She went outside and sank down on the hard stones. Why would he have to be so stubborn? He had always been stubborn; guess it why she was still here. But this meant so much for her; it was not just some small issue. It was life and death, honour and betrayal. She had felt bad when she decided for Silvara to have her cleansed and blessed. And it might not have been all what Silvara had wanted back then, but she had come to her and asked for a solution. Told her how she did not want to love Akselvee, how she felt torn between Zackita, Imoteph, Akselvee and those pesky Fergals. Beside it had turned out so well. Silvara had become a true believer, she was touched by Set. Imoteph said she was a holy vessel, a sanctified and truly blessed girl. And if said something like that, it was true.
Why could not Ozric be proud of her? She had worked hard to make this happen, and now he worked so hard to tear it all down. Could he not see the light? Take pride and joy in her work and success?
Two days earlier he had promised her she could ask anything. Not only once but several times, he said he would do anything for her. How could this not be part of those oaths?
She had asked him twice to let her go. And both times he refused. Was not those oaths bound to her own oaths. She had told him yes when he proposed, was her answer not tied to those oats. Did she dare to put it all on this, her life with him? If she made him fold she would hurt him, did he not fold all his honour would be gone, his promises and oats blown with the wind. How could she ever trust him, if his words meant nothing?
For if she folded, and they truly desecrated her then she had no friend. Zackita could not be friend with the Fergals, not while they wanted Imotephs head, not in this life. They should all bow to the prophet, his name be sacred. But no, they war on him, spy on him, like those infidels they are. She remembers every single Menfyt she had lost to them, their names and faces was stuck in her mind. They had met their faith on her orders; it would never be fair to them to just forgive. The hatred for them was much too strong. The day all Fergals were dead could not come soon enough.
And knowing now their evil plan: To pull apart her dearest friend. Could she just let it go? For every action she now knew and did not act on was treason. Treason to her best friend, treason to Imoteph, treason to Set and treason to herself. Imoteph might forgive Silvaras treason, but he would not forgive hers, she would have nowhere to run. How could she even consider this? How could she make Ozric see?
It was like her darkest nightmare come true. Her soul mate, her heart descries were working so hard to ruin everything she stood for. Not only had he kidnapped Silvara her very best friend, tied her down and let her sit and stink in the cave for days. He had shot Zackita down when she tried to rescue, so full of arrows she was sure she would have died. Saved by Silvara yet again, had she not summoned the serpent and power of Set, she would have been dead for sure. This nightmare took no end. He wanted to do some Cimmerian spirit ritual on Silvara, to drive set out of her. Zackita was convinced it would leave here without her best friend.
And did any of them ask Silvara what she wanted, no. Zackita should not talk to high about this, she had not asked herself. But when they judged Zackita on her actions, they should judge them self and see what hypocrites they are. She could at least stand for her actions with pride.
Did she dare to play so high a game? She could fold herself. Close her eyes and wish it all to go away. Or she could cry her heart out; let him see how much his actions hurt.
In the winning pot she had her best friend, her husband, her husband’s honour and her own betrayal of the Prophet. Could she win it all?
She whipped her chin for tears as she prayed to Set, formed the snakehead over her head and walked back inside.
It was time to play.
Last edited by Zackita; 23rd September 2009 at 10:05..
(Freely based on RP with Ozric, the greatest archer in Hyboria, for playing with me for more than a year. We met up in Conarch Valley in September 2008, level ca 35.)
Ozric the greatest archer in Stygia
"I hate you!" she screamed, while her heart called love.
What now? she thought. Yet again she had sent him off; turned him down as brutal as she had managed. Her darkest hour, and yet her inner self gloated in spite. It was not often she had seen him hurt, but this time he was broken. Her face formed a false smile, while her cold eyes watched him, she said: "I never loved you. Not since the day you gave me away to Set." Her voice full of bitterness and anger. "I just told you I did, so I could save Silvara, so I could have you around, and play you like the fool you are." He seemed to believe every word, even if they were not true. The darkness within was laughing.
How had it come to this?
It is years ago she met him. First time she could remember he was a mercenary in Cimmeria. So was she, she had worked for some local military to hunt down Vanarian soldiers. Now she was Vanrian herself, but money and food had priority over other Vanarian clans.
They worked there for most of the year. Fighting and raiding the outposts.
Back then she was wild. She did not care about anything, not herself, not her enemies or friends. Selling her soul had sent her spiralling down to hell. The only time she was not in torture; was when the enemy was dead in front of her, and the demons and sprits bound to her feasted on the pain she brought. Those moments of fighting and pain, are the only moments she remember with clarity.
Up there between mountains and mist, this stygian noble set down with her. Asked her: why she was angry all the time? Who she was? How she came to be here? And he was then the only person who ever spoke to her like a person. She cried on his shoulder, stayed in his bed at night, and battled at his side. One evening, while seated high on a bridge, looking down at the crows, he asked her if she would come to Stygia with him.
