Pavis

Expulsion and Abul

The chamber quickly cleared after Illig made his intentions clear, leaving Egil and Siggyr alone. Egil slowly rose to his feet and stammered an apology "S-s-sorry, sir. I was stupid."

The blow came like a hammer, Siggyr's fist moved so fast Egil barely saw it, his head swam for a while as Siggyr seethed. Then when the younger man looked as if he could comprehend Siggyr spoke, "We are a group of people who live our lives trusting those around us but you seem not to be one of those. I cannot trust you to hold a sword and if I cannot trust you to do that then how can I have you in my ten?"

"I don't know sir, can I win your trust again?"

"Doubtful, such things are not easily given twice. For you grave insult to Illig and also to me you are expelled from this ten and in addition to that you will give you sword to Abul he will decide when you need it not you. Of course you may find it a touch humiliating to have to ask such a youngster when you can fight but you seem to need a lesson or two in humility. Maybe if you behave yourself and act properly Jamal may accept you into his ten but you have to ask nicely. Before you go remember this, I have only let you live because Illig spared you next time I may not be so lenient. Now get out of my sight."

"Yes, sir."

Egil walked away disconsolately but he was fairly obedient as a soldier and had a healthy fear of Siggyr, so went straight to find Abul. Pulling Barzaad's Tooth from its sheath he handed it to the young man. "Siggyr said you were to hold this for me. It will be your decision when to hand it to me, you decide when I need it. As I have no ten at the moment I guess I'm about to become your shadow."

Abul looked puzzled at the warrior, then his face recomposed in a blank expression has if a silent curtain had fallen on it.

"You ask me to wear your sword and it will be my decision to allow you to use it, that's it?"

As Egil kept silence, Abul took it for a confirmation. For a moment his imagination filled his pride with clear images of him with a personal humakti bodyguard. He wondered how he could exploit such an obvious sign of improved status, perhaps among the girls he had obsereved at the market during the last weeks, but slowly the vision of Egil's destroyed honor overlapped these fantasies.

Abul considered his responsabilities and then the possibilities of the opportunity. Even if he wasn't really the superior of Egil, being his sword bearer wasn't being his commander, the proximity of an experienced swordman was certainly a great chance. Would he accepts to train his fencing? Abul admired the two-swords play of Graylor, but Abul knew well that he was no match for any initiate of the temple and given the custom of the place, he will not be considered before he could face a real swordman without creating friendly smiles or even worse, amused laughters.
Sword training was a serious matter... and a good reason to escape the mind-numbing and sterile lessons of this horrible Lady Jakkanna, the frightening lessons-giving ugly spolite witch with her dry nipples and croaking ghoulish voice. Idovanus may curse her pinched remarks!

Secondly having Egil in the surrounding will be a serious protection against any darkness demons and this will be a great relief at night (unconsciously Abul's hand went to his medaillion under his white linen shirt).

Abul needed a confirmation to accept how lucky he was. Generally, people always reserved a hidden trap when they where making generous offers.

"You will not tell me do or don't do? I have important taks to achieve now, you know... this stupid trollkin to submit, this evil demon language to master... and... well... also all these boring lessons on the ever-glorious magnificent carmanian customs to swallow... this last one especially will be like hell for you..."

In a manner that smacks of a sulky teenager Egil replies "I will not even ask you for Barzaad's Tooth, much less tell you what to do. The decision will be yours, in every way, when I need to have my blade." Then perking up slightly "As to your lessons, I can be nearby without having to sit through them. I will practice my forms, that can be done with or without a blade in hand."

Just then Mauvin runs up. The naked blue man stands in front of Egil hands on hips "Well you really buggered things up this time cuz! I always said you shouldn't be allowed out on your own. Let's see how we can fix this, shall we? I hear your lord wants to know some stuff about this weird cult, well you've been closer than most. Try thinking about what happened when they had you in that cellar, the vampire and his apprentice, maybe that ever so slow brain of yours can think of something. You may be forgiven if you can come up with some information to destroy a god."

Egil shrugs forlornly "I'll see what I can think of."

Hiding his emotion, Abul stayed serious externally but internally he was just exulting... being obliged to hang around with a gang of young men like Egil and his cousin Mauvin seemed such an exciting experience... Especially with Mauvin which appeared to Abul to be a quite extrovert guy. In Pelanda, naked blue men of the Sweet Sea were considered to be sneaky mysterious mischief-makers and to Abul's eyes, really the kind of guy perfect to push the forbidden doors of adulthood... and attractive sins.

Not counting imaging Lady Jakkanna enraged by an Egil practicing around instead of listening devoutly to her... this idea will rejoice Abul's mind for hours, for sure!

Abul restrained his joy and promised quite honestly, but with a strong interest.

"Egil, I will not take advantage of your situation against your will or needs, if there is something you want to do, we can certainly manage something together... if you need to go somewhere or see someone, tell me and we can change the roles, having me accompanying you."

His mind rushed to find an idea to cement a possible pact between him and his elder.

"We now have two possibilities: you follow me to my room, where I need to discuss with the trollkins Timmy and my prisoner Sextus. I'm trying to understand the basic language of the trolls and the way they write even if I seriously doubt that these silly creatures can write... or... we try to think together about Ilig's questions on Oilamey, this mask of Ganesatarus. .. Hmmm... perhaps we can go to some inn where you can change and relax your mind? Surely some beer will help to imagine gods destruction. .."

Mauvin shakes his head "Its perhaps not a good idea to go out and get addled with beer tonight, your situation won't improve from it but you could tell us what occurred in that chamber. Then we'll see what we can drag from the bones of it."

Egil looks pleadingly at Mav "Not even one? Ask Gerras if he could bring some yurt, you'll get sick before you get drunk with that."

