Chapter Thirty-Four: The Blood on Their Hands (4)Mature

Lord Henry of Carvil stared out at them from behind the bars of his cell door, his mismatched eyes glittering in the dim light of the dungeons.  “I think you mean the ‘Scribe’s Shield’.”

            Seoc snapped his fingers.  “That’s what it was!”

            “Take a look then.  It’s written all over my cell.”

            Seymour was the only one tall enough to see through the small, barred window to the opposite wall.  “The blue, glowing stuff?”

            Henry nodded.  “As opposed to the dark grey stuff that isn’t writing.  Yes.”

            “That was a stupid question, wasn’t it?”

            Henry nodded again.

            Seoc handed Seymour a small, leather-bound notebook and a charcoal pencil.  “Copy it doon, can you?”

            “It’s written in symbols that I don’t recognize.  I don’t trust myself to copy it properly.”

            “Do you ha’ enough strength in you ta gi’e me a boost?”

            “I think so.”

            Seoc took the notebook and pencil, and Seymour lifted him up to the level of the window.

            “Can you see now?”

            “Aye,” Seoc replied.  “It’s Ald Magramish, I think.  I dinna know what it says, but I can copy it wi’ no problem.”

            The imprisoned mage backed away from the window to give him a better view of the text.  “It says, ‘Armúru fita, foil ó fiaru, siu ó deominu ag angealu go leir.’  That is, the strongest armor, wrought only of words, is the gift of both demons and angels.”

            At this point, Simon began to emit indecipherable gibbering noises, possibly involving the phrase “music box.”  The others ignored him, save for Raif, who snuffled at his hands in concern.

            Seoc copied the string of symbols into his notebook, then showed his attempt to Henry through the bars.  “Is this right?”

            Henry squinted in the minimal light.  “I think so.  So you’re going to make me a talisman?”

            “That’s the idea,” Seymour replied, letting Seoc back down to the floor.  “Do you think it will work?”

            “It should.”  Henry backed away from the door again, turning from the window so that he was facing away from them.  “It would be most effective if it were made by magical hands, but it will still have some power if it isn’t.  My main concern is that Alasdair intends to take me out of this cell to lecture me after supper, and I don’t want to be for too long unprotected.”

            “I think we can have it finished by then,” Seymour said.  “Right, Seoc?”

            “Aye, we might be cuttin’ it close, but we’ll manage.”

            Henry returned to the window and looked out through the bars.  There were tears running down his face.  “Seymour?”


            “I wanted to apologize…for what I did yesterday.  That wasn’t me.  Really.  I’m…I’m sorry, Seymour.”

            Seymour shook his head.  “Don’t apologize to me.  Apologize to Seoc.”

            “Right.”  Henry sighed heavily.  “Seoc…I’m really, terribly sorry.  I-I hope…I hope you can forgive me someday.”

            Seoc smiled crookedly and nodded his head once.  “Someday.”


The End

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