Archive for November, 2011


Till its Dark: Chapter 7

Villains?

Gio led the way through the grounds as Brodje kept his arm firmly on his sword hilt, he did not really need it but it was a habit that was hard to stop. The two brothers walked silently, neither of them willing to break the silence; finally Gio asked “Why did you leave brother? You take off for five years and now you come back and ask for help from your family-the family YOU turned your back on?”

“Who said anything about asking for help?” Brodje replied dryly

“I am not a little kid anymore, I can see in your expression that you are in some kind of trouble… most likely involving a woman” Gio said, his grey eyes glinting in the moonlight

“C… Calm down, I’ll explain everything as long as you don’t say anything to mother”

“Fine, fine”

Brodje then spent the remainder of their walk up the hill telling his brother about how he had survived over the years, gotten a wife and was soon to become a father. “Wow!” Gio exclaimed “Brother that’s amazing”

“You think?” Gio replied grinning broadly “You should come see her someday, she’s a beauty”

“Brother wait!” Gio said, suddenly serious “You said she was a water mage right?”

“Yeah, why are you asking?”

Gio’s eyes went wide with shock, he trembled as he struggled to form the words, every time he tried to speak he stammered and stuttered, his knees buckled and gave way.

“Gio!” Brodje shouted while running to help him up “Are you okay?”

“Brother!” Gio mouthed having composed himself a bit “What have you created?”

Brodje was about to ask what Gio meant by that but at that moment the huge doors to the house opened and they were ushered in by a servant. “Mistress Imber is in her study on the 3rd floor” said the servant as he left them in the entrance “You would do well to go see her promptly as she is already aware of your presence young master”. Gio left Brodje saying he had to go look for something in the library and so Brodje was left to face  the only thing on this earth he truly feared apart from losing Rara, he was about to face… his mother.

Brodje climbed the stairs slowly, his fear growing with every step, his mother was terrifying, she was an excellent magus as well as the most underhanded, sly, conniving person he knew, it was her that had ordered the EquiOmni soldiers to kill him thrice and here he was walking up to her study alone with only a mere sword and with every creak of old wooden stairs his desire to flee grew. When he reached the third floor he heard a voice call out “Mazio I’m in here, now hurry up and don’t keep me waiting”, following the voice Brodje walked down the hall past his old room and into the study. “Mother I refuse to be called by that name!” Brodje shouted at the finely dressed grey-haired woman who was sitting down by a desk reading.

“Shut up and sit down Mazio, you are not in any position to make demands” said Rulio as she took off her reading glasses and smiled at her son

“Fine, so how long do I have until the bodyguards come for my head?” sneered Brodje

Depending on your answers to the questions I ask, your head shall remain on your shoulders… well today at least”

“What do you want to know?”

“First off. Why have you come here seeking for help?”

“Because this is the only place I can get it” replied Brodje frowning a little

“Where have you been these five years?”

“I was in the western continent for a few months, eventually settled in Umere in the province of Aer”

“Lastly what do you need help with?”

“As a result of you and your heretic organization, other provinces are getting rid of their mages”

“And what does that have to do with you?”

“My wife, she’s going to be killed!”

“Ooh you got married did you?” Rulio said grinning happily “From the look on your face you are an expectant father right?”

“How did you…”

You are my son you know, also if she wasn’t carrying a child or sick escape would be no problem right? I’m afraid I can’t help you, most of my forces are up north pushing back the old government soldiers, besides you should be able to take a regiment of soldiers yourself or have you grown weak these last few years?”

“I have reason to suspect they may be sending Templars, my wife is an exceptionally powerful mage”

Oh! I can see why that might be a problem, what element does your wife control?”

“Water”

Rulio laughed loudly, stopped and looked at Brodje’s puzzled face then laughed some more, “Dear child you have no idea what you have done right? What you have created?”

What are you talking about?” Brodje asked

“You are an extremely powerful wind mage, in case you did not know, marriage between certain mages with certain elements are outlawed because such a union would produce an abomination. Brodje, you and your presumably pretty wife have created a stormspirit”

“What’s that?” Brodje asked

Don’t worry about that for now, I expect Gio will fill you in as you journey back to Umere” she paused and looked towards the door “Come in Gio, I know you’ve been eavesdropping

“My apologies Mother, Brother, but if I am to help brother I would like something in return from him”

“What do you want me to do?” asked Brodje while ruffling his hair

“When we are done rescuing your wife, both of you have to come live here and work for the EquiOmni”

“WHAT! I will never do that…”

“Pardon me brother” Gio interrupted “but if you do not agree to our terms mother and I will kill you right here” Gio finished as his right arm began to fade.

