RM who was sharing author Ava D Dohn at fawnsfall.wordpress.com

p. 16- FH- Misty Promise’s Results


Ishtar watched the woman turn away and then mutter as if to herself,  “This war is not hers to fight.  How can you ask this of the child?”

The girl reached into the pouch and played with a few coins.  Her mind could not conjure up visions of the treasures this money offered.  The coins suddenly felt dirty, unclean.  She dropped the money back into the purse.  Indeed, everything about the first road felt wrong, like delicious food that turns sour in one’s belly.

4-094b, Choice's light

As Ishtar reasoned over the things she had been told, her mind filled with suspicion.  She felt compelled to ask, “You did not come from above the stars to wish a child well and give her a gift of gifts.  I do know for a fact that God does not work in such ways.  So tell me, please, should I take the monies and depart, upon whose head does the duty fall?”

The woman did not answer.  She continued to look toward the east, tears trickling down her face.  She pleaded with Ishtar,  “Take the monies.  We will work things out.”

Ishtar grabbed hold of the woman’s arm.  “I can make no commitment without understanding!  Now tell me!  Who pays the bill for my happiness?”

Covering her eyes with her hands, the woman sobbed.  “My Lord and my God pays the price!  For your uncle is needed elsewhere in this realm.  It is not his day to die.  If you leave, they will destroy him.”

Ishtar lowered her head, thinking aloud.  “So, my soul in place of his…”

The woman turned to the girl, distraught.  “No one deserves to be asked what has been of you, but there is no other way.  My soul instead of yours I would gladly offer, yet it is not to be.  Only you have the power to save your uncle on this morrow.  He must prove his worth.  His destiny demands it of him.”

Ishtar released her hold of the woman.  “Here, take back your money.  How can a man enjoy a warm bed and a full belly when his family starves in the cold?  I am not that wicked.”  She pushed the purse into the woman’s hand.  “Now!  Return me to the ‘nether world’ and the ‘demons’ who await me.”  A shudder ran through her as a sickness grew in her stomach. “I will wait there for my time to come.”

There was no stopping the woman’s tears.  She kissed the child, promising,  “The spirit of my God will stay with you, and I… yes, I swear, as I am alive and do live… I will remain by your side to comfort my cherished sister in her distress.”  She embraced the girl and gave her another kiss.  “Until the day when we will share the wine and the good times…”

4-095b, Mist Maid

The woman began to fade into a rising mist.  Ishtar cried, “Who are you?!  What is your name?!  I need to know!  What is it?!”

The woman was little more than a fleeting shadow now. She sadly called from the mist, “To many I am only ‘the Troubling One’… to others I am known as the ‘Child of Pain’.”

The fog swept in upon Ishtar.  She reached out for the woman, but could not find her.  The air swirled around the child like a cyclone, its sound being like thousands of birds taking flight.  Up into the whirlwind the girl rose, spinning around faster and faster until her head became dizzy and faint.  Eventually the windstorm subsided, gently dropping the girl down in a pile of soft straw.

The surrounding sounds and smells told Ishtar that she was again in the prison.  She began to wonder if she had ever left.  Maybe it was but a dream caused by the blows Perk had delivered to her head.  Still… it was a beautiful dream.  Could it have been a magic dream?  A vision?  Her uncle had told her of visions.  But visions were something special… reserved for men of great renown…not her.  The girl shrugged.  ‘Not the matter’.  Whatever it was, she felt refreshed by it.

There was no light for the child to see with, no window to let in the moon and no lamps, even in the distant rooms, to permit any sight.  The sound of heavy sleeping was all that disturbed the silence.  Even the rats had apparently decided to take a holiday.

Ishtar leaned back on the straw.  Strange.  It smelled fresh… and her pains from the night’s beatings were gone.  The girl began recalling the details of her wonderful dream, not wanting to forget a thing about it.  She pulled her knees up to her chest, wrapping her arms around them as she did.  Her heart jumped excitement.  Even in the blackness, she could tell the feel of satin… the smooth silky satin of her beautiful dream gown.

