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Winterhawk99
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Resolution started.

Post by Winterhawk99 »

Now I have some free time over the next few months I hope to gain some ground on the last book of my Torilian trilogy. I have the prologue finished and wanted to give everyone a small taste of the novel with it.

So here it is. It may change in the future but for now I believe its ok.

Prologue

Fade stands at the bow of the small craft with a giant beside her. The diminutive drow looks up at her companion with a bit of wonder. He is a Huge Pit Fiend with wide wings tucked around his back to give her some room to see the ominous fortress coming into view upriver. His midsection is ripped open and hollow of organs. His ribs show in some places where a fallen angel struck him years ago leaving a wound that will not heal. He is Bel, Lord of the first plane of hell. Some call him the pretender because of his defeat of his former predecessor and lover, Zariel.

She then looks at the figure ferrying the river boat. The hooded Charon in his black robes takes no notice of her. He continues to work the tiller on the river Styx without revealing any sign of acknowledgement.

Fade herself is again fitted with an elegant dress much to her dislike. She never liked pomp and circumstance, however; she often acquiesces to her advisors’ senses on things of diplomacy. Still, she has over a dozen small weapons hidden within its folds. Most poisoned with various rare poisons especially lethal to the denizens of Avernus.

She looks up at her companion again, “Lord Bel? If you, please? Your current form is rather….intimidating for a meeting of such diplomatic import.”

Bel looks down at her grumbling, “So be it.” His form transforms into a six and a half foot tall, tiefling like warrior of red skin wearing a suit with a black tie. His axe transforming into a cane. “I highly respected your mistress, avatar Fade. Her presence was a great benefit to the blood wars.”

“You still have she who guards the portal to Dis, do you not?”

“Yes, but the aspect is different than that of the full consciences of your mistress resting in her lair and always ready to advise the high courts of Avernus.”

As the great fortress looms ever larger the boat docks along the shore. The two step off onto the dry land not looking back. Fade does look around at the landscape. The heat of the plane is almost scalding to the skin. She needs to drink water often. The sky is blood red with occasional fireballs streaking across its clouds. Sometimes they whistle or whine as they pass like doomed souls crying out in anguish. The landscape is a barren wasteland due to constant war. She can see the remnants of war machines in the distances and the charred remains of old battles both on the walls of the great fort and the surrounding terrain.

The fort itself is huge with triple walls and a moat fed by the river. It is a massive number of parapets, murder holes and other defenses all maned by well-armed Abishai of every color.

As they walk through the gates; a large white abishai escorts them to a grand dining hall with a long table. It’s an oversized room with sofas, chairs several bookshelves along the wall and many full skeletal trophies mounted between. Behind the head of the table is a skeleton mounted on the wall that suspiciously looks like an elder fey’ri skeleton.

In short order a pit fiend walks into the room from a hallway. At his sides walk two erinyes armed with naginatas. The two post themselves to the side of the entrance hall. The pit fiend seeing the state of his guests’ polymorphs into the appearance of an elder statesman with a full head of white hair, mustache, triangular beard, in a fine suit complete with a longsword and wickedly curved dagger strapped to his hips.

Fade and Lord Bel both bow to him. He quickly recognizes them, “Lord Bel…….Avatar, to what do I have the pleasure of such fine guests in my humble abode?”

Lord Bel is the first to speak. “We come upon the question of the Elder Fey’ri and their decline. We wish to resolve certain issues.”

Fade then responds, “Since the Elder fey’ri are declining at a rapid pace I wish to use the remaining loyal subjects in my war of conquest in Toril. The people are starting to realize that mortals have certain choices in their desperation to exist. Glasya ruler of the six is tempting their faith. I and my mistress as you should know wish to end their days in one last glorious conquest of a continent perhaps an entire world.”

Berecus blinks a moment and considers before responding. “The Elder Fey’ri have been mighty assets in the blood wars, however I too have watched the decline of the people over the last 5,000 years. You see when you give mortals the gift of heaven, they will ultimately waste away in their own indulgences.

But enough talk for now. I know the reason for your engagement. Let us sit and enjoy a wonderful meal before beginning negotiations. Avatar you are most likely hungry from the many hours traveling the lands here. What would you prefer Human, elven or dark elven cuisine?”

Fade smiles, “Human food is fine, lieutenant.”