Brodje thought hard, he didn’t want Rara to die but he also would rather die than join his family in their conquest of Yaaba, he would agree, then he and Rara would escape later after everything had calmed down.

“Fine, Fine, I’ll join for the sake of my wife, you don’t have to start disappearing Gio, jeez!”

“Good” Gio laughed “We take off at dawn, I got someone to clean your old room, you can sleep there, and I’ll come wake you in the morning”

Brodje nodded and left the room after saying goodnight to his mother and brother. Rulio smiled at Gio “Do you think he’ll keep his word Gio”

Of course not mother, he’s big brother after all” Gio replied “But if he tries anything funny, then that’s one more family I’ve erased from this world, nothing lost, nothing gained”

“Well, his soon to be born child is a stormspirit, that’s nothing to joke about

“It will grow into a huge asset for us if taught well” Gio agreed” But if I had to, I’d kill it right now, it’s too much of an uncertain factor”

That’s my boy!” Rulio exclaimed “Goodnight then child, I want to read some more”

Goodnight mother” Gio said as he closed the door behind him, he’d go keep an eye on his brother just in case he tried any funny tricks, thinking that, he phased into thin air, things were about to become a whole lot more interesting.

Till its dark: Chapter 6

Silver

Brodje was still whistling as Rara walked in, the windows had been opened and the sunlight streaming in temporarily blinded Rara “Damn, my eyes” she cursed, noticing her, Brodje looked up and said “Good morning Rara, sorry for leaving so early” while grinning, this was strange, was this the same person Rara had left last night?, why was he so cheerful?, something wasn’t right here Rara thought while looking him over then her eyes rested on an object hanging from the right side of his belt.

Brodje! Is that what I think it is?” she screamed

“Well it certainly is” replied Brodje while drawing out the sword

“What do you plan on doing with it?”

“Isn’t it obvious? There’s no way I’m letting them kill you, only over my dead body

“N…No stop Brodje! You mustn’t do this”

“It’ll be alright princess” he replied his silver eyes gleaming “I’ll see you in a few days, there are things I have to do, if the baby comes before I return name him whatever you want” he finished as he walked toward the door “By the way, eat your breakfast, it’s going to get cold soon” he said as he opened the door and stepped out

“Wait, wait! I have s…something to tell you!” she shouted while running out the door and into the street, but there was no sign of him “What an idiot” she cried “why do you want to die so badly, my fate is sealed already” she wiped her eyes and went inside to eat the breakfast he made for her, but then she remembered “His eyes! Oh no, this is dreadful!”

Brodje gingerly touched the hilt of his sword, he did not really need it but for the time being he was willing to let his wife still think of him as just an ordinary wanderer that ended up settling in her hometown, he had six days to prevent his wife’s death but even he couldn’t take a regiment of soldiers alone, he needed help and he needed it fast and for that he’d have to go back to the place he hated the most, his hometown of Ventus in the province of Yaaba and also the current headquarters of the association of rogue magi called EquiOmni.

Brodje got there just after sunset on the 3rd day of his trip; wasting no time at all he walked to the headquarters of the EquiOmni also known as his home. It seemed nothing much had changed since Brodje left home five years ago, the house was still impressive as were its grounds, although he didn’t appreciate the people living in it, it was still a grand building. He walked up the gate and rapped it with the gigantic gargoyle-shaped knocker once, twice, no response, well in that case he was just going to scale the wall, just as he was rolling up his sleeves he heard a voice behind him “Brother, what are you doing?” said a young boy who almost looked like his clone

“Scaling the fence” Brodje replied with a slight smile on his face

“Well no need for that” the young boy replied “I’ll let you in” he finished as he opened the gates.

His younger brother Gio was probably the only one in his entire family he actually cared about, Brodje kept his hand on his sword as he followed the lean sixteen year old through the massive gate, around his family it was best he stayed on his guard, he had betrayed them by fleeing when he was made leader of the EquiOmni after his father’s death, they had already tried to kill him twice, the chances of it happening a third time were not slim.

