This is a continuation of the Mortis Custos part 9 by @lex-zaiya.
To start at the beginning of the story please see the links provided at the end of this post!
Viewer discretion is advised due to gory violence! Undead! Swords! Death! Beware!
Enjoy the new episode.
Adiran stepped forward and lifted a palm up at Mortis, a golden string sprung forth and wrapped around one of the knight's arms.
"I did not want to do this," Adiran said, pulling on the magical rope. "But if it will..."
Mortis shrugged his shoulder and the rope frayed where it touched their arm. The magical rope fell to the floor. "Who will be going on this quest?" They enquired.
Adiran looked in stunned silence for a moment at his rope, then let it dissapate. "How?"
Mortis shrugged. "Mortis is hex proof to compulsion spells. You cannot control Mortis with that." The knight pointed again with a bloodied finger, then raised it up to the light. "Only this... this is what Mortis serves. Any blood has some magic in it, but the blood of Drakenspoort that I serve, it has the most command. It is Drakenspoort which I serve."
Adiran let the magic dissapate. He glanced at Mary, who gave a nearly imperceptible nod. "Well then, it is simple. The Princess Magna here and myself are going on a quest. Since my companion Rhyn will be preoccupied, we need someone who can help us and protect us."
The knight cocked his head to one side. "Two of the blood together. What is the quest?"
"To save the life of Prince Adrian." Mary interjected and Mortis turned their head.
"The boy lives?"
"Barely," Adiran answered. "By my magic and that of my companion, we keep him deathless."
"I am ready to leave at once!" Mortis replied. "Let us save the boy's life."
"What?" The sudden shout made both Adiran and Mary jump, Mortis stood implacable.
Magna stood with her hands before her, her fists clenched. She was stunned and could not decide if she should be excited, afraid, or relieved.
"Adrian is... ok? I get to leave the castle finally? What quest? Where are we going? How is it possible that my brother can be kept alive? How will he be alright if uncle Adiran goes away? Wha..."
Adiran held up his hand. "Whoah girl. Take a breath. We will have time to talk about it all on the journey. Right now we must all prepare. Everyone pack their things and take some rest. We will leave on the morrow."
"I will stand to watch at the gatehouse." Mortis stated flatly. "I am ready to leave at once."
"Dear knight, do you not want to dine with us?" The queen asked. "We have not seen your face."
"Never does Mortis' helm get removed before others. So it is sworn." Mortis replied, their tone making it clear that no debate from the blood of Drakenspoort nor the royalty of the land would persuade them otherwise.
"Very well." Mary said. "Adiran, if you will excuse me. I will prepare my daughter for her journey."
Adiran nodded. "I have much work to do. I will meet you at the gatehouse in the morning." The magician turned and seemed to shift out of focus and with a sigh of air was gone.
The High Mage flinched in his chambers. There had just been a discharge of magic energy in the castle. It was a feeling of pressure as though he were standing on an enormous bed and something heavy had pressed into one side of the mattress, causing things to be jostled and pulled to that point. Only, the mattress was more like the fabric of the world and it was connected to the Mage's mind and neck.
The amount of power needed to do this matched his own, but he had no doubt that it was nothing for the user. It was nothing compared to the few bursts of power he had felt in the Queen's chambers earlier.
Now, he could feel the movement of the pressure as it traveled around the castle.
"How could we not know?" He asked himself out loud. "The old fool was just an eccentric hermit, his magic was weak. How did we not know of his power?"
"It is because he is evil High Mage." A voice said behind him.
Christoff turned and saw the High Priest approach through the doorway. "Darian. We can drop the formalities. How..."
The High Priest was rubbing his mouth and jaw with one of his hands, the area of skin still bruised. "I will be alright. The priests have prayed over this injury."
The two of them stood, watching each other. Their power had been usurped. Despite the fact that they both knew that neither of them would have been able to do anything for the boy. The Prince's wounds were a death sentence and there was no prayer nor spell powerful enough to revive him.
Yet they had been tripped of their relevance, the Queen did not even want to see them. This man, who had always hung in the background was now moving through the castle with all that power.
Christoff could feel him everywhere. Suddenly the feeling stopped. He gasped.
"What is it?" The High Priest asked.
"Adiran. This whole while, after the... you know? What happened. I could feel him every second. His power is... incredible."
"Incredibly evil." The priest grunted.
"Wherever he goes, I could point at him across the castle. As a mage, I can feel when someone uses magic. It was pouring off of him constantly." He gestured in the air. "Then he was gone."
"Where was he when that happened?"
The High Mage's eyes widened. "The east corridor. His chambers."
"This evil has been hiding under our very noses this whole time then." The priest made a sign before him of the holy sun.
"You keep saying that he is evil Darian." The High Mage ventured. "How can you be so sure? He saved the boy from dying I hear."
"Only those who are evil and guilty hide from the sun!" The preacher's voice was hard. "There is a reason he never fully revealed himself to us before. How sure can you be based on just that alone that his intentions are pure?"
"Fair enough." The mage conceded. "But I am also a man of the mysterious art of magic and understand the need to be covert at times." Christoff felt a bit sheepish as soon as he had said this. He might have felt more confident in his own abilities had he not known what Adiran was capable of. The difference was staggering.
The priest said nothing about this and merely nodded with a smile on his pudgy face.
"But do you mean to say that you know more than that?" Christoff asked.
The High Priest nodded his head and raised his eyebrows, looking like someone who was enjoying the taste of fine wine. "The Occulus Rex has been cast in regards to Adiran. The Oracle has proclaimed that there is darkness in his soul."
"I see." The High Mage said and walked to the window, looking into the courtyard. The mysterious knight dressed in black was standing at the gatehouse, his hands resting on the pommel of his sword.
The skull on the knight's chest sent a chill down Christoff's spine. "And now they keep company with that... thing."
"Yes. Another agent of Darkness no doubt." The priest proclaimed.
"Yet this one slew most of the undead?"
"Oh, do not be deceived, Christoff." The High Priest smiled and the High Mage thought that it looked a tad sinister. "There is war in Hell amongst the demons and dark Gods. What is evil is evil."
And I will leave it just there. So the characters are going on a quest and yet there are those in the castle itself who do not trust, nor support two of our characters. What will happen? Where will they go?
I have no idea because @lex-zaiya is the one writing part 11! haha! I will have to wait and see!
Here is an explanation of Chain Stories and here is the current Chainstory Library
Mortis Custos Parts:
|by @lex-zaiya||by @zakludick|
|Part 1||Part 2|
|Part 3||Part 4|
|Part 5||Part 6|
|Part 7||Part 8|
|Part 9||You are here!|
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