Chapter 3:

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 97
Comments: 3

~~Chapter 2

Callous rain plummeted down pitiless as the slaves stood wearily in a flock of one-hundred, squared in the roofless obsidian arena, shivering to the bone in their untenable rags. Odin leaned onto a metal railing that secured around the fringes of the tall tower he stood on; championing his power to the debilitated victims below.

"Hello demons, and welcome to Grendal! The only town in the Kingdom of Pith to stay true to our ancestors of the Great War.
"I understand most of you were fishermen of Paladin Bay, or pirates we have conquered at sea. Even some poachers from Harvey's Mountains and villagers from Reacher. Our grasp is far. Forget whatever your past may have been, for now you are all enslaved to Grendal. We will not tolerate rebellions, nor will we show mercy to the weak. If you cannot, or will not, work for us, you will be slaughtered like the swine you are."

Odin gave a nod to one of his guards below, who swept between the slaves and massacred four unsuspecting victims, bereft of empathy, dicing them up until they were nothing but heaped chunks of flesh.

"You will all be miners, except the lucky few who will be servants for our most prestigious citizens."

Dana slouched in her red stilettos, why her father insisted she wear these uncomfortable clothes, she did not understand. Her wide-set eyes rolled while her nonchalant eyebrows cut across her face with listlessness, which she hoped her father would interpret as her unemotion towards the slaves. She watched as he gave the speech he always gave, as he sanctimoniously splurged out his power. The slaves were nothing more than feeble animals, it was how she had been taught, what she had grew up understanding. Why her father insisted on this spectacle over and over, was beyond her. You do not command a horse to be ridden, it does so because it simply has no other choice.

The tower climbed so high in the sky that she could see the grey rocks of Reacher, small dimples on wearing grass. Her preceptor had told her when everything else collapsed in the Great War, this monument remained, poking out its crooked rocks on top which more rocks were lain, forming what once had been a circle, half now missing to create a chaffed smile. Apparently it had been built over six thousand years ago, her preceptor had mentioned, and he predicted that it would be here still when mankind fell. He taught her the song of ancestors, 'Fear no man, fear only that the sky should fall on us, long before the Runes of Reacher collapse.' She smiled as she relived the memory of the old man playing his harp, lulling her into a drowsy bedazzlement. That was before Odin had accused the man of harbouring slaves and committing treason, subsequently beheading him.

She would pull her frizzy honey coloured hair as it blew into her face, and would fidget in her itchy lime sequined dress, attempting to tug it loose from the rain that glued it to her skin. Her body parted with the dress just below her relatively wide hips, leaving her wholesome thighs and slender legs icy from the foul climate. Soon the most disturbing part of the induction would be upon them, and Dana thought hard for an excuse to leave.

"Father, may I be excused to the bathroom?" Obvious, but she couldn't think up anything better. Her father's eyes flamed intensely; as if a match had just been struck nanometres away from a barrel of peat, his pupils bulging, crazed and berserk.

"Not right now honey, look, here comes the best bit." He remained unfazed by the torrential downpour that soaked his tailored suit and his thick black hair; of which sat unmoved, grand amounts of wax fixing it in place.

Dana did all she could while the guards enclosed around the huddled slaves - she watched in silence. Her eyes locked shut, but the memories took control, and even with clasped eyelids she saw the devastation occurring before her, as it had happened many a time before. The guards, heaving their large containers towards the slaves. Clutching each by their shaved heads as they spooned out some of its contents. The anguish, the torment, the perpetual screaming that twisted Dana's eyes to the back of her head, that twisted the knots in her stomach and brain alike. The acidic liquid in the container burning through their eyes as it met their faces, popping and melting and inevitably blinding them all. Their pain was yet to cease, as they would live through this, father would make sure. He didn't waste his worth.

Many fell to their knees, fragile joints cracking as they hit wet stone. They screeched out, pulling at their eyes with their spiritual hands, while their material hands sat silent on their laps, chains tearing wrists. For each fall, a menacing strike scarred their skin from their captors. It didn't matter to Odin what race they were, whether the eastern fishermen of Paladin's Bay, or the Southern Pirates that crossed from the Racifaa islands, nor the White Tribes of the mountains or even the villagers to the west, their neighbouring settlements in Reacher. As far as Odin was concerned, they were all but one race now, his race of slaves. He owned them, and to him, it didn't matter what they were, for now that they were his slaves, they forcibly became intolerable demons, scum that demanded control. As if they had signed up for the role, and this alluded to them being the swine he so often called them.

Harold met them on the tower balcony, Odin still basking in his slaves torture.