 

Till its Dark: Chapter 5

Abomination

            Brodje left the house early the next morning, only bothering to kiss Rara good morning and mutter something about not letting this happen. Rara lay stretched out on the bed, still thinking about what Brodje had said yesterday and reminiscing about how she met him near the lake on the outskirts of the town.

Rara had woken up early that morning and so she set off for her duties at once, she was required to walk through and water the farms in the southern and eastern parts of the town, the town was said to have many great water mages but the truth was that Rara accounted for more than half of their magical strength, from the time she received her powers at age five she had averted droughts, stopped dry spells and kept the harvest bountiful, for this service the town built her a large house in the city Centre and provided for all her needs. She was an attractive, fairly tall, long haired girl with eyes of the deepest blue; though this was a side effect of being a water mage as eye colour is one of the most important ways to tell a mage’s affinity, the brighter the color the stronger the mage, fervently sought after by the town’s young men she had never really thought about settling down as in her own words “Our town’s men are too dreary and boring”.

At the end of a day’s work she would walk to the lake and have a long dip, on this particular day however she noticed a peculiar sight, another person was in the lake! It was well known in the town that she visited the lake often so people were usually discouraged from going there, “Hey” she called “who are you, I’ve never seen you before, and why are you in my lake?”

Me? I am a wanderer” replied the man “Also I wasn’t aware that people own huge lakes nowadays, nevertheless I’m just taking a dip, I’ve walked a long way”

Well get to walking again” Rara snapped “Everyone knows that I come here after my work is done, are you some sort of pervert?”

Well princess, I am a traveler as I stated before, therefore I had no idea about this weird custom of giving an adolescent girl full reign over an entire lake, Also why would I be a pervert? I’m just lounging in the pool, is it not safe to say that in this situation the one that brought up the accusation is the true pervert here?”

“Well, whatever, just turn around and I swear if I see you duck under the water I’ll drown you”

“Fine then”

Two of them stayed like that for a while, neither one saying a thing, during this time Rara was eagerly checking him out, he had black hair and was handsome in his own way but the most peculiar thing were his very light gray eyes, they almost looked white, “ Could he be a mage?” Rara whispered to herself

“Um, hey” Rara called out

“What do you want princess?” he replied

What’s with your eyes? They are really bizarre, are you some sort of mage?”

“ Well, I’d consider that as a deeply personal question most people won’t ask someone they have just met for the first time, someone they don’t even know the name of, but seeing as you are obviously not normal and a pretty cute girl I’ll answer it”

Rara blushed slightly, sinking below the water so he couldn’t see, “Stop with the blatant flattery and tell me if you’re going to!”

Fine, sorry princess, the answer is… No I’m not a mage, I had this peculiar disease that lightened eye colour, according to the doctor I met it will go back to normal in due time, that answers your question right?”

“Yes”

“In that case” said the man who was starting to rise “Nice meeting you princess, but I’ll be on my way now”

Rara drew in a deep breath, the man had an enormous cut that ran down the right side of his body, and it was still bleeding! “Y… You!” she stammered “what happened to you?”

“Long story, I must go, have a good life princess” the man said as he limped out of the lake

No! I cannot let you go just like that with such a huge wound, it would stain my conscience, come with me, my mother will treat you and if you’re lucky maybe you’ll get a meal out of us. Also my name is Rara, princess is getting annoying

“Thanks for the kind offer prin- I mean Rara, my name is Brodje, and I will take you up on that offer”

That was 4 years ago, Brodje eventually settled in the town working as a blacksmith, in time they fell in love and got married, “ Feels like such a long time ago” Rara said, rubbing her belly “ It’s a pity our child will never know his mother”. Brodje came back about four hours later, Rara could hear him making himself some breakfast and whistling, “He seems in a good mood” she said “I wonder why” Rara got up and steadied herself, she had been preparing for this moment all morning, she was going to tell him her dark secret, she was going to tell him her magical powers came from the god of the lake and why that meant she couldn’t leave.

 


Welcome home

Brodje got home in high spirits; well as high spirited as he could be in this situation, he had finalized the plan, he and Rara would leave their newly born child to be raised by Rara’s mother then escape to Winslow, after a decade or so when things would have calmed down they would return and maybe take their son with them or resettle in Umere. “Rara!” Brodje called out “Big trouble, well, expected big trouble”

“Oh Brodje, you’re back” Rara said while stepping into the walkway “What was the decision, am I to be murdered alongside my magi brethren? Or did the mayor see sense and realize we have nothing to do with this?”

