Maledictus Terra Book 2: Sanguifex Part 7


Welcome back to Maledicturs Terra. This is a Chain Story between myself and @lex-zaiya, meaning that we each write the parts alternatively.

If you have not read Maledictus Terra Book 1: Mortis Custos yet it starts HERE at Part 1 and ends at Part 101 HERE. At the end of the Part 101 post you will find links to all 101 Parts!

The previous part by @lex-zaiya can be found HERE


Part 7

Once more there was a stunned silence in the throne room.

This seemed to be a time for dramatic information. Magna felt that this was perhaps less of a diplomatic mission and situation rather than a family drama involving magic, curses, and tragedy. Despite her discomfort and her usual ability to flare up, Magna did not dare to move.

She could sense that her mother was angry. Not the sort of angry where she was annoyed or cross at something the twins did. Not even the sort of anger that she had for Adiran or Mortis when their secrets would turn out to be something that was potentially dangerous - though those times were pretty scary as well.

This was as though the air held a knife edge at Magna's throat. Her mother's anger was... deadly. She did not know if those bladed gauntlets had anything to do with it, but she seemed ready to launch herself at her Brother and end him.

What was even more surprising was that the deadly feeling was mirrored in Sebastian.

The man seemed to be crestfallen and depressed, he was sad about what he had done, and she could sense that. Even though he felt this way, Sebastian seemed ready to accept his sister's assault and deal with any combatant in the room.

Slowly, Mortis moved and planted himself between the siblings, King and Queen.

"Tell us your story." Mortis said slowly. "I can sense darkness in others. I can sense pain. I... can sense the virtue of the warrior's heart."

That was rather poetic Mortis. Magna thought to himself. *Perhaps all that time spent with the Blaze Knights was starting to rub off on him.

"Thus you must speak now, to me." Mortis continued. "I am the first King of Drakenspoort, which you now call Dragonshold. Speak to me the words of your story in its entirety and I shall judge it true or false."

Sebastian's fighting spirit melted before Mortis, even though Magan could sense that her mother had not yet dropped her fury. Sebastian bowed his head. "I consign myself to your judgment."

Mary made her move but no sooner had she done this than Mortis's arm shot up to block her path. He was still facing the other way but his arm glowed with the energies of his magic. Blood magic. "I call upon my right to give council." Mortis intoned.

What has gotten into him? He never used to be this formal.

Mary had gotten half of the way between her throne and where Mortis had come to stand between the two of them. She took a single step backward. "I agree."

Magna had not seen that coming either! She thought mother would charge forward and push her way forward to get to grips with her parent's murderer. Magna knew nothing of her grandparents and had no feelings for them, but if she were in her mother's shoes... if someone had killed both of her parents she would not be so quick to fall back.

And yet, she understood her mother backing away at Mortis's command.

There were a few long moments where everyone stood just where they were. It spoke of Queen Mary's intentions and showed her self-control.

And then the moment was gone.

"Come children. We will leave." Mary said, steel in her voice. Mary did not dare to voice a complaint or argue.

She and Adrian just followed Mary out, towards the royal suites. A final glance at the throne room behind her, she could see that King Sebastian was bowed and looked physically massive before Mortis and yet there was something about the Dreadknight that was something more to him than what he seemed. He was human-sized but at the same time he was that colossal avatar that had protected the city from the champions of two dark Gods.

Magna did not feel for a moment that Mortis was in danger and though Sebastian did not look like a pushover.

And then she was out into the hall beyond. Her mother was walking very fast. She and Adrian struggled to keep up with her. Magna could tell that mother was upset. They were about to make the turn toward the Queen's rooms when she stopped and turned.

"I need a bit of time on my own my dears." She said.

"Mother, you must be feeling awful." Adrian said. "Maybe we can just be nearby."

Mary looked at her son for a long moment. Her face was stern and yet there was wetness in her eyes. She was in pain. She gave a brief nod.

Magna and Adrian shared a look. Adrian would be better at this. He was more in tune with emotions and would be able to comfort her better and yet there was another pressing mystery that the twins wanted to know more about. Magna ruefully realized that her brother would be more suited to that task as well and it must have shown in her eyes.

Adrian cocked his head slightly sideways. Their non-verbal communication had grown ever stronger once more as the twins were spending a lot more time together than they had in the past. Before father had died.

Adrian's subtle head movement spoke volumes. It was reassurance and it was soothing her insecurity at not being the best candidate for either of these tasks. She was often the one who was most useful at other times and he would need to wait in the wings and be patient. he had always been patient. She admired him for that. It was not a position that she thought she would be able to handle all of the time.

