Hey guys, I am stuck late at work tonight doing some filming, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to get you your appointed story. So enjoyed today’s blog post which is part two of The Heir of Archmond. DFTBA
PS. I’m posting today’s blog from my cell phone, so if the formatting for the story is off, I apologize. I’ll try to fix it when I get in later.
Lieselotte moved through the makeshift garden behind the mill, a wicker basket hanging from one arm and a piece of parchment in the opposite hand. Squinting in the darkness, the witch muttered a few indecipherable words under her breath and a tiny ball of light appeared, hovering near her shoulder and illuminating a page.
"Let's see... bat thorn, shimmerweed, and athelas." Nodding to herself, she tucked the paper away and gave a final look at the remainder of the garden, making a mental note to check on the rest of them the next time she was in Archmond. She passed through the gates of her garden, a guarding demon statue giving a low bow as she moved by. She plucked the key for the mill from the air, the metal materializing in her hand as it moved toward the door, but before she could open it, a shriek pierced the night. She turned, closing her fist and dissolving the key as she stared into the night. The walls of Archmond proper were a good hundred yards away, the city lying otherwise quiet in the moonlight. The castle, Chateau du Archmond sat above the city on a narrow precipice, like a hungered tiger hunched over its prey, the moon glittering off it's windows like a dozen spider eyes. Quirking her lips, Lieselotte turned back to the door, once more. Before she could even conjure the key again, another scream rang out through the night.
"I swear, if it's Grin," she growled, turning from the mill and marching into the night. She followed the road as it led into the village properly. As she drew closer, she could make out a shadowy figure rushing through between the closed shops and houses. As it stepped into the moonlight, Lieselotte could see it was a woman, or at least a petite man in a lovely dress. Her wailing once more cleared up the matter in Lieselotte's mind, the necromancer looking to see what she was running from. In a moment another figure, this time heavily cloaked slipped from the buildings, overtaking the woman in seconds.
Tackling her to the ground, the figure dragged her toward a large building, a warehouse if Lieselotte remembered correctly. The figure's intentions were quite clear as it hunched over her pinning her arms and pulling aside the hem of her dress. Fire burning in her eyes, the necromancer moved faster, arm outstretched. Her lips moved in a silent, ancient spell, a ball of dark energy growing in her palm. With a flash of light it shot off, slamming into the cloaked figure, knocking him clear of the woman.
Lieselotte continued closer as the woman scurried to her feet, looking about for only a second before scrambling toward her savior. She nearly knocked Lieselotte off her feet as she threw her arms around her.
"Please! We must run!"
"There is a mill down the road. Tell the raven Lieselotte sent you," she replied, her voice betraying no sense of panic or urgency.
"Do it," she repeated, sending the woman on her way. The woman nodded and rushed off down the road, Lieselotte now turning her attention back to the attacker. She scanned the perimeter of the warehouse. It seemed he was gone.
She approached the scene quickly, kneeling to inspect the grounds. She found heavy boot prints in the soft dirt paired up with lighter ones, no doubt belonging to the woman she had rescued. She stared closely at the heavy prints. There was some sort of pattern in the print, an unusual occurrence for the standard smooth boots of Archmond workers. The struggle had marred it badly, but it seemed to be diamond shaped.
"Who goes there?" came a deep, masculine voice. The witch stood, pulling her hat quickly from her head. A lantern appeared around the bend of shops and houses, held by a portly man. He approached quickly, a sword at his side and a dark cloak around his shoulders. "It is after curfew, what business do you have?" he asked.
Lieselotte adopted a demure smile, nodding slightly. "Pardon me, sir. I was simply in the area. I heard a woman in distress and came to investigate."
The guard seemed ruffled, pushing past her and casting his light over the area. "Where? I see no one?"
"Oh, but surely you heard her screams, good sir? She was assaulted on this very spot."
The guard looked over the area then turned back, eying the witch suspiciously. He raised his lantern and drew closer to her, his free hand now resting on the hilt of his sword. "And did you see this mysterious attacker?"
"Oh, of course not, sir," she replied, eying the diamond crest of Archmond that latched his cloak together.
"Good. Perhaps you best be off then," he sneered, taking one more glance at the scene.
"Oh, I shall. That poor girl, I'm surprised she wasn't completely smothered."
"What?" the guard said, turning back.
"Judging by the depth of those boot prints, her assailant had to be quite the heavy man. Portly, even."
"I think it’s time your returned to your home, Madam," the guard reiterated.
"Very well, but if you need something for the bruising on your sides, come by my mill. I might have a salve."
The guard opened his mouth to respond, but quickly froze. Lieselotte merely smiled as she began walking back down the road.
"Halt," he cried out. She could hear his heavy steps as he rushed to her, grabbing her shoulder and forcing her around.
"Couldn't find any willing tail at the tavern?" she asked.
The man drew his blade, aiming it at her throat. He moved to skewer the witch, but his blade refused to move. "Wh-what... You're a witch!"
"Oh no, good sir, you must be mistaken. I'm just a humble clerk."
The guard pulled on his blade, but it was frozen in hair. "Release my sword!"
"Oh, I'm afraid I can't help with that either. I'm not the one holding it," she replied, still quietly moving back to her mill.
The guard's eyes moved from the now disappearing Lieselotte to his blade where a gloved hand was slowly materializing around the blade. "I am." The sinister voice pierced the man's heart, causing him to drop to his knees. Bit by bit, the Grinning Man appeared, twisting the sword around.
Lieselotte turned the handle of the now unlocked mill, hesitating only a second as one final scream pierced the night. With a smile, she stepped inside.
Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.