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Fanfic: What ever happened to Nasfors?

Postby Nasfors on Sat May 24, 2014 8:22 pm

It was like a dream come true, and a nightmare of the worst sort, all rolled into one.
In the distance lay a walled city, by itself unremarkable. What set this city apart was the banner hanging atop the gate. It bore the symbol of the Tei’kaliath. It was once his symbol too; he had followed when the last, youngest daughter rallied those few who escaped Shifaye’sindil, the city of their ancestors. An’jhali. For his part, Nasfors felt she had saved his life. He was all but burned to death when several exiles in her party carried him along for the journey that led them to Chel. Ever since that day, every single exile had dreamt of the day they might see home once again.
Now his path had intersected with theirs once more. At the worst possible moment, in the worst possible circumstances. Nasfors was a slave now; a slave of the very enemy that had conquered his homeland, killed the lady he guarded, left him for dead, and periodically pursued his leader and his people since. They were called the Black Sun. On the field in front of him were their armies, arrayed for battle against the city. He was behind them this time, however. He had been assigned to the baggage train. If only he could avoid watching this a second time in his life. Oh, to be dead instead. O Death, bereft of your victory, yet still so bitter.
Just then, Nasfors was startled from his despairing by a clear, sharp blast from a horn atop the city walls. And the gates opened! Out from the gate issued dozens, rank after rank of warriors, heavily armored with their blades shining in the moonlight. In support, humans, dvergar, hunters, ferals, engineers, and a contingent of Nal’sarkoth. A thoroughly diverse host nearly as vast as the one to which he was enslaved. How was this possible? If only it were true! To see An'jhali's forces win this day would be a dream beyond the wildest of false hopes! But it was true, no one would fly that banner but his people. Was the impossible possible? Would the city hold against their nemesis, the Black Sun? Dream, turned to nightmare, turned to unbelievable dream.
And then the dream became even more dreamy. From the ranks of the Tei'kaliath arrayed before the city came one, a single well dressed female, striding out ahead of the army. At her side a second, larger, with a more warlike and less majestic appearance, dressed in power as though it were a garment. Nasfors knew them, and wanted to shout for joy and weep all at once. It was the Lady An'jhali herself, with Taruna at her back. They came within earshot of the host he served, and met face to face with their opposite number as if to parley.
Then his thrice impossible dream beyond a dream spoke, loud and bold enough for the whole of the besieging army to hear. "Welcome to my city. I have not come to parley, but thought it good to tell you this: This day belongs to the Tei'kaliath! Not one of you shall be spared, so do not trouble any of my warriors with attempts to surrender. You shall die this day on this field at the hands of those whom you left for dead; the rejects, the refuse, the weak among my mother's people. It is at their hands that you shall be utterly annihilated today, a fitting punishment for your crimes. Thank you for coming."
Last edited by Nasfors on Sat May 24, 2014 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 1924
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Re: Fanfic: What ever happened to Nasfors?

