Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Greven {Part one and maybe only}

How many days have I been down here? Or, should I count the weeks instead? I wonder if Xander and the Elven Ambassador safely reached Voronwë, or did they head to the rebel base? I hope my message reached Beleg in time, I'd hate to see Xander under suspicion, though, look at me. I have a lot to talk about. They had better be taking care of Ciar, if I find so much as one scratch on her, I'm going to be put off...That is, if I ever get to see her again...

Such thoughts, swirling within his sub-conscience, filled his dreams, or was he awake? It was hard to tell, so dark was this cell. Were his eyes opened, or shut? 
Was he dreaming of dark shadows that danced around him, shadows with snarling teeth and wet noses, or was it real? 
He wouldn't discredit it's factually. 

Time passes strangely in dark, moldy cells deep under a castle. Sometimes, time passes slowly, and it feels as if he has been here for years. But other times, it seems that he was locked in these chains mere minutes ago. 
Nothing broke the monotone, nothing was changed. The jailer came once a day with bread and water, and left a single torch by the barred door. The light was just enough to see by, and it burned out in a few hours, and he was again left in the cold, shadows-with-teeth filled dark. 

He must've been dreaming this time, for the sound of the keys to the door of his cell rattling open awoke him. Curious, the jailer had already brought his food for the day, had Felix grown tired of feeding him and was bored for an execution? 
The door creaked open, slowly and jerkingly, it needed a good oiling, but who cared about the upkeep of the cells? 
"Brought you a pal, traitor. Someone to chat with, maybe ya know each other, huh?" The Jailer grinned, and three soldiers drug in a chain wrapped man. They took him to a wall, and chained his hands to two rings protruding from the wall. Greven had been glad that he hadn't been chained to the wrist rings, but he now pitied the poor man who was forced into them. He looked so weak he could hardly stand, and his clothes were torn and bloody welts crossed his body. 
Not a whips work...something more sharp......like a dragon's claws. 
One of the soldiers cast him a pitying look, and Greven recognized the young man's face. One of his own men, one of the new enlists who had been practicing his archery the day Xander came out. 
The day everything had changed. 
The poor lad, he must be so young still, the two men he most admired, one defecting and at large, and the other one before him, chained and worn. 
"Quite your gaping, Joss" one of the other soldiers grabbed the boy's collar and shoved him out the door, and it locked again behind them. Thankfully, a new torch was left in the holder by the door, and it chased the strange shadows away. 
"Pleasure to meet your acquaintance, but, I'm sorry it was under these circumstances. The name is Greven" he nodded at the young man, and scaled him up. 
The fellow was a miniature giant, but wasn't bulky, more like a young tree. He wasn't scrawny; the dragon must've had it's own ailments in taking him captive. 
"And I'm Thalion Uaine, of Voronwë" the words were spoken firmly, though weakness hunted at the edge of his voice. 
Greven rubbed his ears, and chuckled, "I'm sorry, I've been here for so long, I must be hearing things, would you repeat what you just said?" 
The fellow nodded, "I am Thalion Uaine. Of Voronwë" 
So...he had heard right. But Voronwë? Another Elf captured? Had the attack began? Surely The Silver City hasn't fallen? Has the Elves joined arms with the Rebels? 
He voiced all these thoughts, and the Elf shook his head, "When I was taken, there was still discussion to enter this fight. I have no doubt that once, if, they discover my abduction they will enter the fight" The elf, Thalion, as he said his name was, paused, and breathed deeply. 
He wasn't in the best of health, his tunic was dyed red from wet blood, and his breathing was ragged. 
"Don't stress yourself, friend. Perhaps they will allow you to be unchained from the wall next time the Jailer makes his rounds" It was cruelty, keeping an injured man on his feet, but he couldn't remember Felix winning an award for kindness. 
"This, this cell...are most like this one?" Thalion spoke again, though it was in a weaker tone. 
If he isn't allowed to rest, he will die..... "yes. Some of the cells on the upper levels have windows, but aside from allowing faint light, they serve no aid or comfort. Prisoners aren't treated like guests in Voronwë" 
Thalion's hands clenched into fists and he glared at the ground, "would they keep a woman in such conditions?" 
"Are you thinking of the Elvish Ambassador?" 
Thalion looked amazed, and nodded once, "Bly, she....she is my sister" 
Greven took a moment to process this, this giant was the brother of that small, dainty thing? And what jinx had been placed on that family to warrant capture twice?
He decided to let his shock pass away unseen, "She too was kept in a cell much like this one. But only for a day or two. Xander, that foolish, big hearted idiot..." Greven felt a smile creep to his face, "Captain Bolivar was a dear friend of mine. In fact, I'm in this position because I gave aid to him and Lady Bly in their escape" 
Greven spent the next minute filling Thalion with the escape, and his part in it. The elf smiled faintly when he spoke of Bly pushing him off of Ciar. 
"Sh-she is a spunky thing, despite not knowing it herself" Thalion shook his head, and in turn told of Xander and Bly's arrival to Voronwe, and tears glistened in Greven's eyes as Thalion spoke of Ciar and her healing. 
"My pretty girl. That day we found them in the meadow, she looked up at me, and I felt so lost for her. Everything she was had been taken away. And Rudy, that little Colt was dying beside her. After we stopped his bleeding, and carried the two back, She nestled her head on my shoulder and I felt the closest thing to a Father that I have ever felt in that time. You probably think me silly, but that sweet and shamed black Unicorn has been my family for all these years. I am glad she is whole again. And Rudy too...he'll be a regular sky king now" 
Thalion shook his head, "no, no. I don't see you as foolish. And, may Yahweh grant it to happen, I pray you two shall again see each other. But...I have one more thing to tell you...your reference of King brought it to my mind...."


