The Music of Darkness

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Chapter eight: Lord Carmon Stealwell

Down on the docks almost at the vary end they found a ferry man who agreed to take them across to the islands for the price of five silver, to which they agreed. The brothers boarded and the Knights would have followed when the ferryman stood and said,

“Sorry sirs but this vessel is only fit for three, that’s me and two passengers, if you wish to cross yourselves you’ll have to wait for my return” Redtree looked to Drell,

“Never mind it, its best if my brother and I go alone any how. Wait for us back at the Golden Sword” the knights agreed and the ferryman pushed off.

The Islands of Casline were comprised of two small islands surrounding the larger main island, but even this was not that large. The main island was largely populated by forest broken only by the castle and a village populated by the knights under Lord Carmon Stealwells employ. The ferryman pulled the boat into a small dock near the castle where he thanked the gentlemen and said he would wait to take them back across. The brothers slowly made their way up the steep slope of the hill to their right. At the top of which stood the castle of Casline. The castle wall was of plain gray stone with two short turreted towers on either side. Just in front of the gate were two enormous stone knights.

At the gate the brothers stated their request for an audience with Lord Carmon. In the courtyard they were met by guard’s men who led them to the castle doors. The castle, like the wall around it, was rather plain showing that a Lord’s wealth was limited. The courtroom too was also quite plain. Knishes that lined the walls were home to gargoyles and a large red carpet led to the end of the chamber where Stealwell sat in patient silence. The Lord was a man of enormous stature with a barrel like chest and arms like tree trunks. His face was cold, and rigged as if carved of stone. His long black hair hung like a curtain over his face as he sat slumped in his throne. Only when the brothers approached did he raise his head to look at them.

“Well? What exactly do you want?” asked Stealwell when the brothers remained silent. Drell went on to explain about Mina’s unfortunate run in with bandits, and how she was, seemingly. kidnapped from the ransacked Temple of Second Life, Carmon listened silently.

“So you thought that I ordered my men to kidnap Mina and kill anyone who got in their way?” Drell bowed his head, and Loroedor spoke up,

“We had no other leads and”

“I know I understand your reasons. I don’t exactly have what most might call a good reputation but I hope you will believe me when I tell you that I truly do love Mina. I would move mountains if I thought it would make her happy. The news you bring grieves me and I am glad to know that someone else is looking for her” at this Drell looked up

“You have no idea where she might be then?” Stealwell shook his head

“No, I am sorry,”

“It’s quite alright your lordship, thank you anyway. We will take our leave, good day”

No sooner had the two left the court when Drell ran for the nearest tree and slammed his fist into it so hard that the skin on his knuckles split sending blood dripping down the trees knarled bark. There was silence then Drell, his head pressed up against the tree, let loose a frightful hart wrenching wail and fell to his knees sobbing. Loroedor felt his hart give a painful throb as he knelt behind his brother and placed a gentile hand on his head. At his brothers touch Drell turned only to press his face into his older brothers warm, solid chest, gripping Loroedor’s tunic with both hands as he sobbed. Loroedor remained silent as he moved his remaining hand to his brothers heaving shoulders and held him close. Soon, as always happened, comforted by his brother’s touch and soothed by the steady beating of his brother’s hart Drell quieted, but remained in his brother’s embrace. When Drell at last grew quiet Loroedor tightened his embrace,

“You love her don’t you?” Drell looked up

“Yes, yes! The Shade damn me! Yes I love her. Damn it what’s wrong with me? Not only am I in love with a human but also she is the betrothed of another man! But I can’t help it Loroedor! I love her even though I know its wrong and I cant…. I cant…” again Drell began to sob. Loroedor sighed,

“Drell, nothings wrong with you. When it comes to love you cant control how you feel. Besides that you know I’ll support you no matter what you choose” Drell looked up

“You mean that?” Loroedor smiled and rose to his feet pulling Drell with him.

“You know I do” Drell smiled. The two made their way back to the dock in silence to where the ferryman was waiting for them.

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