Chapter 20- Part 3

For reasons she could not explain, Aveyna did as she was told, her tears coursing their way silently down her cheeks as she was haunted by the shadow that now engulfed her memory. They passed through artificial walls of trees as she heard the shadows whisper her name until, in the clearing beyond, they saw an encampment; rows of tents encircled a large mound of wood, now unlit, that she presumed would be set alight at night. Aveyna tensed, her memories almost tangible now, as a number of men wandered around the camp. Presently, Telthar’rion spoke again.

“Aveyna, I can sense that whatever lies here caused the consuming fear within you.” He came closer to her, resting his hand upon her shoulder and leaning in towards her, nearing her neck, her left cheek, her ear. He lowered his voice to a whisper, his lips close to brushing her skin. “Whatever it is, Aveyna, I know that you are strong enough, brave enough, to vanquish it. Set yourself free from that pain. Breathe again without its burden upon your heart. Taste joy.”

Aveyna inhaled deeply, her sword clutched tightly in her grasp and her eyes firmly set upon the camp. And yet, as she drew closer, that pain called out, transformed into fear, and held her still, frozen, chained by her fierce apprehension. Gently, Telthar’rion took her wrist and led her forward, until the camp was incredibly close. As she examined it, picking out each face in turn, she opened her mouth to cry out, and was only prevented from doing so by Telthar’rion’s hand flying to her mouth. He looked up, following Aveyna’s path of sight to see a tall man, with his chest partly concealed by his cloak, girded with wolfskin. His hair appeared like mud, in caked strands, framing his cold face, from which a pair of dark eyes stared. As he looked closer, he found he could see a deep scar running across the man’s right eye. He dropped his hand from Aveyna’s face and looked into her eyes.

“What wrong has he done you, Aveyna?” Aveyna, suddenly filled with a strength that neither she nor Telthar’rion could fathom, and with pure determination glowing in her eyes, darted forward. The men were brought from their routine by her presence, taking up arms, but too slowly; Aveyna’s true gift for the sword shone through as she fluidly danced with her blade, leaving the men to blood and death. With two men now expired, blood became visible upon her sword. Telthar’rion looked on, filled with a strange mixture of wonder and bewilderment. As she approached the man from her darkest memories, he drew arms also, taking two large clubs from his belt. Her mouth widened, and with her voice unwavering, filled with bravery and a sudden power, Aveyna spoke, almost whispering at first, but a cry by the end,

“Fier the Furious, Marauder of Vertryck Wood, I now avenge the death of my brother, Ahelitar L’Renzia!”

The End

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