The story so far:
Sandrell and the Prophet of Orcon - Chapt 5 by scryier
Sandrell sits up rubbing sleep from her eyes. She glances across a poorly lit room. An illian, with sparkling green eyes, sits against the wall, opposite her. The illians hands rest in her lap and her legs stretch out in front of her.
"Welcome back to the land of the living," the illian says.
"Thanks. How long have I been away?"
The illian pulls her knee's up to her chest and folds her arms around her legs. "This is the third day you've been here," she says, pausing to consider what she has said. "What I mean is, this is the third day your body has been here. I was beginning to wonder if you were ever going to catch up."
"Terrific," the sorceress mumbles. "I've lost three days."
"Are you hungry?" The illian asks.
"Yes," Sandrell replies. She had not really thought about it until the illian mentioned it and now that the illian mentioned it, her belly felt like a bottomless pit.
"I thought you might be, so I saved you a bowl of rice."
The illian climbs to her feet and hurries over to a corner of the room. She bends, lifting a wooden bowl off the floor and brings it to Sandrell.
"I hope you like it. It's been sitting here since early dawn. So it might be kind of dry."
"Don't worry about it," Sandrell says while reaching up and taking the bowl of rice from the illian. "I'm far too hungry to care."
Sandrell stares at the bowl for a moment. It looks about as inviting as a bowl of white worms. She frowns over the lack of eating utensils and places the bowl beneath her chin. She takes a deep breath and begins to scoop rice with her forefingers. It is tasteless, crusty and dry, but not a grain escapes her. Once finished, she places the bowl on the floor and shoves it into a corner of the room.
"Sorry," the illian says and looks down at the floor. "I used yours to wash with, this morning. I was hoping for another delivery tonight."
"Another delivery?" Sandrell asks. She wishes her head would clear. She's not even sure what has happened to her.
"What's your name?" the illian asks without giving the sorceress a chance to think.
"Sandrell," she says. "Sandrell Lempekin. What's yours?"
"My name is Tyka, after my grandmother. My full name is Tyka Tolivor Toor."
"Well Tyka Tolivor Toor," the sorceress adds leaning back on her elbows and stretching her legs out in front of her. "I'm pleased to make your acquaintance. Now, do you suppose you could tell me where we are?"
"You're in Elon, of course. We are in a prison cell."
A fluster of fear washes over the griblit.
"Elon?" Sandrell asks and wonders where she's heard the name before.
"Where are you from?"
"Lormalorian. It's at the southern tip of the Ridgewood Forest."
"Forest?" Tyka asks. Her face wrinkles. "What's a forest?"
The lines on Sandrell's forehead are suddenly noticeable. "Are you trying to tell me you've never heard of a forest?"
Tyka lowers her head. "No. I can't say that I have."
"Well maybe you just call it by a different name," the griblit reasons. She gives some thought to the Ridgewood Forest. It seemed to her she had been through there not so long ago. She was-
Looking for Medra?
"Maybe you call it the land of a thousand tree's," Sandrell finally says.
"Tree's?" Tyka asks. "What are tree's?"
Sandrell is dumb struck.
"You're putting me on; right?"
"I'm not doing anything," Tyka says. "Besides, the room is bare. There isn't anything for me to put you on, anyway."
Sandrell shakes her head. "Just how long have you been in this prison?"
"Ever since the King first found out about my father."
"And what did he find out about your father?"
"My father was a rebel. He and his followers swore to oust our king. The king, however, is hardly a fool. He has a secret squad of guardians and one of them gained the confidence of my father. One night, he led members of the Kings Royal Army into my father's home. They confiscated maps, burned charts and carted my father off to the Kings Court."
Sandrell is not really paying Tyka much mind. She had been in the woods and she had not been alone. The clouds sitting in front of her head were beginning to clear and what she could remember was not pleasing her, at all. She was beginning to wonder if this Tyka was not a member of the Kings secret squad and more importantly, where in the world was Scryier?
