Saturday, March 22, 2014


The men waited quietly amongst the trees that flanked either side of the road.  The sun has already sunk beyond the eastern horizon, the dark swallowing up the remnants of light still lingering from the setting making way for a twilight that will usher in dusk.

Varlain, crouched closer to the tree line, was the first to sense the wagon approaching the roads northern bend.  His instincts were valued amongst the band, with the guards doubled along this route he always anticipated when the soldiers were near or when it was the best to strike.

All in all there were thirteen members in the band, the gang refers to themselves as the Renegades of Sucz, a band of thieves well known for liberating gold from the corrupt politicians and wealthy socialites who prey on the weak and poor of Sucz.

The leader of the band was Felixant, Varlain being his second.  The pair were childhood friends, practically brothers, both orphans they grew up on a farm that took in lost children.  As teens the farm was confiscated by the local magistrate for failure to pay their outrageously high taxes.  Taking in children was tough on the old couple so keeping the kids fed and running the farm they constantly fell short of the increasing tariffs.  The older children were forced into the kings army and the smaller kids were brought to do manual labor for the kingdom.

The best friends kept in line during their time in the royal guard biding their time and remembered their training. During a small squirmish with a group of citizens who were forced out of their homes, Felixant and Varlain turned on their troop by protecting the evicted citizens, then fled the kingdom as traitors to hide in the Whitewynne forest.

Now they gathered an assortment of outcasts and bandits to try what little they can to tip the balance of greed in their kingdom.

as soon as the wagon came into view Varlain sensed something was off.  However their leader was working on good authority that the magistrate was moving newly collected tax gold from Parmond to be delivered to the royal treasury.  It was purposely disguised as a poor transport to ward off possible thieves, but Felixant has a contact within the magistrate that passes along sensitive information for a small cut of the loot.

Varlain ignored his instinct and took his position as the wagon drew near.  Around him the undergrowth shifted as the rest of the team moved in on queue.  As soon as the wagon came within a few feet of Varlain, he leapt onto the side railing as two of the other men in waiting quickly overtook the driver.  They gave him a swift knock on the head, their motto being least violence as possible, a condition strongly implemented by Varlain before forming the band with Felixant.

However as soon as Varlain ducked behind the canopy, one of the other band slide his sword into the gut of the driver and tossed him over the side.  The two men looked at each other briefly then to Felixant, who was slowing the horses, nodding his approval to his men.

Inside the wagon Varlain quickly lit a torch to get at their score, as the light flared on the wagon came to a halt.  Instead of seeing a man guarding the gold, there were two women dressed in white robes, their heads covered with a white shall.  They crouched in the corner of the wagon clutching each other.  One was young and very pretty, the other was a much older but handsome woman.

Quickly recovering from his shock, Varlain held the torch over his shoulder and his free hand out, palm up, to show he meant no harm.  Taking one step forward, the older woman jumped up and put herself between him and the young lady.

"No, wait, I mean you no harm." Varlain said in a soft voice as to not startle the women, "There has been a mistake..."

Before he can finish the sentence one of the men responsible for taking out the wagon's driver, forced himself through the canvas that separated the rider's bench and the front of the wagon.  Now standing behind the old woman, he towered over the younger one still crouched on the floor.  Laughing he plunged his sword into the back of the older nun, Varlain witnessed the business end of the weapon exit the woman's chest.  Words caught in his throat as he made eye contact with her, in that moment he saw forgiveness in her eyes, as she may have understood that the young man before indeed did not mean them harm.  Before she fell, she looked down to her right as if to signal Varlain to protect the other one.  Then she collapsed, dead before she hit the ground.

"NO!" the words finally escaped Varlain's, which was puncuated by a shrill scream from the younger nun.

Ignoring Varlain the other man turned around and stood over the young lady, her voice already lost from her high pitched wailing.  The man laughed as he undid his buckle.  Varlain did not hesitate, he moved to take out the vulgar band member, his hand moving to the hilt of his sword.  However just before he can make his move, two more band members entered the wagon from behind Varlain, they leaned in and grabbed the unsuspecting man by his legs, yanking back sharply.  The sudden tug forced Varlain to fall flat on his face, all too quick to give him time to break his fall.  His chin hit the floor of the wagon taking the full force of the drop.

Stunned the two men dragged him into the already dark night, causing his head to bang on the ground once again.  This time the fall practically knocked him out.  The rest of the events was a muffled blur.  He can just make out the silhouetted of the rest of the band overtaking the wagon.  He heard the loud CLACK as someone broke the lock on the chest, followed by the cheers of several men, then finally the screams of the young nun a she was violated.

He felt himself losing consciences as he was dragged by the feet far away from the wagon.  Every time he forced his eyes open he was several feet further.  The next time he came to he was being rolled into the brush off to the side of the road.  He heard someone call out, and the man handling Varlain paused to listen.

"Make....quick," he heard partly of what the distant voice yelled out, a voice he knew since he was six years old, Felixant made the call to have his long time best friend executed on the side of the road.

Varlain tried to turn over, to plead for his life.  However the other man had the advantage and kept one foot on his back, keeping him from making a move.

Felixant watched from the wagon as Dagon raised his sword and brought it down swiftly.  A tear fell across his cheek, "I’m sorry brother," the leader said to himself, "but your morals is getting in the way." he finished turning away from the sight and backed to the wagon.

Dagon looked over his shoulder as Felixant turned around and climbed into the wagon.  He then yanked his sword out of the dirt inches away from Varlain's neck.  He then crouched onto one knee and leaned in close to his fallen comrade, and whispered in his ear.

"You saved my life once young Moolie," he said in his thick Gorlanian accent, using a nick name he used for Varlain, which meant son or my child in his tongue, "Disappear, for the next time we meet I will kill you."  he finished by knocking Varlain on the head with the hilt of his sword.

Darkness overcame the fallen man as Dagon stood up and made his way back to the remainder of the band.

  ©2013 Kinse, My Sweet Hero

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