You Get the Idea

Kids in cages, kids in cages

History will frown upon these pages

This I tell you, brother

You can’t take a kid from their mother

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A Teaser From The Scrolls of Sion by T J Therien

The Queen rolled Maelgad over with her foot to better see his face.  She delighted in seeing his features twisted in torment; she took pleasure in seeing his expression screwed up in agony.  She crouched down beside the body of the cataleptic Prince to better examine him, to see if the spell had worked.  It had.  It had been over five thousand years since the rite had been last performed, an ancient form of punishment dispensed by the High Elves of Caerwyn.  The incantation appeared to have worked.  Rianon smiled in smug satisfaction.

“Perfect,” the Queen hissed as she drew a fingernail across his contorted cheek.

Her revelry was disturbed when there came a knock on her chamber door.  The sound was barely audible, but it was distinct.  It was Lord Arian.  She knew by the combination of taps and scratches.  Even if she had not summoned him, she would have known.

“Enter,” Rianon commanded as she wrapped herself in a translucent black robe made from spider-silk.

The stone door of the chamber opened on unseen hinges and Lord Arian stepped in, his long silver hair flowed behind him shimmering in the warm red light. He bowed deeply and dutifully.

Lord Arion had come from the best Drow stock, his bloodlines were undeniable, but he was born with the birth defect of having argent hair, a hue seen only in High Elves.  This was his only fault and the only reason Rianon found him unsuitable for mating.  Only the best stock was suitable for siring her heir.

The Master of Poisons looked with trepidation at the body of Prince Maelgad on the floor.  He did not let his eyes tarry too long, he gave Rianon his full attention.  He waited for his Queen to address him.

“Arian, you are Maelgad’s right hand, are you not?”  Rianon asked menacingly.

“Yes, my Queen,” the Master of Poisons answered.

Rianon could detect the notes of nervousness in Arian’s voice.  She drew out the silence to add to his discomfort.  She walked in a crescent around the prone body of Maelgad stationed between them.  Her thin black lips parted and she broke the burden of silence.

“As you can see, our Master of Assassins has been indisposed,” Rianon said, directing her eyes to the body on the floor.

Arian nodded his acknowledgement of the veiled threat.  It could just as easily be him in his mentor’s position, which at that moment didn’t look too promising.

“Previously you answered to Maelgad, now you will answer to me, directly to me and only to me.  You will follow my instruction without deviation, or variation, is this understood?”  Rianon spelled out the new terms of Arian’s existence.

“Yes, my Queen,” the Master of Poisons answered without hesitation unable to avert his eyes from the unconscious, contorted form that lay prostrate on the floor between them.

“Good,” Rianon said with a smile that made the Master of Poisons squirm. “Have we any word from Cadfeal?”

“The Captain of the Guard has proved to be an excellent ambassador, my Queen.  He has successfully treated with Balesh, Grand Chieftain of the Orcish Tribes as he has with Maluch of the Kobold clans.  Both have agreed, in principal, to aid us.  Lord Arthfeal, the Bear King is thirsting Dwarven blood after the murder of three of his most beloved children. We wait only on word of the intentions of Lord Bleiddud; and locating the Prince of Wolves has proven difficult.” Arian reported and as he spoke he grew more comfortable, more at ease.

“We will have to reward the Captain of the Guard.  Perhaps a promotion is due,” The Queen mused aloud to make Arian insecure in his present station before she queried.  “Who has been running the patrols in Cadfeal’s absence?”

“That would be Cadfrawd, Cadfeal’s most trusted lieutenant.”  Arian answered.

“Send word to this Cadfrawd that he is to exterminate the next Dwarven expedition that ventures into the Iron Hills,” Rianon paused a moment before revising her instruction.  “Cadfrawd is to kill all but one.  One Dwarf is to be spared that he may scurry back to Halldor and relay this message to the good King Thorvaldr.  Let him know the Drow have returned and we contest Dwarven claim to the Iron Hills.  Trespass will not be tolerated.”

