Fiction Chaptor 1

Goth chick

Chapter 1 the Road ahead

As they ride the Gray speaks. . . So here is the job.  From the back the Paladin, Yes is it for My God and his fine work.  No its for money and for the thrill is all the reply he gets.  Jamend The Gray Ranger continues.  There seams to be a need for us to find the reason the King of Kitrn’a is losing men and life stock.  Airister, In foul mood says.  What is the pay for this monumental task.  Rodmon the Paladin, says What ever the pay is we shale give 3/4 to the Gods and the work they Do.  The hell with, For Your God.. You give what you want its a 5 way split.  Is the Elf’s reply.  Demaras of the Elven royal House of silver.  A long title for such a woman but Dem is the fast version.   Draius The thief starts his non stop babble. He is in love with his own voice. .   Draius. Would you still be able to talk with an Arrow in your neck? I don’t think so Replies Draius why do you ask Jamend.  If you don’t shut up we will find out retorts Airister. .
They Argue and bicker as they ride, gallows humor.   Their outlook for they all know at any time life could end. well for the others, Airister is different he has been cursed.  The God of the dead will never allow him the peace that is death.  This group has traveled often together. Sometimes they travel to their homes.  Often regrouping when life gets boring. Or a break is needed form their mundane home lives.     Airister is no longer welcome at his home.  The road is it for now.  Drinking to much. To many tablets.  The love of tavern girls is what he has now.  His life, his home, all gone and with little chance to be reclaimed.  The anger and hurt of a female vampire.  Her suffering is not easily forgiven.  She has the Castle, the Animals.  He has the items on his person.  Dem rides close to Jamend. Can he be counted on. I mean he’s a mess, he is a drunk, he smells, takes to many tablets and is very angry.  Dem! he is what he is replies Jamend.  He is a decent Ranger.  A dirty fighter.  He  does all the nasty work that needs to be done.  Answer me this Dem.  When there is a fight would you rather him be fighting in front of us or not there.   In front of us Jamend that’s a silly question. No Dem the Silly question was can he be counted on.  She nods with a snort and slides back, in order.
The sun rows high in the sky. Hey Gray, can we find a nice clean stream to stop at.  Why Airister? is it bath time, Pipes in Draius.  No thief, but next time you pick the wrong pocket.  I may not be so fast to step in.  Now Shut that wine hole of yours. Was Airister’s reply with a foul look.   Airister knew that the thief was right.  He could not remember the last time he had scrubbed {lack of a better word} skin was.  Hey about 1/4 sun movement from here is a town.  Gallows tree I think its called.  Lovely name, I think I will get a summer home there pipes in the Paladin.  Really Paladin just really.. is the reply from a voice in the crowd. . Look If we stop there for food and the night I will bath and even clean my armor, Deal. Fine Airister but No brawls and no women and no mead.  Jamend you get 2 of the 4.  We all agree on the bath and armor.  Now pick 2 of the last 3.  The gray shoots Airister a look that would freeze running water.  Shower, no Brawls DEAL? Deal Jamend.  Draius rubs his hands together, joy a new town. Yes Thief and with no brawls you get caught steeling your on your own got it.  Speaks the Paladin. Oh yes your oh shiny one is Draius’s only reply.  Dem shakes her head in dismay she knows the truth of this night ahead.  There will be drinking, fighting, stealing. A crusade and that’s all before the sun will set. .  She prays that just once it will be quiet.  That she and Jemend can rest and not be disturbed.  With a bad thief,  an over zealous Paladin,  a raging dark ranger, looking to hurt something more than he hurts.  The chance is very slim.  But maybe just maybe.
