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Author Topic: Possessed--Part Thirteen  (Read 2771 times)

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Offline Evie

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Possessed--Part Thirteen
« on: March 06, 2011, 03:01:17 pm »
   Part Thirteen—Crimes and Punishments

   August 1, 1130—late night
   Caerdraig Castle


   Javana shrank back against her pillow in alarm as Walter threw open the door to her bedchamber.  In three long strides he had reached her side, throwing the bed curtains open wider to grab her arm.

   This is it, she thought numbly. Meg's attack has failed, and now I am to die for it.  It was an almost welcome thought, though some small part of her hidden deep inside still yearned to live.  She offered up a silent prayer for God's mercy, hoping against hope that she might still be somehow worthy of it, and also hoping her death would be swift.

   And then she felt him inside her mind, using his controls on her to force down shields she'd instinctively started to bring up when he'd lunged for her, forcing images into her mind that made her gorge rise.  She swallowed hard against the nausea she felt at seeing Meg’s blood-drenched form, but even then, Walter allowed her no respite.  In that split second, she realized he was searching for information, looking for the damning evidence he needed to seal her fate.  She realized also that her mind held another man's secret—one which could spell his death, were Walter to become aware of it.  Should she attempt to hide Sir Aylmer's plot from her husband, in hopes it might yet win her eventual freedom, by stuffing it down into the secondary shields even Walter could not yet breach without completely ripping her mind?

   No, it was too late; Walter had already brushed against those memories and, shark-like, was coming back around for a closer look.  So Javana offered them up, if only reluctantly, sacrificing the lesser monster to the greater one in hopes that the offering would save her from being Mind-Ripped.  There were some deaths more horrific to a Deryni than others, and that was one way in which Javana would prefer not to go, not even to escape her nightmare of a husband.

   She watched as Walter's face turned red then pale with fury as he realized what he had found.  Deep within her mind, Javana sensed the mental controls become even more rigid, until she was even more a prisoner within her body, helpless to do anything more than watch Walter and follow him without question or comment.

#

   August 2—Midnight
   Caerdraig Castle—The Baronial chambers


   Javana felt like a spectator to her own actions as her body moved across the room to open the door and walk down a short corridor to a chamber just beyond.  She tapped at that door.  “Sir Aylmer!” her voice whispered, seemingly of its own volition.  “Are you awake?”

   The door opened after only a brief pause, the knight within peering groggily down at her.  “My Lady!”  He took a quick glance beyond her, his eyes panicked, then seemed to relax as he realized they appeared to be unobserved.  “Is something wrong?” he asked, his voice tentative.

   Javana's lips curved into a seductive smile.  “I've been thinking about your...proposal.”

   Aylmer's expression changed, somehow managing to look simultaneously elated and alarmed.  “Good...good...but your lord husband....”  He gave a sidelong look down the corridor at Walter's bedchamber door and stammered, “Not here, my Lady; it's not safe.”

   “Where, then?” Javana heard herself purr as her hand traced a path down Sir Aylmer's chest.  “My fertile time just started, so Walter shan't be seeking me out this week.”  Her fingertips continued to brush downwards, pausing at his waist before continuing lower.

   “I...ah....”  Aylmer threw caution to the winds.  “There's an empty chamber on the second level that the late Baroness used to use for guests.  It's still furnished, and it's far enough from Walter's chamber, he shouldn't notice if we use it.”

   “Oh, the Scarlet Chamber?”  Javana’s lips smiled.  “Perfect.”  She turned, casting an inviting look over her shoulder at the knight before disappearing down the corridor.  Aylmer waited a discreet interval before quietly following behind her.

#

   The Baroness stood beside the velvet-curtain bed when Sir Aylmer entered the Scarlet Chamber, her eyes wide in a face pale with fear.  Behind him, he heard the door close quietly.  He whirled to see the Baron of Caerdraig leaning casually against the door, a smile on his face, only the pale fire in his icy eyes betraying his wrath.  Aylmer glanced at the door handle, wondering if he could wrest his way past Walter long enough to wrench the door open and bolt, but the sound of tumblers clicking into place inside the lock warned him it was too late to make his escape.  He swallowed, wondering how Walter had known to find them here…wondering also what excuses he could make that his master might accept.