Postby Nasfors on Sat May 24, 2014 8:22 pm

As the Ill'haress turned to rejoin her host, her kin erupted in shouting. They were truly as ready for battle as their leader. How strong she had become! How confident, now grown into the leader all knew she could be! The battle joined a few minutes later. The Tei'kaliath were improved far beyond the slave’s memory. Golems, dragons, cannon, an airship, and far greater mastery of mana than ever. All these things they blended with their ancient martial art, Tir'ay, complimenting it to deadly effect. Victory for them was not instantaneous, nor cheap, but inevitable as the sunset. The two sides seemed as though to be even at first, but it was on the Sun’s right flank the slave's eyes were drawn. That old friend, that familiar face, Taruna, a dervish of destruction. She led the Tei'kaliath left, and was easily worth ten warriors among the Black Sun. The right began to fail, the center became hard-pressed, and soon those on the Black Sun left found themselves surrounded. They were cut down to the last, and true to An'jhali's word not one escaped.
Nasfors and the other slaves just stood there, knowing they could not flee, expecting that their new masters would soon set them to work cleaning the field. That order came right on cue, delivered by some leader of ten Nasfors didn't know. They all set to work, but before Nasfors worked up a sweat, he felt a blade against his neck. "You. I know you. Stand up!" commanded a familiar voice.
Nasfors complied carefully, and did not turn.
"Your skin is like mine under all those burns. What is your name?"
Nasfors turned to face Taruna without a word, with a great deal of sadness in his eyes. She recognized him at last.
"I don't believe it- a slave to the Black Sun? Nasfors! How did this happen?!” Her blade found its place. He wanted to tell her, he wanted nothing else at all, but words were not given him. And so he pointed to his mouth and shook his head. "You can't speak?" A nod, to which she had no response. Quickly Taruna changed the subject. "We beat them! Did you see it? Our home is safe and free of them at last! By the moons, I haven't seen you since..."
Oh no, she went there. "Ther'avare. We had just beaten back the Dvara'ka, before we found and destroyed them. That's it! But... you weren't there for that. Where did you go, Nasfors? Shiir never said anything, but I think he never quite stopped waiting for you to return." Still, no words. "We couldn't spare anyone. Where did you go?" The blood-soaked warrior's tone changed. "Is it that you can't answer me, or that you won't? No one worked up the courage to tell An'jhali you were gone, you know. Everybody was glad when she never asked, but you know as well as I do that she noticed. It was hard not to notice that people stopped getting punched around her."
Nasfors sighed as he let himself imagine all that he had left behind. Suddenly and unexpectedly words were given. "You did well today. All of you. Placing the golems on the right and the Ill'haress in the center drew their eye away from your true strength on the left; the hammer to crush them against the anvil. An'jhali has grown strong indeed."
She never told whether it was intentional, or whether she forgot that she was wearing gauntlets. When she backhanded her former comrade, she hit him so hard that his feet lifted from the ground. At least his years of Tir'ay granted him a soft landing. "So you can speak! And so full of treachery, as though you were present at our war council. Give me one reason your life should be spared!" Her blade returned to his neck as he stared up at the sky motionless.
"Perhaps I was taken that I might be returned to you better. Either way, you know that it is Lady An'jhali who shall judge."
Taruna hissed as her blade was put away. Without delay she raised her voice to the nearest warrior, "You, take this one to the dungeon and keep him there."
A nod. "Warmistress. Did not the Lady command no prisoners?" Her tone made the inquiry sufficiently respectful.
"He isn't Black Sun."
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Re: Fanfic: What ever happened to Nasfors?

Postby Nasfors on Sat May 24, 2014 8:23 pm

It was hours later with sounds of revelry outside before Nasfors was awoken by his captor. "Just heard the door. What did you do to piss her off, anyways?" Nasfors was unable to answer, and once Taruna made it down the hallway she addressed the guard.
"Go and celebrate with the others. He give you any trouble, or say anything?"
"No ma'am."
"Should be fine, then."
Taruna waited until the sounds of the warrior's exit were a memory. She opened the door and stepped into the cell. "Ready to answer my questions yet?"
"No one knows you are here, I'm not obligated to show you to the Lady. Speak up.” Taruna found herself a seat using the wall as her chair.
Nasfors had to rebuke himself for his annoyance at the continued lack of words to speak. Finally he opened his mouth and showed Taruna that his tongue had been removed. He made an attempt at speaking "wish I could" and garbled it as badly as could be expected.
"Eww. I should have taken your word for it. But how was it that you spoke so clearly on the field, then?"
Right on cue the words arrived. "I am given words to speak at the will of the One who sent me. The decision is not mine."
“Hah! Your master is dead, we left none alive."
"For the Black Sun I was enslaved to carry burdens, but the words I speak are the messages of another."
Taruna thought for a moment, fancying his words to be some sort of riddle. "What does the one who sent you have to say, then, about where you've been?"
"My Lord gave you your answer on the field. Perhaps He will give a different answer to a different inquirer. Perhaps He is waiting patiently for me to not want so badly to tell you." The slave seemed to laugh at himself as though he didn't know the answer until he heard it.
"I think you've lost your mind, Nasfors. I do not think I have ever heard anything so ridiculous in all my life. You have no lord, you have a lady, the Lady An'jhali. A sovereign male? How ridiculous. Have you been spending time with humans? Ridiculous," she repeated, clearly enjoying the word.
The door down the hallway sprang open, and running feet were heard. Taruna stood quickly as though expecting an enemy.
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Re: Fanfic: What ever happened to Nasfors?

