The heart of the eternal

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Like a snake in the grass

The fast riders Ahravan had sent out were indeed fast, they had horses of the long legged breed which was used for such missions and they had several spare horses each and rode with great technique. They knew how to make the horse run in rhythm, with its own breath and thus stay strong for a very long time and after some days they did meet a tiny group of riders heading towards Ohtanar. They were shocked to learn that this was Dagar, Mjorr’s father and that Mjorr had run off and was ahead of them somewhere. They didn’t tell Dagar what they now knew, Prina wasn’t mentioned at all but they did understand that the elderly man was trying to stop his son from doing something incredibly wicked and stupid and they did also understand that telling him the truth about Mjorr’s sudden escape would break him. They just turned around to ride hard back home and told him and his entourage to just take their time. They would reach Ohtanar before it was moved, there was no need to rush it. Dagar was in despair, if Mjorr didn’t surrender he would be killed for sure and he wasn’t stupid, these men and elves knew something Dagar didn’t and it did concern Mjorr. He could only guess what it was but it couldn’t be good at all. Dagar realized that he very well could be loosing his son, and as the days had gone by he had returned to the faith of his youth and kept praying to every God he knew of to save his son and their family from utter ruin.

The days were cold now and very windy and the herds were kept close to the city, Ahravan did ride out frequently to check on the horses and Laupir didn’t leave the herds at all now, he was worried about monsters and also wolves. The foals born the previous spring were becoming independent and would leave their mothers and they were vulnerable in oh so many ways. Bagir had been there a week when one of the scouts did return in a hurry, he did look excited and stopped his horse right in front of Ahravan who was trying to teach Wenja how to ride on a small pony. She did enjoy it but she had some problems with her balance and she did also struggle with giving the right signals. Ahravan did promise her that she would become a good rider soon but she had a hard time believing it. The previous day she had gone with Ahravan and Rhawan to a grove of trees some miles from the city to check for rabbits, the cooks wanted rabbit for some stew and the two elves did catch quite a lot of the small animals in no time at all, or so it seemed. And when they took a small break some cuddling had escalated into them both taking her, Rhawan had even fucked her while riding and it had been odd but delightful as ever. She felt as if she just couldn’t get enough of them and they were the same, ready whenever she was and very eager. Wenja knew she was so very lucky and thanked the gods every day for her blessings. Now Ahravan did stop the pony and stared at the scout who bowed his head . “Aht’ir, there is a huge group of people heading in our direction, hundreds, and they bring herds and equipment”

Ahravan frowned. “What? It is too early for the clans to make the spring migration? Who is it?”

Wenja had learned that there were clans who had decided not to join the alliance and were free roaming so to speak, they did interact with the twelve clans rather often but had preferred to be independent and they were often few in numbers and had no territory of their own. The scout did shrug. “ I don’t know really, the distance was too great, but they were moving forth slowly and I have no doubt that Ohtanar is their destination. They came from the north”

Ahravan did tense up. “From the north? None of the clans are supposed to be north of us at this time of the year? There is nothing to live off there now?”

He did turn to Wenja. “Sweetheart, I think the riding lesson is over for now, I am sorry. I have to check this out”

Wenja did nod, she was just happy to stop for she was a bit tender in some places from the day before and riding wasn’t all that comfortable. Ahravan did whistle for one of the guards and ordered him to get Ayr’esh for him. He did smile at Wenja. “Do you want to join me?”

Wenja frowned, “It isn’t dangerous?”

Ahravan shook his head, “No, they bring their herds and everything, that is not an act of hostility, whoever they are. I think they may be needing help”

Wenja did nod, she was getting curious and she felt safe with Ahravan. He did send the guard to get Rhawan too and before long Wenja was lifted up onto the tall golden maned black stallion in front of Ahravan. Rhawan did ride his white stallion and did look eager and they gathered a small group of warriors and took off. Wenja did sit sideways across Ahravan’s thighs and he had wrapped his cloak around her so she was warm and comfortable. They rode fast but not overly so and she enjoyed the landscape and the things Ahravan did tell her about the things they saw.

