Fan Fiction - Pre-Outcast time frame
Sordith sighed to himself as the wagon rumbled down the wide cobbled road. The slow pace of the large korpen provided little breeze to help on such a warm day. The sun set high in the sky burning down on the green plains that surrounded him. As Sordith looked into the distance he could see the peaks of the mountains that surrounded Silverport. His home and where he and the small crew of men who accompanied him, with the large covered wagon, were destined. He looked around taking in his surroundings before looking to the wagon driver.
“Owen we are approaching the last village before our stop. I want you to take the wagon over into the forest their and set up camp. I will go into the town and get us some food.”
Owen silently nodded as he pulled on the reins slowing the massive beetle like creature to a halt then turned it towards the forest edge. Sordith moved to his feet leaping from the side of the wagon down to the ground he turned to look at the men.
“Stay with Owen and guard the wagon. The trench lord will have all our hides if it is lost this close to the city.” Sordith then turned and made his way down the wide road for the small town before him.
The town was still a far way off, and by the time Sordith reached it the sun had sunk low in the sky. The sky blazed with the orange glow of summer like fire that stretched as far as the eye could see. Sordith blinked and shook himself tearing his eyes from the sky to look back down at the village. He needed food and water, not to dally staring at an endless sky. As Sordith made his way through the village, several sets of eye stole weary glances at him, peeking around corners and through windows. It was well known in this village that he was a henchman of the trench lord. In some cases this granted him a great deal of respect. However from those who did not look so kindly on the trench lords actions, his position got him little more than a door slammed shut as he passed.
He did not bother to look around himself as he walked. His destination clear in his mind, a shop that he stopped at often as he came through the town on errands for the Trench lord. As he walked through the door to the humble bakery he stiffened slightly. There has been smoke rising from the chimney outside. But when he entered there was no smell of baking breads or other sweets that one would expect in a small shop like this. “Baker I have come to buy some bread and water. Are you here?” Sordith called out as he looked around the shop. A low heavy thud echoed through the shop as the heavy boots of someone upstairs collided with the floor. Then with slow labored steps they moved to the door on top of the stairs. Sordith's left hand had gone to his side reaching for one of the four daggers he held there. His right hand reached up to the short sword he carried on his back. He widened his stance slightly, ready to roll out of the way of whatever would emerge from that door and fight. The door opened with a slow creak before knocking softly against the wall.
A raspy old voice called down from the top of the stairs hardly a whisper “Hello? Is someone there?”
Sordith looked up and his body relaxed as his hands dropped to his sides. “Damn it! Herald I almost killed you! Ya daft old fool! What are you doing asleep? I need bread and water perhaps some cheese.”
The old man at the top of the stairs looked down at Sordith and smiled to himself. “My… my if it isn't the young master Sordith come once again to grace my shop?” Herald smiled and made his way slowly down the stairs reaching the bottom far too slowly for Sordith's liking. “These days, young man, not too many visit my shop so I only bake in the morning. I still have bread left over and you're more than welcome to it.”
Sordith smiled to the old man and patted him on the shoulder. “Right then old man. give me all you have left and fifteen skins of water. I would also like to borrow your handcart to take the food out to my wagons.” the old man looked up from behind the counter and rubbed his chin for a moment.
“Yes you can do that certainly. But I am too old to load that much onto the handcart myself. You will have to help me.” Sordith nodded his agreement and from beneath his cloak produced a string of medure. There where twenty on the string and the old man smiled holding out his hands for the slips.
“This is far too many as I am sure you know. This many slips could nearly buy you my bakery.” Sordith nodded and smiled to the old man.
“I am fully aware of this. However I cannot bake and this would be of little use to me. The Trench Lord appreciates your compliance Herald.” Sordith smiled as he spoke.
Truth be told, he detested the jobs that he was sent out on by the Trench lord. They were often unsavory deeds that needed to be carried out by those he could trust not to be caught. That person in many cases was Sordith as much as he detested the work. If he refused he knew he would fall the same way those before him had. Sordith left the store and went out to the back of the small building, getting the handcart and bringing it back round to the front. It was certainly nothing to write home about-two wheels and a plank with a pair of handles. However for what Sordith required it would do perfectly. After finishing the loading of the wagon. Sordith nodded to Herald before setting off back down the road towards where his men would have made their camp.
Loading the wagon had been a slow process and by the time it had been done the fiery blaze that streaked across the sky had faded to a dull glow. The stars in the sky began to come out slowly one by one and the large moon rose lazily from the horizon. Sordith made his way slowed by the wagon down the wide path. The town was just far enough away that its light could no longer be seen.
The hair on the back of Sordith’s neck prickled as he crouched down; shielded by the wagon wheels as the sounds of arrows ripping through the air whizzed over his head. A second wave came and thudded into the wheels of the cart. Sordith reached behind him drawing the short simple sword from his back. He reached back and pulled his hood over his head. As the next wave of arrows sank into the wood of the cart he counted to himself “one, two, three......seven.” He set he jaw and cursed under his breath; three or four would not be much of a problem. But seven men who have him pinned down with no cover hiding in the darkness would not be easy.