"I will go visit our Uncle twin." Magna said. "He ran off and its suspicious."

Mary gave a little laugh. "Yes. That did bother me as well. But I was so preoccupied with my brother... Thank you Magna."

"And I will go with you mother." Adrian said. He walked forward and took her hand. It was a bold thing for this mild-mannered boy to do and surprised both women. He took charge of the Queen and again Magna felt her love for her brother deepen. She is not in her right might and he can see that. He is a natural caretaker.

Adrian led the Queen toward her rooms. Mary's incredulous look at Magna made her smile. Mary did not argue.

Magna headed off for Adiran's rooms. The royal uncle had posed as the brother to the late King Johnathan. Though he looked older, had taken no part in state affairs or succession. The truth had been revealed in the disaster and tragedy of the last year.

Magna had arrived before the time traveler's suites and gave the door a brief knock.

As instinctual as the connection between herself and Adrian, the two younger siblings had a bond with their older twin. She opened the door and walked up the stairway, knowing that he knew that she was coming and that she was allowed to be there.

She got to the top of the landing and she found Adiran slumped before the fireplace. His head in his hands in thought. This set off alarm bells in Magna's head. Not a lot of things fazed the experienced wizard. She went over to him and he raised his face off from his hands.

She looked into the eyes of her brother. They were exactly the copy of Adrian. They were the same. Wizard and Mage boy. The twin-bond with this elder version of her brother was not as strong for though they were the same people, Adiran came from a different time. The Wizard had explained it to her and Adrian before but it was something that made Magna's head hurt even though it was something that Adrian seemed to readily accept, understand and enjoy.

The Dark Gods that had their marks on the twins came from one of those times. They did not know time. This was a concept that made no sense to Magna.

That Adiran could travel to a place where beings are not that do not know time was simply crazy.

The look in Adiran's eyes told Magna that something terrible had happened but that he was also deeply sorry or guilty about whatever it is, as though he had failed in his duty.

"What's wrong?" She asked. "You always take things so personally and take up all the responsibility you can... and never take the credit."

"Where did that come from?" Adrian asked.

"You are down there with mother right now. Consoling her." She answered. "I could not do that. You are good at that. So there you are. Helping where I cannot."

Adiran nodded his head. "Yet you are good at most other things Magna. You have always been my strength... even after I had to leave my time's sister behind. You were always with me, making me strong."

"What happened to me in your time?"

The Wizard suddenly looked older than before and he stared into the roaring flames of the fireplace. "There was a time that I would have wanted to protect you and your brother from such things. Such ideas. So fear and doubt would not creep their way into you. But here you are, the two of you have done what I and my sister could not do in our time."

"We had your help." Magna pointed out.

Adiran shrugged. It was such a typical thing for Adrian to do too. It was one of those moments when their likenesses were the most obvious. "And yet you find yourself in a reality and a time where your... whole world is beset by Gods and eldrich beings. Undead stalk the lands. Lifedrinkers plague Kingdoms and send out for... for help? Why is Adrian consoling mother?"

"Our Uncle Sebastian told us that he had killed his parents. Mother was ready to attack him when Mortis intervened."

Adiran nodded.

"You expected this?" She asked.

"It happened in my time as well. Though Mortis had not been there to stop your mother and uncle from fighting."

"This raises far too many questions." Magna said, feeling slightly dizzy. "But I realize that you have not answered my previous question either."

Adiran smiled. "And yet that was not the question that you came here to ask."

Magna blinked slowly. It was another one of their non-verbal communications. This version of her brother seemed to pick up on what it meant.

"Why did you rush off from the throne room?" She asked.

"There are times that I get a bit confused... I realized something..." Adiran seemed rather uncomfortable.

"Well? Spit it out!"

"Rhys, my reptilian companion is missing." Adiran sighed.

Magna looked about the room. it was the first time she realized that this was the case. "Right. That's not... nice... I am sure that we can go looking for him. But why do you look like it is the end of the world?"

"Because like you and your brother, Rhys is something that is different about this time!" Adiran stood and paced the room, waving his hand around while he spoke. "He was not there in my timeline. You and your brother are marked but have a stable mutual resistance that has made THEM back off and then there is Mortis... also a unique facet of this time."

Magna stood and waited patiently. She had no idea what to make about any of this. She wished there was something that she could swing her sword at. Perhaps she would go down to the training ground later.

Her uncle/brother blabbered and she tried to listen but soon she was tuning it out. She wished her brother was here.


And over to you again @lex-zaiya, enjoy!

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Mortis Custos



by @zakludickby @lex-zaiya
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