Monday, May 15, 2017

Experiment #4 In Media Res

Experiment #4: In Media Res
Rhysand’s Curse

            Oh the joys of glorious chaos. It all begins with the screams; the high-pitched screams of the women followed by the war cries of those foolish enough to fight. They know they cannot win and he knows how easy it is to slaughter the lot of them and deduce their homes to ash. The village of Morva was bright with flame then gone The thick black smoke of destruction billowed high into the early morning sky still pearly pink by the sun’s shy rays. Rhysand stood amongst the unfolding chaos watching his forces with boredom; victory amongst these lower peasants was much too easy. Grima was diverting his forces to the east to cut off the escaping villagers, what a useless lot they were. Several smaller villages dotted the plains that led up to the temple. It would be his cousin's job to have his troops sack the villages and keep them distracted long enough for Rhysand and his men to get to the temple. Leave Grima to anything, what a leap of faith that would be hopefully the idiot could lead the charge without embarrassing him. These lowlife villages were nothing but cheap pocket change in comparison to whatever treasure lie within that stony temple on the hill. The temple was a tall looming fortress with thick with fog and black smoke; made of thick jutting stone wrapped in ancient runes and towered high with river rock. The temple was dedicated to whatever heathen gods or goddesses the horse riders worshiped but it was an ancient cultural core to their people. Destroying it would cripple the tribe, and weaken them to further attack. It was a perfect for the taking. Upon the stone steps leading to the entrance of the temple stood from the darkened entrance a harsh looking woman with a long willowy frame; the head priestess no doubt. She was dressed it what looked to be a rough brown gown with brass bangles around her bare ankles. Her long dark hair was plaited in a myriad of tiny braids weaved within a headdress of small twisted branches and her piercing eyes stared daggers a headdress of small twisted branches and her piercing eyes stared daggers at the incoming invaders at the foot at her door. The head priestess held out her palms in front of her with a look of anger burning through her green irises. "Stop in the name of the gods! You approach the temple of the godly family Ragrok, Theodywn, Taran and Máire. You dare not come a step further!" She took a step forwards as several other priestesses stood behind her to create a blockade from the entrance. What a nuisance, they were blocking their entrance. "I don’t think your imaginary friends in the heavens will do anything to stop me,” he said to the head priestess with a wicked look upon his face.

"You barbaric heathens dare to insult our gods, I wouldn't do such things if I were you this is a sacred place" she said her voice deepening and her eyes met his in an aggressive manner. "You are free to be here for worship but if you think you can pillage this holy place then you are gravely mistaken..."  
"That's exactly what I intend on doing today" Rhysand said calmly as he adjusted his gloves. His men were now very close behind; ready to charge forwards the moment he gave the signal. "I’ll tell you what. Give me what I want now, or let me take it by force. It’s your choice."  "Is that a threat? I warn you now if you pillage this temple grave consequences beyond imagination will happen to you" she said menacingly and stood up straight looking back towards the priestesses. "Come along ladies I have warned him of what is to come. If this barbarian wishes to ignore them then it is his own doing. You may pass inside but do not say that I did not warn you sea demon." The head priestess then turned aside and stepped back inside. The other priestesses followed obediently behind and sat in the middle of the giant temple their eyes watching for their next move. "Barbarian?" Rhysand scoffed. "I take offense to that. "Those stupid priestesses would pay. He lifted a hand and closed it into a fist, signaling his warriors would attack. The warriors streamed forwards, swinging axes and swords, with the prince standing back and taking all the action in. It was relatively easy to take the temple. The men streamed inside smashing statues and the grand alters with their massive axes and began ransacking anything of value inside throwing it out into giant piles. Within no time, Rhysand was able to walk up the steps and into the temple to find what he was looking for. In the middle were four golden objects, supposedly one dedicated to each of their gods. Each one was individually worth a fortune and ancient.  The four golden treasures stood upon large rough stone pedestals with light from a skylight above shining down on the sacred items. Each was beautifully detailed and intricately carved detailing the stories surrounding each deity.  Rhysand walked around the pedestals slowly, very much aware of the high priestess's presence. "They say that these relics are over a thousand years old,” he said, reaching out for the one in the middle. "As far as I'm concerned, they just look like statues of gold to me. Perfect for the taking."  "I will issue you one last warning Viking man you may be able to steal what you will from men but you cannot steal from the gods without retribution. The moment you take them your fate is sealed. Be wise and leave while you can" she hissed at making her way towards the foreign invader "do not lift it from its pedestal mortal you will be punished."  His eyes met hers, matching some of the blue gems inlaid in one of the statues. "I don’t believe in your heathen myths,” he told her before he lifted the first of the statues from the pedestal, tucking it away into a satchel he had over his shoulder. "A wrong choice. It's a shame you will believe in them soon enough" she hissed running towards him with a sadistic smile on her face, her eyes lighting up with evil intent. "You will believe in our gods now!" The priestess grabbed hold of his left arm with the ironclad grip of a man and her hand began to tremor.  Before Rhysand could draw his sword, the witch woman was upon him. When she grabbed him, it was as though he had stuck his arm straight through a roaring blaze and melted his flesh off. It was pure agony. He dropped to his knees, her grip relentless, and the burning went on for what felt like hours before it abruptly stopped. The stench of charred flesh was the only thing he smelled. He lifted his head to look at his arm, stunned that it wasn’t burned to a stump, and instead was covered with some sort of black, winding markings. "With that the gods have cursed you. All actions come with a cost Viking man. Do not say I did not warn you." She hissed releasing his arm and grinned wickedly. With a snarl, Rhsyand leaped to his f feet and grabbed the woman by the throat, slamming her back into a column. "What did you do to me?" He hissed, fingers digging into her flesh.
"What did you do to my arm?" "I told you already you barbarian, you stole from the gods and now you are cursed with everything that you would have ever wanted" she forced out her hands going to pry his grip off of her throat though her eyes never left his. "Did I not warn you that the consequences of stealing would be beyond your comprehension? Are you so stupid as to think you could run from the watch of Ragrok, Theodywn, Taran, and Máire?" The priestess lent him a rather serpentine smile as the sky around began to darken with storm clouds, thunder crashing in the distance. Rhysand's eyes shone with fury, his face bone white. He drew his sword, pointing it at the priestess. He briefly noticed that whatever she did to him burned all his armor and clothing off on his arm. He drew his sword, ready to run the woman through. "What curse are you speaking of?" he repeated.  "You fool, you stole... you stole from Ragrok himself. He sees all, young barbarian. He watches all and can see into the very soul of men. He saw you; he saw what you will become. He knows your every desire and wish. He sees who you are, for the brute that you present yourself as and dug into your heathen soul the moment you placed your palms against his holy relics" she rasped in a low breathy voice. "He saw what you wanted and gave you just that. You use your brute force to conquer and kill and he gave you the tool to do just that… at a price no less. He curses you with an arm that maintains the force of a hundred men but as much as you conquer you will be drained. You will slowly have the life sucked out of you until you are no weaker than a dried leaf on a shriveled branch. You will die weak at your enemies' hand and leave no legacy behind, your legacy like your own life will be cut short at the hands of Ragrok.”

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