 *   *   *

4-096c- Middle Kingdom Night

The dark of WacxGonn trees, with their low-hanging evergreen bows, gave Darla little solace.  She darted along the path, flitting in and out of their protective shadows.  The gown, so effective in dazzling Ishtar, acted like a beacon every time the woman stepped into the moonlit night.

Searching eyes could be anywhere now.  There had been no time for Darla to gather her flight suit and weapons.  She was sure they, along with all the ‘vision’ gadgets, were long since discovered.  Legion would not be pleased with someone ‘messing’ with his special ‘toy’.  The woman was beginning to regret not waiting for the remainder of the mission team, but what else could she have done?  If they had failed to make contact with the child this night, the entire mission would be in jeopardy.

Darla pulled the communicator from a hidden pocket in her dress.  A series of tiny blue lights flashed to life in rapid succession, only to fade, one after the other.  Again they would flash, searching for an incoming signal…  Still nothing.  ‘They should at least be here by now.  What’s taking them…?’

There was good reason for Darla to worry.  This was a strange and curious world she found herself wandering alone in.  Long years before, Euroaquilo, her mentor and intimate companion had journeyed with the woman into this place.  His warnings, recalled, did not bring comfort.  “This is a world that defies all known laws.  It’s quirky, doing as it pleases, and biding no ‘intruder’s’ commands.  You would do well not to wander here alone.”

Euroaquilo had informed Darla of some of the known and imagined history of this place… most still a dark mystery to even the oldest and wisest of her kind.  It had been said that time and space matter little here.  Sojourners navigated it by linking up complex mathematical coordinates with existing star system charts, adding in galactic rotational calculations, and then, as Euroaquilo said, ‘mix in a little gut feeling’, and there was their destination.

Her successful and timely arrival had been no small miracle.  She managed the rendezvous at Eden’s Gate after losing two bandits intent on her interception.  After waiting several hours for her contacts, she had ventured through the jump portal, trusting to her own ability in finding the ‘one’ portal stream out of millions that would deliver her to this one location.

She arrived in time by chance, she thought, to make the two league’s distance from the ship to the city and then still have time to change into the gown and set up the vision gadgets.  Although never actually leaving this Middle Realm and transferring into the ‘land of humans’, often called by her people the ‘Second’ or ‘Lower Realm’, by using the vision machines and her ‘very limited’ mental abilities, the girl successfully completed the mission.  ‘Maybe not as good as Gabrielle, but damn good, anyway!’

4-097, Middle Kingdom night

The crisp snap of a twig alerted Darla to possible danger.  She slunk back further away from the trail, under the trees.  It could have been one of many things causing that disturbance.  Her heart raced with fearful anticipation.

Attempting to calm her jitters, she contemplated the possibilities.  After all, there was a menagerie of huge beasts in this land.  One might very well be tracking her… more out of curiosity than ill intent.  Then there were the ‘People of the Mist’, one of the names given the mysterious race of ancients who existed long before her kind were born.

The story of these people was both mythical and intriguing.  Many names had been given to them, ‘Spirit Walkers’, ‘Guardians’, ‘Cherubs’, ‘Blazing Wings’, to name a few.  Darla had always liked the term ‘HootinSmokers’, a name given them by some of the most ancient of her race who claimed to have actually seen them.  The wild antics of those storytellers had caused her, as a little girl, to roll in laughter as their stories were acted out.

Legend’s tales said that when Darla’s kind began growing in number, the ‘People of the Mist’ withdrew into the hidden lands of this Middle Realm, becoming little more than ghostly shadows on moonlit nights.  It was said that they slept in silence until their Master would wake them to glory in the last trumpet call.  Well, that was one of the stories she had been told when a little child.  The woman hoped the intruder might well be either of these two things.

A shudder ran down her spine, as she thought of Euroaquilo’s warning given her so long ago.  ‘It is also a very dangerous place since the Rebellion.  Every debased, vile creature frequents these haunts, making it necessary to never travel here alone.’