Sordith waited until the arrows sounded once more, burying themselves into the wood of the wagon. He leaped out from the cover of the cart wheel and bolted for the wood line. As he leaped from behind the cart he could see the torches in a circle around him. There were more than seven archers for him to deal with. As he ran, arrows sank into the ground around his feet. He smiled to himself knowing he had the advantage. The men having him surrounded could not fire straight across at him. He neared the edge of the circle and two men drew short swords as the archer took aim at him.
Sordith hit the ground and rolled as he saw the archer’s arm relax the arrow sailing over his head. He quickly closed the gap between him and the three men. He pulled his arm back and hurled the dagger in his left hand out at the archer. The man, not able to see what was coming, fell to his knees as the dagger sliced its path. The two men with swords stepped around the dead man. One was young around Sordith’s own age. He was tall and slender in his build. The other looked like a mountain of a man. The large man stayed back as the small one charged towards Sordith.
Sordith's eyes never left the large man; as the young one charged he pulled another dagger from his belt. He moved in short swift bursts zigzagging his way, arrows still landing behind him. As the young man moved into range to attack, Sordith leaped forward with his sword and the young man flew back. Trying to dodge the attack he fell flat on his ass. As Sordith ran past him he gave him a swift kick to the side to be sure he would not rise up. He looked up now eyes on the man before him. His grip tightened on the sword and dagger as he now charged the large man. He threw his dagger as he moved. The large man dodged it with a practiced ease and moved in on Sordith bringing his great arm down. The sound of his sword screaming through the air pierced Sordith. He brought up his sword to defend himself and the power of the great blow threw it from his hands.
Sordith looked at the man for a moment shocked. Reaching down Sordith took from his side his last dagger and threw it at the man’s chest. The man once again dodged, but Sordith had hoped he would. As the man dodged Sordith turned and fled to the edge of the forest crashing through every bush or branch that would stand between him and his camp.
Sordith appeared from the shadows of the wood line walking into his camp. The villager had stopped chasing him once he reached a few paces inside of the thick brush. He had only one sword left on his back the other and his three daggers having been lost. Sordith felt rather naked without his weapons. Sordith moved to the small fire that Owen and the men sat around, plopping himself on the ground.
Owen moved to speak, but Sordith just raised his hand silencing him. “There will be no food or water tonight.” Sordith laid back and closed his eyes with a long sigh as his men groaned around him.
The light began to peak over the tree tops drying the dew from the grassy fields. Sordith and Owen had already put out the fires and scattered the ashes. The korpen were fed and watered and the men all woken by a nudging boot. Sordith looked around to the gathered mass. “Last night they sprang an attack on me. I do not think they will be so brave against so many and in the light where their faces can be seen. Just in case do not leave your weapons out of reach.” The men murmured their agreement.
Sordith looked to Owen and gestured him to start. The korpen started their slow lumbering pace towards the road and then back through the village. Sordith had removed the remaining sword from his back and placed it onto his side. There was no longer a need to sit as a passenger on the wagon. The cart that Sordith had abandoned laid turned over beside the path covered in arrows. The food and water was either been stolen or scattered to the ground and one wheel had been broken off to ruin it.
As the group moved through the town is seemed nearly abandoned and was silent. The only sound was of falling bricks and a hissing crackling fire. As they moved past the baker’s house, Sordith noted that there was nothing but a pile of ruin left. Wisps of smoke curling up into the sky as the fires that had consumed the house slowly died. There was no sign of Herald the baker and Sordith knew that there would no longer be a sign of him. Friends of the trench lord outside of his protection are often not long to live on the island.
The tiered city of Silverport came into view. The afternoon sun shone brilliantly off the smooth white surface of the upper tiers, as if to challenge the very brightness of the sun. Sordith and his men came to a gate in the wall and the guards posted their allowed them in. They had grown used to these missions for the trench lord. Sordith dismissed all the men but Owen to find a meal.
Sordith turned to him once all were out of ear shot. “You know what to do. Get this load to the stable master. I will handle Aorun.” Owen chuckled to himself and nodded before driving the korpen on through the crowded streets of the trenches. Sordith made his way slowly to the Trench lord's manor. Among the trenches it was a palace. He looked to the two men guarding the entrance.
“I'm here to report my latest mission.” The two men standing at the doorway nodded and motioned him in. Sordith walked carefully to the office of the trench lord and entered. The long office was dominated by the large heavy wooden desk form which the Trench Lord conducted his business. Aorun sat behind this desk and looked up to Sordith with a smile that brought anger from Sordith.
“Were you successful?”
Sordith nodded and approached the man. “What you’re doing here is disgusting and cost us four men. Daezun women do not give up without a fight and keeping them quiet is not easy.”
Aorun smiled up to him. “True they do not, but they make fine slaves.” Sordith frowned as he looked down to the Trench Lord. Outwardly he was his calm collected self. Inside there was nothing more he would have liked then to kill the man where he sat. Aorun rose standing a head taller than Sordith “You will learn in time Sordith that life is not as precious as you think it is.” Sordith set his jaw as he looked up to the man.
“You are right, Aorun.” The rogue conceded quietly.
The Trench Lord slapped Sordith on the back and motioned towards his desk. “Go over my papers and give me a report when you are finished. I have more enjoyable things to attend to. Let’s go see if what you brought back is anything worth looking at.” Sordith sat with a silent nod and began running through the monetary reports. He sat in silence until he was sure Aorun had gone.
“You are almost right Aorun, not all life is precious.” he smiled to himself and looked back down to his work “Not all life is precious.”