   “Good evening, Sir Aylmer,” Walter said softly, “or should I say good morning?”

   Aylmer bowed warily.  “My lord.”  His eyes darted to Javana, who said nothing, leaving him to guess how much Walter knew about them.  Did he simply think he’d stumbled upon a romantic tryst, or had he guessed it was more than that?  He knew he could easily die just for trying to lie with Walter’s wife, but if Walter had somehow guessed that his trusted lieutenant had been plotting his murder….

   “Aylmer, my friend.  How long have you been in my service?”

   The knight regarded his Baron uncertainly.  “Nigh on a dozen years, my lord, and a dozen years of service to the late baron your father before that, when we served him as pages and then squires together.”

   “Ah, so you have.  And I’ve entrusted you with many a confidence over those years, have I not?”  Walter beamed at him genially.  Aylmer began to wonder if he’d mistaken the situation.

   “You have, my lord.”

   “And even with the keeping of my wife a time or two?”  The predatory eyes never left Aylmer’s.   The lieutenant felt a shiver go through him, realizing he’d not been mistaken after all.

   “Aye, my lord.”  Sir Aylmer swallowed nervously.  “I can explain.”  His mind careened wildly, trying to figure out what he could possibly say to buy himself another few precious moments of life.

   Walter chuckled.  “Oh, no need, my dear Aylmer.  You see, I’m prepared to grant you your fondest wish.”

   Aylmer’s eyes darted involuntarily to Javana, who stood statue-still, then back to his baron in utter confusion.  “You are, my lord?”

   Walter’s grin grew positively feral.  “Oh yes.”  He moved towards the center of the space between doorway and bed.  “You’ve always been fascinated by magic, haven’t you, my friend?  And yet I’ve done so little of it in your presence, really, aside from a bit of mind-tampering now and again.  Very little in the way of…shall we say, showy magic?”  He reached into a pouch, pulling out a set of tiny ivory and ebony cubes.  “I believe you’ll find this fascinating.”

   Aylmer glanced up at Javana again, hoping for a clue to where this display was leading, but nothing showed in her set features aside from a wary light growing in her eyes.  Walter began to set the cubes down in some sort of a pattern, muttering words over them in a voice almost too quiet for him to hear.  He thought the words might be in Latin.  As he watched, the paired cubes changed, melding together and glowing slightly from within.  Walter, with a nod of satisfaction, moved each set of melded cubes—each now forming a gray oblong—away from each other.  A dome of light appeared over the space the tiny columns enclosed.  Aylmer, momentarily forgetting his fear, was quite fascinated by the ritual, for Walter had never been so overt about his Deryni talents in his presence.

   Walter stepped just outside the circle, raising his hands and muttering more arcane words.  A chill passed through Aylmer’s body as he dimly became aware that the powers his master was calling upon were far from benign.  He was never much of a scholar himself—his knowledge of Latin was scant, and encompassed little more than the responses to the Mass that he’d learned by rote as a child, and he’d paid little regard to his religious education, so he hardly recalled what those words meant anymore.  But Walter had just conjured up four names that even a man as irreligious as Aylmer had recognized, and with growing horror he saw four shadowy shapes appear at each corner of the area enclosed by the dome of light.

#

   Javana’s mind shrieked with terror, although her body remained frozen in place, unable to react to what Walter was conjuring, much less run screaming from it.  Sweet Jesú, the man was mad!  Some detached part of herself registered the mistakes in the ritual that Walter was attempting—mistakes which, if his spell went awry, could lead not only to the deaths of everyone in this room, but possibly everyone in the Castle or in the village below.  For the forces her husband were calling upon were powerful ones, not to mention malevolent, and his training was woefully inadequate to the task.

