An Anonymous Storyteller
The woman sat amidst the books of the library.
Her light golden hair drooped sadly, unkempt after a long, tiring evening. Her
face was beautiful and young, but concerned and weary. Her blue eyes focused on
something far beyond the bookcase sitting a few feet in front of her. She sighed
It had been more than two weeks since she last saw Ceridwen, and even Fieya's
strong will was threatening to crack. Grythak had ambushed Ceri - leading him
into a trap where he expected to find a friend in distress. He must by now be
imprisoned, or worse. But, no sense in thinking about that. It won't help
matters, she told herself.
The familiar hum of a teleportation spell interrupted her thought, and Fieya
turned towards the library's doorway. The recognition of the red-robed man now
standing there brought bile to Fieya's throat. She tried to scream, but only a
hoarse whisper came from her lips. The man smiled.
Fieya stood up, her hands darting to the rough back of a nearby chair. She
lifted it, with some effort, and lept towards the man, a fury in her eyes.
"Xandrick!" she nearly snarled in contempt. But, in mid-stride her
legs froze in place, and the chair fell to the wooden floor with a crash. The
echoes of the words "An Ex Por" rang in her ears.
"A lively girl, I always said. But, such liveliness does you no good right
now. Sit and shut up, and perhaps the good historian will live a bit longer,
yes?" The man smiled no more. He picked up the fallen chair, righted it,
and sat. "Well, come now, have a seat."
Fieya felt the magical restraints loosen, but she remained standing. She still
shook with anger. "Where is Ceridwen?" she said, very softly.
Xandrick sneered. "I have use of him yet, girl. Perhaps I will ask the
Fieya's eyes darted about. "Guards? GUARDS!" The only response was the
cawing of a dark bird sitting on the windowsill.
"They cannot hear you. A couple of fire elementals are wreaking havoc near
the East Bank now - or so I hear. They will be occupied for another few minutes,
at least. I will be brief and to the point, as I'm not sure how much logical
thinking you're currently capable of." Fieya still stood, frozen, glaring
at him. "You see, it is my mercy which has brought me here tonight.
Ceridwen knows the last formulae I need to continue with my... work. But, the
blasted historian is being rather - - tight-lipped, shall we say? So I come to
you. I know you are a reasonable, logical young woman, and so you shall make the
correct decision. I require the scroll which Ceridwen has hidden
"You'll get nothing of his! You murderer! You coward! He would have given
his life to keep that from you, so you'll not get it from me!" In one quick
motion, Fieya reached for her belt, pulled out a sharpened dagger, and tried to
hurl it at Xandrick. A fist came out of nowhere, grabbing the dagger in out of
the air. A man followed the fist, stepping from the shadows. "I would not
proceed with such actions, were I you." The voice was deep, and muffled
behind a polished bone mask.
"Grythak," Fieya hissed. She darted for the door. Grythak's motions
became a blur. Fieya felt something impact her in the stomach, and found herself
laying on the floor, breathing heavily, before she had taken two steps.
"I would not be so quick to run, girl. Let me explain your other option,
first." Xandrick stood up, and clasped his hands behind his back.
"Your first, and best, option is to hand the scroll over to me. Ceridwen
will be returned to you in moderately good health, and everyone will be happy.
Your second option is a bit more grim. I had hoped it wouldn't come to this,
but... If you do not give me the scroll, Ceridwen will be drugged and tortured
until I have the formulae I need. And then he will be killed. The choice is
yours, so choose wisely."
Fieya hugged her chest with her arms, struggling to catch her breath, as her
eyes began to tear up. She inhaled a strained breath, and blinked the tears
away. "I... choose neither! You..." She paused and took another
breath, "And your lackey can go to the abyss!" Xandrick frowned.
"We will find you. And if Ceri is hurt... I will kill you! With my bare
hands! Got that?" She raised herself, kneeling on one leg. "Now get
out of here! Guards! GUARDS!"
The familiar chink of an armored man approaching the library was clearly
audible. "Can I kill her, master?" Grythak asked from behind the mask.
"We must go." Fieya heard their footfalls as they ran upstairs,
followed by the echoes of "Vas Rel Por" as they escaped the way they
From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online,