Berecus nods to a servant in attendance. The servant disappears down the hallway. He then moves his hand to the table. Lord Bel seats himself. Berecus leads Fade to the chair opposite of Bel and helps seat her like a gentleman. He then sits at the head of the table.

A servant pours wine for them. The wine is slightly spicy and semi-sweet. Looking around Fade comments, “I see you have many trophies upon the walls. What are their stories, Lord Berecus?”

Berecus sips from his goblet and smiles, “Often times mortals find themselves in Avernus. Some come to test their mettle against the baatazu. Others find this place through accident, another’s guile or other means. When I or my vassals find them, we either kill or capture them. The females I take for my own trophies. I take them as slaves and wear them down day by day, month by month taking my pleasure in them.

Eventually they give up their free will entirely to me. They become like dolls with vacant eyes acquiescing to my every whim. When that happens, they become boring to me, so I chain them prone to the bailey grounds, cover them with the maggots of the pits and watch as they cry out for days. The worms eat their flesh slowly in their hatred of the living. It is one last beautiful expression of pain and misery before the woman expires. Their eyes become alive and conscience again as they realize their doom.

When the worms have eaten them to the bone, I mount the more entertaining ones. So that I may remember them.”

Bel smiles and holds up his glass to Berecus, “A fitting end to those that would intrude where they do not belong.”

Fade simply sips her wine trying not to throw up what she has already consumed for she knows that her own evil pales in comparison to her lady’s vassal. Bel and Berecus toast. As the lord of the fortress drinks from his chalice he looks over at the avatar and smiles a knowing smile.

The servants bring in appetizers. There are clams in a half shell, smoky bacon wraps, a salmon salad and other gourmet hors d'oeuvres. Fade looks at the mount again behind lord Berecus. What is the story of the trophy behind you?”

He smiles, “Ah…... Now that is quite the tale, lady Avatar.

You see about 250 years ago; I found a young woman of the people walking just upriver from my keep. I detained her because normally Elder fey’ri travel in patrol groups of 6-10 when outside their cities. I found out her name Katsumi Silverbow of house Yuki and housed her in the citadel here for a few days. I was of course cordial with her until I found out why she was alone. I had my suspicions, but suspicion does not always necessarily follow fact.

A young samurai comes to the keep. I greet him and find out he’s missing a wife. Elder fey’ri of course consider wayward wives that leave their husbands criminals. The husband must go out find and kill her for her indiscretion of dishonoring him. I asked him her name, and what do you know it is the same woman that I have been having as a guest.

I knew it would be one of my only chances to test the will of one of the people’s women. After all their stamina, will and training are legendary. I made a proposal to him. I told him that I knew exactly where she was and would take care of it for him. I will willingly purchase her demise for something I could give him.

He looked incredulously at me then asked me, ‘Why?’

I said, ‘My dear, patriarch. We all have our interests. Mine is women. I enjoy breaking their spirit over time. I use them for my indulgences until they break. When they become useless, I discard them. She will never see the outside of my citadel the rest of her entertaining life.’

I could see that he wasn’t completely convinced and being the overlord of these lands added some incentive. I told him I would make a clone of her have its head removed so he can take back proof of her ending. He considered it a long time. I could see honor and greed competing within his eyes. I smiled when I saw that his greed starting to win over and waited. When he was ready, He simply said, ‘Agreed.’

I asked me what he wanted. He looked at me oddly; his eyes covering up his wants as if trying to hide what I have already seen. He said, ‘power.’

We shook hands sealing the deal. I became the proud owner of Katsumi Silverbow as my new slave. He got his power. In both a blessing and a curse. You see I gave him wisdom. A wisdom far greater than any other Elder Fey’ri would be born with for I know it would be both his salvation and his ultimate doom.

As far as Katsumi. Well, that is a story unto itself. I used and tortured her. Played every game and trick in my book to break her. She tried to commit suicide several times. I had to chain her to the bed most days and have a constant guard keep a close eye on her. Even invited them to use her when they felt like it. For decades I played my games with her. Her eyes never dulled. She never gave up. Always looking for a way to escape in one way or another. I wouldn’t let that happen. I am the one who decides when her end would come. I told her as much every week, every month, every year.