After the Rebellion, war had broken out in the Middle Realm.  Although its expanse appeared limitless and much of it was still unexplored, key locations had been fought over for many centuries.  In fact, this was where the major part of the wars had been fought up to this night.

Darla was no stranger to these wars.  She was a hardened veteran, having fought in all three ‘Megiddo Wars’, the ‘Persian Debacle’, the ‘MedoGrecian Crusade’, and the ‘Maccabean Decade’.  But she had been one in a crowd of countless thousands then…  Tonight she was alone and naked, bereft of weapon or comrade.

Listening to the continuing night noises and detecting no other unusual sounds, Darla decided to chance a run for her ship.  Considering the gown to be a hindrance, she kneeled down and unlaced her sandals, quietly removing them.  With a grunt, she stood and began pulling the dress over her head.

4-098b, Yulack And Other Enemy's“Got’ya!”

Darla spun around and dropped into a crouch, her arms and head still wrapped up in the gown.  She was preparing to be assailed by hands intent on her capture.  Legion would be most pleased with such a prize and could be counted on to give a rich reward to the person delivering her.

‘Cr-a-ack!’  Whoever wielded the club had no intention of taking his trophy alive.  The blow caught Darla just below her right eye, lifting her off her feet and sending her sprawling, face down, onto the pathway.

A rough hand yanked Darla over onto her back.  She groaned in pain.  Another person pulled off the gown and exclaimed, “She ain’t dead, Yulackk!  You must be losin’ your touch.”

Yulackk bent close to examine the damage his attack had done.  Darla’s eye was little more than bloody pulp, her upper jaw crushed and her nose split, but she was still very much alive.

Yulackk glanced at Darla’s upper arm and noticed its awkward angle.  “The bitch’s arm got in the way… ain’t my fault!”  He laughed, “Did a number on it, though…”

The second man stepped closer.  “Get outta the way, Yulackk, I want to get a look at who we have.”

“She’s just a bitch, Gihon, some worthless little nobody.” Yulackk grinned.  “I was right when I said we’d get the same for her dead or alive.”

“Outta the way, you!”  Gihon demanded.  “I’ll decide if it’s a ‘nobody bitch’ or not.”

Yulackk grumbled, wanting to ‘finish her off’ so he could get back to ‘more important matters’.  Gihon motioned him away, saying to wait.  He knelt down on one knee, straddling one of Darla’s legs, and leaned in close to her face to get a better look in the dim light.

4-099b, Torture's Night

Giggles and laughter filled the night air.  Two women came jogging up the trail.  When they got near, one of them called out asking if the men had found the intruder.

Gihon ignored the woman’s question.  He scrutinized Darla’s face, but could not identify it with anyone he knew.  Just as he was about to reveal his findings, a hand flew up to his ear.  Gihon screamed in pain as Darla dug her nails in and began tearing it off while driving her knee hard into his groin.  Yulackk jumped forward shouting, kicking Darla in the side of her head.  Knocked senseless by the blow, the woman’s body went limp.  Gihon rolled on to his side, groaning in pain.

“Has our lord Gihon’s tool been broken?” One of the women teased.

The second woman derogatorily accused,  “How does a chieftain in Legion’s house explain his being bested by a man without balls?”   Both of them erupted in chiding laughter.

They went on with the insults until Gihon, still clutching his groin rolled onto his knees and, swearing and cursing, ordered them to shut up.  He finally sat back on his haunches and lifted his kilt, glaring at the women.  “You watch and see what my tool can do… and wish you hadn’t.  For when I’m done with ‘this’,” He pointed at Darla.  “I’m going to do the same with you two!”

With that, Gihon began to work up his manhood by brutalizing Darla with his hands, after which he started to violently rape her.  “How do you like it now, you miserable piece of dog shit?!  You could have made it easy on yourself and died quickly, but no, you wanted to make me the fool.  I’ll show you who’s the fool!  You’ll soon wish you were already dead!”  He dug his nails into Darla’s breasts, angrily tearing at them.

