Lach-Roemar Pt. 1

Talking to the dead was difficult at best.

But the elven archmage who stood before the newly reanimated, still-shriveled corpse looked as if he felt his best was the least he could do.  The mage’s oiled leathers, black in the flickering torchlight, were criss-crossed with belts and buckle-secured pouches; a long knife was strapped to each thigh and the leather-wrapped hilts of two archaic swords—one short, the other long—formed a V over his left shoulder.   His silver hair was tied back, his black eyes shining with power.

Speak, the corpse whispered in a gravel-laden voice that reeked of moldering earth.

The elven mage looked at his human companion.  “Well?”

Jonath stepped closer, the mail of his hauberk uttering a sibilant, metallic hiss in the cool night air.  “Ask it who killed the girl?”  The elf simply stared at him.  Jonath met his gaze, stopped short.  “What?”

The elf turned his body towards the human, glanced at the shriveled, reanimated corpse then spoke in hushed tones as if concerned with offending the dead thing in the chamber with them.  “I hardly think that the girl’s murder is the most pressing question at hand.  It was—is—a pity, but Marzell and his soldiers are a little more important, if I do say so myself!”

“Which is why you were not appointed warden of this district,” Jonath replied, running his gauntleted hand, palm upward, diagonally along his torso, emphasizing the red and silver Sash of Office he wore over his thread-bare tabard and battle-scarred hauberk.

The elf gaped, scoffed, shook his head, spat on the dirt, debris-covered floor then turned back to the corpse.

“His majesty, Jonath of the Battlefield, knight of Drilithae, hero of countless songs, wooer of goddesses, slayer of dragon-lords, and newly-minted warden of the district of Lach-Roemar, would like to know who killed the child whore whose body was found in the midden heap behind the Gull and Sail tavern on Ferric Green.”  The shriveled corpse almost seemed to wince at the sarcasm in the elf’s voice.

After a long moment, the corpse spoke.  Marzell.  The elven mage turned back to Jonath, who simply smiled.

“After all these years, Sphinx,” Jonath chuckled, turning to leave the rot-infused burial chamber, his heavy boots kicking up dirt, dust, and fragments of human detritus, “you would think you would begin to trust me.”

Sphinx watched as the knight ducked through the stone-lined entrance and vanished into the fog-heavy night.  “I can’t image why I don’t,” he whispered quietly.  He glanced back at the waiting corpse, cursed quietly then flicked his thin fingers.  The corpse, its reanimating magic dispelled, crumpled to the ground.  He eyed the fallen body, toyed with the idea of returning it to a more respectful pose before simply whispering a word of power.  The flickering torchlight was swallowed by heavy shadows.  Silently, the mage made his way out of the chamber.

~ by liberdementia on March 14, 2009.

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