As they road into town. Draius says, we seam to be drawing attention to our selves.  You don’t say, is Airister’s reply.  What was your first clue, the guards Drawing their bows? or the metal wall in front of us.  They looked up to see in front of them a  wall of armed guards,  archers on top of buildings. Rodmon speaks, Airister why do I get the feeling this is your doing.  Why do you always blame me.  Halt and state your names and why you are here.  Dem Pipes up, we are simple travelers that  just seek food, a bed and a bath for one of our companions.  The Master of the guard walks past Dem and Jamend.  Past Draius and Rodman.  Standing at the side of Airister.   Looking down, hello Greeting Stuberman you look well. .  IN a loud and unyielding voice Its Sabermen and you know it you slimy bastard.  Here,  Here  Stuberman you still all worked up over the last time I was here.  How was I to know the wench was your daughter.   I paid her well, more than you make in a year as I remember.    The master of the guards reached up to pull Airister from his mount. Well tried to for as the master of the guard reached up, Airister slid off his saddle.  In a blaze of steel.  Airister had a short sword under Sabermen’s Chin.   The Paladin whispers I knew it all the time. why did he have to do minitor dung here.  The 3 others all sat not moving knowing that this could turn ugly in a heart beat.  Now Stuberman we can talk about this like gentleman.  Right.  What would make this write with you besides me not killing you right now.  Sabermen looking up a sword point under his chin.  Well for one your word not to see her again and that its a short stay. .  Reaching in to his saddle bag grabbing a hand full of coins how about this…  Take this 25 gold pieces, toddle off and be a good Guards  men.   Leave me alone.  Airister moves closer and whispers in his ear. I’m sorry for your family’s honor.  Now take the gold, there is 50 there not 25 keep the other 25.  Buy your family some thing nice.  let me and my party have a quiet evening.  We will even go to the Tavern of your choice so you know where we are.  Reluctantly the master of the guard agrees.  From the crowd a young girl screams.  Airister  you have come back.
A raven haired lass, bounds from the crowd.  Pushes past the master of the guard.  Father leave Airister alone, he was good to me. He did not hurt me.  Now stop and go protect the piece.  The Raven haired woman , with tan of skin.  Not from working fields.  From the pampered life of the middle class.  The silk dress did little to hide her curves,  even less at hiding her cleavage.  With out a word she plants a kiss on Airister’s lips,  pulls him close.  Airister stands there arms at his side.  As the girl comes up for air he speaks.  Um, M’Lady Sabermen.  Your father has asked that we not see each other.   I will respect his wishes.  Draius pipes in, WOW that will be a change.  As a back hand from the paladin knocks the thief from his horse.  Kasiday looks to her father.  Father I’m of 23 winters old I will see who I please.  Airister chokes as he thinks back to when he was last hear.  Three, no Five, No six, yes six years that would have made her seventeen + winters old this is not a good way to start this trip.
Master Sabermen escorts them to the tavern. .  Really  Stuberman. The winged horse this must be the priciest place in town.  Rodman smiles clean sheets, clean water ,real food. .   yea and really pricy,  you Shiny man of low intellect, Airister says in a huff.  As Airister looks around it dawns on him why this place. .   Plenty of places for archers to watch and the gaol was in view.  So was the master of the guards  house.  Dem pipes in we can share rooms ..   NO can be heard from three of them.  Airister sleeps alone except for the paid wenches and mead. The paladin would not sleep with a thief.  well the thief was known to bring ill gotten items back to his room along with some women that would steal a dead man’s teeth if they had value.
Airister looks to Jamend. .   Ok we each pay fifty – fifty, you pay for Dem.  We split the paladin and I will pay for the thief. Deal?  Deal is Jamend’s reply with tone that could only be one of resignation and loathing.  The thought of the cost of this night was not a pleasant one.  Look at it this way Jamend, Airister will be clean and we know there will be no issues with the thief or the paladin, states Dem.  Jamend knows the truth, the thief will be in and out of every room by the time dinner is cooked. The paladin will have talked to every working girl about there sinful way of life. With  Airister….. Jamend shivers at what this night will bring.  Already   Kasiday  had Airisters saddle bags in her arms.  She had ordered 4 rooms with water closets. She told the desk a story Dem and Jamend are Married. this night was going to be long, not with out blood shed, with the possibility of a dead body at some point.