   Javana, like the few other Deryni she had known about growing up, was a Servant of the Light, and her familial and Andelonian training—powerful though it had been—had not taught her the specifics of the sort of magic that Walter was now attempting to work.  But her mentors had warned about the darker uses of magic in general, teaching her the basics of how to recognize such magics, and what might be done to protect against them, had she access to her full faculties—which, under Walter’s control as she was, she did not.   And just as Javana had learned to invoke the protection of the archangels when setting up Wards Major, Walter was now calling upon similarly powerful beings to serve as guardians over the ward circle in which he meant to call down a curse upon his hapless lieutenant.  The problem was, he had not called upon evenly matched demons for the Four Corners.  

   Javana tried to remember the demonic opposites to Raphael, Michael, Gabriel and Uriel.  To the best of her memory, a more skilled Servant of Darkness would have called upon Baal, Belial, Beelzebub and Arioch for assistance with his curse.  But Walter, being both incompletely trained and having no belief in the literal existence of the powers he was calling forth, had simply called forth four well-known demons at random.  By chance, he had called on Baal and Beelzebub, though only one was in his rightful corner.  But then he’d invoked Lucifer and Mephistopheles to complete the circle.  Who knew if his Wards Major would hold against whatever Walter planned to call forth within their area of protection?  

#

   Walter was momentarily startled as the first shadowy figures began to appear, but then he reminded himself that such ritual magics often manifested in ways that made them easier for the human mind to comprehend.  Most people, upon hearing a demon’s name invoked in a magical ritual, would expect to see that demon appear, and so one had.  It was mere illusion, of course, but an illusion which would serve him well.  Aylmer had grown even paler than before under his light tan.  The baron suppressed a smile and invoked the next two demons.

   It was quite satisfactory, seeing this part of the ritual shaping up so well.  He’d only read about this sort of working, knowing a bit of the theory behind it, but had not actually tried this sort of summoning spell before.  In theory he ought to have had three other Deryni to assist him, but there was little he could do about that lack.  Javana would certainly not be of any help; even if he were to release her controls enough for her to be of assistance, she would doubtless run gibbering from the room, the superstitious little fool!

   No, the spell would be quite tiring for him to work by himself, but he was confident he could do so nonetheless.  He would simply allow himself a long sleep afterwards.  He was the Baron, after all; no one would attempt to gainsay him if he decided to cancel all appointments the following day, claim illness, and remain in his bedchamber until he felt fit and hale again.

   It was time for the next stage of the conjuring.

#

   Aylmer watched, rooted in place, as a fifth shadowy figure began to coalesce inside the circle of light.  This one took on a more solid form, one which eventually became quite recognizable, although he had never seen her in her full unclothed glory before.  He gasped as the figure in the circle looked up at him and smiled.  It was Javana!

   He stared at confusion, glancing between the figure in the circle and the woman just on the other side of it.  The woman in the circle was Javana, but somehow even more perfect, more beautiful than Aylmer remembered ever seeing her, even in her happier years before her marriage to Lord Walter.  She looked at him, her smile growing, and then she beckoned.

   “Your fondest dream, Aylmer,” Walter said softly, his silken voice planting a suggestion in the lieutenant’s mind.  Aylmer found himself stumbling forward, eager to join her, not heeding the warning cries of alarm in his mind, his own intuitive inklings that something was dreadfully wrong.  He needed her, this magnificent prize, his heart, his Javana.

   A Javana made just for him.  As he crossed through the ward barrier, something about that realization felt vaguely wrong, but Aylmer could not have said what anymore.
#

   The succubus—for that is what the final words of Walter’s spell had conjured forth—fulfilled Aylmer’s deepest longings until he fell unconscious from exhaustion.  In the process, she had sucked out his soul.  There was little left to do after besides rend him limb from limb, which afforded her a few moments of mindless delight, but once she had torn her plaything apart, she grew bored again.  Her gaze flitted outside the shining circle.

