never wanted to feel weak again. She never wanted the need of a mere male to help her.

She had left Mordana at the entrance of the Temple and quickly found her way to her room and knelt before the small altar in the room. The altar was black with a small mirror standing on it. The altar was adorned with two red candles that were burning low with melted wax at the base. Just below the altar was an intricate onyx carving of the Mother Goddess in all her beauty. No detail had been left out in its carving. The carving had small and almost unnoticeable red veins running along through it. A silver goblet stood just in front of the carving of Mother and laying at rest in front of the goblet was a dagger. The blade was razor sharp and the blade itself was red.
Katherine knelt before the altar almost all day, hours on end in silent prayer. She wanted to find Mother again, wanted to feel the power she had felt when she was rising through her studies at a pace unheard of. She wanted to feel Mother’s magic running through her so that she might better her cause.

When she was not praying for Mother’s forgiveness she sat and thought long and hard on the whispering she heard. It haunted her dreams as she relived the moment her would be rapist fought against her rescuer. She had heard a similar whispering the night before she became a Priestess. She had heard it even louder the night before she entered her studies and training to become a High Priestess. It was a calling she knew, a calling from Mother, which only those destined to serve as a Priestess or High Priestess could hear. She knew of other Blood Temples who only allowed those who heard the whispering from Mother Goddess to serve as Priestesses.

The whispering she heard and felt hum within her body was different. The Mother’s Whispering had brought a sense of power and bloodlust within her and feelings of being indomitable and promises of great wealth. This new whispering was different and almost alien to her. To her it brought a sense o f peace and purpose and love. It relaxed and empowered her.
Katherine was kneeling in front of the altar praying for guidance on the subject of the Whispering. Had it been a test from Mother? Was it perhaps a new whispering that only those worthy could hear from the great Mother?

She picked up the red dagger and the blade immediately began to glow a soft red. She brought it to her left palm and rested the blade there. She hated this part of the prayer but she knew it had to be done. Taking a deep breath, she slowly pressed harder and started to drag the razor edge across her outstretched palm. She winced as the pain shot up her arm like a searing hot worm. She placed the dagger on the side of the goblet. With a swift movement she brought the goblet beneath her balled hand just as the first drops were falling. There was a small plink sound and she knelt their stoically as her blood slowly poured into the goblet.

When the goblet was half full she placed the goblet back in its original place before the carving and opened her hand. It was bloodied with a long and deep cut running across the palm. She winced at the sight. She hadn’t meant to cut that deeply. With her right hand she grabbed one of the candles and began chanting a series of arcane words of Mother to enact a minor healing spell. She took the candle and poured the hot wax across the cut. She wanted to cry out in pain as the hot wax landed but she refused to yield. She glanced at the mirror and for the first time she could see the tears running down her face. She just gritted her teeth until the task was done. With a final word she watched in amazement as the blood on her hands started to slither under the wax and felt the wound slowly stitch itself up.

She placed the candle back on the altar and peeled the wax off her hand. She scooped up the red wax flakes and dumped them into her blood in the goblet. She stared at her hand for a long moment, a week before she couldn’t have hoped to have healed such a deep wound.

“Thank you Mother Goddess,” Katherine whispered. Her voice was hoarse. It had been the first time in a week she had spoken a word after making arrangements for her meals to be left at the door. Even that didn’t take long to arrange. It wasn’t uncommon for Priestesses to hold up in their private chambers for weeks at a time.

“Katherine…” A voice with overflowing joy called out. Katherine looked around her room confused. The voice had been familiar. She then looked into the mirror and was surprised that she didn’t see her reflection but that of Serena. Katherine stood up and backed away from the small altar. “How how I have missed you!”

“Is that… really you?” Katherine said as she quickly knelt before the mirror and tried to place a hand on her sister’s cheek. But she couldn’t and instead just placed it as close as she could get.

“Yes Sister Katherine.” Serena smiled. Katherine flinched at the way she had been greeted. She scolded herself; it was the proper way to greet a Sister of Blood. “Mother has allowed me to convey Her praise for you and your prayers. She feared that you would stray too far.” Serena’s voice was sympathetic. Serena placed her own hand right where Katherine’s was on the other edge. The closest they could ever be until they were rejoined in death.

“The Whispering I heard in Narrow City…” Katherine began but was cut off. Serena’s happy expression died and turned into one of almost horror. Katherine wished she hadn’t named the city, knew it was a sore subject for her sister. She started to apologize but was again cut off.

“A test and nothing more. Mother wanted to see how far you had strayed.” Serena said smiling, her upper lip on her left side twitching slightly. Katherine knew that tell, how many times had Serena lied to her? She may not have been lying, but there was something she wasn’t saying and Katherine knew it. “She is not angry with you about straying.” Serena said trying to sound reassuring.