After a century she was still just as mean and ornery, just as dedicated to escape or suicide as the day she realized she had become my slave. I had given up, He smiles, almost given up and considered to make her a permanent concubine. I think that’s what did it. It was kindness. I became more kind……….more assumingly loving. Without realizing it I had found the way to break her. The torture stopped. All the games stopped though she would have to be chained to the bed when her revelry neared. I treated her like a lady. I was gracious and many a day she sat at my table beside me. That’s what finally broke her spirit.

I came into her bedroom one day and her spirit was gone. Not her soul, her relentless spirit. I had finally quelled it. She became just another doll. It was time.

Those few days as she lay there slowly being eaten; She never cried out. She never pleaded for mercy, begged me to finish her off or even moved in the pain of the discomfort of her struggles. When I would stand over her: She would just stare back at me with pure hatred and a need for revenge. I know what she was thinking, ‘If I find a way out of here, I will kill you in twisted ways you can’t even imagine.’

It was at that moment I knew she had been, and ever will be, the most beautiful woman I encounter in my lifetime. Thus, she is mounted behind the head of my table. Occasionally, I turn my chair around and dream of days gone by when my court was blessed with her noble presence.” Berecus turns his head to the mount and salutes the skeleton then turns back to his guests plopping a crab cake in his mouth.

As the main course is served Fade asks, “Who was the Samurai that made a deal with you. Lord Berecus?”
The Pit fiend smiles, “That lady Avatar was Circle member Kenshin Bellas of house Nis Mai. He eventually became the senior member of the circle and had to come here once a year to pay the peoples taxes. I would tell him stories of the things Katsumi and I did. How what a rare pearl she was.

I think he came to hate me, but Kenshin was loyal to our lady and his liege. I would always smile when I saw the anger in his eyes left unsaid. But alas, Ryuu or someone has disposed of Most Honorable Kenshin. I would believe in the end his gift became his demise.”

It’s Fade’s turn to smile, “I believe it did. You see I killed him myself after he gathered rebels together and fled the city. It seems he understood that the demise of the people was nigh. Kenshin made it to Anchorome and Lapis port. The city and continent that I will conquer and her ladyship willing the rest of Toril. Kenshin succumbed to a plant-based poison injected into his food. A poison I made myself. I made sure it was a languishing death.”

Surprised Lord Berecus dips his head, “It seems the lady of conquest has chosen her avatar well. I applaud you. Such a poetic way for the curse to show itself. I do love theater and what better theater than life itself.”
Bel interrupts the conversation, “Shall we get on with the business at hand, Lady Avatar?”

“Yes, Of course Lord Bel. The Elder Fey’ri now number less than a quarter million. They are a dying race. Glasya, Ruler of the sixths has temped some to believe that the only way they may save their race is to swear fealty to her and join her in her realm. She succors them with a glorious future which will never come to pass.

I and her ladyship wish to take the elder fey’ri and use them in one last glorious conquest of a continent of the prime that I am from and possibly the whole of that prime world. Unfortunately, due to the rules of engagement so to speak the people have a choice on whether to stay true to the lady or become Glasya’s vassals.

I have a portal set up in the city, however the new emperor will not allow anyone through. He is already Glasya’s minion and seeks to stack the deck in her favor. Knowing how Lord Bel just loves portals in his realms I came to him with a plan. After all, if she is going to cheat. I need a few cards up my sleeve.

Just remember through all this I need to seem the grand heroine that saves the people from their ultimate doom at the hands of Lord Bel.”

Berecus looks between the two of them, “Details?”

Lord Bel leads off with the tactical plan. The meeting starts in earnest.
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Winterhawk99
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Re: Resolution started.

Post by Winterhawk99 »

I'm halfway through chapter 1 and have 9500 words down on paper. This of course can be edited once I finish the manuscript.
I'll be away from July 7th until the 21rst due to working various shoots across the USA. Being that I am a gunsmith of fine competition over/unders and side x sides I am needed in the field for these weeks during the Grand American and the Cardinal Classic. I will be taking a legal pad and several pens to hand write more of this novel as time permits. hopefully during that time I will complete chapter 1 and move on to chapeter 2 or even chapter 3. It will depend upon how much time I have to myself to write :). Hopefully you my fans and customers will have a new novel within the next year to enjoy.
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http://www.harvestmoonconsortium.com
Chief cook and bottle washer for Harvest Moon

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