After a while they did see a line on the horizon and it was apparent that it was a caravan of people and animals and it was long. Ahravan did hold the horse inn, he did stare with narrow eyes. “I don’t believe it…”

He did spur Ayr’esh again and the stallion did spring forth and Rhawan was right behind as they rode hard towards the front of the caravan. Wenja did understand that Ahravan had recognized these people and that it shocked him a lot. As they got closer Wenja realized that these were elves, all of them and that something had to be very wrong for Ahravan had tensed up a lot and Rhawan was cussing. Wenja did swallow. “What is wrong?”

Ahravan did caress her shoulder gently. “Oh dear, they should be many more, I fear that something horrible has happened”

They met the first riders of the caravan, and they were riding tall stocky horses with a thick long coat and heavy heads. All wore fur and Wenja did see that they had no wagons but dragged things behind them on some sort of primitive sled. Ahravan did raise a hand in greeting and the first riders did let out some shrill cries which had to be both relief and joy. “Hail Snowbear clan, what brings you south?”

The first riders did stop their horses and Wenja did see many horses which ran around and also some small long furred cows with enormous horns and brown colours. There were riders who had kids on their laps and some youngsters did keep an eye on the animals but Wenja did notice something odd. There were few men there, too few and she understood what Ahravan had meant. The riders did split into two groups and a horse was brought forth, it did pull a sled behind it and someone was placed on it. Ahravan did let out a small gasp and Rhawan let out a sort of wail. Rhawan and Ahravan did dismount and helped Wenja down too and two people did pull aside furs to reveal the person on the sled. It was a male, and he was very pale, in fact he was white as snow and his eyes were a light piercing grey. He was beautiful but clearly sick or injured and Ahravan did kneel next to the sled and his eyes were huge and revealed shock. The elf on the sled did groan and Wenja did see bandages under the furs, he had to be very weak and the injuries severe. “Fhailar, what has happened?!”

The pale elf stared at Ahravan with a sort of faint smile. “The gods are wrathful my brother, the enemy is back, stronger than ever. They came with the morning and these are all that is left of our clan”

Ahravan did blink in disbelief and Rhawan did moan, he stared at the group with disbelief. “How is that possible? You were…”

Fhailar did sigh. “More than ten times a hundred yes, and our warriors are brave and strong. But it was no use, we had to flee.”

He made a grimace and Ahravan did take his hand. “You are here now, we will welcome you all”

Fhailar tried to smile. “Good, they are your people now Ath’ir, I am clan chief no more”

Ahravan did gasp. “What? But…”

Fhailar did groan. “I am dying Ahravan, I have managed to stay alive just to see that my clan makes it to Ohtanar safely. I am at my end Ahravan”

Wenja saw that Ahravan was deeply moved and Rhawan was close to tears. “We have good healers…”

Fhailar did nod slowly. “And so do we Ahravan, some more days and I will meet the ancestors, I am not afraid brother, I know you will look after my kin”

A female did step forth, she was covered with furs and pulled her hood back, Wenja had to stare. She too was very pale with white hair and grey eyes and she had some odd tattoos around her eyes and along her jaw line. She bowed her head. “I am Yahlen, I am his bond mate”

Ahravan did place a hand over his chest. “I am most pleased to meet you”

Yahlen did sigh and there was deep sorrow in her eyes. “Likewise, my husband has told so much about you.”

Fhailar did cough and Yahlen did pull the furs back over him. “I am gonna lose him, like I have lost our sons. My heart is heavy Ath’ir, but I want to fight, I want to avenge what I have lost”

Ahravan was pale. “Your sons?”

Yahlen did nod, her face was stern but Wenja sensed the bottomless grief within her, she was showing a hard and cool façade but it was just a lie. She was ready to shatter, like a thin crystal vase. “Three sons I gave him Ath’ir and three I have lost. The monsters killed most of our warriors, the rest of us could only flee. I have a daughter left, that is all”

Ahravan did moan. “Gods, that is…”

Yahlen did stare at him. “I am spent, as he is. I have nothing for which to live now, except vengeance. I demand to fight among your warriors for the beasts will come, sooner or later”

Ahravan did swallow hard. “You are of course welcome to fight my lady, it is your privilege”

She nodded and Wenja felt so terribly sorry for her, three sons? And her husband too? Wenja couldn’t even imagine such sorrow and she did wish she could do anything to help the woman.

Ahravan did get a grasp of himself and he did take Wenja by the hand. “This is my mate Wenja, we wed just little over a week ago”

Yahlen did tilt her head, there was admiration in her eyes. “Such delicate beauty, my congratulations. Do enjoy your honey days, they do rarely return”

Rhawan did stare at the group. “How many are you?”