Darla cried out in agony.  It only made Gihon more sadistic.  He bit and chewed at the woman’s face.  He tore off her earlobe, chomped it into tiny pieces and spit it into her face.  “Pray to Mother… you ugly shit worm… maybe she’ll let you die!”

Darla turned her head to the side and coughed out blood and broken teeth.  She could make no reply.

Gihon laughed.  “See!  The Mother of Harlots cares not for her children…”  He released his passion in one heaving outburst and then fell on Darla’s chest.  As he panted, he ridiculed her, snidely whispering in her ear, “Or is it just you… you worthless dung meat!”

After catching his breath, Gihon sat back on his knees, viewing with pleasure the results of his labors.  He rested his bloodied hands on Darla’s legs, nodding his head.  “You’re a delight to behold, nearly as beautiful as that tramp, Michael, was that day outside the palace.  My artwork is nearly complete.”  With that, he motioned to Yulackk.  “Smash in its skull!”

Nodding, Yulackk grinned.  “I won’t hav’ta do it twice.”  He swung his cudgel high over his head in one graceful move that transferred his body’s power into the weapon.

4-100b, Maelstrom of the World 5

Gihon stared at Darla’s broken face, waiting to see Yulackk smash it to nothing.  “Do it good, you!  I want a big splatter!”

Sh…ur…rr flu…unk!’

Yulackk yipped like a startled dog as the club fell from his hands.

“What the…?!”  Gihon looked in time to see Yulackk grab his face and stumble backward, a glistening black, jillson bolt sticking from his face just below his nose.

Sh…ur…rr flu…unk!’  A second arrow slammed into Yulackk’s mouth, punching its way up through his skull and protruding out the back of his head until its waxy tail feathers disappeared into the man’s face.  Yulackk let out a gasp as he spun around and fell, face down, in the dirt.

Beetle dung!”  A woman in a silver-metallic flight suit came running out from the shadow of the trees, drawing forth a long double-edge battle sword as she advanced, its green, ghostly flame identifying it as a fearsome derker blade.

“Gabrielle!”  Gihon quailed.  He threw his hands up over his face.

Gabrielle halted beside Darla’s bleeding body.  She lifted her sword high, shouting, “Master’s whore maiden!… Be off into damnation!”

With a grunt, Gabrielle swung the weapon down and across, cleaving Gihon’s head and hands from his body.  Blood squirted into the air as the lifeless corpse slowly keeled over, falling to the ground.

A woman screeched, “NasiSair! NasiSair!” (When translated means: Prince of the Warlocks).  She and the other woman ran off, screaming, into the night. .

 

Section One- Destiny’s Road, p. 02, 03, 04

Section Two- Of Councils Great and Small, p. 06, 07, 08

Section Three- Legend’s Heroes, p. 10, 11, 12

Section Four- The Forges of Hell, p. 14, 15, 16

Section Five- The Silent Tombs

Enjoy the rest of the other posts: 

 Prologue,

Destiny’s Road 1-0011-0021-0031-004, 1-0051-0061-0071-0081-009,

1-0211-022, 1-0231-024 & 1-025

Of Councils Great and Small 2-0262-0272-0282-0292-0302-031,

2-0322-0332-0342-0352-0362-0372-0382-0392-0402-0412-042,

2-0432-0442-0452-0462-0472-0482-049 & 2-050

Legend’s Heroes 3-0513-0523-0533-0543-0553-0563-0573-058,

3-0593-0603-0613-0623-0633-0643-0653-0663-0673-0683-069,

3-0703-0713-0723-0733-074 & 3-075

Forges of Hell 4-0764-0774-0784-0794-0804-0814-0824-0834-084,

4-0854-0864-0874-0884-0894-0904-0914-0924-0934-0944-095,

4-0964-0974-0984-099 & 4-100

And find the rest of the Forges of Hell with your own book at:

Amazon.comSmashwords.com;

Diesel-Ebooks.comBN.comebookstore.sony.com

BUY NOW!

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