Postby Nasfors on Sat May 24, 2014 8:24 pm

"Taruna! There you are. Elif is looking for you. An'jhali is cross that the party began without you. Save us from her wrath!" The warrior finally arrived in view of the prisoner, who was smiling at the humorous, tipsy plea to his captor. "Oh hello, I didn't know you kept a male in the dungeon."
"He is a prisoner of today's battle" Taruna spoke reflexively.
"That's funny! We didn't take any prisoners! I will go tell Elif you've got a surprise for her!"
"Oh no, that isn't- get back here you rotten-!" Taruna gave chase, but turned back to close the cell door, and in turn realized she would not overtake her foe. She turned to Nasfors again. "You're not going to tell Elif we were-"
"That would not be pleasing to the One who sent me."
"Good." The female collected herself for a moment. "None of what you've said excuses what you've done."
"I abandoned the Lady, the clan, and you. It is my hope that you may one day forgive me."
Taruna seemed startled. "What? How can you think this can be that easy? Do you know what we- what I- went through because of you? Ther'avare fell Nasfors! We needed you!"
"I have no defense. Nevertheless, I must appear before Lady An'jhali."
"Not until I am satisfied."
Nasfors looked at her for a moment before he responded. "What satisfaction do you seek, Taruna?"
Leaning her head against the bars, the warmistress seemed to stew. She was reviewing all the wrongs visited upon the clan by the negligence of this cowardly traitor. Right as she seemed to decide upon separating his head from his body, the door down the long hallway opened again.
"There you are! I've been waiting for you at the party. What is this surprise?"
"Elif! It isn't what you think. You're right we should go celebrate with the others-"
"Oh not going to show me now eh?" Nasfors watched as the might of Taruna was overcome by the soft motion of Elif, who slipped around her lover's useless attempt to block the hallway. Elif then gasped, startled. "You're-"
"Nasfors" Taruna finished. "Found him working for the Black Sun today, when the party is over we'll need to deal with him for his treason."
"If he was fighting for them, why is he in the dungeon?"
"He wasn't fighting exactly..."
"Then why is he locked up? What has he done?"
Taruna set her feet, stirring up a firmer bearing for the first time since Elif appeared. "He abandoned us back in Ther'avare. He must answer for it."
"Has anyone else been put on trial for wandering off?"
"That isn't the point. He was a warrior. There is a higher standard of loyalty for him."
"When did An'jhali say that?"
"Don't you see, Elif? He left the very day we marched to war! There is no greater failure of duty for a warrior! This cannot be allowed!"
"Shhh." Elif placed her hand on Taruna's lips. "Come to the party. I will ask An'jhali what she wants to do with him. This is a day for rejoicing, not for the pain of our past."
Taruna was bending, but then she turned her gaze against Nasfors. "You. Have you any honor left?"
The prisoner stood.
"Good. I will have you meet me in combat. The victor shall judge between us. Prove that you seek my forgiveness and accept. What is your answer?!”
Nasfors nodded, and Elif made a sound of exasperation. "You didn't need to agree to that!" she began trying to figure out a way to get An'jhali to intervene, but was not coming up with anything.
"Choose our weapons, traitor" Taruna commanded.
Much to her annoyance and Elif's confusion, Nasfors signed for something to write with and scrawled "Squads. Five warriors, one scout. We will fight one another with squads."
Taruna snorted. "That might be the only weapon you can still wield."
"Come Taruna" Elif called as she turned to leave. The warrior followed without a word.
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Re: Fanfic: What ever happened to Nasfors?

Postby Nasfors on Sat May 24, 2014 8:25 pm

"I don't see why I should put a stop to a simple duel. We have long held them, and often” the Ill’haress addressed her right hand with her arms crossed.
Elif voiced protest, ”Milady, Taruna means to kill him!"
An'jhali frowned and looked down at the ten warriors, two scouts, and two combatants below her. "She would not do that before I spoke with him, would she? Nevertheless, he accepted her challenge. This was his decision. If you believe she means him harm, be ready to stop his bleeding."

"You look like dung" Meck commented to his squad leader of the day. Meck was an old friend of Nasfors, and was a male of even fewer words. He kept his opinion on the 'desertion' to himself.
Nasfors nodded as if accepting a compliment, and faced his scout. He wrote a question for her. Are you fast?
"Faster than anyone they've got, boss."
Good. Nasfors motioned the squad close to draw out his plan.
"You're crazy, boss" the scout commented.
"We'll get it done. See you there" Meck said as he headed into the portion of forest where the match would take place.