Kasiday had ordered a bath for Airister.  he had his armor off and hanging on the rack.  Kasiday had paid a street urchin 3 silver, to scrub and pick the dried ichor out of the chain and rivets.  As night fell and the dark crept in to the room Airister vanished.  The child and Kasiday look around for they can not see him.  Child? did he use the door.. No mum, he was at the window.  The sound of water splashing can be heard, Kasiday blinks.  Airister how did you walk past us to the tub of water?  He shrugs, says  you must have blinked.  A knock at the door A voice is heard, “dinner in 1/4 of a candle.”
Airister? yes Kasiday. where are your clothes. . . Airister slumps down in the water.  He has no clothes only the armor on his back.  Nothing that could pass for dinner in a place like this.  Airister I asked you a question.  I DONT HAVE ANY was the reply… Kasiday looks at him.  What do you mean you have no clothes.   Draius falls in the window.  He was asked to leave his home and only took what he could carry.  A bottle flies across the room glancing off the thief’s head. OUT, GET OUT you little bastard.  The street urchin looks up, “me mum?”…. No child you stay, Thief out with you.  Kasiday frisks Draius  and sends him out the door.
Looks in at the washing man and says. So your homeless.  Yes, Do you want to tell more people.  Maybe we can tell the town crier.  Have it as table talk down stairs.  He stands and water beads and rolls off.  Not drip like on other men.  Kasiday says give me 5 coins.  Why is the reply. Airister, you need clothes I will send for some. Fine, is his reply.  Nude and with out a care he walks out from the well lite water closet. Vanishes as he hits the darken room.  A clink of coins and he walks back in and seams to reappear.  The street urchin gasps.  Airister tosses him a gold coin for silence.  Kasiday looks at him how do you do that. Its a gift is all that comes from his lips
Draius, as expected was in and out of every room.  Picking up a coin here, a broach there.  A pearl pin.  A fine long sword caught his eye as  he enters a room.  Just then an older woman enters the room from the hall.  He hides as the woman undresses and washes with the help of a water bowl and pitcher.  Draius was trapped. He was going to be there a while and he know it.
Jamend and Dem also chose to wash and clean up. For who knows when warm water and soft cloth would be at hand again.  Jamend know this was not going to be good.  He knew Airister’s had issues and was not really ready to take on the city guard.  When Airister’s  Issues would come to light.   Dem asks, what eats at HIM.  She would not use Airister’s name.  It was HIM,  HE , some times the dark one.  Jamend says, it’s the wars and the loss of her.  Well the wars have been over for some time.  Well he needs to move on from her.  Jamend shoots Dem a glance.  Yes, yes please say that again at dinner.  We have not had a brawl in over a day its high time we have one again.  Jamend knew that Airister’s losing of his home was the fault of his and the Vampires equally.   But that does little to ease the pain Airister felt every moment awake or a sleep. Dem askes  Why does he dwell so?   Jamend just shrugged it off. He knew why and would stand with his brother no matter what.  Even if Airister was at fault.  They dressed In Elvin robes an clothes and headed to the Paladins room.
The Paladin naked, kneeling to a figurine that seams to move.  He talks out loud, but no sound can be heard in return. Yes great One it shale be done I will convert 2 wenches this night and a guard to your calling. Yes Great one Airister still travels with us as does the thief.  I shale not abandon them you can’t ask me to. Oh thank you great one your Grace is overwhelming  and  generous.  A knock at the door.  Rodman dinner.  Is heard from the Gray Ranger. I am in need for Clothes and I will be down.  A water  falls over him but does not make the floor wet and he stand clean and quaffed. Thank you All mighty one for your generous gift you have bestowed.