"You mentioned maps," the sorceress says. "What were the maps of?"
"I don't know," Tyka adds folding her hands over her lap and staring solemnly down at them. "They did terrible things to my father. They wanted him to name his followers, but my father was a strong man. He never uttered a single name."
Sandrell is staring at Tyka, suddenly aware that the illian is anything but a member of the Kings secret squad. "Where's your father now?"
"I'm sorry," the sorceress adds.
"You would have liked him," Tyka says. "He knew a lot about these things you speak of."
A bucket tips in the back of Sandrell's mind and she is suddenly face to face with her own father. They are out in the middle of Tiptins Field. Tiptins Field was the most beautiful field Sandrell had ever seen and every spring, when the weather warmed, her father would take her there. It was full of waist high grass and daisies swaying in the wind while thousands of butterflies fluttered through the air. It was straight up Blair Hill and stretched out for as far as the eye could see.
Sandrell was only a child, running through the tall grass with her father. She was laughing, screaming, dancing around the daisies. Her father would give chase, teasing her; capturing her. Tickling her until tears of joy flooded her eyes, or she swore she just could not breathe, anymore.
She recalled the last time he caught her. Locking her wrists in his hands, He lifted her gently off the ground and began spinning her around in a circle. Flowers and grass whirled all around her as she pleaded to be spun faster and faster; she the butterfly and he, her wings.
It was the happiest time of her life until her father lowered her to the ground. Sandrell was full of laughter as she tried to steady herself on wobbly legs. She had never been so dizzy. It did not, however, ease the laughter as she fell into the grass, rolled onto her back and looked up at her daddy. Her daddy fell to his knee's. She pointed at him, laughing at his silly expression. Sandrell had no way of knowing about the woodpecker that slipped into his chest, beating mercilessly on his heart. She was still laughing when he clutched his chest and teetered forward, crushing the grass beneath him.
Sandrell was a child then, laughing until she understood her father was not playing anymore and then she could only cry. It was hours after the sun had melted into the sky that the search party had found her, shivering beside her father, tear ducts dry.
Sandrell shivers, pushing the memory out of her mind. There are goblins marching on Lormalorian and a wizard to find. She does not know what Arama forced her to drink, or why it wrecked such havoc on her, but she does know she is in a prison cell in a place called Elon and has to get out. It makes sense that Scryier is somewhere near and she has to find him. After all, he knows where Medra is and she's not likely to find the wizard on her own. She laughs over the thought of having to save a goblin.
"So," Tyka begins while Sandrell walks up to the door of the cell. "What are you?"
"What do you mean?" Sandrell asks.
"Well, I'm an illian, and you are definitely not."
Sandrell is thinking about the door. It bolts shut from the outside.
"I'm a griblit," she manages to say.
"That's a pretty name," Tyka adds watching the griblit's every move. "Is Lormalorian anything like Elon?"
"Hardly," Sandrell adds. She is walking around the cell, running her hands along the wall. Tyka follows behind her. She puts both of her hands to the wall and follows the path the sorceress lays out before her. The wall is solid rock, yet smooth as glass.
"What can you tell me about goblins?" Sandrell asks as she comes upon the cell door, again.
Tyka stops just short of bumping into the back of the sorceress and lowers her head. "My father knew all about goblins. I guess I should have paid closer attention to the things he had to say."
Sandrell turns to face the illian, but before she can offer a word of solace, the illian lifts her head in surprise. "I do know they come from a place called north."
"North is a direction, Tyka. How often do they come?"
The sorceress is pacing again.
"Lately, they've been coming a lot. Before my father died, they hardly ever came at all. Now, you see them all the time. Sandrell?"
Sandrell turns to face the illian.
"What's a direction?" Tyka asks.
"It's the way the river flows."
"I've heard of rivers," Tyka says. "But I've never actually seen one."