"Sir, we 'ave a prisoner, found 'im snoopin' in Butcher's lair." Harold's voice quivered slightly as he stood, badly mimicking a stern image of authority. Thin streaks of blonde hair from his balding head stuck to his dripping face, which was hidden by patches of scab.

"Well, you know what to do, throw him into the cells with the rest of the slaves, ready for the next induction."

"But Sir, this one's...different." Weak eyes rolled aimlessly, hitting anything besides his master's face.

"What do you mean, different? Any wanderer stupid enough to stumble upon Grendal meets the same fate as those we capture. You of all people should know that."

"Yea, but e's an outsider, not a native. E wears a long, golden dress, and wields as fine a blade as ever I saw."

Odin feigned a blank look, masking his intrigue. No wanderer had ever crossed from foreign islands in a long time. He fondled his hairless chin.

"Throw him into a separate cell. Ready a meet in Seriph Hall, I want to talk to this foreigner."

"Right, sir. Now, sir?"

"No, not now, fool. Night is almost upon us. Arrange it for the morn."

Harold bowed, head reaching foot in an almost painful stretch. Gone quicker than he came, out through the metal exit.

"Come Dana. I think that is enough entertainment for one day. Let's go see what toxic Catherine has made us."

* * * * *

Intruding hands coiled around Wanderer's lean shoulders, throwing him into the cell; slumbering in the lowest floor of Odin's castle. It resembled more of a putrid pit than a prisoner's captivity, with wild vines harbouring the hollow hole, stalactites hovering intrusively over the cavernous room, stalagmites shooting up from each crumble of the yellow tinted limestone.

Wanderer paced the spiked floor; oblivious of any rips the floor inflicted upon his boots. He searched ponderously in his mind for his next determined move, focusing on this, and not the decomposed heap of bone and cloth that demanded attention in the corner of the otherwise void tomb.

A whisper taunted his focus; a mellow buzz that cut through the wall like flame to ice. Perplexed, Wanderer approached.

"That which thou seeks, is closer than thou thinks."

What in the god's names...

"To find fortune, thou must first lose it."

"Do not speak in riddle, woman. What is it you know?"

A slight cackle. "I am no woman as thou knoweth, thou would do wise to seek kinship of thee.
"Thou must traverse cruel powers to succumb to thou's own. Grave wanderer, thou thinks he has seen it all, but all is not where Grendal entwines. The web of chaos is Grendal's birthplace."

Wanderer edged away from the wall as an amber glow surrounded it; gone in haste but leaving a reminiscent hue. He continued to listen for sounds that were no longer there, the enigmatic voice nothing but a mindless hum. He stumbled back onto his haunches, falling onto something not previously there. A thick slab of stone, embossed upon it writing scratched from fingernails, 'noitpecrep sduolc gniees'. The darkness blinded his logic, he plunged his thought into where the stone came from, when he should have investigated the foreign words. Perhaps then, he may have realised that for the writing to be pushed out toward him, it must have been written from the inside. Maybe then he would have understood the message, "Seeing clouds perception".

* * * * *

Stumped ebony candles blazed fierce, lining the stretched dining table in a murky shadow illusion. The timber block shied from view as vast gold plates and cloches covered it with all riches of food; from thick steaks to potatoes covered in garlic, all manner of vegetables, piled in heaps, the table abundant in vibrant colours that radiated from the steaming feast.

Odin slumped on his throne, scoffing down his food like it would disintegrate before him if he did not. Catherine waitered the  feast, dashing from one item to another, picking up whatever Odin pointed at, rushing to his side to place it on his ever-growing plate.

Dana watched sporadically between her acquiescent mother and the oak shelves that spread across the walls. Her mother dressed in a provocative burgundy slit linen dress and frivolous curled brunette hair, and the shelves dressed in her father's panoply.

Severed heads of all shapes and sizes, some rotten to the core, others fresh, still silently bleeding. Their faces twisted and deformed from the acid that had burned them. They wore no eyes, yet they still bored through Dana's soul, cursing her to a fruitless meal.

"Why do you litter the dining room with these countless heads, father?" She figured she knew why, it was because he was a sadistic megalomaniac; it enticed his appetite to see the rotting heads surround him.

Odin swiped his mucky hand across his chewing mouth, rolling his eyes. "Because, dear, it is important to show your enemies who is in control. Even in death, I have power over their souls, and they will watch me feast gloriously while they sit; blind, silent, and starving. Exactly as they did when they were alive."

"Why the eyes?" She knew she was pushing it.

"What?"

"The eyes. Why do you remove them from your slaves? Doesn't that make it harder for them to mine?"