Yahlen sent him a sad grin. “Three hundred and fifty two, most women and children”

Ahravan did close his eyes, he did look tired somehow. “Then do start moving again, we have got to get everybody to Ohtanar. There are dangers on the plains now”

He didn’t say anything more and Yahlen did nod and returned to her horse. The caravan started to move again and Wenja was lifted back onto the stallion and they rode along the front riders. Wenja was curious but she felt the sorrow coming from Ahravan and didn’t want to disturb him. He did sigh and leaned his chin on top of her head. “You want to know more don’t you?”

She had to nod and he wrapped his arms around her. “This clan used to live way north, by the eternal ice, north of the mountains. We have rarely heard from them but they were many and strong and we did keep in contact every now and then. Fhailar has been their chief for many long ages and he has always been the strongest among warriors and the best of chieftains.”

Wenja swallowed. “You grieve…”

Ahravan did nod. “Of course, we elves regard everybody as family, as kin. We are not that many you know, the loss of so many is horrible”

She did hesitate, then she dared to put words to her feelings. “Will…will the beasts truly come our way too?”

Ahravan was silent, he just held her, and she felt a tremor going through him. “Yes, I am sorry Wenja, they will. And we will have to fight them”

She leaned back against his hard body and felt a shiver of fear running through her. “Can you beat them?”

Ahravan did kiss the top of her head. “We will try, that is all I can say. We have no idea of how they will attack”

She closed her eyes, remembered the dark sorrow in Yahlens eyes and knew that if something happened to Ahravan or Rhawan she would die on the inside.

They rode in silence for long and when the city was visible it was getting dark. Ahravan shouted orders and the clan of the snowbear did set up camp next to Ohtanar. When the furs came off it was obvious that most there were females or young males and children and the citizens of Othanar did react with shock and visible grief. Wails of sorrow was heard and many did smear ashes on their face to express their sorrow.

Wenja was returned to her hut by Rhawan and Sefa did drop by, she was crying and Wenja did cry with her. The bonfires were lit and many did dance to honour the dead, food was being prepared but this was no feast like those held just weeks ago. This was a wake and Ahravan did follow Fhailar into the healers hut. The healers did remove the furs and Ahravan did groan, the smell coming from the bandages told it all and Fhailar did try to smile. “I am in little pain believe it or not, I am alive because I cannot die yet, but my body is beyond healing”

Ahravan did bite his lower lip. “You are the most skilled of warriors, how could this happen?”

Fhailar did grunt and the healers did cut away the soiled bandages. The body of the chief appeared to have been run through with some sort of huge blade and there were several wounds, he had been stabbed several times. It was a miracle that he was alive still. “I was surrounded and one of them had a spear, I have never seen them using weapons but this one did, I am sorry my brother, I fear that the monsters this time are beyond us all”

Ahravan took his hand. “The clans are strong, we will not give up”

Fhailar did wave his hand at one of the women who were present. “Oh, that reminds me, get it Khiba”

The female named Khiba did leave the hut and returned with something wrapped in cloth. “This is yours now Ath’ir. Your symbol of power, of your right to rule”

Ahravan did remove the cloth, it was Fhailar’s legendary war hammer, a weapon forged by the dwarves and it was a wonderful piece of art and also a very powerful weapon, capable of crushing the skull of a rhino with one blow. Ahravan did gasp. “I cannot take this?”

Fhailar closed his eyes. “I do not take no for an answer Ahravan. My oldest son was supposed to have this, but both he and his brothers did perish in the fight. You are the only one worthy of this weapon. Wield it wisely, it has great powers”

Ahravan did nod. “I know brother, I know”

The healers did work on Fhailar and Ahnriel did make a grimace, her green hair was unkempt and she did look very dishevelled. “He has just mere days left, if he does last that long”

Ahravan felt a tear running down his cheek and Fhailar tried to smile. “Do not weep for me, I am old, I have lived well. Had my sons made it I would have faced the guardian with a grin, now I will meet them again.”