“In a perfect world maybe, he has decided all magi will be banished, it’s infinitely better than being killed in my opinion”

“Stop playing cool, I can see you’re scared out of your wits, what are the details?” Rara said smirking a little

Apparently the High council of Aer is sending a regiment of soldiers, Templars most likely, to purge the town in a week’s time, so all magi are supposed to make themselves scarce by then” Brodje replied ruffling his hair

That’s a big enough time window for most of us to escape, but if we were to escape, where would we go? And before you ask, I’m staying here” Rara said while resting her hands on her hips

I had a feeling you would say that, Rara if you stay, you will die”

So?”

“I obviously don’t want you to die, I’m your husband, I need you, we’ll stay long enough for you to give birth, leave the child’s rearing to mama and escape to Winslow through the forest, you’re an amazing water mage so we should be safe, in ten years when things would have calmed down, we’ll come back, resettle or take our child back with us”

“Brodje I understand where you’re coming from but I have lived in this town all my life, I am twenty-five and I have served this town for twenty years of my life, I refuse to run away like some outcast”

You WILL die! Don’t you get that? If you die I won’t be able to see you ever again, I won’t be able to live anymore, don’t you value your life, don’t you love me?, do you want to live me a broken man for the rest of my life?”

After shouting that Brodje left the room, he couldn’t understand why his wife was so stubborn, “I cannot live without her” he thought, “she has to escape or both of us will die”. Rara sat in the living room watching the flames flicker in the fireplace, Brodje did not know why she couldn’t leave, it was a secret, a dark secret only her and her mother knew and now it looked like she was going to have to tell him or their last days together would be the unhappiest of them all, but wouldn’t telling him make him hate her even more? the last of the flames briefly sparked and died and Rara sat in the darkness softly weeping.

 

Red Morn

It was in the news again, the stories about the rogue magi slowly taking over the province of Yaaba, they had recently captured a little town in the province’s south and were slowly heading north. The provinces sharing borders with Yaaba had started taking precautions against any possible revolts of their own mages, the Province of Aer to the east of Yaaba had issued an order to kill every mage in the province, the mages in the province were left with the choice of dying or escaping to join the other rogue mages, some towns within the province were unwilling to kill their own citizens so they banished them instead, the town of Umere was such a town, a town mostly home to Water mages, it had thrived throughout the years as the resident water mages made sure there was no such thing as drought.

Brodje sighed and ruffled his hair, he and other men of the town were at the town meeting to decide what to do with the magi, although he was relieved that the mages would not be killed the current decision meant that his wife who was carrying their unborn child would be forced to leave the town of her birth, how was he going to accept that? He stood up and shouted “Mayor, my wife is pregnant! This is wrong!”

“Remember your manners Brodje!” the mayor retorted “You are not a native of this town; therefore you have no say in this matter. Escape with your wife to another province, she’s a talented mage, she can hide her talent well enough”

“Mayor she is almost due, this is wrong, why should the actions of those brigands have any effect on us”

The decision taken by the high council of Aer is that mages should be killed! Have you forgotten that this town is under the protection of Aer? We are already taking a big enough risk as it is”

“But!”

Enough” the mayor exploded “ This is hard on me as well, the town’s economy is going to plummet after losing all our mages, have you any idea of the hard times in store for us? This is the final decision, Mages!, you have a week to leave the town, on the seventh day at dusk a platoon of Aer’s soldiers will be here to purge the town, Good night and may Winry be with you”.

The town meeting ended and Brodje began the long walk back home. It was a windy, cloudy night and the serenity of the town at night seemed to be mocking what would happen shortly.” Seven days” Brodje thought to himself “Seven days to get Rara out of this town, no, the entire province, the biggest problem here is whether she would actually agree to leave”. He walked slowly; each step heavy with dread because the more he thought about it the more he saw no escape for the mages, Yaaba is west of Aer, to the east of Aer is Trior; the realm of savages, to the north is Winslow who welcome immigrants with the sword and to the south is the Bain sea, was their only option to join the rogue mages? Growing disgusted at the thought he spat at the ground, No! He was never going to join those heretics, he and Rara would sneak into Winslow through the forests that formed part of the border, Rara was an exceptional water mage so they should be fine while travelling through. “Yes!” Brodje thought, this was the best plan if Rara wasn’t heavily pregnant. She would be entering her 38th week tomorrow and for their plan to work the baby had to come two days before they had to flee, right now, he could only pray.