As Master of Poisons and Maelgad’s right hand, Arian knew the Queen was orchestrating an offensive of some sort, but he could not believe his ears.  Taken aback, he did not expect such an open act of aggression.  Lord Arian forgot himself, his station and to whom he spoke.

“My Queen, is it wise to act so boldly?  We have survived thousands of years of exile after our near extermination, by stealth and keeping our existence secret.  The disappearance of a few Dwarven prospectors from time to time is easily explained.  We either leave neither hide, nor hair, or we make it look like an animal attack.  There are many dangerous creatures in the Iron Hills that could be blamed for such deaths.  We’ve never let anybody live.” the Master of Poisons cautioned.

“Don’t make the mistake Maelgad made in doubting your Queen,” Rianon spit out the words, venom dripping from her viper’s tongue.

“My Queen, I only caution you. We have not yet heard from Cadfeal as to the intentions of Lord Bleiddud,” Arian continued to press, but stopped when the unconscious body on the ground writhed and groaned.

“Know your place Arian. You are Master of Poisons, you are not my advisor, best you remember that if you wish to fill Maelgad’s shoes, or remain in your own,” Rianon warned and then arrogantly added:  “As for Lord Bleiddud, at this point the Prince of Wolves is of little consequence, a minor convenience if he is with us and a minor inconvenience if he is not.  That is, unless there is something you aren’t telling me,”

She had him right where she wanted him.

“I would keep nothing from you my Queen, you know all that I know,” Arian scraped and groveled.

“Very well, your first task will be to dispose of this filth littering my floor,” Rianon said, kicking the body of the cataleptic Prince.  “Take him to the northern tip of Lake Cemlyn.  You will leave him intact and whole.  You are to see to this personally.  Do you understand?”

“Yes, my Queen, I will see it done just as you have specified,” Arian answered with a stiff voice.

“After you have taken care of Maelgad you will deliver my orders to Cadfrawd.  I am charging you responsible for seeing that he carries them out to the letter,” Rianon commanded.

“Yes, my Queen,” the Master of Poisons said obediently.

“If you carry out your orders to my satisfaction, you will be well rewarded and I will install you as my Master of Assassins.  Fail me and it will cost you your head,” Rianon threatened before dismissing Lord Arian with a wave of her hand.

Arian pivoted and strode to the door.  He stepped momentarily into the corridor and returned with two soldiers that had accompanied him and were stationed outside. The Master of Poisons gestured to the motionless body on the floor and the guards each took a heel and dragged the former Master of Assassins out of the Queen’s chamber, with Lord Arian in tow.  The door shut behind them and Rianon was alone.

The seeds had been planted.  It was now time to see what fruits they bore.  She rubbed her belly and thought of the daughter she would give birth to, the daughter she would groom to one day be her successor. Rianon would see Sion restored to its former glory and when the time was right, her daughter would rule from Lolth’s throne.  The Master Web would be complete.

 

Copyright by T J Therien 2014

The Scrolls of Sion

Coming May 25

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An Excerpt from Crossing Main by T J Therien

They closed down the Asylum on the outskirts of town a few years back. Would you believe they just released the patients? Just like that, people who had been institutionalized for large chunks of their lives were rubberstamped “Sane” and turned out onto the streets. It’s not like they had been cured, or anything, far from it. In fact, all their phobias and neurosis remained intact. In some cases their “Isms” were exasperated by the sudden change in their environment. For the most part, the former patients were not equipped with the skills they needed to survive in the real world. As a result most took to wandering the streets by day and sleeping on benches or in back alleys at night.

Being adjacent to the Madhouse, our sleepy little town felt the brunt when it was shut down. We were close enough in proximity that our town became a magnet for the former patients. The “Crazies,” as the townsfolk affectionately called them although some of the more eccentric earned their own little monikers like “Odd Todd” and “Slow Joe.” Really, for the most part they were harmless enough and posed no real danger. Still, nobody knew what to do about the problem. At first, police would round them up, but because they didn’t belong in jail and because there was nowhere else to keep them, once again they were just released. Homelessness became epidemic. Sure, we always had a couple of drunks and ne’er do wells, but nothing like after they closed the Mental Hospital.