"They are restrained to rock while they strike with their pickaxes at the ore, they don't need sight for that."

"But wouldn't it make it easier? Is there something you are afraid they will see?"

Odin laughed, an agitated laugh. "They are blind so they cannot report back to the surrounding land if they escape. Not that anyone escapes."

Dana squirmed in her seat, detecting this was not the full story.

"So the king does not approve of what you do out here?"

"Out here, I am king. Not that incompetent fool that pathetically believes he is in control of this land. When was the last time-
"...God dammit, Catherine!" With a forceful blow, Catherine's head bounced off his plate, mushing it in potato and gravy and blood, "I said I wanted boiled, not mash!" Dazed, Catherine lay on the floor, whimpering. Dana wanted to yell, he was taking his frustration from her out on her innocent mother. But she stayed silent, as she did frequently, bowing her head contrite. Her father's erratic behaviour plunged Dana's nerves into a sedated abyss; fearing if action was taken, no one could prevent his ire.


Submitted: April 18, 2014

© Copyright 2021 MisterM. All rights reserved.

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Comments

mickoman

Hey MrM,
Great third chapter, again very descriptive. Im not too sure yet about the accents yet, but they dont bother me either. I liked it, so it deserves another like from me :) Keep me posted on chapters to come and I will try to find the time to read them. Cheers ;)

Mon, April 21st, 2014 10:21pm

Author
Reply

Thanks a lot Mick, the like is much appreciated. Dialogue is certainly a conscious point that I will try to fix once I finish the novel, I'm such a procrastinator that I find it hard to stay on the same project, and I think if I dwell too much on editing it will prevent me from moving forward, and I definitely have my mind set on finishing this one haha. It's great to see you're still enjoying reading it as much as I am enjoying writing it!

Wed, April 23rd, 2014 5:28am

Felix Fossi

Your premise is interesting but could fall into a cliché plotline if not careful. So far it has not. You do set up the atmosphere and environment very effectively. I'd suggest connecting the two scenes in the prologue, by having the Wanderer secretly watch from afar the "incident" with the slave. As it is, it doesn't transcend very smoothly. Having the Wanderer vomit when seeing the bodies on meat hooks seemed out of character, after all you seem to suggest he is someone who has been through a lot and possibly seen worse. Also it didn't make sense that Odin and his family would sit out under the rain to watch the "induction" of the slaves. It would make more sense and more effectively demonstrate the contempt Odin has, if he had slaves holding covers or umbrellas over them. Also, you need to give a physical description of Dana. You spent time describing her dress but not her. As for the "gouging out" of the slaves eyes and Odin's explanation why, really doesn't make sense even if, as Dana suspects, he is lying. A blind or otherwise crippled slave would be almost worthless and be more of a burden than a benefit. Either way, good luck with your story.

Tue, April 29th, 2014 7:21am

Author
Reply

Thank you! First off, I'm not too worried about falling into clichés, I sort of know where I am going with this, and I'm pretty sure it is original, of what I know, at least. There may be a slight unavoidable cliché, but I'm hoping the plot twists in my story make it justifiable, since the cliché is needed for them to happen. Next, good point. I thought having Wanderer enter the town would be connection enough, but you're right, they should be connected more. Wanderer did not vomit so much from seeing the bodies, it was more so from the realisation he had eaten them, but I see your point, he is meant to come off as a strong character, I'll think about changing it. With the Odin scene, I was trying to create the sense that Odin is so engrossed in the slave's torture that he isn't even partially effected by the other things going on around him, hence he doesn't care it is raining, or that it is freezing cold. But again I see your point, if he is so powerful it would be likely he would have servants to do things for him, so I may change this. Thanks for noticing I didn't describe Dana, I will definitely edit something in. I don't like giving full descriptions because I like slowly revealing their traits as the story progresses, but introducing a character should certainly include more than what they are wearing. I guess I find clothes easier to describe than people; physically, at least. Finally, for the gouging out of eyes, I agree that it isn't exactly realistic, but this being a fictional fantasy story, I believe there is some lee-way, and that exaggerations and slightly distorting reality is one benefit to writing fantasy. That being said, Odin does have ulterior motives. Without giving too much away, the 'blind slaves' is a major plot in my story, and really wouldn't work without it, which is why I used the play-on title 'Sight-seer'. Thanks again for your review, you have genuinely helped me with it, and I'll make sure to take your advice and edit parts of these chapters.

Tue, April 29th, 2014 8:12am

Faizaali1221

A good plot you have here, i just hope you finish soon!

Thu, June 26th, 2014 7:41pm

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