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.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Aresan Clan pt 13

It did not help Lipmon’s mind and its rambling thought that his fever grew worse. His forehead burned as he put his hand to it. He could feel the contrast of an overwhelming warmth from within, and a shivering cold on the surface of the skin. It made the air around him so frigid and unbearable in his light attire.

The parade of the images of all of the lovers that had rejected him walked steadily through his mind. The parade of all his failures moved in the opposite direction behind them. He thought how appropriate it was that he was the first person to step before the invading warrior the previous day.

He was the most expendable, and to be killed on behalf of the whole town (the willing sacrifice that they might give forth that the town might be spared) was about all he was considered good for. He who was always so quick on his feet, so rash and unhesitating, that it was appropriate he should step forward to be the first to be killed. And how inappropriate that he should in fact not be killed, and whole town should be sacrificed so that he might be spared. But was appropriate that he should be their chosen messenger, so fleet-footed with his light, skipping feet, flying to their distant nearest neighbor and calling forth all the wrath of the Fourth Order.

Admittedly, Still Creek-forr had surreptitiously dismissed the Fourth Order long ago. The Fourth Order had never really been a part of them. A small travelling mission had swept in one day out of nowhere and converted the entire village to their religion with promises of protecting them from nearby enemies and granting them the eternal beneficence of the gods. The townspeople accepted them because they were religiously pliant and wavering, accepting whatever new and promising ideas came their way. The town had been renamed in the image of the Fourth Order (from Still Creek, to Still Creek-forr) in honor of their conversion. A representative of the Fourth Order, Elden the priest, was installed in their town, to administer doctrine and communicate with the divinity. But this resident priest began worshipping Tann like a prophet along with the townsfolk. Nonetheless, since their surreptitious apostasy was a secret that Lipmon was loathe to tell the Fourth Order of, they would still bring the revenge that the pseudo-blind soldier and his minions earned with their obdurate obliteration of his home village.

Lipmon thought of Elden, the priest. He’d been popular with the girls. He was young enough to still be fecund, and he was ambitious. Before Tann had been born, Elden had wanted nothing more than to find somewhere else to priest over, and every young girl wanted to run away with him as his bride. He probably had more than one clandestine affair. He was looking for another appointment in a more prestigious town. But then he discovered Tann and everything changed for him. Elden from that point forward could do nothing else but promote the glory of Tann.

Tann had such sympathetic eyes. No other person would ever look at Lipmon the way that Tann did. And Tann was so sweet to him. Tann was perhaps the only one who didn’t care that Lipmon was the least of all, giving him all his sympathy and warmth and support. Tann listened to him when he told of his sorrows and he looked at him still and again with those consoling eyes. As Lipmon crossed the valley in the daylight he thought so much of how he loved the gentle touch of Tann.

Lipmon sat down to rest against a tree, full of fatigue, his head swimming with fever, pleading that he might be able to find someone to help him tomorrow, hoping that he might survive another night, and even if he should die before he might see the revenge exacted, at least to pass on the information that needed to be said. To tell someone who might testify of his town’s utter destruction and Tann’s kidnapping. That, at least.

<-- Go to Part 12         Go to Part 14 -->

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

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