"Do they look ready to you?" An'jhali asked the male next to her.
"Blow your horn, please" she commanded another. “And bring us a bit lower.”

The horn sounded. Taruna led her squad to the right through the trees, keeping an eye on her scout who was traveling via the branches above. It was only a few minutes of sneaking through foliage before the scout pointed, and Taruna stopped her squad. "That is his scout. We follow her, and she will lead us to them. Follow me." They gave chase, and the spotted scout dropped from her perch and ran.

"I suppose taking out his eyes is not a bad opening move" commented the Ill'haress from her airship.
"They cannot catch her, and they know it" Badai countered.
She looked back at him momentarily. "I doubt she will lead them to Nasfors, though. If she were to lead them into an ambush, Taruna’s side has the advantage in arms. So to where will she run? I remembered him smarter than this."

Without any real path or road, describing the direction the scout ran was a futile exercise, so Taruna's squad simply followed. Next, the prey ducked one fallen tree, hurdled the next, and dashed across the river via an unfamiliar rope bridge. Taruna was the first to cross behind her, and the last. The rope bridge was cut from below, sending her squad tumbling into the water, but she hardly cared. Right in front of her stood Nasfors, all alone save for the scout who stopped running when she reached him.
"Why are we fighting with squads if you wanted single combat?" Taruna shouted at her opponent.
The scout was handed a folded piece of paper, and she opened it. "The slave bids me to tell you this: Your squad is defeated. My squad has not lost a sword and in no more than two minutes they will be across the river. I have only to withstand you until they arrive, old friend" the scout retreated a few steps to watch with the parting comment, "you're crazy boss."
Taruna drew her second blade. Nasfors then drew the blade on his side. It was the first time he had held a sword since he fought beside the watchtower outside of Ther'avare. He took a very uncharacteristic two-handed grip, and then a deep breath. Taruna charged.
Even thirty seconds seems like an eternity when you are outmatched, and he was. Despite using both hands, he could not block any of Taruna's strikes, and so he began to move and parry as his only defense. Not even once was he given an opening to strike at the female attacking him, and there was no way he could prevail.

“Mama, who is fighting Taruna?” asked a young voice far above in the airship.

"The warriors are coming boss" the scout reported, almost unheard over the battle. Nasfors retained no dignity, weakened as he was by years as a slave and faced with Taruna at the very pinnacle of her strength. Their match continued until they were surrounded by his five warriors, who took their positions virtually unnoticed.
Taruna glanced about, calculating her peril, then put her blades away.

“His name is Nasfors, sweetie” was the loving reply.
“His name is silly!”
“Yes, mommy thinks so too” An’jhali grinned.
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Re: Fanfic: What ever happened to Nasfors?

Postby Nasfors on Sat May 24, 2014 8:26 pm

"This only proves what I have said. No one in the clan was Shiir's equal as a tactician, no one but you. And you might be even better. Why did you abandon us?! You may have even defeated the Black Sun attack! And the clan, you know how they were then. Divided, seeking their families' profit instead of the clan's. You were a voice of reason, one we needed desperately! How could you have done this? Why was warmaster thrust upon me when it was yours to bear?" she ended in a firm, quiet tone, and her every word served to deflate her anger, the hurt of years past finally released. Five dry and five dripping warriors now stood about their defeated leader as she slowly came to terms with the reappearance of the scrawny, scarred male before her.
It was an empty possibility, both knew. Nasfors had made far too many enemies, the greatest of which was Ka’taliyn. He would never have been accepted as the next warmaster. Perhaps Shiir might have served longer, but either way Nasfors would have done no better than to be second in command.

In the sky above, tears filled the eyes of another female. Though her back was to her companions, one of them knew somehow. He drew near and whispered, “great leaders do not concern themselves with ‘what ifs.’”
The clenching of her fists relaxed, and An’jhali took a breath. “Yes, you are right. Thank you for the reminder. I believe it is time to speak with… NO! What is he doing?!”

