I have decided the 3D printer has its uses :). As I was emptying a pen drive to download more stuff I came across my story that I wrote about 20 years ago… This was brought about by my Class 5R… I made them write a story start and so to be fair I made my own. they kept asking me for another chapter so off I set… This is the prelude 🙂
Here I give you….. err I never actually gave it a name…. well the start of my story not all 43,000 words of it 🙂 … 20,00 which are still lost, but I think I still have the handwritten version …..
The sounds of the chanting grew louder, and Marianne knew it was time. Over the past few weeks, the prisoners in her cell had become fewer and fewer. The chanting had been the prelude to their disappearance. She burrowed backwards into the mouldy straw that had been her bed. The chanting suddenly stopped and in the silence, she could hear the sound of footsteps drawing closer. They paused at the door and then a key turned in the lock. She cowered back against the wall.
A figure dressed in a tall hood and cape entered, ducking under the lintel. “It is time!” he hissed.
“Please no,” she murmured, “my father is a wealthy man, he will pay you!” The man simply shook his head and chuckled to himself. “What use is money?” he paused and pointed at her, “I have everything that I need!” He lunged forward suddenly and grabbed her wrist, Marianne fought wildly, but within seconds, he had her bound and pushed towards the door. She was dragged down a short passage and into a large circular room lit by many candles. It was obviously some kind of large cellar for stacked against the walls were bales and barrels. Here and there were patches of shadow from where the pillars held the vaulted ceiling. The room was full of people of varying ages, from babes in arms to the old and infirm. They all were staring at the opening as she emerged.
After the gloom of her cell, the main room was so bright as to hurt her eyes; the cloying smell of incense made her light-headed. As she entered, the chanting started again. She turned to flee but was quickly overpowered by many hands. She was dragged kicking and screaming towards a roughly hewn stone in the middle of the room. She was draped over it; her hands and feet tied to iron rings on the floor. The stone dug into her shoulders and hips and the rope cut into her wrists and ankles. As she struggled she could feel the wetness of either sweat or blood at her bonds but her terror made her unable to scream any more. She stared wild-eyed at the figure that towered above her.
He raised both hands and the chanting subsided. He started to speak, She couldn’t understand the words, but she knew that, as the speaker’s words grew louder and more rapid, that her time was nearly at an end. He bent down, picked up a cruel-bladed dagger, and brandished it. The congregation screamed their delight, and the chanting began again. The robed figure suddenly inverted the dagger and held it in both hands. He raised them and prepared to strike. The chanting grew to a crescendo. Marianne eventually found her voice and screamed for her very life. Her prayers and begging were lost in the noise of the chanting.
The high priest looked down; his blasphemous yelling suddenly stopped. The congregation noticing something was amiss slowly subsided into a murmuring confused group. Marianne opened her eyes to see the dagger fall from his hands and clatter on the floor. She followed his gaze to where an arrow point protruded from his chest, the dark robes masking the blood. He swayed, lurched forward and collapsed across her legs.
At that same moment, the door burst open and armed men rushed into the room. There was little mercy. The congregation though many were shocked by the suddenness of the attack, few had a chance to draw their weapons, and those that did were hacked to the ground. Here and there, one of the rescue party went down fighting, but in a few short minutes, the floor of the room was awash with the blood of both the evil and the righteous. As more armed warriors entered the fray, the fight went out of defenders, they dropped to their knees and begged for mercy. Few received it, those that survived were mainly the women and the young, and here and there a man was dragged upright by his captors. The room seemed to be eerily silent with only the moans of the dying and the whimpering of the captured; where moments before it had been filled with the noise of battle, and before that the chanting of prayer.
Marianne suddenly felt the pressure on her hands and feet released and she sat upright, she looked about her at the moaning, heaving mass on the floor and with a panicked kicking pushed the priest off her legs. A young man in soiled and bloodied armour was suddenly at her side. “It’s over now Marianne,” he gently said, “you can go home to your family.” She grabbed for him, hugging him so tightly that his armour bruised her flesh. She shook uncontrollably and tears once again streaked her face.
As she was helped gently to her feet, a tall man stepped into the charnel house, he looked distastefully at his surroundings, then at sight of the young girl his face softened and he hurried towards her. As he clambered over the dead and dying his foot slipped on the blood. He fell heavily, and as he struggled to rise a young woman surged out of the corpses, she leapt towards him a dagger aimed at his heart. With a scream she collapsed at his feet, an arrow buried up to the fletching in her chest. Two warriors rushed to his side and helped him stand, shaking, to his feet. The girl also rushed to him. “Father!” She cried.
“My dear Marianne,” he Sobbed, “I thought I had lost you forever!” They clung to each other for many minutes weeping. Then he drew himself up, “I owe you my thanks Scarloc – twice!” he shouted. His Warriors looked to the shadows and gripped their blades more tightly.
Out of the darkness, a lone figure emerged. He carried a bow and his cloak seemed to merge with the background. As he stepped into the light he threw back his hood, his fair hair cascaded around his shoulders, but there was no denying the Elven ears that protruded through his golden locks. As he moved further into the light the watchers noted his elegant grace. His cloak opened to reveal mail and leather armour and at his waist hung a long straight sword; he wore tight leggings and high leather boots. His face was striped with soot to help him blend into the shadows.
He bowed slightly as he spoke. “My Lord Thibault you have already repaid my kindness, by removing this scum from the face of the world!” He straightened and pointed to the cowering prisoners. “I am but one Elf and our enemies grow daily. It is my hope that all of the lords of this area will fight the new foe, rather than squabble among themselves.” He pointed at the man. “You my lord have sided with the good and pure, I fear however that many more have sided with the darkness!”
Thibault gestured for one of his warriors, “Take my daughter out of here.” he commanded. He waited until she had left the room then his face hardened as he turned towards the prisoners. “Make no mistakes!” He hissed “You will die, but how depends on you!” A young man laughed and spat at his captors. His laughter turned to a whimper as a blade was thrust into his abdomen, he pitched onto the floor writhing and shaking. He coughed, and blood bubbled at his lips and joined that of his brethren. He screamed, coughed once more, twitched for a moment, and then lay still, his unseeing eyes staring at the ceiling. The rest of the prisoners began a clamouring, screaming chorus of pleas for mercy. The grim-faced lord turned his back and walked from the room. As he left, Thibault simply uttered the words “Burn it down!”