This is a continuation of the Mortis Custos part 7 by @lex-zaiya.
To start at the beginning of the story please see the links provided at the end of this post!
I have now moved this chain story over to Scholar and Scribe so the post may benfit @lex-zaiya and myself as authors. The community has two newly minted tokens on the market and we should earn more of them!
Enjoy the new episode.
Magna approachedd the knight carefully.
It did not bear the sword and sun motif of the Kingdom on its breast. Instead, it wore a black surcoat bearing a grinning skull. So many questions raced through her mind. It was difficult to choose where to begin.
"How are you speaking to me?" She asked.
The knight did not answer. It stood impassively. She could not make out from the voice or the stature if this was a man or a woman. The armor hid both the hips and shoulders in a way that the figure had no discernable male or female appearing physique.
The knight would neither be the tallest woman, nor the smallest woman who was in the Castle Guard and fitted in an ambiguous place.
No answer was forthcoming.
"What is your name?" She asked instead. She wondered if the knight would not, or could not answer.
"I am the Mortis Custos." Came the reply. A blue light appeared behind the visor sockets of the knight's helm, as though the figure radiated magical energy.
"What does that mean?" She asked.
No answer came.
"You came to fight and protected the people of the castle." She said instead, hoping to goad the tight-lipped mystery knight into a conversation. "Why did you do that? Where do you come from?"
"I serve and protect the bloodline of Drakenspoort." The reply came as though that information would have been obvious.
Magna scratched her head. "Drakenspoort? That sounds like ancient Frieslander. The town beyond the castle's name is Dragonsport. Has that name got to do with that?"
The knight did not reply.
She tried to remember what the ancient librarian had said about the town and it's history. Adrian would know, he sucked up knowledge like this like a sponge. For the briefest seconds, she thought of going to go find him and ask Adrian about Dragonsport. He would no doubt be in the library this time of the morning or standing outside uncle Adiran's door.
Then she remembered the fatal wound and her vision became blurry, her throat twisted in a knot. Her brother was going to die.
"Fear not." The metallic voice said.
"Wha..?" She choked on her word, the tears were beginning to fall.
"Something is about to change." The knight said. "I sense that you must prepare to travel."
In the royal chambers Queen Mary sat and watched the two old and venerable men either side of her prone son. She sat stil, her face composed, none of her subjects would see any hint of weakness. She was the strong warrior queen of Dragonshold. The Kingdom named after the mythical beasts who were fiercer than lions, stronger than bison and swifter than eagles.
Inside she was a churning mass of pain. Her soldier's mind had already told her that the wound on the boy was mortal and that nothing could be done to save him. Even though he still drew ragged breaths, the boy was as good as dead.
Meanwhile, the mother in her mind remembered that the boy was her son. Her precious little boy who was now hurt. He needs his mother's help. She needed to help him and do something about the awful condition that he was now in.
She was powerless. Watching the High Priest on his knees, hands clasped before him in prayer on the one side and the High Mage on the other, standing with his hands far above the bed and the boy, his hands glowing faintly of magic.
She would have felt a lot more confident in these men if the holy man did not smell like a riverside pub. The man had been found hiding behind the alter, drunk and delerious. On such a day as this, after the dead had marched through their halls, the High Priest's faith had shattered.
The other man was no better. There was the smell of perfume, trying to mask the scent of piss on the High Mage's robes. She distinctly remembered that neither he nor his brotherhood had been present in the fighting and her soldiers had died alone in the hallways of Dragonshold.
There was a collection of lesser mages and priests in the room as well. Filling the room with a combination of prayer and magical words.
Mary's soul churned. She felt like lashing out at these men. She hoped that they would be able to do something about Adrian's wound, with their supernatural and magical gifts. On the other hand doubt fought for control. A coward High Mage and a faithless High Priest did not inspire her to believe that they could do anything about this.
There was a series of shouts outside the door. Raised and angry voices. She had ordered the guards to let nobody inside, not even her daughter. Magna did not need to see this. The priests and mages needed their time if Adrian had a chance.
The door blasted inwards, the timber reinforcement on the inside of the door snapped in half in a shower of splinters. The guards who had been standing on the inside of the door were thrown to the ground.
Mary jumped to her feet, her sword already in hand. She noted with disgust that the High Mage had already run away from Adrian's side and the mages clumped together for protection.
The dust settled and a lone figure stalked into the room, his beard swaying as he walked. Blue lightning crackled around his fists. Whoever he was, he had massive amounts of power.
"Adiran!" Mary gasped as her brother-in-law stalked into the room and headed straight for his nephew. "What are you doing? How..."
"No time for talk now Mary." Adiran said grimly. "I have come for the boy."
The High Priest stood up. "The King lies dead and the Prince has not even passed, but you come to finish the deed and claim the throne for yourself?" The priest said hautily. "An evil man such as you must never be..."
There was a rush of air in the room as though a massive hand flew through the air.
"Shut up Darian." Adiran snapped and flicked a wrist at the man. A glowing shackle materialized and wrapped around the priest's mouth. The High Priest recoiled and tried pulling on the shackle but to no avail.
"What is the meaning of this?!" The High Mage seemed to have found the courage to rush forward. "The King's brother never had such power! But do not think that your show of power scares me, Adiran!" There were flashes of fire around the mage's wrists as he summoned his powers.
A scaly arm, taller than a man, materialized and flattened the High Mage. The arm ended in claws the size of knives, but they had not slashed or pierced the man, he was merely pinned to the ground.
Some of the mages run towards the High Mage. Some tripped and fell while others seemed to bounce back mid-run and fell backward. There was a shimmering in the air as the rest of a massive creature distorted vision for a second and then continued to be invisible.
"Stay down Christoff." Adiran growled and came to halt at the foot of the bed. He looked Mary straight in the eye. "You can rest easy Mary. I would never hurt my nephew."
She realized then, that she had still been holding her sword. She had drawn it back, ready to strike. She lowered it. "Jonathan never approved of magic."
"Thus I never showed him my powers." Adiran said. It was a lie of course, but it also had truth. The scaly arm in the room began to fade and dissapear. The mages all backed off from the High Mage.
"Does that mean that you can heal Adrian?"
The bearded man looked grim. "Unfortunately, my talents do not extend to this kind of healing. Besides, the wound has the taint of the Dead in it." He raised his hands, purple fire spun from his palms, forming a circle around his open hands. The tips of his fingers glowed with yellow bolts, like lightning.
"What I can do..." Adiran's voice was strained. "Is buy him time...." The air began to feel thick. Mary lifted a hand, it felt as though she was wading through water but there was nothing.
"Oh... one more thing." Adiran grunted and she looked up at him. "I will have to borrow your daughter for a journey."
That's a wrap!
I really enjoy thus story. Though the trick in a chain story is that once you have an idea and you put it on paper, you cannot guess where the story might lead afterwards.
Enjoy it @lex-zaiya! Let's see what you can do!
Here is an explanation of Chain Stories and here is the current Chainstory Library
Mortis Custos Parts:
|by @lex-zaiya||by @zakludick|
|Part 1||Part 2|
|Part 3||Part 4|
|Part 5||Part 6|
|Part 7||You are here!|
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