Sunday, March 29, 2015

Armitage and Envy by The Un-named Chronicles by Ellen Mae Franklin and Peter M. Emmerson

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PUSHING throughthe curious ranks came a massively muscled demon, a roughly stitched-oninsignia of a Wedgemaster on the blue sleeve of its tunic showed his rank. Theblack pelt of some shaggy creature was tied as a cloak around its left shoulderand its eyes were fixed on Grimm with murderous intent. In its hands it held ahuge club, blood red jewels clustered around one end. As it stepped up toGrimm, without any preamble it smashed the point into the mutant's stomach,knocking the wind from him and forcing him to his knees.

"Filthy cowardly scum!" the demon barked. "I'llshow you what they should've done to you, running out on your men!" Itpulled its arm back for a good swing at Grimm, but then stopped in mid-strikeas its eyes locked with the glowing blood red orb in the middle of Grimm'sforehead.

"Just try it," Grimm said through his spiked teeth,"I've killed much harder men 'n' creatures than you."

"You be full of filthy magics, you should be hung, youtraitor."

LANGUISHING inside a cell was a dream each prisoner could havehoped for and in this case it happened to be true.

Sharp and Ridge stared at each other, through the weakened slatsand floating dust motes. Their pallets were generous by jailor’s standards witha thick itchy blanket, a freshly stuffed mattress of new straw and two meals aday. A morning meal of porridge with bobbing sultana's to sweeten its blandnessand an evening meal of barley soup with soft chunks of dark meat servedsteaming hot. Bread and cheese sometimes followed, and the pair despite theembarrassment of being caught knew they had it easy.

Keys clinked in the lock, three men walked in, two carriedshackles and the other an arm's length piece of wood.

A guard waved the stick in the air, "Right you are boys. Thetime for kicking your heels has come to an end," he laughed. "Unlessthat is you're swinging on the end of a rope."


The King of Arinthol rang a bell and a sombre man stepped into theroom. He wore the colours crimson and cream with pride, "You rangsire?"

"Would you be so kind as to send a runner for MistressTrinity. She should have been here by now."

The servant nodded. "She went with the guards to the cellssire. I'll have someone her fetched at once." He left the room with quickclipped steps.

It didn't take long for the Mistress of Keys to arrive, theassault on Arinthol may have left scars a plenty for some, not Trinity, shetook it all on the chin. Her loss on the day of coming into power was the daythat a life she loved ended. What was a little battering on the walls to thisUn-named.

Once she had been a teacher, loved and respected, especially bythe children she taught, then came the pain. Her limbs burned and ached both atthe same time, she felt dizzy, nauseated and burned with a sweaty fever.Trinity was dying, or least she thought, why else would she hurt so. For daysshe lay, thrashing about in her bed, a small room at the back of theschoolhouse and one morning bleary eyed and exhausted the teacher's stomachbegan to cramp.

Children of all ages filled the wooden building they used as aclassroom, tables and chairs sliding along the planks as everyone readied theirplace for the day. The chatter of young voices filled the air, resounding downthe hallways and sliding under Trinity's door. The noise filled her ears andthe cramping increased. She slipped into unconsciousness and in doing so shecame into power.


"Hey, you, wanna buy a god?"

Jos looked up from the pebbly beach, squinting in the last blushof daylight over the water. A thin old man with one arm in a pale yellowoutfit, carrying a large green pack, sat on a rock near the waterline watchinghim. He was in his late sixties, perhaps more than three decades older thanJos.

Uncertain what to say, Jos stood still for a moment. This wasn'tGni-nnut, where you could slip past odd people or ignore them and evaporateinto the crowd in the market square. There was no one else here on this stripof sand, with water to one side and sea cliffs on the other, so how could Jospretend he hadn't heard?

He decided to play it straight. "You're selling dogs?"

"No, I said a god. And it's not really selling. And you don'tget the god exactly, I mean, not to keep. Just an experience with a god, anencounter like a revelation."


A barking dog yapped at the moon in a frenzied attempt to bring itdown. On and on, the noise carried down the incline hurting the ears of severalWestmen drinking.

“Fecking kill it already,” growled Two Bits. “I’ve always hatedthat thing and now that it’s barking I can scarcely breath.”

A low laugh followed on the end of the tirade: it was Jolly, whoalways found the funny side to most things. “You’re a worry you are, alwayscomplaining about something or other and never happy unless you have your way.Leave it be on the poor mongrel, he ain’t hurting any one and all you’ll do isupset Big Hog with that tongue of yours.”

Big Hog pushed back into the log he was using as a back rest andnodded in agreement with Jolly. “He’s me mate and you touch one hair on hissweet head Two Bits and I’ll nail your balls to the insides of your thighs."

Jolly squealed with laughter and wiped away the tears with a dirtyfinger at the very thought of Two Bits walking like an old used whore. Therewas anger on Two Bits face but he said not a word, why would he when Big Hogstood over a head taller than most men.

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