A dessert land, far from home. A land he knew as the back of his hand. A dangerous land of beauty. Where he was the lord of a small oasis. Some trouble had driven the people out of it, and he was in exile, until he could gather those that followed him, and reclaim his land. With this she was to help him.
He brought the best of her out. Where she saw darkness he saw mountains and horizon. Where she saw blood, he saw flowers and animals. Where she saw battlegrounds and death, he showed her the beauty of the wild and hope.
They had earned some good money during the winter. So when spring came, they took their horses, weapons and armour and left for this strange land. She still remembers the first time she sat foot in the sand. The ride across the Kopesh region, how they crossed the desserts for the first time. The nights under the sky. Just looking up at the stars holding hands.
She had been a mess, and he was the only stable rock in her dark heart. He stood by her when she never planned to live more than the current day. And without him she would have perished. Having a price on her head in parts of Cimmeria and Aquilonia, more enemies than she could count, and her desire for death did not help. Killing for the sake of killing would have got her killed sooner or later. So with patience and beauty, he showed her there was more to life than death.
She did rebel. Standing on a cliff, arguing, she pushed him off. Trying to kill him, but to no gain. Two days later she was pinned to the ground, and would have died, had he not let her live. Teaching her to be more humble, to show him respect, and not to toy with him. The lesson was never learned, but he kept the tradition up, and did hurt her whenever she took to many steps in the wrong direction. Darkness was on her, and he hoarded her with it, kept her alive, and gave her strength. Some call it torture or abuse, but it was love. And deep with inn her hope did spring. A source if only so small of love took root, a human feeling so tender, it made her cry.
He introduced her to the prophet of Set. Ozric worked hard to convince the prophet she needed his help. And in his greatness the prophet summoned the darkness with inn Zackita. They called fourth the demons and pain, the emptiness and despair. They filled what was missing, what had been torn out when she was 13 years old, with the love of Set. From the day Helshad had killer her father, his soldiers killed her family, raped her, kidnapped her and drove her mad. This chaos was not at ease. Set did bring peace at mind. Set brought her the power to survive. Set did corrupt.
And those Zackita became a Menfyt solider for Imoteph the prophet of Set.
And for this she will for ever tank Ozric of the oasis, her white prince: For her life, for her only human emotions, for showing her the beauty of the world, for showing her a path so thin and so difficult only the best ranger in the world could lead her, for giving her a reason to live, and a reason to die.
As the years passed, she became the general of the Menfyt guard. He had his line of work. But they still stood there side by side. He knowing he could never trust her, but he loved her with his heart. And she was trusting him to guide her when she was lost, to hold her when she cried, and keep him as the keeper of her heart, for this could not be trusted to her.
But all things have an end. Bringing him down was a piece of art.
To be continued
Last edited by Zackita; 6th October 2009 at 16:00..
Based on a year with RP, to show the love and the hate. This is part II of my story line with Ozric.
Ozric my dark shining knight.
Now Ozric was never a kind man. He does have kindness in him, much more than she thinks. He did love the Stygian people, and even more so his own people. He can give a stranger his water skin, he can pick up a wounded enemy on the fields and mend him or her, but he also kill without blinking. Once she saw him hand an enemy of the prophet an elixir after she had been left bleeding in the sand. Zackita had done her duty, struck her down when the prophet ordered it, and never truly understood why he did such things. Yet, this small actions made him a hero in her mind.
When you help someone like that, it doesn’t mean anything in the big picture. Around him it was hundreds of corpses, soldiers screaming for revenge, for their mothers and lovers, crying or just staring into the air. And yet he would pick one, perhaps two and help them. And for that person it meant everything. And sometimes they repay him, if only years later.
He was her shining knight; in darkness even the tiniest light brings joy. So hard he made rocks feel like dust. Always running, going away for days or weeks at a time. He never realized how did made her feel. At least not when she was in his oasis. It was some of the worst weeks in her life, those weeks turned her. Not by intent, but by Stygian custom. A Vanarian girl in a foreign land. The Stygians was looking at her as a slave guard at best. And the fact he had not married her, just kept her for his, did make her feel used. Why would he continue to treat her like a property or a slave, when he told her otherwise?
This weeks happened some months after their child had been born. A young baby boy named Itafar. She had insisted on giving birth out of the country. Taken with her Silvara, her best friend, and perhaps the only person she listens to more than the prophet, and Ozric. Zackita had insisted on this, going far north. She had wanted to go all the way to her home land, so the baby would be a Vanarian half bread. But they never got as far. Her belly hurt, and her stamina so drained she could hardly sit on her horse. They had stopped in a bear cave Silvara used for her spirit talks and walks. And there on the stony floor, with a grunting bear and a lone fire outside, it went down.
Why had she insisted on this, going far north on a dangerous path to give birth. She could have had all the healers and the priests in Per Shet (Set Mosis guild city) there; slaves to fan air and boil water. But instead she was taking the boy out of Sets reach. Now she had not told Ozric or Silvara this. She had dreamt of Set asking for the boy, and dreaded this more than anything. And she knew she would not be able to resist, not when week and exhausted, so as far away as she could get. Ozric had supported all her choices, if he did not understand them, but was supportive and just did as he was told. This had been a relief for her. Taking the boy out of Sets reach did not help her as much as she wanted, but it did save the boy.
