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Blade's Burden (Fan fic)

Blade's Burden (Fan fic)

Postby Mott » Fri May 14, 2010 5:53 am

(This story takes place shortly after the events in my first story, Strappado)

Blade's Burden

Lacnala walked swiftly down the corridor a few paces behind his Warden. Zhinta was setting a quick pace. The Templar could not see her face, but every fiber in her body vibrated with determination and fury. As they approached the door to Ill'haress Shimi'lande's chamber they saw a Warden from their order waiting. A young Templar stood near the wall of the corridor opposite the door. He was about five or six years Lacnala's junior. Shan'naal was his name.

“No men!” the warden sneered as she pointed over Zhinta's shoulder.

The two Wardens locked eyes in a stare what would send the Vloz'ress Ill'haress scurrying for cover. They held this contest of wills for several long, antagonizing seconds. Finally Zhinta looked over her shoulder.

“Wait for me Lac.”

The two women entered into Shimi'lande's presence. The door closed behind them. The Templars relaxed and leaned against the wall. Lacnala stood head and shoulders above the younger Templar. After a brief silence Shan'naal finally spoke.

“I'm glad to be left out of that fire storm.”

“Same here.”

“Any idea what this is about?”

“Zhinta has this wild idea about finding a cure for the tainting. . . . one that does not involve killing the tainted.”

Shan pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes. “That would be a problem,” he said.

“You're Chirinde's Blade aren't you?”


“I guess Shimi'lande wanted at least one warden on her side.”

“I guess so,” Shan chuckled. He figured this would be a good time to change the subject. “How is your leg?”


“And you're shoulder.”

“The same.”

“You need to be more careful.”

“It is the Blade's privilege to protect his Warden. Being the physical shield is easy. Now if we could only protect them from politics.”

“True enough,” Shan chuckled.

“I understand you have just come back from the overworld,” Lacnala said, changing the subject.

“Yep, we were traveling with the Shargress heir for a while.”

“Did you end up seeing Judicator Lioshi?”

“Yes, you know about him?.”

“A year before I entered school I accompanied my sister on that quest.”

“She's considerably older than you isn't she?”

“Yeah, I think she chose me to try to keep Shimi'lande from sending her on the quest.”

“The two of you Standing under the moon waiting for a revelation. People would think you were her son.”

“Wait! Shimi'lande told you to STAND under the moon and wait for a revelation?”

“Of course, what did she have your sister do?”

Lacnala closed his eyes and shivered as the events of that night flooded his memory. “I'd rather not think about it,” he said and tried to think of a way to change the conversation.

“I hear you had an Illhar'dro girl traveling with you.”

“Ooooh yes,” Shan replied with a slight tone of embarrassment in his voice.

“I also hear she was quite smitten with you. Chirinde doesn't mind sharing?” Lacnala said teasingly.

“Does your's mind sharing?”

“I supposed no warden wants to. But look at it his way, you only need seven more to collect the whole set.”

“I can think of three clans that might be a problem.”

“Well there are a few Jaal'darya who are looking for one night of passion. I suppose you could try counting on that.”

“I couldn't see us becoming bosom buddies.”

“Well, not without her changing your bosom.”

“Heh! Along with a few other choice body parts best left the way the goddess made them, hardly worth the effort.”

“I suppose the Sharen could be a problem, being all stuck up and such, but you have to admit, a Vloz'ress girl would be one wild party.”

After a brief silence they both started chuckling. Suddenly the door to the meeting room slammed open.

“FINE! I'LL DO IT MYSELF WITHOUT YOUR HELP!” Zhinta screamed as she charged through the door and started down the corridor.

“OUR JUDICATOR SHALL HEAR OF THIS!” the other warden screamed as she stormed out behind Zhinta. She shot Lacnala a look that would melt stone. She marched off in the opposite direction.

“ZHINTA! DON'T YOU DARE DISRESPECT OUR ILL'HARRIS LIKE THIS! YOU COME BACK HERE!” screamed Chirinde as she exited the room and started after the fleeing warden. Zhinta did not look back but simply made a rude gesture over her shoulder and kept walking.

“Oh!” Chirinde exclaimed as she stopped, balled her hands in tight fists and stomped on the floor. She looked at the two Templars.

“Shan'naal! Come!” she commanded as she stormed after Zhinta.

Shan looked at Lacnala with the “when my Warden calls” look on his face and fell in behind Chirinde.

