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I Have a Little Plan - Part XX


Started by Harlwystyr
Post #112445
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Daggerfall Covenant
Breton
Part XX

For most of his life, Harlwystyr had kept his grief, and much of his anger, tightly leashed. No longer. Oh by the Eight, no longer.

His body was trembling under the raging magic within him, trembling to indulge his rage at last...

"At last!" he roared atop the royal castle of Daggerfall, watching citizens running from the nearby streets to gape up at him, rivers of liquid golden-white fire streaming from his lips with every word. "Let scores be settled!"

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Norokmaaryol rolled over with the whirling dust as he rose from his slumber. It had been a long while since he last had opened his eyes to peer at the world; his great body feeling like several loaded wagons. Oh, it had been a long time...

Before he had taken to slumber, he had given no thoughts to his meal when he would awake again, but he recalled the humans down to the west had kept cows and sheep the last time he flew over the valley. He would snatch them away from the mortals, and then, leisurely, tear them apart at the joints before slowly starting to devour them.

"Norokmaaryol," said a quiet voice from behind him, "it is over."

"Harlwystyr!" the dragon growled, twisting its head as it flung itself over again, so to speak fire to the archwizard before he could-

The mortal whom he'd once shared secrets with, whom he had worked with prior to his treachery, was smiling an almost affectionate smile.

The smile never left his face as the gouts of golden-fire sprung up from the ground beneath the wyrm, washing over Norokmaaryol and breaking upon his back; taking everything away in an instant, as his scales boiled away under the magic...

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"Seize his lands," Lord Noster sneered. "I want you to buy every single establishment he owns before he has a change of paying off his debts, and then send Alan and Gron in to rouse him from his bed with poisoned blades to demand payment. We'll then let him consider it for a day. If anything, you can always offer to buy his wife or sisters."

His scribe nodded and performed a low bow, backing away out of the room with utmost awe, and leaving the noble to smile contently in his chair. His eyes fell upon the wine bottles left on his desk, and he idly picked one to uncork as his attention moved toward the next sheaf of parchments.

Oh, but there were so many people to run into the ground; so many to collect debts from and swindle out of their last coins.

And he enjoyed his work. Why-

"Noster, ye're far from the biggest villain amongst High Rock's nobility, but ye pleasure for causing dismay far outweighs thy thirst for gold. That, and ye're needlessly rude."

The voice rang out from somewhere behind Noster's left ear. He clenched his teeth, raced a hand to the dagger at his belt, and spun to deliver death to the intruder.

"Who dares-"

No one stood before him.

A wine bottle crashed against the floor. The noble whirled back, his eyes ablaze with anger - and lost an ear as a dagger not belonging to him cut it from his head.

The intruder who had hurt him dropped the blood-spattered steel and picked up the papers Noster had peered at a moment before.

"Ye know, I should really be paying more attention to whom ye've chosen to rake money and life from down the years, but I have so many lords and ladies to deal with, and ye really aren't worth my time. Die, worthless parasite."

Noster barely heard the last words as he clutched his bleeding head in indescribable pain. He did, however, manage to see coins bursting from coffers and chests all around the room to fly into the air, hover, and then rush into his mouth and nostrils, filling and choking him.

Contracts, bonds of indebtedness, and copies of threatening letters he'd sent joined the wind now running through the room. When his servants had finally managed to break the door down, they saw the great fire.

A fire fittingly large enough to serve the dead, bloated lord as an impressive funeral pyre.

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Arthaurak raced between the various shelves in his tower, snatching an orb here, a scepter here, and a potion there. He'd beheld everything in the Camry courtyard. Oh, he couldn't be without these, or-

In an instant, every single of his scrying orbs simply disappeared without a sound.

The next second, all enchanted objects in his grasp exploded at the same time, destroying his arms and much of his face without warning.

He struggled to keep on his feet, staggering back blindly and screaming in agony. He couldn't see anything through the tears coming in endless demands.

"Ye just couldn't resist," Harlwystyr said somewhere in front of him, disgust firm in his very tone. "Ye've never been able to."

Arthaurak spat defiantly. There was a sudden force around him, and something surged into his body and kept him in place. Magic froze every limb in his body.

His mind was still his, as was his lips and voice, but-

"The fact that ye're undead only gives me all the better of a hold over thee," Harl announced grimly. "So now I can begin to right just a few of the wrongs ye've caused, and to avenge those whom ye have blighted."

"Oh?" Arthaurak sneered in a mix of fear and rage. "So who gave you the authority to be the righter of wrongs?"

"My conscience. Yet I can't right all wrongs. Even after centuries, I haven't time. So I do what is needed about a few, a little of what I manage regarding others, and forgive the rest."

"Forgive?" Arthaurak spat again. "As the priests of the Aedra do?"

"As all beings do, or should. If ye're unable to forgive a wrong, ye become a prisoner of ye own hatred; a slave of ye own thirst for revenge. I grew tired of being imprisoned long ago, so I do a lot of forgiving."

"So what prevents you from forgiving me?"

"Nothing, and I probably should. Ye're mad beyond the reach of Sheogorath, after all, and even less prepared to handle it than I am - to the point where you're so deluded that you cannot even understand you've been manipulated by an unseen hand."

"What?"

"Nay, I will not tell ye. Thine obliviousness shall be like a gnawing worm in thy mind, as ye die - and that shall be my revenge."

"Revenge!" Arthaurak hissed through clenched teeth, trying to peer from the corner of his eyes over to the potions left on his shelves. "What would you know about revenge, old fool? You've always had a horde of apprentices and easily manipulated fools to serve, guard, and do everything for you."

"Indeed," Harl agreed calmly. "And ye were one of them."

"Pah! I pretended to serve, to get the knowledge and power I deserved!"

"Do ye honestly think I didn't know that? Just what do ye think I am, Arthaurak?"

"A larger wolf, a larger predator, among others like you, and then the rest. You're a fool if you think otherwise."

"Can ye really see only predators, Arthaurak?"

"There are only predators - and prey. And when the prey are all gone, it's a predator-eat-predator world out there."

"Is it? Well, in that case, we really should be doing something to change that, shouldn't we?"

"Change! Everything in the world changes, meddler - but nothing truly changes. Only the faces and names of those who rule, until they're cast down by the next pair of faces and names!"

"Ye can change thyself, Arthaurak. Ye can be better. We can all be better." Harlwystyr sighed and slowly turned, then spoke with his back facing to the bound vampire, "Some of us try that, from time to time, in our lives. Most of us don't bother."

Arthaurak grinned in mad glee as the spellbinding faded, his eyes set and his feet carrying him to the shelf with all the potions. He'd need that vial, and that one, all he had to do was smash them, drink through the splintered shards, and-

He was within spitting distance of the shelf when it disappeared in a raging inferno of golden-white flames of magic, an inferno he crashed into an instant later, stumbling backwards with spells leaping around him.

He fell, feeling his skin and bones - everything - melting away. He was truly caught in a peril he could not escape, could not fight, could not withstand...

"I did not come here to share words of hate with ye and then allow ye to escape, Arthaurak. I came here to destroy ye."

Arthaurak heard that, but couldn't reply without the lips that had been there a moment earlier. He was dissolving; he was feeding the fire... and he was torn away into it...
This post was last modified: February 22nd 2014, 04:28 AM by Harlwystyr
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