A knock at the door of Airister’s room.  Evening meal the Gray calls in.  No reply comes. He knocks again and enters.  What he finds he can not help but laugh.  There in dark pants, a frill shirt and short coat stands a washed and dried Airister. Really For the love of God and Goddess, REALLY you laugh.  That’s it I’m taking it off. Kasiday stands and says fine take it off.  I will tell the whole tavern you had relations with me when I was 17 winters old.  He sighs with resignation, you know its not true.  You had turned 18 when we met. Kasiday smiles,  I may have been off a month or two who is to know.  Airister sunk lower to the floor.  I may be ill is all he can say.   Jamend looks at the clean armor, boots, the oiled leathers,  shoulder holsters.  looks at the street urchin.  You,  child do you have a home? Parents? Can you feed and water horses?   No,  None, and Yes was all the child said.  Fine you now travel with us.  You are to feed, water,  brush the horses and clean armor we will feed you and clothes you.  Really Jamend and whom will pay for his up keep. .  It will come out of the general fund… Airister knew that look from his brother, that meant we all chipped in and took care of it.  Fine But he sleeps with the horses. .  Not my room, Airister stated.  Jamend looks over, yes your horse will love that. .  a sigh can be heard from Airister.  Kasiday, go buy the boy a bed in the common room.  Kasiday smiles, taking the boy by the hand.  Kasiday, before you take him down there.   Airister sighs, wash him, get him some travel clothes.  As he hands her 10 gold coins. 1 is for his pocket 2 are the bath 2 for the bed and 5 for clothes and travel needs.  That’s the spirit Airister see it feels good to help does it not.  No, it does not Jamend, it feels like I have a hole in my saddle bags.
The party meets in the main hall for dinner.  Kasiday in dress of silk.   Airister in his coat, matching pants and dark shirt.  Jamend knows there will be no wenching tonight for Airister.   Kasiday has her claws in deep.  Dem is taken back by the way He has cleaned up. The Paladin and the Thief both showing up at the same time.   Rodman holding Draius by the back his the neck.  Found him in a room with a woman screaming.  I did not look as she washed was all the thief could say.
The child stands at the table.  Clean, new clothes.  Who is this asks the Paladin.  Another mouth to feed I see.  For a man of God you have little compassion for the poor.  Rodman shoots Airister a glair.  Who is paying for the child?? Jamend  says we all are, now, Shut up and stop being the ass that you are.  The boy held the chair out for the ladies.
He moves to Kasiday’s side and waits.  Airister Waves the boy over.  Whispers in his ear and slips him a silver and the boy rushes off.  What was that about. Nothing Dem nothing at all.  Moments later the child returns with a tankard of mead and smiles. .  Airister looks over, really, mead here is a silver piece. The child looks down and says No.  The mead I stole and kept the silver.  Draius laughs.  The Paladin says well he was honest.  Airister flicks the child’s ear.  YOU DONT STEAL MEAD OR FOOD.  At this point the owner stands at the table.  Airister, looking for a fight, starts to speak. Jamend cuts him Off. Good sir thank you for coming over we would like to thank you for the Mead you sent over.  We would like to order 3 bottles of your finest wine.  Looking over his shoulder at Airister.  Also 3 bottles of mead. Meats and food for the table.  The owner fresh out of anger nods and walks away.  Airister glares at the gray Ranger. I could have handled that.  Yes and there would have been a fight, now shut up and drink your mead.
The child’s mouth open in amazement at the food on the table.  Airister looks over at the child.  Waves down a serving wench. ” I need a plate and a mug of Watered mead and hurry. a silver if your fast.”  She returns a moment later. Airister pulls the silver from the boys pocket and hands it to the Wench.  She smiles and wheels off.  The boy looking down at the empty pocket. Feels a bump on his head. looking up he see’s Airister with a plate of meats, bread and the watered mead. Get your ass Under this table and eat.  Before I rethink this.  The child grabs the plate and mug and slides under the table,  The table all turns to look at Airister with total shock.  What we had extra just eat is the only reply he gives.
