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Avahn

By Panpalea All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi / Fantasy

Prologue

War horn.

The heavy doors of the Cathedral shook with great force from the outside. The ear splitting screech of metal on stone as the plated boots of the blood and bruised clerics protested the sudden movement.

Thunk

Screech

Thunk

The Cathedral's main room was a swamp like haze from the rain of dust and chipped stone brought from the resting place in the room's rafters high above the heads of the cowering people and final defense put on by a double door and clerics. The breaths of women and children and elderly only added to the intensity and density of the air as shafts of light shone brightly through the half a dozen stain glass windows lining the cathedral's interior walls. These spotlights accenting the wide eyed and pale faced or injured expressions of the tear-stained faces huddled en mass in hope the torrent of violence outside would somehow cease in time to spare them the chaos.

Below the main floor of the holy ground was the office of inquiry and the Bishop's main office where the High Inquisitor, a woman of simple understanding of the world other than the orders she was given by the head of this village's church, stood with two other gentlemen – The Grand Cleric, a man with little to no dedication for the church the Untouched nor their so willy nilly placed cathedrals, and the Bishop of the village recently put in place by the Holy City of the Untouched who, like any foreigner sent to ensure the holy eye's reach was solid, had no idea how to govern the people of the Inquisitor and Grand Cleric's village or how to deal with surrounding peoples not of the Untouched collection.

The Bishop, in his advanced age, looked up from his desk holding a linen map of the village and surrounding forests covered thickly in red tokens. The Cathedral shook violently causing the nearby wine bottle and empty glass to rattle and clatter harmlessly onto their sides atop the desk. The bearded old man cleared his throat and eyed up to his Inquisitor in red and white armor with all but her eyes covered. She appeared tired from the past two or so days of siege by the people of the D'avahn.

“Be honest with me, High Inquisitor...” the elderly man gruffed. “What do our defenses look like?”

The High Inquisitor, in her armored glory and imposing figure with her fantastically crafted feminine-face plate mask and white tired as sin eyes, sighed in utter defeat and shook her head as her voice resonated from the casing mechanically.

“That ornate door is our last, your holiness.” she stared daggers into the Bishop.“The village guard were sent to their deaths upon your defensive order, as were the men and women you so carelessly ordered to intercept the Warlord's siege horde. They didn't last ten minutes...” the waver of the strong woman's tone near the end of her comment would've demoralized any military force upon hearing such a leader.

The Bishop sat in silence before standing in equal non-voicing. His flowing white robe trailing in tow.

“Lady Inquisitor, I will require you to depart with a message of desperation to the Holy City. Our village has been attacked by the D'avahn without provocation and we request--”

“You're lying.” interrupted the raspy male voice of the Grand Cleric. His young face, no older than twenty-five, remained expressionless as he looked upon his holiness with contempt and lack of realization of authority which he once had over the man. He too had the look of a person who had fought in a battle they clearly did not belong in, his unshaven face and bruised demeanor accenting his bold comment.

“You're a liar and you continue to prove your lack of understanding beyond your bullshit clergy even as the world responds to your nonsensical behavior with the deaths of hundreds.” his body shook as he went red in the face with anger. “You sick filth of a Bishop. There is NO bargaining with the D'avahn. Because you ordered the attack on their unarmed outpost you sentenced EVERYBODY to their deaths! Remain in your desk, your holiness, because your beliefs die with my village.” he ended and immediately turned for the stone stairway ascending back to the main cathedral hall where the remnants of his village cowered in fear.

A sigh followed his departure before the lady inquisitor's body convulsed and she pursued him only for a moment.

“But Captain...” her broken voice cracked further and she could almost be accused of breaking out into tears if not for her gradient eyes so easily concealing the evidence of tears. She lowered her arm and then her head before feeling as if this was a sort of departure for former friends. The throat clearing of the Bishop who continued to stare at a nearby bookshelf, staff in hand, brought her back and she squinted her exposed eyes now experiencing her own form of anger.

“He is your Grand Cleric, Inquisitor...please properly address the man's authority.” he scolded unto deaf ears.

“Sod off...may your gods save you as the rest of us suffer for your ignorance...” she spat before walking toward the stone doorway of the chamber.

“I did not dismiss you, High Inquisitor-...”

“Get bent!” she roared in a rattling metal tone as she left and threw her holy seal to the ground off her armor.

“How shameful...” the elderly Bishop sighed as he leaned his staff against the bookshelf and walked back to his desk chair and sat down with a tired grunt. “Shameful that a horde of barbaric savage women will scuff the stones of my lovely cathedral with their boots and defile my air with their savage language...shameful.”

He poured the toppled wine into his glass and leaned down with another old man's grunt bringing up a small green pill to drop into the waiting wine. As it stand sizzled and boiled away into the alcoholic liquid awaiting it's consumption. He lifted the glass with a weak hand and tipped his glass to no one in particular, or at all, before a low roar and a following shockwave shattered the air and trembled the entire cathedral rattling the just finished skeletal framework of the building to a jar-clattering level.