Ahravan did swallow hard. “Your burial will be one to remember”

Fhailar did nod. “Do not waste resources on me Ahravan, you will need everything you have now. Bury me with just one horse and a spear, that is all I need to reach the other side”

Ahravan did lower his head. “As you wish my brother”

Wenja saw that both Rhawan and Ahravan were beside themselves with grief that night and she did hold them both close as they went to bed, nobody spoke but no words were needed, emotions did flow like a river between them now, unchecked and unbridled. When Wenja did wake up that morning the camp was quiet, black smoke did rise from the bonfires and many had put on dark clothes too. Fhailar was on the last stretch of his journey, he was barely conscious and he had asked for Ahravan to be present. It was an honor but one with a bitter aftertaste, Ahravan had always seen Fhailar as an idol and seeing him die was not something he ever had expected to happen. His one remaining child was there, a young female with her fathers stern chin and beautiful grey eyes and Ahravan did just hope that she would get over the loss eventually. Yahlen was there, she was clad in a black dress and her paleness was made even more evident by this. All the elves of this clan were almost white in colour and they had grey or blue eyes but none had the same piercing gaze as Fhailar. Ahravan would miss having a strong ally to the north, without the clan of the Snowbear the north was open and he didn’t like that at all. Fhailar had been given something which removed his pain and he was dozing, Yahlen was holding his hand and he did make a weak gesture towards Ahravan. “My brother, remember, the one born twice may close the gate”

He did take a deep breath and then he sighed and fell silent and the hut was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop for a moment, then Yahlen made a thin wailing cry and fell to her knees and their daughter did the same. Ahravan was shaken, he had to leave the hut to give the two room to grieve but he felt like crying to. What now? If the monsters did came, what chances did they have?

The rituals concering a burial were strict, the body had to be burned within a day of the death and already the funeral pyre was being prepared. There wasn’t much wood to be found but in these cases they did allow for dead branches to be burned and the heap was already large. The funeral would be when the moon did rise and he went back to his hut slowly, with heavy steps. He had the responsibility for a whole extra clan now and few of them were warriors. It was giving him a headache. But he tried to appear strong to Wenja and he did order for hot water to be brought to the hut so they could bathe and prepare for the funeral. He heard that the members of the Snowbear clan were screaming and wailing out their grief, and he just hoped that he would be worthy of the trust Fhailan had put in him.

The city was a chaos now but the guards were still there doing their job and the herds the newcomers had brought were taken to good pastures and the horses were also taken care off. Many had wounds or were lame and the farriers had a lot of work to do. The people of the plains were used to handling loss and grief but they had never encountered it at such a monumental scale before. It did leave them all in a state of shock. Many gathered in groups to pray and some brought forth gifts which were to be placed alongside the dead chief to go with him to the afterlife.

Wenja was sad, she felt sorry for them all and both Rhawan and Ahravan tried to cheer her up by making jokes and playing silly. It didn’t work very well, she just felt a bit annoyed. The meals this day were meagre, it was tradition when there was a funeral and Wenja did eat her porridge without complaints but Rhawan did make grimaces and did look as if they were trying to poison him. That did make Wenja grin though, and when they did bathe Ahravan became very affectionate and cuddly. She realized that it was his way of draining himself of the grief and so she let him take her in the tub. Afterwards Rhawan was so turned on he too begged her for some attention and she allowed him too to do it, at least she had some joy this sombre day.

The ritual was started in the afternoon, the body of the deceased was washed and dressed in furs and many came by and said their prayers, most of the citizens of Ohtanar did know who Fhailar had been and their respect and sorrow was heartfelt. Yahlen did stand by her dead husband’s body, she didn’t weep and her gaze was stiff, as if the grief had turned her into a statue. As the sun set gifts were brought forth and the bonfire was to be prepared. They had chosen an open spot near the outskirts of the city and the entire population did gather there. The traditions were rather clear on how the funeral was to be done, one of the few surviving warriors of the clan did lead forth a horse from Fhailar’s own herd. It was one of his favourites, an old gelding and the horse wore full tack. They did lead the horse in between the four rocks which did mark the corners of the bonfire and the warrior did give the horse some salt on a rock. As the animal did lick up the treat one of the other warriors did strike it on the forehead with a pickaxe and the horse did drop immediately. Then all the adult members of the clan did bring forth a piece of wood and also the gifts which were placed in the bonfire with several jars of oil and when the fire was built as tall as they could the body was carefully placed on top of it. Yahlen did kiss her husband one last time and she started to sing, a very piercing and wailing song which did express her grief to everybody who could hear. She kept singing until the moon did rise, then Ahravan did hand her a lit torch and Yahlen did shudder and wail but she didn’t hesitate, she did throw the torch unto the bonfire and flames began to dance immediately. It was a good sign and the entire tribe did walk around the bonfire with the sun, it went slowly, and they were all chanting and Wenja felt that it was beautiful even if it was very sad indeed. They kept walking until the fire had burned down and in the morning the ashes would be gathered and placed in a box which was given the widow. She would pour the ashes out into the river and into the wind, to be spread out over the nature which had nurtured them all.

