The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Aresan Clan pt 11

“What were you doing out here in the watermill at night?” Noone asked Eloh, who reclined on the ground and took long, deep breaths broken by intermittent bouts of coughing.

“I’d heard a sound, which woke me up,” he said in a croaking voice, “I looked out my window and saw a light in the watermill and a shadow moving about. So, I ran out here to investigate. When I reached the watermill, I saw a small, but growing fire, and was ready to try and put it out when…” Eloh stopped at this point, apparently trying to recall what had happened next. “That’s all I remember, really, until Salles pulled me out of there.”

“So, what you’re saying is that someone started this fire?” Noone said.

Eloh nodded, just before he began to cough again. “I admit, our night guard should have been better. We can’t permit people infiltrating our grounds at night. And we should have been on top of this fire sooner, the perpetrator should have never gotten in and I can’t begin to apologize,” Eloh added.

The Eldest stopped him: “Don’t waste my time with any apologies. They won’t help us. Besides, we don’t know whether our arsonist was from within the cloisters or without. Let us keep this succinct so I can return to my sleep. Let’s see if we can find any sign of our arsonist.” She spoke, hunching a little over her greatly aged body yet still exuding a commanding presence.

Some minutes later, as Salles was walking around he discovered a sign of the Fourth Order marked onto a wall of the cloister. A bird had been drawn with the smoke stains of a small flame, probably a candle or a lamp; three triangular black marks were placed together to form the body and two wings of a bird. The bird, in Fourth Order mythology, was the symbol of death and destruction, and suggested that the Fouth Order were taking credit for the destruction of the watermill. Salles called the Eldest over, and Noone walked over and inspected the mark.

Eloh trailed behind and, once he arrived, Noone said to him: “This would suggest the perpetrator came from without. Someone from the Fourth Order has been visiting.”

Salles could not help interjecting at this point, lowering his head in a sign of deference he said, “Eldest Senior-ess, I am an acolyte at present under Eloh’s instruction and I have a suggestion if you wish to hear it.”

“More succinctness and fewer formalities,” she said to him.

“Maybe the Fourth Order has planted someone among our residents,” Salles said.

“A possibility. Or maybe someone put this here as a deliberate ruse,” Noone admitted, “But enough of speculation. We need to answer this question with verifiable facts. As I am already scheduled to leave for Lamosa tomorrow, it will be up to Eloh to lead this investigation. Is this alright?”

“I would be glad to,” Eloh replied, “Though I thought I was scheduled to travel with you on that trip.”

“I have decided to take a new travel companion,” Noone said, turning to Salles, “He’s younger and I think will prove a bit more useful, for reasons I won’t elaborate on now. So, what do you think Eloh’s acolyte? Would you like to see Lamosa with me tomorrow?” Noone stopped speaking for a moment, then she continued before Salles had a chance to answer, “You don’t need to answer that. You’re coming no matter how much you like it.”

After saying this, Noone said, “Now I go to bed. See to it, that a minimum of sleep is lost tonight. Our efforts will be better spent in the morning. I’ll be waking you up early, and would like both of you to join me for breakfast.”

Once Noone had left, Eloh turned to his acolyte with a smile and then laughed. This made Salles confused, so Eloh said, “Maybe you shouldn’t have spoken up. But I think you’ll enjoy seeing Lamosa.” Eloh then wrapped his arm around Salles’s shoulder and said, “You should go to sleep directly, though. You need the rest. You’ve been losing too much sleep catching up on your work and trying to impress me,” winking at the end.

Salles departed graciously passing through the halls, closing his door and laying his deeply fatigued body upon his mattress.

<-- Go to Part 10         Go to Part 12 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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