Was it night, or day? 
The Elf had fallen asleep soon after delivering his last news, his head hung like a dead men's. With the amount of blood puddled at his feet, he should be dead. Greven could only hope he was rescued in time. 
But sleep for himself was pushed far away with this new realization. 
Xander, king? King of Aragathia? The rumored escaped heir?
Greven had known Xander's father, or rather, knew of him. He was a harsh, prejudiced man; A man who disregarded any life of anything that wasn't human. How ironic that he himself would be a half breed without knowing it! 
And Xander was coming, coming to claim what was his...
For the first time since being cast in this dark hell hole, Greven could feel hope. 
Even if his life left him, Aragathia would be righted, and that was a comfort of its own. 
To see Xander sitted upon the throne that Felix now occupied, it would be a sight worth dying, and living, for. 

At some point, he must had drifted off to sleep, as he woke with a start to the metal barred door creaking open. 
"You are a lucky one, Greven" the jailor grinned as he unlocked the shackles around Greven's ankles, "the king has desired a meeting with you" 
of course, those who knew Felix would undoubtedly question whether he was lucky, or unlucky. 
As he was led out of the cell, Greven glanced towards the place where the Elf, Thalion, had been, and found it empty.  
he would have questioned whether the Elf had been there at all, was it not for the still crimson pool at blood on the floor. 
Where had they taken him? 
and how had they taken him? Greven was a light sleeper, the opening of the door and rustle of the wrist chains would have woken him.  
He puzzled these things while being led up to the upper prison level, where they stopped. 
His first thought, was of gladness that he wouldn't have to venture outside the darkness of the Dungeons.  it must have been close to a month that he had been down here, and while seeing the sky again was desirable, it was also a bit intimidating, as the sunlight would probably blind him, even if it were a cloudy day. 
But then, he realized, there was only one reason Felix would come to the dungeons, on this particular level, and that was for the torture chambers. 
"you certainly have a unique way of putting a torture session" Greven murmured while the guard unlocked the oak and steel door. 
Personally, he had never been inside the chambers, though he had heard plenty of horror stories, and if he were to say he wasn't a bit frightful over this whole development, he'd be lying. 
"The king has ever intention of coming to speak with you, traitor" The guard chained Greven to a contraption built to limit his movement while the torture master stood from a chair in the corner,  "but 'e asked me to break you in nice and good first, make you ya listen and comply like ya should" 
The master flexed, and lifted a long black bullwhip from the roughly fashioned table to his right, and grinned. 
"Not going to plead, are ya?" 
Greven's fists clenched in the metal shackles, "if I did, I doubt it would make any difference" 
"good" The Torture master unravelled the long bullwhip with a snap as it cracked against the dirt floor, "I like a sturdy person. weak, begging ladymen aren't any fun". 