Sandrell wonders if the illian is not conning her. "Where do you get your water?"
"They bring it to us in barrels. The barrels come twice a week. If we use all our water before our next delivery, then it's our tough luck."
Sandrell is appalled by such conditions. "What kind of place is this?"
"Probably not a very nice one. The king and his army control everything. It's always been that way and I guess it will always be."
"What else can you tell me about the goblins?" Sandrell asks and begins to wander around the cell again. Tyka folds her hands behind her back and follows the sorceress.
"I know they're up to no good."
"How do you know that?"
"Well, when you see them, they're all decked out in uniform and they're carrying a whole slew of weapons. I don't know what they're doing here, but I can tell you this, Sandrell. I've never seen so many goblins passing in and out of Elon, before."
"Terrific," the sorceress says, wondering how Tyka could see anything at all from the confines of this cell. She closes her eyes and absently rubs the bridge of her nose. There is an idea brewing in her mind.
"Tyka, will you call the guard?"
"Because I think it's about time we left this place. The food hardly impresses me and the lighting in here is terrible."
"And so you think you're just going to leave?"
Tyka has one hand on her hip, her head cocked to one side and her mouth wide open. She is staring at the sorceress and the sorceress stares back. "You're serious."
"Always am," Sandrell replies.
"I hate to be the one to tell you this, Sandrell. No one has ever escaped from the prisons of Elon."
"Then I guess it means you and I will be the first."
Tyka's shoulders sag. She walks toward the door and Sandrell watches her. Sandrell starts to say something, but decides not to press the illian. It is not long before Tyka turns her gaze toward the sorceress.
"You'll take me to the land of a thousand trees?"
"And they'll greet you with open arms."
"Okay. I'll call the guard, but there is something I have to tell you."
"I'm not a very good fighter."
Sandrell laughs. "Don't worry Tyka. You won't have to lift a finger."
"I hope you're right," the illian adds and walks up to the cell door.
The door is wood with the image of a dragon carved into it. The open mouth of the dragon is the doors sole window. Sandrell imagines the guards pass trays of food and jugs of water through the dragons mouth. Tyka steps in front of the opening and cups her hands together.
"Landarr!" She yells and her voice echoes down the corridor. As the echo fades, both Tyka and Sandrell stand still, straining to hear a response.
"Try again," the sorceress urges.
Again the echo fades, leaving the sorceress to hear little more than the beat of her own heart.
"Listen," Tyka says turning toward the sorceress. There is the faintest sound of footsteps, off in the distance.
Tyka turns back toward the door. "Hey Landarr! Is that you?"
"That it is," comes the rugged reply. "And ye best have a good reason fer draggin me tail out of the nice, soft cushion I had it planted in, because I brung along me whip, Toor. And if'n ye ain't ready to be serving yer king, then me whip and I plan on fixen things so that ye won't be servin anyone for a good, long time."
Tyka looks at Sandrell. "I can't believe I let you talk me into this."
"Get away from the door and stop worrying."
"Easy for you to say," Tyka adds and tries melting into a corner of the cell.
Sandrell listens as Landarr's footsteps draw near. One foot drags across the floor and the sorceress knows he has wounded it. Sandrell crosses her arms over her breasts and rests her sweaty palms on her shoulders. Her green eyes grow wide as she stares through the mouth of the dragon.
Landarr belches and the knot in the pit of the griblit's belly, tightens. She has never attempted anything like this before, at least not with another intelligent being. Until now, she only used her skills on the creatures of the forest. She does not even know if this is going to work but then it's not as if she has a whole lot of alternatives.
Landarr sticks his ugly face in the mouth of the dragon. His blood shot gaze meets the eyes of the sorceress and Sandrell pushes all doubt aside.
Sandrell spies the face of Landarr through the mouth of the dragon. She stands in the middle of the cell resting the palms of her hands over her shoulders. Her arms fold over her breasts. The sorceress is thankful the guard cannot see the sweat filling her palms, for it would only reveal her fear.