Nasfors placed the tip of his blade on his neck and offered the hilt to Taruna. “Yesterday is lost to us. We cannot allow any division within the clan. Take my life or grant forgiveness, but choose quickly. An’jhali will not permit you a second opportunity.”
“You asked for it.” Taruna took the blade and with a blow mighty enough to fell a tree, sliced a tiny cut on his neck. “Nasfors died the day the Black Sun invaded. I never took the life of a slave and definitely will not after you... won an honorable fight.”
The former Nasfors exhaled, relieved.
The warmistress shook her head. “Besides, my chance has already passed. The moment you won, the choice passed to her. Straighten up, she is coming.”
The slave put his sword away, then took off his sword belt. Wrapping the scabbard with the belt, he handed it to Meck. “Smooth” commented the red-haired warrior, to which his former squad mate made no response.
Nasfors and Taruna walked side by side on their way to meet An’jhali. Taruna seized the opportunity presented. “I missed you” she admitted confidingly.
Even if he still had his tongue, to this he had no response. There was not a feeling like it that he could remember.
As they turned the last corner on their way, the slave collided with An’jhali, who was rushing ahead of her entourage to meet them. He got the worst of it, ending up on the ground. She rubbed her chin gingerly.
Looking down at him appraisingly, she observed “you are smaller than I remember you.”
“My Lady’s eyes are correct,” Taruna responded helpfully, “he is far smaller than on the day that he left us.”
Desiring much to ensure no one was harmed, An’jhali questioned “where is the blade he was carrying?”
Meck held it up. Taruna gave an introduction. “Nasfors died when Ther’avare fell. This prisoner is yours to judge, my lady.”
“Oh… good then. I wondered what that was about.” Finally the riddle of his turning his blade on himself was answered to her satisfaction. “Well, are you going to sit on the ground all day?”
He was still in shock. He had sparred with An’jhali in Ther'avare, and never had there been such a disparity of strength. In fact, he had been the stronger. He surely would be of no use to her as a bodyguard now. The slave moved finally, and put his face on the ground at her feet.
“Are these the actions of a traitor?” his Ill’haress asked everyone present, checking each face for a response. Taruna was biting her lip to avoid smiling.
“These are the actions of a traitor who repents, my lady.” The former Nasfors did not look up as he spoke.
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Re: Fanfic: What ever happened to Nasfors?

Postby Nasfors on Sat May 24, 2014 8:26 pm

“Elif, I thought you told me that his tongue was removed and that he could not speak.”
“Yes, all of that is true” Elif reported. “But it sounds like his voice.”
Taruna spoke up next, “Lady, I don’t understand how it works, but he is occasionally ‘given words to speak.’ That is how he has described it to me.”
“Given?” An’jhali pondered for a moment. “Stand please, prisoner. Oh! That will never do. Your name shall be… Tluth’tar, most grievously wounded by fire among my people. Now tell me, since you are given words, there is a giver. Who gives you your words?”
“I have learned no name for Him. His name He has not given me.”
“A male? How curious. What does he say about himself?”
With audible reverence, the badly burned male replied, “He has created all things, and to Him they belong. He determines the rise and fall of nations. In Him there is no evil or blemish, and it is to Him that all shall one day give account for their deeds, whether good or evil.”
“You speak of a male deity? I have never heard of one. What do you say about him, then? Will he grant you words to speak for yourself?”
Words were granted. “I suspect He is a deity known to the humans. He did not reveal himself to any fae until He did to me.”
An’jhali probed further. “Why not?”
“To each living thing is given gifts. To us, mana was given, and the arts, and countless other good things. We do not believe anything good came to the humans… but perhaps we are wrong. I think He is especially fond of them, and this is why He has only shown Himself to them. Think of it! We see no value in them, or anything they possess, but He gives them Himself instead of all that we have.”
“Then why does he give words to you?” she asked skeptically.
“He wishes good things for us, and not harm. He has given me a message for you, Ill’haress An’jhali Tei’kaliath” he finished with a bow.
“I do not know him. You, I once knew. I would hear of where you’ve been first.”
After hesitating, Tluth’tar accosted the scout, ignoring her protests, to procure the paper he had given her earlier. I will need more paper for this, Ill’haress he wrote.
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Re: Fanfic: What ever happened to Nasfors?