After the fire burned down there were groups gathering, singing and drinking and commemorating the dead and Wenja and Ahravan and Rhawan did return to the hut. Prina had been in her hut with Imh and Ebhrial the entire time and Wenja did pity her. The ritual had been so profound and real and she refused to think of the enemy which had slain so many brave warriors. The twelve clans were strong and they could fight, she didn’t want to worry.

The darkness was dense and the smoke did hang thick over the entire city now, people were still singing and mourning and the wind did change a bit and threw the thick smoke out over the plains.

None did see the dark figure which crept forward on his belly and knees. He wore a sheep hide he had stolen from some herders and he had left his horse behind, the animal had been almost dead and he didn’t need it now. He was going to get his revenge and that was all he could think off. He was tired and hungry and shaking all over but the anger he felt had burned so hot within him he forgot about all this. He would punish the whore who had put him through this. There were dogs there but the smoke did disturb their noses and Mjorr did grin. The gods were with him, the barbarians were celebrating something, he was sure he would find her and then she would be his as she should have been to begin with. Afterwards nobody would wish to touch her with a ten foot pole.

Mjorr did barely move, he did use the small bushes and rocks for all they were worth and he had managed to get to the border of the city. He did seek cover behind a stack of dried cow piles and kept a keep eye on everybody. He didn’t see her anywhere, damn, where could she be? He couldn’t enter the city, he would be detected for sure and if she was with her husband Mjorr knew he was chanceless. He remembered how that overly tall eternal had thrown him through the crowd as a ragdoll. The humiliation did still sting in his mind still. He sneered, sooner or later she would appear, he was sure of it.

Mjorr was not aware of the fact that this was a funeral and it wouldn’t have mattered to him if he had known. He was looking for a woman with dark red hair and he almost yelled when he saw her, a tall slender figure dressed in a black robe. He was shivering with excitement, she was there and the Gods did indeed favour him. He did sneak forwards, he didn’t see her face in the darkness but he didn’t have to. That hair was so special there couldn’t be two women with it. He did pounce on her and hit her in the back of the head with a stone, she went down and he did drag her with him into some bushes behind one of the huts. Now he was filled with eager energy, with zeal! He would indeed get his revenge. He did flip the girl over and tore the cloak up. She wore skirts but he got them out of the way and he was already very ready, almost trembling with need. The idea of fucking that goddamn wench who had tricked him of her virtue was truly arousing. Nevermind that her husband had plowed the land first, after Mjorr was done with her she would never attract a man again. He did use the cloak to tie her arms together behind her back and then he went to work. He did grunt and moan but managed to keep it down as he did plunge into her, he had never felt such joy when he fucked a female, she was so tight and good and he came rather fast. But he wasn’t sated, far from it, he just waited for a few minutes before he was fully hard again and this time he did her ass instead, he felt as if he never would lose his power, as if this did ensure that he would remain hard forever.

He did cut her clothes away and growled with desire, finally he was going to fulfil all his fantasies and he did pull the cloak up around her head and cut away at the darn red hair. It was so dark he didn’t really see her face at all but it didn’t matter, he remembered it all too well. When he had cut the hair away he did fuck her again and as he did that he did cut away at her tits, he would mar her face as the last treat he would give himself. He did empty himself in her several times and when he was so spent he had nothing more to give he did use the knife to cut away her nether lips and clit, he did even thrust the knife into that offensive passage which had rejected him.

The bloodloss was already fatal, but he wouldn’t quit just yet, he was still feverish with sadistic glee and he did use the knife on her arms and legs too. She would be unrecognizeable whence he was done with her.