“She… isn’t?” Katherine asked almost afraid this was a cruel trick. Katherine felt like a small child trying to hide from a parents scolding. Serena shook her head, her brown hair flying around crazily around her face and head causing Katherine to smile. That shake of the head was so familiar and comforting.

“Mordana once admitted to her doubts to me…” Serena’s facial expression relaxed, as if the name was a powerful sedative. “She was very much like you once. She had doubts and was thinking of leaving the Sister’s of Blood forever.”

“What changed her mind?” Katherine asked as soon as Serena finished speaking. Before Serena was sacrificed she had seen little and hadn’t really talked to Mordana before, but now she was curious about her.
Serena blushed and looked away and then whispered, “She said it was because of me. How could Mother be cruel and mean if She had brought me into her life.” Katherine felt uncomfortable at the confirmation of Serena and Mordana being in love. No matter how she pictured it, she always pictured Serena and Melody together. Anyone else with her sister felt wrong to her.

“You have proven to Mother that your crisis of faith has ended. You have spent a week praying and praising Mother. You have no idea how thrilled She was. You always did have a wonderful singing voice.” Serena added slyly. Katherine just shifted her weight, she had intended for only Mother to hear her prayers and praise and the countless thoughts she sent her ways. They had been private. “She is pleased and walks with you even in the most hostile places you can imagine. Always Mother will walk beside you and guide you.” Katherine tried to smile at the words. This was what she had been trying to achieve afterall. But the confirmation that her hard work was well received, that her blood had been sipped by Mother herself, was somehow unsettling. She threw the thought away and turned to Serena and smiled.

“Before I go I must warn you.” Serena’s voice turned serious. “Mother has confirmed Lotor’s actions in Nithdra. He is indeed going after Blood Temples. She had hoped that Lotor’s soldiers have just stumbled on and were acting carelessly. But after a Temple in the northern part of Nithdra fell it was confirmed. Katherine,” Serena whispered her name as if it were a gentle thing, “you need to grow stronger. It’s only a matter of time before he discovers this Temple too. That is if he hasn’t already. Grow strong so I won’t have to see you beside me anytime soon.” Serena’s image wavered for a second and then vanished.

Katherine stared into her reflection for a long time. She could see her blonde hair falling over her chest. The black robes with red lines swirling around it. She could see a bit of dried blood on her left cheek just below her blue eyes. She was looking at a High Priestess, a powerful one and blessed by Mother. She stood up and for the first time in a week realized the pain in her joints.

Standing before the altar she turned her back on it and left her room. Tonight she will eat in the dining room amongst her fellow Priestesses.

_________________


Sometimes, late at night, I sit here and I wonder. The things I wonder vary from night to night. Sometimes I wonder about the stars and other nights I wonder about what tomorrow will be like. But recently I have been wondering what my life would have been like without you...-Samantha Greene
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Re: The Blood Temple: Chapters 5 &6 and now 7!!

Post by x_mia_x on Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:51 pm

I finished reading chapters 3-5 and I have to say, I don't know find Katherine annoying at all. In fact I actually like her.
Good job Unit! I am really loving this!
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Re: The Blood Temple: Chapters 5 &6 and now 7!!

Post by Unit7 on Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:01 pm

x_mia_x wrote:I finished reading chapters 3-5 and I have to say, I don't know find Katherine annoying at all. In fact I actually like her.
Good job Unit! I am really loving this!

Glad to hear someone is enjoying this. Smile

Hmm let me know if you still like her after a few more chapters. She sorta goes back and forth between two extremes it seems to me. lol

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Sometimes, late at night, I sit here and I wonder. The things I wonder vary from night to night. Sometimes I wonder about the stars and other nights I wonder about what tomorrow will be like. But recently I have been wondering what my life would have been like without you...-Samantha Greene
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Re: The Blood Temple: Chapters 5 &6 and now 7!!

Post by PiperC! on Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:07 pm

I am going to start reading this as soon as I get my footing as far as school work goes this semester. I'm kind of busy, but this looks good from the few paragraphs I have read. Very Happy
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Re: The Blood Temple: Chapters 5 &6 and now 7!!

Post by Unit7 on Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:14 am

PiperC! wrote:I am going to start reading this as soon as I get my footing as far as school work goes this semester. I'm kind of busy, but this looks good from the few paragraphs I have read. Very Happy

Unfortunately because I didn't back it up I lost most of what i have written for this. My computer had a nasty virus and we had to wipe everything clean. As it wasn't getting much reading as far as I could tell I stopped at 50k words and am not entirely sure if I am ever going to finish it. So right now its in Development Hell.

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Sometimes, late at night, I sit here and I wonder. The things I wonder vary from night to night. Sometimes I wonder about the stars and other nights I wonder about what tomorrow will be like. But recently I have been wondering what my life would have been like without you...-Samantha Greene
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Re: The Blood Temple: Chapters 5 &6 and now 7!!

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