The birth had not gone well, she had bled a lot, and was about to die. Silvara had worked so hard she could to save her, but the bleeding did not stop. In those dark moments, when she was about to die, Set came to her. The snake in her mind asked her to give him the boy, and she would live. Giving her baby to the snake. The pure terror of the request mixed with the fear of death. Normal and honorfull people they just die, to do the right thing, but people like Zackita they go to hell when they perish. For what she has done, the life she had taken the pain she has brought. There is no rest for the wicked. So in her mind she screamed: "Take the boy, he is yours. From this day to the day he die, and then for all eternity."
And this is her very dark secret. Something she could never say, even if some of her actions do betray her. "She truly hates Set." The prophet speaks about how he gives strength, how he bless the crops, how Set is the source of our very existence. But deep in her heart she knows some things, she was bound to a demon, and she still is. Set demanded her son. And when she is angry enough or week enough, then Set has her in his fangs. Set do terrify her, but it is a struggle, a losing battle, one day the poison in her veins will kill any remaining human feelings. And then she will be his.
Now Zackita had been unable to stand after the birth, or even roll over when Set asked for her son. So Silvara and Ozric took him away from her, until she was sane and strong enough. And they saved Itafar from his own mother.
Two months later Ozric had taken the boy. He had, after a pointless argument, been very angry at her. And as she is a foreign guard, and he a Stygian noble, there is no question about whose child it was or who has the lawful right to things. So he left her, taking the baby boy with him on the horseback.
Angered and wounded she eventually went after him. She knew where he was, just did not want to leave Khemi and the Prophet. And there they were, seated in one of the new houses in the Oasis. Some slaves were looking after Itafar. It became very clear she was a prisoner the day she took Itafar with her on a walk out of the Oasis. The same soldiers she now was training every day surrounded her. A few drown swords and bows pointing at her. So she gave inn, not risking the boy they were protecting. From then her stay in the Oasis was a pain, it reminded her so much of her prison days back then when she was young. She was free to walk around, she was with him when they raided some caravans or hunted, she trained the soldiers, but she was his prisoner and bored out of her mind. A few weeks passed before she left.
From then it went downhill. She lived in Khemi, drank at the inn every night and the prophet turned her into his body guard. This straightened her up a bit. The poison in her vein turned her away from anyone she loved. Silvara who was her best friend asked her for a duel after she had knocked Silvaras hearts desire off a horse. And it ended with her beating Silvara. And then when Silvara a few weeks later came to her and asked for a solution. Silvara was torn between her love and her duty, between Stygia and her home land. Zackita went to the prophet and suggested they could have Silvara cleansed in poison and pain, and then blessed by Set. She had turned her best friend into a monster, and tortured her for hours.
Her longing for Ozric never left her chest, those lone nights in a cold bed. The hours staring at the ceiling, they did get to her heart. She talked to Ozric once, but it was too short. She had asked him if she could have their son, and he refused. Then she walked out on him. For reasons she never knew, but out of love for Zackita, Ozric let Itafar in Khemi. And she took him with her and stayed in Silvaras house. Staying with Silvara was kind of self inflicting torture. It had been her choice help Silvara see the light of Set, so she was honour bound to stay. Silvara was so changed, some for the better, but even she felt Akselvees pain and words. Staying with Silvara was still better than staying alone, the sound of a person, the reasons to live and the occasional human empathy.
And with the months that passed, the poison of Set grew in her veins. Silvaras bitter tongue and religious remarks turned her towards the snake. Perhaps the prophet’s words are all true. And in those dark hours, late at night, all she could think of was Ozric. Was he alive? Was he dead? Did he do as she did, cry at night? In those dark hours Set curled around her her heart.
As days passed two weeks and weeks into months, time turned her. As the sparks of love did not get fuel. Bitterness turned to hatred as day turns to night. Sets grasp of her grew for every day, and more so when the sun set. Until she thought it was no hope. And in her dark descries, love turned to thought of revenge.
A long time ago in Khemi, the second day she was ever there. Ozric promised her to never love anyone else, to not take any lovers but her. And to kill anyone she ever slept with. Her oaths back had been to kill only those he loved more than her, those girls who showed up on her stairs with a child in their arms looking like him, or any woman he married before her. He had given his word to do anything she asks.
He had been angered at her many times. He had good reasons to not trust her completely, serving the father of lies as she was, he could not trust her. But he did love her, for some reason only the Gods know, Ozric love Zackita. And she plotted her betrayal.
So she did what she knew would hurt him the most. He had always been the jealous type, and if anything could hurt him this would. She found a lover, and there under the moonshine, on a vessel in Khemi harbour, out so anyone who watched could see. A shout broke the night. "You sluth!" And what her newfound lover could not see was her tears.
Last edited by Zackita; 9th October 2009 at 08:13..