From Under the Sea Part VII: A Familiar Place

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: The Imaginarium
The latest installment of our under the sea collaboration. We will be moving the story from our two separate profiles to a collaborative profile, in order to make it easier for our fans to read each of the separate installments without jumping back and fourth between mine and J.R. Merrick's profile.

Submitted: November 06, 2018

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Submitted: November 06, 2018

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Orin stared in horror at the scene in front of him. Adair, the kings wise man, and the two guards were dead. Soaking in a pool of their own blood. Orin couldn’t believe what happened. Selka had moved out of sight to shift back into her human form and re-dress.

She rounded the corner, blood covered her mouth, “We have to go.”

“Go go where?” said Orin in disbelief. “Are you forgetting that I can’t leave the Il’drea?”

“I don’t know!” she shouted back, but it came out sounding more like a growl. Orin stepped back. “Orin, I’m sorry.” she reached for his hand, he moved back further.

“You need to leave,” he said still in shock.

“You heard his plan, he was going to kill everyone. I had to do something, I had to protect my people,” she said desperately trying to convince him, or maybe she was trying to convince herself.

“Just go,” The pain in Selka’s face was punctuated by the tears that streamed down her cheeks as she turned and ran.

“Help! I need help!” Orin yelled. A pair of guards came running down the hall. They stopped when they saw the carnage at Orin’s feet. They started to point their tridents at him but when they saw the wounds they knew that a human was not responsible.

“What happened?” asked the first guard.

“It was Selka, she killed them, I need to speak to the king,” said Orin. The guard nodded. Orin left the guards to clean up the mess and he hurried to the war room where the king spent most of his time.

Orin knocked, “Come in.”

“Oh, Orin it’s you. I was expecting Adair, have you seen him,” said the king. He looked past Orin then down at the blood on his feet and sandals, “What happened? Where is Selka?

“It’s not Selka, It’s Adair, he is dead, along with two guards.” The king looked blankly at Orin and sank into the high backed chair at the head of the table.

“No, it can’t be. How? How did it happen?” King Fergus asked.

Orin was silent he didn’t know how to tell the king, “Your highness, it was your daughter, She shifted before the others even knew what was happening. She killed them.” The lost expression he wore turned to anguish.

“No. No, you’re lying, Why would Selka kill Adair, he was like family to her,” said the king.

“His plan it was crazy, we had to stop him, but this…” he trailed off, “This was not the way.”

“What do you mean “we”? You were in on it?” The king’s face was turning red. “This was you. I told Adair you couldn’t be trusted, but he advised me to put you with Selka,” he was shouting now, “You turned my daughter into a murderer!”

Orin raised his hands in front of him defensively, “No, your highness, that isn’t what I meant, please let me explain,” Orin pleaded.

“Guards!” A group of guards filed into the room, “Escort this man to the dungeon.”

“Your highness, please you have to listen,” the guards grabbed Orin as he struggled to get free, “Don’t do this.” the guards drug him from the war room. The last thing Orin saw was the king hunched over in his chair. Something hard hit Orin on the back of the head and he went limp.

He awoke in a familiar damp darkness. Chains rattled as he moved his hand to the back of his head. A large knott had formed under the skin. It was feverish and throbbing but he didn’t feel any blood. Heavy shackles weighed down his ankles. Pain filled Orin’s chest, not physical pain, no this was different. It was sharp and deep, the pain was in his heart. He buried his face in his hand, “What have I done?” He said to himself. In one day he had taken his new found home and burned it to the ground. He pushed Selka away and the king blames him for everything.

Orin sat, defeated, in total darkness. He quickly lost track of time, mainly because he wasn’t attempting to. He had all but given up. The sound of footsteps followed by the rattling of keys caught his attention. Blinding light cut through the darkness bringing pain to Orin’s eyes.

He shielded his eyes, considered speaking then decided not to. What’s the point, he thought.

“Time for your sentencing hearing,” said the familiar voice of a guard Orin knew.

“Sentencing? When was my trial?” He asked.

“The trial was held yesterday, now on your feet,” the guard removed the chain that anchored him to the wall. Adding a pair to his wrists then the guard led him out the door.  Moving each shackled foot a few inches as a time Orin shuffled out of the dungeon.

It took them a long time to move from the dungeon all the way to the throne room but eventually they arrived. The room was full of lords and ladies some he recognized from the dinner the king had thrown in his honor. They were no longer smiling, no longer wanting to hear a tale about his exploits, instead they all staired. Faces of stone, completely void of any feeling. Orin knew he had no allies in this room today. The only thing that gave him a small sliver of joy was the fact the Selka was not among them.

Orin stopped in the center of the hall, “Orin, human of the surface, you have been found guilty of murder and treason,” announced the king, “Today I will pass your sentence.”

“Do I not get to speak on my own behalf?” demanded Orin.

“No, you do not,” the king was glaring at Orin as he spoke.

“I accepted you into my kingdom, I fed you at my table, you have befriended my only daughter and you lead her down a path of evil,” the king’s voice was booming through the hall.

Orin tried to speak but the king cut him off, “You have betrayed me in the worst possible way. The princess Selka is still missing and I fear you have killed her too.”

Orin’s heart leapt, “You haven’t found Selka yet?” King Fergus stood, briskly walked to orin and struck him across the face.

“Don’t you ever use her name again,” he turned, walked up the steps and stood in front of his throne. Orin, human of the surface, I hereby sentence you to death.”

The crowd remained silent but the atmosphere took a jovial turn for everyone but Orin, “Your highness, if you would just let me explain.”

“Quiet!” the king roared, leaping into the air and shifting into the behemoth of a walrus. He knocked Orin to the ground knocking the air out of him. The weight of the king on Orin’s chest prevented him from drawing breath. No one moved to help Orin.

A loud crackle followed by a pop caught everyone's attention. The king turned, moving off of Orin. At the top of the stairs where the king had been standing just moments before was a smoking metal box.

The Seerer! Thought Orin.

The king shifted back into a human as a servant ran forward with a robe.

“What is this?” asked the king looking around the room.

A wise man stepped forward, presumably Adair’s replacement, “That is a box from the Seerer my liege.” muttering broke throughout the room.

The king slowly approached while looking at his wise man for guidance. The man nodded to the king. Kneeling before the box King Fergus looked for an opening, He leaned forward, a slight ticking sound was coming from the box. There was a his and a pop. White smoke escaped from the broken seal as the box opened.

King Fergus reached into the box and withdrew a strange metal object and a piece of parchment. He unfolded the paper and read the letter inscribed within.


 

King Fergus,

You and your people are in grave danger. It is not too late to save your daughter but you must kill the outsider. He has brought a curse to your kingdom. Kill him and I will help you steal the Morfir’s Orb.

 

Wrath.

 

“Wrath?” the king said to himself, “Who is Wrath?”

Orin felt as if a piece of ice hand sunk into the pit of his stomach, “Your highness, don’t listen to him, he is the reason Adair is dead.” There was a loud BANG! A stone pillar across the room exploded in a small burst of smoke, King Fergus jumped and looked at the object in his hand. He pointed the object at another pillar and it exploded again. A dark smile spread across the king's face as he turned the metal object towards Orin.

“Orin, human of the surface, pray to your gods for forgiveness, for today you will meet them,” said the king as the object exploded for a third time.

 
 
 
To be continued by J.R. Merrick


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