The oil lights are burning red,  the hour is late, sleep calls Most of the party.  Airister reaches for his bottle of pills, tosses 5 in his mouth and pulls from a tankard of mead.   Sleep is the daily enemy of Airister’s ongoing fight.  Kasiday slides close, whispers in his ear. I will be with you. You will be safe, I will not tell your secrets.  She knows his secret but did not know about the screams, the verbal abuse the drink will unleash.  Jamend what time do we ride out in the morning?  Sun up why.  Well how many days ride, Asks Rodman.   No more that a day replies Jamend, why?  Well where are we going to Supply up if its a day away. Dem asks.  This was a good point.  Jamend took a moment to think.   Airister hung his head, pulls the boy from under the table whispers in his ear.  Sends the boy off.  the boy stops looks over his shoulder. You ask for payment I will slay you where you stand now GO. The child runs like a Dragon was on his heels,  If the boy only knew the truth of that feeling.
Moments later Master Sabermen stands at the table.  Fire in his eyes over the sight of his daughter sitting at the table with Airister.  Airister  Pulls over a chair.  Offers it to the Master of the guard.  A heavy pouch in his hand.  He hands it to Sabermen, says we will be staying on for 3 or 4 days.   There is enough gold in there to pay all the men you have watching us.  With you daughter sitting in with us you will always have eyes on us what do you say?  A slight rage grows in the mans chest, he opens the pouch.  His eyes widen, he sighs and nods.  Thanking the table for the gift and takes his leave. Kissing his daughters head whispers in her ear. she smiles nods and kisses his cheek back.  What was all that about Dem asks Kasiday. He told me to keep watch over this one for he may have  good in him yet.  Airister snarls and crushes a glass in his hand.  With that dinner was over.  The boy looks over and sees no blood on the glass or in Airister’s hand tilting his head he shrugs.  Wonding off to check the rooms then head to his bed in the common room with the traveling help.
The child had lucked out. He had gotten a bed between to older women that smiled as Kasiday walked the child to his bed.  Now you know what you need to do in the morning. Yes Mum, In the morning make sure the horses are looked after, All except the black mare give that one a wide birth.  Then shine the God man’s armor.  Look for the thief.  Wake Dem and Jamend.  Then have a mead ready at Airister’s door.  I’m not to go in just wait there.  Good boy.   Mum will you travel with us. No little one Airister will not let me travel with him And in truth he loves another.
Then mum why do you look after him so.  Kasiday tells the child of that night, how Airister had killed 2 men that had attacked her and asked for nothing in return.  Airister was in a drug and mead induced trance and had mistaken Kasiday for someone else.  I walked him to his room and laid him in his bed.  He started to shake and thrash so I laid on top of him and he calmed.  He whispered her name and fell a sleep.  Kasiday was omitting great parts of the story.  No one was to know what she had scene and she would go to the grave keeping his secret.  For he has send two men to the grave for her it was the least she could do. the child looked up and said Is Airister a bad man.  The smile faded from Kasiday’s face.  He was once the most skilled Assassin or  Hunter in the realm.  Someone asked him to change and he did for that person.  Now she is gone, he fights the darkness everyday. Mum do you fear being near him. Yes child I do for I have seen what unspeakable things he can do to a persons body.  Then mum why do you watch over him.   Kasiday thought long on the boys question.  The older woman spoke up.  “because”  is all reason you need to know. Time for sleeping Little boy.  The older women ushered Kasiday out of the Common chambers and locked the door. Kasiday steeled her self for what she was about to see and live through again.  She thought back as slight smile crept over her face.   Not many have scene what she has scene.  She headed off to once again become a woman she has never met for a man she liked and feared all rolled in one.  He could feed and clothe a child befriend a paladin.  Yet could rip a man’s arm off and beat a second man to death with that same arm.  This was not a night for the faint of heart.

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