The guard sees the sorceress. "And what might ye want?"
Sandrell says nothing. Anything she has to say, she says with her eyes as they lock on the face of Landarr. She takes in the stubble of growth on his cheeks, the misshapen nose, the round mouth and cracked lips. There are only four teeth in his snarling mouth. One tooth, the bottom tooth, pokes up from the center. Another tooth sits directly above it while the other two are illian fangs.
Sandrell gazes into his eyes. They are muddy eyes, floating on a milky white sea marred with streaks of red.
"What's the matter, griblit? Can't y' speak? Did y' put Toor up to this?"
Sandrell has much to say but her mouth will not move.
"Toor," Landarr adds.
He waits for Tyka to answer him, but the fearful illian does little more than wish she could melt into the wall.
"Tyka," Landarr says and he almost sounds humored. "Might I suggest that ye answer me, dear. After all, I'm not
exactly known for me patience."
Tyka starts to say something, but something else; something from deep within the griblit, stops her.
"Come now, Tyka," Landarr says. The trace of a smile on his face is starting to fade. "Should I be flattered, sweet heart? Is it that ye'd like me to come in after y'?"
Landarr snaps his whip against the floor and Tyka trembles. She is terrified of Landarr and begins to loathe herself for putting so much blind faith in the griblit.
Landarr gazes at the sorceress. His eyes are drawn to hers. He wonders how it is her entire body can melt into the darkness, leaving only her eyes. He cannot find her face although he knows it is there. It has to be there. It was there a moment ago.
Landarr blinks and Sandrell is standing precisely where she had been all along. Her arms are still crossed over her breasts. Her palms, wet with sweat, still rest upon her shoulders while her bright green eyes are still fixed upon the illian.
"Strange," Landarr utters as his prized whip slips from his hand. It falls quietly to the floor and he considers picking it up, but he cannot get his legs to bend at the knee's. It's an odd feeling, not able to bend your legs at the knee's. He never had a problem with them before.
He gives another thought to picking up the whip. It's right there, on the floor beside him. He stares at the griblit as if in a contest of some sort and far be it from him to be the first to look away. The fearless Landarr will stare her right into the grave, if that is what it takes. Once he's accomplished that task, then he'll worry about his knees. Right now, he worries about his prisoner. He cannot really see her, anymore. You'd think she was gone, except for her eyes.
Her eyes are burning. Her heart is beating faster than she has ever felt it beat before and her eyes are on fire. She never felt the whip slip from his hand, but she knows his need to pick it up. She can hear him tell himself to pick it up. Pick up the blasted whip and get away from here. Get away from her. Get away from those blasted eyes.
Sandrell is bursting with excitement and then the tingling starts in her temples. At first, it does not seem like anything to be concerned about but then it ripples. It grows. It feels as if something rips apart inside her. Tears well up in her eyes and a trickle of blood flows from her nose.
Landarr turns to run, but only in his mind. His body refuses to move. He cannot even blink his eyes. The pain in his head is unlike anything he has ever felt before. Tears well up in his eyes and there is blood running out of his nose. It flows over his upper lip and into his mouth, nauseating him. She is doing something to him, something terrible and he has to get away from her. It's her fault. It's all her fault. He has to-
"Open the door," the sorceress screams without so much as uttering a word. She is not even looking at him, anymore. Her eyes are closed. Her head is pounding. Both nostrils run with blood. Sandrell swears she is going to die.
"Lordy, lordy," Landarr utters. His left arm shakes wildly as he struggles to regain control.
"Come on," Sandrell whispers and her legs buckle. Her body sways.
Tyka covers her mouth with her hands to stifle a scream. Sandrell collapses. The door of the cell bursts open and Landarr stands in the doorway. He looks at Tyka, grins and tumbles face first onto the floor.
'Sandrell and the Prophet of Orcon - Chapt 5' statistics: (click to read)