   “I want him,” she told Baal, pointing at Walter.

   The shadowy figure smiled faintly.  “I think not today, poppet.”

   She pouted.  “Tomorrow, then.”

   He shook his head.  “No.  But someday, when he’s no longer of any use to us, I would enjoy seeing that.”

   It was all said quietly, too quietly for the Deryni outside their circle to hear, even if they could comprehend the secret language of their kind.  But the female Deryni seemed to sense their intent, her lips twitching in silent prayer, invoking aid from the Light Ones she served, though she was powerless to work any rituals at the moment.  Still, that ring she wore made her distasteful prey; there were protections prayed over it that they dared not violate.

   The male Deryni, though….

   Baal growled a chuckle low in his throat.  They would humor the male for a bit longer, for he had served the Darkness well in his short mortal lifetime.  He would not begrudge the man a few trifling rewards.  But someday, that dabbling Deryni upstart would learn proper respect for the Powers he had called forth.

   The shadows dispersed, leaving nothing in their wake, not even Aylmer’s corpse.  Only the gore-spattered stains gracing the valuable Andelonian carpeting between the two wide-eyed Deryni spoke of the horrors that had occurred in the chamber.

#

   Walter stared at the bloodstained carpet, slightly dismayed at the loss of the expensive hand-woven furnishing, but his spirits were soon lifted by the thought that he no longer had to watch his back against his lifelong companion’s treacheries.  He smiled at his wife.  “Clean the carpet if you can; dispose of it discreetly if you cannot.  I’m sure you don’t wish to answer the awkward questions it would raise were one of the chambermaids to discover it in this condition.”
  
   The Baron of Caerdraig whistled softly in satisfaction as he returned to his bedchamber.
   

Part Fourteen:  http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php?topic=677.0
« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 09:39:12 am by Evie »
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Possessed--Part Thirteen
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2011, 03:54:47 pm »
The hint of things to come - pity it is still a ways off.  But it looks as if it will be as horrific as I'd hoped!

And hopefully Javana can hang on until then.........
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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Offline Alkari

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Re: Possessed--Part Thirteen
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2011, 05:04:13 pm »
Yes, methinks Sir Walter has finally over-reached himself.   Couln't happen to a nicer fellow *shivers with evil delight and anticipation*  :D


Offline derynifanatic64

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Re: Possessed--Part Thirteen
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2011, 05:52:41 pm »
Amen!!  Though I think these evil beings will regret taking Walter's soul in the end.  I hope he leaves a bad taste in their mouths!!
We will never forget the events of 9-11!!  USA!! USA!!

Offline Evie

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Re: Possessed--Part Thirteen
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2011, 08:50:33 pm »
Yes, one could surmise that Walter's death will not be due to...um...entirely natural causes....  ;D
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Offline Elkhound

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Re: Possessed--Part Thirteen
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2011, 10:06:34 am »
I said it before--Walter isn't as smart as he thinks he is.

Offline AnnieUK

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Re: Possessed--Part Thirteen
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2011, 01:55:13 pm »
Oooh, Deryni black magic. :D  Interesting!

Offline Elkhound

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Re: Possessed--Part Thirteen
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2011, 02:31:16 pm »
Amen!!  Though I think these evil beings will regret taking Walter's soul in the end.  I hope he leaves a bad taste in their mouths!!

Do demons get indigestion?

Offline Evie

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Re: Possessed--Part Thirteen
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2011, 02:35:08 pm »
Amen!!  Though I think these evil beings will regret taking Walter's soul in the end.  I hope he leaves a bad taste in their mouths!!

Do demons get indigestion?

I keep thinking of those old 1970s Alka-Seltzer commercials.  "I can't believe I ate the whooooooole thing!"   ;D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline derynifanatic64

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Re: Possessed--Part Thirteen
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2011, 06:00:22 pm »
They should just rip his body apart and let Javana burn the parts to ashes!!
We will never forget the events of 9-11!!  USA!! USA!!

 

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