Lacnala glanced through the open door and saw Shimi'lande standing in the room a few feet in and looking out at him. She beckoned Lacnala to enter, then turned and walked out of sight. He crossed the corridor and entered the room. He looked around as he entered. The Kyorl'solenurn Ill'haress was walking toward her throne. She looked straight ahead.

“Close the door behind you,” she said before turning around and sitting down.

The Templar closed the door. He walked across the room and stood before his Ill'haress. He bowed his head and touched the tip of his right index finger to the symbol of his order on his forehead.

“May your wisdom shine upon us all,” Lacnala said.

“Thank you, though I'm afraid Zhinta thinks little of my wisdom,” Shimi'lande said with a touch of sadness in her voice. “Do you know why this meeting was called?”

“Zhinta has been searching our libraries to find anything on the subject of removing the seed from the tainted soul without harming the person. She's been trying to convince others to join her. It is not something many in our order look upon with favor.”

“Quite true. Her arguments show compassion for those that did not choose their taint. 'No one wants to die' was a constant refrain throughout her presentation. Her theory combines approaches in new and exciting ways.” Shimi'lande paused for what seemed to the young Templar an eternity. Finally she spoke. “She wanted the Blades present in this meeting as well. I think she hoped to sway some to her side. What do you say?”

“It is written 'Where dragons fight the mushrooms are trampled.'

“It is good to see that the young are learning our proverbs, and not many bother to learn them in our ancient language. While I understand your wish to stay out of politics, you are also Zhinta's Blade. I must know where your loyalties lie.”

“I am her Blade. I am her point in the battle against the darkness. I am her shield against the attacks of our enemies. I am her companion. I am her friend. Even if her quest is a waste of time, do not ask me to abandon her. If necessary I will go into exile with her.”

“I am glad to hear this. I did not want to order anyone to follow her on this quest. But as you are willing to go with her it makes my job easier.”

“My Ill'harres?”

“I don't know if she will succeed, nor how long it will take if she does. She will be leaving the safety and the resources of the clan. She will need someone she trusts to to work with her and I will need someone to keep me informed on her progress and what resources she needs. It would be best if those two were the same person. That is why I need you.”

“You want me to spy on Zhinta?'

“No, I want you to help her in her search for a cure. She will need materials she cannot find, rare texts which will be difficult to locate. From time to time my agents will contact you. Let them know her needs and I will do what I can to meet them.”

“But if Zhinta stayed in the clan would not those resources be at her fingertips?”

“If she stays she would be lead down the same old paths others before her have walked. Those paths are dead ends. She would be surrounded by those who would do all they could to obstruct her progress. A people that has already found the answer does not search for another one.”

“And how will I know someone is your agent?”

“Take this ring. Keep it with you always. Read the aura in the stone in the setting. It is mine. By that aura and the design carved in the setting you will know my agents, for they shall carry the same.

“Her search may take her to the sun lands. If so she will no doubt learn the secrete of our origin. When she does take her to see Lioshi. He should be able to help her with her quest.”

“So, I take it the revelation will come as it did to your daughter, standing under the full moon?”

A puzzled look crossed Shimi'lande's face. “But that is how the quest is . . .” Shimi'lande stopped, bowed her head and covered her face with the palm of her right hand. “Oh no! I told your sister to dance naked in the moon light until the revelation from the goddess came.”

Shimi'lande looked up. She blushed with embarrassment. “In my defense the Ill'haress of the Kyorl'solenurn clan often takes out her frustrations on her most difficult Wardens. I suppose that explains that suggestion from Lioshi that the moon quest be held in the courtyard beneath his balcony.”

Lacnala did his best to suppress a chuckle.

“Well if there are no more questions I guess we should be getting you on your way,” Shimi'lande said as she rose from her throne. “In that closet you will fine two traveling packs ready to go. If Zhinta asks where you were you can say you were making preparations for the journey.”

“There is more truth in that statement than she would believe.” Lacnala smiled as he shouldered one pack and carried the other by the straps. “Well I suppose it's off to exile.”

“Don't be worried about that happening. Though I have no doubt your names will be removed from the roll of your order, there are other orders more sympathetic to my wishes. I will find some place to keep your names active. Do keep her safe Lacnala.”

“Such is the burden of every Blade,” he said as he started toward the door. “One we gladly bear.”
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