Igkhan had slept soundly for the last nights, he had regained his strength and he was glad to be there for he learned so much new every day, he did wish to return home as a much wiser man and he did almost devour all new information with glee. This night was a sad one, he had participated in the funeral and he and Bagir had retreated to their hut to sleep but he couldn’t relax. Something kept him awake so he did sit by the oven instead and worked on the carvings on a knife blade. He had almost dozed off when he suddenly felt a cold chill and jerked, raised his head. He saw someone standing in the doorway and he saw the door through the figure, and he knew who it was. He gasped. “Sister? Little one?”

She just winked at him as if to ask him to follow and Igkhan did grasp a knife and followed the ghost with a hammering heart and a feeling of utter shock and disbelief. He did stop whence he was outside, she was fading away but pointed at some of the huts which were farthest away from the main part of the city. Igkhan did nod. “I…I will go…”

She smiled and was gone and Igkhan did clench the knife and walked on. It was very dark and he heard nothing but he saw that Resh’kha and Floth’bha were walking through the camp, they had become good friends and they were chatting away in the orcish language. Igkhan did wave a hand and held a finger over his lips and both fell silent and did walk over to him, “What is it?”

Floth’bha wasn’t as huge and buff as Resh’kha, she was more slender and almost pretty even the way a human saw it. Igkhan did whisper. “My dead sister, she appeared to me, as a ghost. She wants me to go towards those huts!”

Floth’bha did frown. “They are empty?”

Igkhan did sneer. “I sense something, something bad. She wouldn’t have appeared like that for nothing”

Resh’kha did pull out her axe”Go on, we follow”

The three did sneak forth, they used the darkness and Igkhan did feel the smell of blood and then he did hear someone cuss and saw movements. Resh’kha did hiss and Floth’bha did grasp her sword. They did sneak forth, Igkhan had a sinking feeling in his gut, this was something horrible and he knew it already.

Mjorr had been so sure that this was Wenja but when he did uncover the face to disfigure it he found that this was a woman of greater age then the slut and also, she had a much rougher face and way less beauty than Wenja. At first he did fume with rage, he should have checked but then again, he had enjoyed a good rehersal now hadn’t he? It was a good thing to practice and he did swear a bit and cleaned his knife on the robe before he got up to get his pants back in order. He did take two steps and then a huge hand did fall down onto his shoulder and another was placed around his neck. Mjorr didn’t scream, he just whimpered as he stared straight at two huge beasts, he had never seen an orc and had no idea of what they were. Then a voice could be heard. “So, you are still in the raping business? Be glad I will follow the laws for if I wasn’t I would gut you here and now!”

Mjorr stared at a young man with some odd tattoos and filed teeth and he did blink and tried to wriggle free. “What have I done to you? Let me go”

Igkhan did snarl. “What you have done to me? Remember that one time you visited the mountains and saw this very sweet little girl? The one who was on her way to the healers? The one you raped and killed? That was my sister you bastard and I will claim your life, as it is my right to do”

Mjorr did wet his lips, he did a twist and managed to break free from the grip, he started to run but didn’t come far, he was suddenly tackled by a huge dog which grasped onto his leg and shook him and his scream could be heard all over the city.

It did take less then a minute before Mjorr was tied down by several guards and the dead body was discovered and only the fact that Ahravan did show up prevented Mjorr from being torn limb from limb there and then. Ahravan did stare at the human and at the mutilated corpse of one of the city women. The very idea of this being done to Wenja made him freeze to the very marrow and he stared at the man with sheer hatred. “So, you are the creep who wanted to marry the woman who now is my wife? The cowardly bastard who tried to kill her, and now has killed an innocent woman?”

Mjorr cringed, he was furious and terrified and realized that he had done a huge blunder. Was that huge eternal Wenja’s husband? He was the most terrifying sight Mjorr had ever seen and now Rhawan did show up too, he did stare at Mjorr and his eyes were filled with something akin to sheer madness. “Has he hurt anyone?”

Ahravan did sigh. “See for yourself, behind the hut”

Rhawan did go to see and he came back almost in tears. “Oh Gods, that is…”

Ahravan raised his voice. “This man has broken our laws, he has maimed and killed and he has raped. He is no longer a living human being, his life has been forfeit. He will be kept until we have decided the manner of execution”

Everybody were shouting and crying out and the dead woman had a husband and parents and their screams and cries were terrible to listen to. Ahravan did make sure that Mjorr was tied up like a ham before he did order that the man was to be placed in a hut and put under heavy guard. Resh’kha and Igkhan did volunteer and so did some of the elves too. Mjorr wouldn’t stand a chance at escaping this.