As the world grew dark for his holiness the Cathedral filled with the echoing screams of the people in the above chambers.

As the doors shook violently with what would be the final jaw clacking ram from the outside the Grand Cleric motioned to his people still leaning against the ornate doors. He to went and leaned on it alongside the men and women who varied in age from late teens to early fifties. Men and women pulled from their every day tasks to be guards of a church none of them had any choice but to bring into their lives.

“Lads, Ladies, we will hold this damned door closed for eternity if we must. I wont lie to you, we were fooled by a higher power and left to die, but-...”

clunk

The Grand Cleric's words were cut off as several more of those sounds echoed from the other side of the twin doors. He stood back from the wooden paneling and went white in the face, his eyes as wide as saucers, before he threw his arms outward.

“MOVE from the door-!”

The following blast rippled the air and sent skyward the stain glass placements as the shock wave of a mighty blast rocked the stone floor causing dozens of them to leap from their resting places and several pillars from the framework of the building itself falling heavily to the main floor immediately ending the fears of torture or pain for a few in the proper place. From the rush of black caustic smoke which shot inward from the detonation point, the clerics and Grand Cleric were swallowed from sight and then met with a breath of fire from the explosive that would put a dragon's roar to shame. Large splinters of shattered wood and molten hot super heated hinged and ornate pieces flew from the smoke avoiding most people, except for one.

In came the High Inquisitor from the chambers below just as she witnessed her Grand Cleric being taken in by the black cloud and then orange flames. Her balance was soon thrown off as the shock wave slammed into her towering body and she felt herself toppling backwards before she abruptly halted in mid-air. She was confused, had the Grand Cleric saved her? Had a bystander caught her to avoid damage from slamming into the stone floor? The oddest questions began flowing through her mind as she then pondered what an odd angle she had been caught on; one of her legs was extended towards where she had previously stood before the shock wave while the other was in a fairly aggressive seventy-five degree angle pinned beneath her own weight. Her arms hung limply behind her back treading along the ground due to their length and her height off the stone flooring not being that much.

'Okay...' she thought. 'Just going to take a breath...and stand up.'

She shuttered as she attempted a quick breath and standing motion. Her position had not changed at all, nor did she feel the gust of air filling her lungs. It was as if she had inhaled and it...and it...


The screams were a clergy chorus of chaos within the cathedral as the doors were blown free of their hinges and captors. A rain of bullet-like wooden spikes were thrown about and even then after the screaming persisted. Upon seeing the charred remained of their clerical guardsmen and their High-Inquisitor impaled upon a large wooden sliver jammed into the stone floor from the sheer force of the blast, the cowering survivors fled to the back of the now blackening dark cathedral.

Yet the room then fell into an ominous silence as they all expected the Clanswomen of D'avahn to rush in and slaughter them all. This never came. What instead came was the clomping of two pairs of feet as the chaos calmed the air to a still and two figures emerged from the lightening smoke which only kept billowing from the now flaming clergy banners.

The pair of feet belonged to none other than the five-foot-six Warlord of the D'avahn herself. Naza Varyn. She had a Cheshire grin plastered onto her face accented by her bright, nearly glowing, turquoise eyes which lasered through the smoke and ash like neon headlights. At her tow and escort was a morbidly comforting yet equally tragic sight of a towering black-clad curvaceous woman with her palms locked before her standing lap and her head bowed only minimally within the black hood over it. Her glowing silvery eyes flickered with expressionless point as the people cowered away from the new attendees to the liturgy of death.

The short scarlet-haired Warlord eyed over the suffering remains of those lucky enough to not die in the resulting collateral. She felt nothing for these people, she felt more sadness for the amount of resources wasted to bring down such a small village.

“Back stabbin' may hurt th'person you are going for...” she idly sauntered over to the impaled High-Inquisitor's body and kicked it over in a defiling manner. As she looked to what was half of the Grand Cleric's body, his upper, not badly incinerated. He wasn't breathing, but his body still twitched and his eyes locked onto hers. She promptly walked to him, stepped over him, and squatted over his chest with both arms on either accompanying knee for support. She cracked a devilish grin in an inhuman far-too-wide manner before tilting her head to the left.

“B'tet always ends th'same...y'always endup suffrin' more alongside yer most cared for...” she finished as his eyes glazed over and went blank.

The Warlord stood before the black-clad tall figure turned her hooded head slowly after the company she kept.

“Naza...you preach to a choir of the damned. There's no audience you're sharing your morals with and this one will be corpses in the next few minutes.” she said, her black painted lips just visible in the fire light from her hood and her deep toned ebony skin falling back from the speaking to her resting face. The robed woman turned and merely glided out the doorway before several of the Warlord's warriors marched in with pistols drawn from their leather holsters.

Naza flicked her arm dismissively over her head as she too departed after the taller figure. Following the chorus of gunfire and last few screams came the ever known and imposing

War horn.

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