Postby Nasfors on Sat May 24, 2014 8:27 pm

It was the one hundred and first day since we had arrived in Ther’avare, two and a half months since I had joined the warriors. The Dvara’ka fell upon us without warning. In the desperate battle than ensued, I led my squad and a second in retaking the watchtower we had built on the Chelian edge of our cavern. We pursued them into the city, fighting a few minor skirmishes to no effect before we returned. My zeal for revenge, and for our clan, was surpassed by none. It took Shiir’s level head to restrain me from killing those few whom we had taken alive. So affronted by this attack upon our settlement, the clan spoke with a rare unanimity, we would go to war.
The moment of clarity was not to last, however. As it always had, the clan descended into petty squabbles and divisions about how to go about our task. You, Lady An’jhali, carried this weight in your countenance, and it served to fuel the fiery rage I bore to new heights. Only our clan could mess this up, and it looked as though we were trying our hardest to do it. The warriors lost themselves in their training, trying not to notice the politics that daily weakened your resolve. I was now convinced beyond all doubt; we were more dangerous to our own survival than the Dvara'ka ever could be.
If it were only the political turmoil, I might have endured it. I had issues of a more personal nature at the same time. You remember well the falling-out between Shiir and Tali; I was at the center of it, trying to remain friends with both of them, and through my bumbling I alienated Tali. She had been my tutor among the warriors, and my first friend in Ther’avare. Though she found a new place as our Mana Specialist, our friendship was never recovered. You may recall I had a lover, Serielle. The flame we had had grown cold before Ther’avare was attacked, a casualty of my nearly tireless efforts to persuade, coerce, and otherwise affect better decision-making within the clan by sheer force of personality. You may recall the words I spoke and things I did, Lady, and how forceful and zealous I was to advance the clan. Your safety and the clan’s survival consumed me, and though I made a few new friends, I lost more. Jan’telle despised me, and I think all of the overseers did too. I could name all those whom I wronged along the way, but it would only serve as a waste of your generously offered time and writing materials after this many years.
Last but not least were the many members of the clan younger than I, who did not listen to the words of their elders. They deemed themselves wise and disregarded my reasoning, often ignoring me entirely, despite events that time and again proved me right. ‘I told you so’ has no good effect on a person, and it only made me more stubborn and easier to detest. Now they had a reason not to listen, one that I continuously made more compelling by my deeds.
And so, even I was to blame for the impending capitulation of the clan. Knowing the right answer is useless if you can only make it disagreeable to your peers. I could not bear to see you harmed, Ill’haress, not after the pain preceding the exile. I had come to the conclusion that the clan was bent on its own destruction, bent on getting you killed. So on the eve of battle I took a walk, leaving all of my gear behind.
I did not know where I was going; it was not travel, just movement. There was nothing in Ther’avare that did not remind me of our doom, so I went outside. There, on the empty rock, I sat. I did not even want a solution at this point, my direction had turned within me, and out of a weird sense of self-preservation I ceased to care what happened to the clan because I believed I could never handle what was about to take place.
Just then, the strangest thing happened. The cavern seemed to light up, with a light so bright and so far beyond any light I had ever seen that I buried my face against the ground to escape it. I could neither move, nor speak, nor think; only tremble. And then a still, small voice spoke. “Go into the city. Someone will meet you there.” I call it still and small because it was, and yet the words seemed to shake my bones themselves as the beating of a drum might.
The light was gone. I got up and walked. I’m still not sure in what part of Chel I ended up. In an alley, hungry and tired, I sat down to think. I didn’t get any thinking done, though. A human male, elderly by their estimation, gave me a scroll. “I was sent to give you this” said he. Though I am certain he did not know our language, his speech was perfect. When I looked up from the scroll to question him, he was gone.

I know what you must be thinking. This former warrior of mine is as crazy as can be. He must want me to execute him, for telling me these ridiculous tales when I have asked where he went. I must beg your indulgence Lady An’jhali, for if I stop the tale at this point, your precious time will have been forever wasted on this matter, and the many trials I have endured waiting to see you again be for nothing. Please permit me to finish, that I might attempt, even if unsuccessfully, to repay you for delivering my life.
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Re: Fanfic: What ever happened to Nasfors?