Ahnriel did check the body of the woman and the injuries were horrifying, she was in tears when she reported everything to Ahravan and he did cringe and felt that the world suddenly had turned into a horror story. Rhawan was crying and the grief everybody had felt had suddenly turned into wrath.

Wenja was told what had happened and she became terrified and then she got furious and she did almost demand that she would be allowed to geld the bastard with a blunt blade. Ahravan held her and kissed her and calmed her down and eventually she was thinking again, Mjorr couldn’t harm her anymore but she did pity the woman he had attacked and her family. It was really horrible.

Bagir knew that Dagar had followed Mjorr, he too had to be out there somewhere and they decided that they would wait for some days before they decided what to do with Mjorr. They wanted his father to be there, it could be that he could shed some light on the case.

Wenja wasn’t allowed near Mjorr, and neither was anybody else. Only Ahravan and Rhawan was allowed into the hut and nobody did mention that Prina was there. Mjorr was almost mad with rage and he did swear and scream and holler insults the whole time but nobody bothered with it. He could yell all he wanted, his fate was sealed, the only question was when the doom would be put into action.

Ahravan was busy helping the newcomers settling inn and they did send out scouts all the time to look out for monsters. They couldn’t use time on that deranged piece of filth. They had to prepare for a war and Sefa did keep Wenja busy with weaving and other things she liked to do. Prina wasn’t told that her brother was there, she was still apathic and silent and Imh was very worried that she would succumb to her weakness when the baby was born. She was too weak soon, refused to eat and refused to do anything at all.

The three men had settled inn with the others there, they didn’t attract any attention and did also work a little with the horses and they had listened to the rumours which were spreading through the city, they did confirm what they had suspected. Prina had been raped by her own brother and the mere idea of having been used to hide such a hideous deed made them all nauseous. That Mjorr was heading their way was something they were aware off but they forgot about it when the strangers did arrive and they were busy helping out making huts for this northern clan. Being a part of a city like this did in fact feel good and they had thought about maybe staying, after all, they weren’t getting younger and here they could do something good with their skills. Geir was a good carpenter and Than was not bad on a drum, Osbord had been good at making ropes in his youth and it was all skills which were sought after.

They too were rudely awakened by the noise made when Mjorr was captured and they did feel very angry when they heard about his latest crime, it was a cowards deed and Geir did decide there and then that they would come clean and tell everybody the truth of their mission there. If it lead to them being punished then be it, they didn’t want to stand there and keep the truth hidden anymore. If Dagar did arrive he did deserve the right to hear the truth about his son’s devious plans. Now they could only wait for the right moment to tell everybody the truth and Geir wouldn’t hold anything back.

The entire city was in a atmosphere of tension now, both the arrival of the heavily decimated Snowbear clan and the death of their chief and the murder and rape of that poor woman had contributed to making people on edge. Ahravan was trying very hard to prepare the city for war, and the warriors did prepare their weapons and horses for battle. But the shaman did warn them, they couldn’t fight the demons Resh’kha and the strangers had seen, they were too powerful and lethal to everybody, the only way to fight them was to avoid them completely. Ahravan had made a decision, they wouldn’t follow the normal path to their winter grazing grounds on the east side of the mountains, they would be heading straight for the mountains and seek shelter against their flanks. With their backs to the steep barrier they could hold on for a long time, there were caves they knew off where the women and children could hide and if the monsters were as they had been earlier they wouldn’t bother with the herds that much. Not all did like this but they did agree, out on the plains everybody were vulnerable and Ahravan and Rhawan did spend a lot of time with the older members of the clans to see if they could map a route which was easy and fast and also as safe as possible.

Wenja was nervous and she was also feeling a sort of intense anger, Mjorr was alive still and she would not breathe freely until he was no more, he didn’t deserve to draw breath one day longer than his victims. Igkhan had told her of his sister and Wenja had forgotten her own fear and instead she was feeling wrath on behalf of the many women he had abused and hurt.

After some days Dagar did arrive, with some of Ahravan’s scouts. The man was tired and in a bad shape and he did stumble as he did come off his horse, he was no longer the haughty and arrogant leader he had once been, now he was just an old man who had failed in so many ways and were at the edge of his strength and hope.