So much like other callous cost cutting measures that fray the fabric of society, the powers that be gave little thought to the consequences of fiscal austerity. This should surprise nobody. Empathy and compassion are traits possessed by too few politicians and government workers. Common sense and good conscience are seldom criteria for policy, nor are they qualifiers in the decision making process. Shutting down the Mental Hospital was just a classic case of saving a few nickels and dimes at the expense of our humanity. It’s all about dollars, not sense.

Residents petitioned the politicians, first at the local level, then to the State and lastly to the Fed. Each in turn passed the buck to the next until it circled around to the first and the process began all over again. In the end nothing was done. The townsfolk gradually accepted the quirky ensemble of former patients squatting in the streets.

The good folk of our town did what good folk do, short of taking the former patients into their own homes. They did no more than they did for the drunkards and ne’er do wells. Good folk are almost always long on good intentions, but when it comes down to it, they don’t really want to get their hands dirty and people are messy, especially the mentally ill. So it fell to charity to care for these poor people and we all know the result that reaps. Instead of putting money directly to solutions Charities buy band aids with the money that’s left over after the marketing campaigns and salaries are paid. Like really, has any Charity ever cured any social ail? And so the problem persisted.

This is why no one took notice of the shabby man shuffling down the main drag with an old apple-crate tucked under his arm. Such sights had become so common-place in our sleepy little town that nobody discerned anything different from the shabby stranger and the other “Crazies.” He was just another invisible man, a stench that people sidestep to avoid the smell sticking to them. Those who did see him shot him looks of derision as he waded through the pedestrian traffic at the busiest time of the day.

A New Project

“The children played along the banks of the river to wash off the heat of the midday sun while servants fetched water for cooking and washing. Among the children were Pyramus, the son of a wealthy merchant and Thisbe, the daughter of a household slave, though they were far too young to make that distinction. They had been raised under the same roof, albeit to a different degree of privilege, but were otherwise very much surrogate brother and sister, much to their parent’s dissatisfaction.”

(This is the first draft opening paragraph of my latest project. I will be taking on the classic tale of Pyramis and Thisbe, first attributed to Ovid and also tackled by the likes of Chaucer and Shakespeare, not that I am in their league, but because I think I have a fresh take on the story.)

 

T J Therien

Author Seeks Editor

I regrettably announce that I have removed Scrolls of Sion: Broken Bloodlines from my catalogue. Broken Bloodlines will be re-published at a date in the future yet to be determined. Scrolls of Sion: Rise of the Dark Queen will remain available digitally for free as will Liars, Hypocrites & the Development of Human Emotion. I have decided before proceeding with publishing any other books I would like to find an Editor who I can work with on an ongoing basis. I need to find the right person for the job and that could take a while.

In the meantime I will continue to write and create. In future I may use this space as a testing ground for some of my writing. I am going to try to keep a schedule of posting once a week, I am just trying to determine what day that will be. This page will still be primarily dedicated to the poetry I write although I reserve the right to post whatever my given fancy on any given day.

T J Therien

Progress Report:

As most of you know I went back to work on my Romance (Forever: The First Epoch and the Birth of Love) on August 1st. In doing so I made a crucial decision to make a significant change to the story despite having ten very publishable chapters already written. I have been able to keep much of that original text intact but have had to alter a few things for the sake of continuity. As of today this is my growing table of contents and the chapters that have been written.

Chapter 1 (The Girl)
Chapter 2 (The Boy)
Chapter 3 (The Young Hunter)
Chapter 4 (Clashing Spears)
Chapter 5 (The Birds and the Bees)
Chapter 6 (The Long Night)
Chapter 7 (The Cave Behind the Falling Water)
Chapter 8 (A Hard Lesson)
Chapter 9 (Monkey See Monkey Do)
Chapter 10 (The Quest for Fire)
Chapter 11 (Blue Eyes)
Chapter 12 (A Deer in a Den of Wolves)
Chapter 13 (The Weight of Wood)
Chapter 14 (A Seed Planted)
Chapter 15 (A Tribe of Two)

Well that’s it for now folks. Back to the grind. Have a good one.