Postby Nasfors on Sat May 24, 2014 8:29 pm

An’jhali Tei’kaliath sat reclined on a luxurious couch, reading the most recent page of Tluth’tar’s composition. Across the room, he was in a writing frenzy. As each page was completed, a young attendant carried it dutifully to her Lady. At the end of the page, the Ill’haress spoke.
“Tluth’tar, do you mean to tell me that debate within the clan during this period was so ineffective that you lost hope, and the will to fight for me?”
The writer put down the borrowed pen and rubbed his hand, responding with a nod.
“I suppose it was so. I have not thought about those days for a long time. Still, I feel as Taruna does, you were not one whom I ever imagined would leave us. It appears to me that you were overpowered by your own sense of duty. Your actions were indeed treason, but I will make allowance for the mitigating circumstances. I never told you what your efforts beforehand meant to me, and I think now that I never will.”

My Lady is merciful, but still her sentence crushes me. Back to the alley, then.
Left with nothing to do but look at the scroll, I began to read. Not surprisingly, it was written in our language, now the fourth unlikely circumstance of the evening. I had opened to a random text, and this is what I read:

Your country lies desolate;
your cities are burned with fire;
in your very presence
foreigners devour your land;
you are utterly overthrown.

Though this cannot have been written to us originally, Lady, you see as clearly as I how well it applies to our clan. With this one sentence I was hooked, and though I cannot record for you everything that I found within that scroll, here are some that have remained with me to this day:

Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
and shrewd in their own sight!
Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,
who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
and deprive the innocent of justice!

Woe to the bloody city,
all full of lies and plunder—
streets littered with the slain,
heaps of corpses,
dead bodies without end—
they stumble over the bodies!
Behold, I am against you,
declares the Creator,
and will lift up your skirts over your face;
and I will make nations look at your nakedness.
I will make you a spectacle.
And all who look at you will shrink from you and say,
“Wasted is our city; who will grieve for her?”
Where shall I seek comforters for you?

The Creator is avenging and wrathful.
The Creator is slow to anger and great in power,
and the Creator will by no means clear the guilty.
His way is in whirlwind and storm,
and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
He rebukes the sea and makes it dry.
The gardens wither.
The mountains quake and heave before him;
the world and all who dwell in it.
Who can stand before his indignation?
Who can endure the heat of his anger?
His wrath is poured out like fire,
and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.
Your Creator is good,
a stronghold in the day of trouble;
he knows those who take refuge in him.
But with an overflowing flood
he will make a complete end of the adversaries,
and will pursue his enemies into darkness.
What do you plot against the Creator?
He will make a complete end;
trouble will not rise up a second time.
Posts: 1924
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:19 pm
Clan: Tei'kaliath

Re: Fanfic: What ever happened to Nasfors?

Postby Nasfors on Sat May 24, 2014 8:30 pm

Is it not true my Lady, that destruction came upon our ancestral home due to our wickedness? For why should we draw the blood of our sisters? It is due to our deeds that so few of us are left! As humiliating as our survival has been, is it any more than we deserve? Who is it that commits robbery or murder, and can accuse those who arrest of injustice? With these words on the scroll in my hands, I was assured of my own depravity, that of our clan, and that of Chel as a whole. Now I knew a truth that could never be taken from me; though we were doomed to destruction, it was all of our own doing. Oh, how I wanted to be drunk, to forget it all! But the words were plain, drunkenness was yet one more form of iniquity, I could never find solace in it. I wanted to run, but where could I hide? To flee the city was as much a death sentence as to stay. Was there any hope at all?
I despaired for what seemed an eternity, and dropped the scroll. It opened to a passage that I had not yet read.

Your new moons and your appointed feasts
my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me.
Even though you make many prayers,
I will not listen;
your hands are full of blood.
Wash yourselves;
remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
learn to do good;
seek justice,
correct oppression;
bring justice to those who are defenseless,
plead the cause of the weak.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Creator:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow.
If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land;
but if you refuse and rebel,
you shall be eaten by the sword;
for the mouth of the Creator has spoken.”

If I am willing? I am able to be saved? It seemed as though turning away from wickedness was the requirement, the solution to my riddle!

Let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Creator, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, declares the Creator.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways.