Ahravan did go out to meet him, Wenja had told him about Dagar and Ahravan did see that this man was broken, the journey had perhaps started as an act of anger, to punish someone who had disobeyed him but over the length of it he had learned the truth of his own son and he had also seen the truth about himself. And it was humbling. Dagar did shiver and fell to his knees. “Please, my son…”

Ahravan did sigh, he did pity the man, even if he had been a complete asshole like his son, he had at least not murdered anyone and he was old, age did demand respect there even if Dagar was a mere babe compared with even the youngest of the eternal. Rhawan did sneer. “Mjorr is here yes, he did rape and murder a woman, and he has done that before, a child! He is awaiting judgement but know that he is going to die”

Dagar did let out a thin wail, he seemed to break down completely. “Oh Gods, I never knew…I have failed, by every God I have failed both him and our name. Please, I beg you, the fault is mine, I am the one who ought to suffer for this”

Ahravan felt sad. “No old man, he did make his own choices, even if you did fail in raising him. He is an adult, he does know right from wrong, He is to be punished, there is no way around that. I am sorry”

Dagar did let out a new wail and Ahravan did wave his hand at some of the warriors. They did pick the man up and carried him off to a hut, he was wailing like a child and Rhawan did stare at Ahravan. “We cannot wait for much longer, it has to be done”

Ahravan did sigh deeply. “Aye, it has to be done, tomorrow morning, the trial is to be held at sunrise.”

There was silence around them, most did look very pleased. They had to get this done and get over with it.

Wenja did wait for Ahravan and Rhawan to return to the hut, the cooks had prepared food and she was hungry and also strangely on edge. She felt agitated, as if she had too much energy and she had no idea of how to release it all. Both Ahravan and Rhawan were ravenous when they returned and all three sat down to eat in silence and Wenja did wolf down a lot, she had grown used to eating now and didn’t feel guilty when she was full. Afterwards they did take a small break and laid down to rest and Wenja did toss around like a puppy with fleas the whole time. Rhawan did catch her and held her still, his beautiful face did reveal his worry. “What is the matter my sweet? You are all over the place”

Wenja did sigh and tried to relax. “It is just…I feel on edge, nervous, stressed out. I cannot rest until I know that Mjorr is dead”

Ahravan did place a hand on her hip, it was a soothing gesture. “I know my dear, but do not worry. Mjorr has hours left now, he won’t escape and his faith is sealed.”

Wenja did turn around, there was an almost predatory glimpse within her gaze. “I want to see him die! I deserve it”

Ahravan did raise an eyebrow. “Whoa there Wenja, why the sudden bloodthirst? It will be very unpleasant to watch”

She did almost hiss. “Not as unpleasant as living under his shadow for years. I will not take no for an answer, I demand to watch”

Rhawan did kiss the top of her head. “Then you will be there but remember, you have been warned. It will most likely be extremely nasty”

Wenja did nod. “So much better then!”

Ahravan let his hand slide over her curves, his eyes were a bit sad. “I am so sorry you had to suffer because of that piece of filth”

Wenja did just shrug. “I did live in fear yes, but what about Prina? What he did to her can never be undone. And Igkhan’s poor sister? The woman he killed here? The countless others he has forced himself onto, the bastards born without a father? He ought to die a thousand times for what he has done”

Rhawan did grin. “You do have a little warrior in you Wenja, you sound like some vengeful veteran of many battles. I like that, you are strong”

Wenja did blush and Ahravan did send Rhawan a silent glance. They had to get her thoughts over onto something more positive. Rhawan did understand and since she lay there facing him he did slide down a bit and kissed her with both tenderness and hunger. Wenja did yelp and then she did answered the kiss, she had learned so much over these last days and how to kiss properly was one of them. She did feel how Ahravan did slide her clothes off of her and she giggled as she felt how he did tear off his own garments. Rhawan did the same, she was always in awe of the differences between them as well as the similarities. Ahravan was larger in build than Rhawan, more muscular and stocky but Rhawan wasn’t exactly petite either, he was just more sinewy and slender and she had seen how very strong he was first hand.

Rhawan did turn her against him and he started to pay homage to her bossom, licking and sucking her nipples while Rhawan did the same to the back of her neck. It made her go half mad and she whimpered and let every conscious though fly for the wind, all she could do now was to feel and need and want and before long they both were busy giving her everything she needed and more.

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