"OK then, you wait here with this young man. Sorry, I don't know your name. I be back in a bit and you can sit and tell your tale, your funny machine can provide the grub."

"His name's Abul, he's in Jamal's ten."

As the Helamakti disappeared Egil slumped onto a nearby bench "Well, its a fine mess I'm in. I may need a favour of you at some point soon. I'll have to ask Jamal if I can join his ten, you might have to vouch for me. I can show you the little I know of swordplay in return. Some of it I can't teach as it comes from Hu and that just happens, like my arm is being guided by him. I hope that sounds like a fair trade."

Abul stayed standing for a while, sign of embarrassment for who knew him well, and finally said to Egil on a very honest but quite abrupt tone.

"Jamal doesn't like stupid person at all, oh no! He will not take someone stupid with him if he doesn't have too... this been said, a stupid person is someone who acts without a clear purpose in mind and doesn't learn from his own mistakes... perhaps if you could present your act as leaded by a reason, even a bad one, I think Jamal may accept someone acting badly for a good reason better than someone acting for a bad reason or even for no reason at all..."

After a moment where Egil seemed ruminating some somber thinking. Abul showed him his own sword.

"This is a Hazar sword. Its form is inspired by the knightly blades of the West brought by the conquering ancestors of Carmania. In my country traditionalists said that the blade should be like the soul of its owner: straight, not like the cruel scimtars brought by the devious lunars. Its length makes it useful to be used on foot or mounted. You can fight with a shield or without, putting then your second hand on its hilt to get more strength when you strike. This one comes directly from my homeland and Duke Raus gave it to me for my B'harVat... a costly gift for someone like me, nearly a debt in fact... Do you think you can help me to honor it ? Mast... My father Jamal showed me the basics, but its a longer blade than the ones I'm using normally, I still feel awkward with it..."

Egil looks gloomy at Abul's news "Oh well no chance there then, the whole legion thought I was stupid before this, now..." he shrugs "Ah well, maybe Dori will have me after I help sort out the awkward family situation she had."

Then looking at the Hazar sword he brightens somewhat. "Well the key to using any sword is to find the balance points. That of the sword, that of yourself and the one you and the blade create. Here let me show you." Egil runs through some of the exercises he knows to help find the centre of balance between a sword and its wielder. He then goes on to show some of the exercises that strengthen muscle. "To wield a blade effectively for the duration of a battle, you need to strengthen your arms, shoulders, chest and back. Regardless of what other activity you are doing, unless it is war, you need to find at least an hour better two to do these exercises each day."

While they carry out the exercises Mauvin returns followed by a praxian brave.

Egil speaks first "Gerras, meet Abul, he now keeps my sword."

Gerras proffers a skin to Egil. "Here, this is Saberak's finest kefir. Mav said you've lost Death. Well we have a warpaint in my tribe for those looking for Death, I think you should wear it until Death is yours again. Now sit, tell your tale and I will paint your face."

So Egil sits down and recounts the tale of the chamber with the vampire and his apprentice and as he does a grim black and blue mask is painted on his face. The kefir is passed around freely.

Vampire tale

When he has finished Mav, who is easily the brightest of the three, says "I think I may have something, Dori already knows it but she may not remember or have passed it on to Illig. This Oilamley, he uses sunlight to drain victims. If he now has a victim then the power turns back on him. I expect Illig and the Sword could make a lot of use of that."

Egil turns to Abul "I have no way to get this to Illig, Abul could you pass it on to Jamal for me? Thanks."

"I can't believe it", stated Abul, "Cavos was Dorinda's father and ready to sacrifice her to become a vampire? And this Parus pretending to be Carmanian!"


"You had better believe it… all of it." Graylor to announce his entrance rather dramatically. "It wasn't the first time Cavos has tried to harm his daughter either. Dori's memories of the first were wiped out until the second attack failed and restored them. I'm not sure she is completely over the whole thing yet, but serving justice for her father will have helped."

"As to Parus. I know he had a Carmanian accent. He dressed and acted in everyway like the few Carmanian nobles that I have seen. Though obviously he was completely taken over by the dark side. Maybe tracing the vampire will give us more clues. He certainly managed to find out about Oilamley and travelled here to get what he wanted, that speaks of power and influence. Perhaps someone with more knowledge of Carmanian politics would be able to place Parus."

Hearing Graylor's comment, Abul couldn't avoid making a disgusted face:

"Yeck! I know only one person possibly capable to discuss for hours about the magnificent greatness of Carmania, the glory of its noble houses, their customs and politics..."

On this, the young carmanian thought a little further...

"But this person told me that she has dedicated her life for the correct rest of the dead peoples... if carmanian vampires are involved, she may know something you ignore. She also seems interested to learn about the southerner Humakt, even she keeps telling that Humakt is a false god and barbarian version of the right Hum'akt..."

Only a light shrinkage of his eyes betrayed a sudden plot dictated a cunning intelligence. ..

" If you, Graylor and Egil, wielders of the true sword, were going to ask her, she would feel important and more well disposed to answer questions than if it's me. To her, I'm only a 'desperate lost cause for correct education' worth only to take incredibly boring lessons from her...His voice lowered slightly, by the way she will understand what type of 'barbarians' I'm meddling with... interesting lesson for a time, I'm sure..."

A slight smile appeared on Abul's face.

"Do you want me to introduce you to Lady Jakkanna, Witch of Saint Abbassar of the Dry Bones? Don't expect anything sexy there..."

"Why not, let's get Jamal here too if we can so that we don't have to have the same conversation with him too." Graylor offers.

"Though I will have to get out of my training clothes if I am to meet such an illustrious and handsome lady!" Graylor manages to say with a straight face. He spoils it by winking at Abul as he leaves.

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