But what good is it, thought I, that I should be spared alone? Surely I should die of mana deprivation, and it was clear to me that selfish ambition was also against this deity regardless. Would others, hearing these words, turn and be saved? A message of repentance sounded to me like one the people would not hear, for the Kyorl'solenurn had broken this drum from beating too often and too hard. They care not for those to whom they speak, but seek to coerce obedience. I made my way to the high city, where Vals might likely be gathered, and called out. I was desperate that even one might forsake wickedness and the impending destruction, not of enemies but that of a deity, whom we could not escape.
Posts: 1924
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:19 pm
Clan: Tei'kaliath

Re: Fanfic: What ever happened to Nasfors?

Postby Nasfors on Sat May 24, 2014 8:32 pm

“Your shepherds are asleep, O queen of dragons; your vals slumber. Your people are scattered abroad with none to gather them. There is no easing your pain; your wound is grievous. All who hear the news about you celebrate your downfall. For upon whom has not come your unceasing evil?

“Behold, I am against you, declares the Creator, and I will burn your golems in smoke, and the sword shall devour your warriors. I will bring you to starvation, and the voice of your messengers shall no longer be heard.

“Repent, repent and utterly turn your back on doing evil. Love justice, speak no lies, fight for the oppressed and be near to the afflicted! Pursue peace, forget self-interest and personal gain. Do this, and you will surely receive full pardon for your former deeds!”

Some avoided me, but some took it upon themselves to see me silenced. They accused me of blasphemy, declaring there to be no male deity. Surprisingly, I was not accused of acting for the Kyorl’solenurn, so I must have done something right. If any chose to repent during the week I was speaking out, I never heard. I was dragged through the streets and beaten. Still I would not be silent. And so they cut out my tongue, scarred the inside of my mouth with fire, and left me for dead. I tell you An’jhali, there is none who is patient like this Deity, for he gave them yet another chance to hear! When I continued to preach the next day, now with the voice given by Him, I was put in chains and sent to market as a slave. It was the Black Sun who bought me.

Over the years I heard of Ther’avare’s fall, and there was no way I could hear news of survivors. I tried to forget you, my Lady, and most days I was successful. I’ve now walked the whole of the underworld with the Sun war parties, and some of the surface. Surely the Creator has used them to execute judgement against evil, and they too will meet their end. They assured their own fate by their continued evil deeds, even as we had. Though the scroll had been taken from me and destroyed, one writing stuck with me every day, and I drew strength from it:

I hear, and my body trembles;
my lips quiver at the sound;
rottenness enters into my bones;
my legs tremble beneath me.
Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble
to come upon people who invade us.
Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Creator

He alone will have the last word! Though I might never live to see it, He will execute justice. This was enough for me then, and is today.
Posts: 1924
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:19 pm
Clan: Tei'kaliath

Re: Fanfic: What ever happened to Nasfors?

Postby Nasfors on Sat May 24, 2014 8:33 pm

Tluth’tar delivered the last page himself, and knelt while An’jhali finished reading. When she looked up, he had words. “Now, at long last, after nearly twenty years, I am granted the chance to speak this message to you and to our people. Surely you know this to be true; we are divided one against another, and we have been for a lifetime. Each seeks after her own gain, and we take whatever we can get away with. Call the people together, call them to repent! There is still time- just yesterday the Tei’kaliath were spared on the battlefield. Our Creator has given us another chance! If the people turn their backs on wickedness and do good, if they will choose kindness instead of strife, surely we will have peace and prosperity for the rest of our days, and our enemies will not prevail against us. But if the people do not repent, though they were spared the sword yesterday, it shall surely pursue and devour them and their children.”
An’jhali Tei’kaliath sat upright and looked down at the male before her. It was several minutes before she spoke. Finally she did, her voice quiet and even, “thank you for the tale. You may be right, the divisions among my people have long troubled me. I will weigh your words. For now, please depart. Tomorrow you will report to Taruna, and work as an armorer. This will be your duty until I decide otherwise. Surely you have not forgotten how to make a blade shine.”
It shall be done, Ill’haress he wrote.
Posts: 1924
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:19 pm
Clan: Tei'kaliath

Re: Fanfic: What ever happened to Nasfors?

Postby Nasfors on Sat May 24, 2014 8:36 pm

Taruna, Elif, and Meck used by permission. No creatures of any size were destroyed in the creation of this work of fiction. Any future destruction is entirely coincidental. Any comments you wish to make via private message will be welcomed.
Posts: 1924
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:19 pm
Clan: Tei'kaliath

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