"enough" Felix's voice rang above the pounding in Greven's ears, and he looked up as the whip fell short from striking out at his face again. 
the king stood in the doorway, and, Greven noted, looked older than the last time, a month ago, that he had seen him. 
"I think you have done well, Anders, leave" Felix commanded, and the Torture master bowed before leaving the king alone with the still chained prisoner. 
after the door shut, Felix clicked his tongue, "Really, Greven, is this necessary?" 
Greven blinked the blood out of his vision, only to feel a new wave of warm crimson pour over his left eye again. 
"you tell me, Felix. I wasn't the one who requested to be tortured" 
He could taste the blood in his mouth, and there was a deep cut across his mouth which was going to leave a nasty scar.
Despite his rather misfortune current predicament,  he couldn't help but think, a deep scar on his face wasn't going to make him anymore popular with the ladies.
The King smirked, but it was a sort of painful grin, as if just pulling his face into something even mildly presentable hurt, "Don't be tarty, Greven, it won't get you anything pleasant"
Greven resisted the urge to snap back something new sarcastic and shrug, but the look in the King's eyes, and the fact that the Torture master was standing right outside the door coupled with the fact that Greven really didn't want to add more scars and blood to his current fate than was already here, held him back.
So he mainly glared at Felix, letting his eyes say everything he willed his mouth to keep from saying.
Felix pulled up a chair from a corner, and settled himself in it, the contrast between the rickety wicker chair with the reed seat and the king, dressed in his robes of purple and silver velvet would have, perhaps, have been humorous.
If Greven hadn't ached from every core of his being.
"Greven, I gave you enough time to talk to the Elvish man quite long enough" Felix's tone of voice suddenly changed, instead of sounding harsh and ridiculing, he actually sounded like a Father having a gentle chat with a wayward son.
That trick wasn't about to fool Greven.
"Please, lets avoid anymore, disagreeable treatment, and, why don't you let me know about your conversation? You don't even have to tell me about battle plans, or anything that could endanger you rebel's futile plans" Felix leaned forward, the chair creaking, "I just have one thing I desire to know"
Greven's eyebrows rose, what sort of information could he possible have that was of more importance than that of battle plans?
"Tell me, Greven, tell me, and I will see to it that this sort of punishment isn't repeated, and, I'm feeling generous, I'll even give you a cell on higher ground" he shrugged, "I hope you understand that I can't just let you go"
"Of course, that would be foolishness" Greven snapped, his tone icy, and Felix smiled that same half pained grin, "You always have a witty tongue, Greven"
The king stood, but paced for only a few seconds before sitting down again, he was agitated. But about what?
"Greven, I understand that the ex Captian Bolivar was close to you, and, recently, he and that ambassador, headed towards Voronwe, if the reports we received are indeed correct" Felix's feet shuffled, what in all of incantevole could have him so flustered by Xander going to Voronwe?
And Greven knew all of this from his talk with Thalion...his mind raced to try and figure out where Felix was going with this conversation before Felix reached it, so he could stay a step ahead.
"Undoubtedly, the elves know of the identity of the heir of Adan, my nephew or great nephew, just as Xander probably knows.  I cannot help but skip to the philosophy, that you, a close Friend of Xander, a man who was welcomed into Voronwe without any problems, would be told the identity as well, if you had a conversation with an Elf..."
Felix again stood, and Greven's eyes widened, Felix didn't know of who Xander was? Was that possible?
"Which, you did have...the male elf we had captured" Felix stepped nearer Greven, so the man in chains and the older man who wore a crown that didn't belong to him where face to face.
"Greven. Who is the Heir of Adan? that is the only thing I ask"
The room was filled with silence as Greven and Felix faced each other in a fierce stare down.
The sound of a rat scurrying somewhere, water dripping, even the wind howling outside the small rectangular window outside.
Greven's face slowly broke into a smile, the cut on his mouth paining him all the more.
"The identity of the true king? that's what you desire to know so badly?"
Felix's eyes were almost wild.
he feared Xander, even if he didn't know who he was.
He feared the Grandson of Adan, who was coming, surely coming, to claim what had been denied him.
Felix gripped the chains holding Greven's wrist cuffs, and jerked them roughly, "You know, tell me, Greven. If you know what is good for you, than you tell me"
Greven cleared his throat, "I used to tell my pupils, Felix" he didn't disguise the fact that he called the King by his first name only, but emphasized it. "That an answer to a question long desired told outright is only for idiots, and since you are surely no idiot" he was going to get punished for his lack of discretion. "Why don't I give you a riddle?" he smiled pleasantly, but Felix growled and jerked the chains roughly, "don't fool with me, Greven"
Greven merely cleared his throat, "The man for whom you search is also the man for whom you search, the quarry and the prey are one of the same.  The man who was is also the man who will be"  He tilted his head, "simple enough for you? I try not to make my riddles puzzling for those with..." his words caught in his throat as Felix slammed a cold poker against his ribs.
The King shouted as Greven continued to hold a plaster smile to his face, and the Torture master reentered.
Even as the poker pressed against his skin, this time heated in the low burning coals, and Felix ordered for the torture master to leave him barely alive, he had the realization that driving Felix nearly insane with madness was the second best thing he had ever done in his life.  The first, the first thing he was proud of doing, was aiding Xander out of Aragathia.
Helping the king escape.
As he slipped into the darkness where there was no pain, he had one hope.
And that was, that Xander hurry up and free him, because he really was going to need treatment for these burn and whip marks.
and of course, Aragathia was depending on him.