Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

  • Bonus Material Points


    80/100

    Check Here to find out how
    you can earn points towards access to Robert's Notebook.

    Thanks to Fiona for donating!

  • Phoenix’s Tweets

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

  • Follow the Tattoo Twitter

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

  • Donate!

    Hey! Like the story? Help a girl out!

    A piece of flash fiction is posted at increments of $50. When we hit $250, there will be a short story (5,000 words or more) based on one of the characters and chosen by poll. Whoever puts me over $1000 will receive a one of kind clay starstone. (Don't try to unlock any doors to secret organizations with it!)

    Please, donate!

Tattoo Book 4, Part 2.1

Posted by harmony0stars on August 30, 2009

Gwythyr mounted his horse and began his journey back to Arawn’s settlement. Though Glory was a very lovely and interesting girl, certainly far more interesting than any of the other women he’d known most of his life, she didn‘t know what she was talking about in regards to his family. To an outsider, it might appear that Neirin was the logical choice as traitor, but Gwythyr couldn’t condemn his foster brother without proof. Despite what he’d said to Aonghas, he couldn’t believe Neirin was secretly collecting his rivals to exile them through Caer Wydr without his father’s knowledge. They’d grown up together and while Neirin had a vicious temper, he knew Neirin was a lot more direct when dealing with his enemies. He’d challenge them outright or maneuver them so that Arawn would find reason to punish them. But subtlety was not really Neirin’s strong suite. Dilys had always been a much deeper thinker than her brother. Of all the missing, Gwythyr felt her absence the most. She had always been the first to defend Gwythyr and anyone else from her brother’s wrath. Still, he couldn’t credit Neirin with her disappearance, not his own sister. There had to be someone else responsible, though so far as he knew, only Arawn and Neirin were capable of using Caer Wydr.

And as for Glory’s belief that Arawn had set them up on their little trek as bait for whoever was kidnapping his people, he couldn’t really believe that either. Arawn was the only father he had ever known. The king had always treated him with kindness, or at least no differently than he treated any of his other kinsmen. There were many valid reasons for Gwythyr to resent his uncle, but he had done his best to distance himself from his mother’s hatred. The history of his family made him sad, but hating Arawn would not bring his father back. His uncle knew how he felt because Gwythyr was the one who kept him informed about his mother’s preparations. If anything, Arawn trusted him more than any of his other advisors because he trusted Gwythyr’s honor. Gwythyr would never support a war between his mother and his uncle, and his uncle knew this. There was no sense in a war if the rightful heir had no interest in the crown. So if Arawn had intended Gwythyr should be bait in a trap designed to catch his secret enemy, then there was no reason why he would not have warned Gwythyr in advance.

Besides, he had seen no sign of pursuit. No sign that he was watched by a secret enemy or a protector. During their ride out, he’d kept a wary eye on the woods at all times. That was the only direction from which an ambush might have come as they followed its border to his ancestral home. Now that he was on his way back, and perhaps due to Glory’s insistence that they’d been bait in a trap that had never sprung, he was less concerned with his surroundings and more with his inner musings.

He really should have paid more attention, but hindsight is always clearer after a mistake is made. It was not yet dusk, though it may as well have been under the trees. Without having to concern himself with Glory’s inexperienced riding, he’d chosen a faster path through the woods which would bring him out closer to home, and from there, a short gallop across the meadow would get him indoors well before the sun set.

By the time he knew he was in trouble, he was already on the ground with the wind knocked out of him. His horse reared, lashing out at one of the dark figures that surrounded them. But with a whinny of fear, she suddenly dashed away through the trees. This was not at all like her. The mare had been trained since birth to guard her rider with her life if he was downed. There was dark magic at work here.

As he struggled to pull his sword from his scabbard, Gwythyr was kicked in the stomach for his trouble. Someone took his sword while others continued to lash out at him with their feet. Curled around the pain that had suddenly become the core of his being, it was a moment before he realized that the barrage had ended and someone was speaking. His captors grabbed his arms, twisting them cruelly behind his back as they hoisted him up to face their leader.

“Cousin,” Aonghas cooed arrogantly, waving his hand in front of Gwythyr’s face to get his attention. “Cousin…Really, you should pay more attention to your surroundings. I hear that there are kidnappers about.” He chuckled and a few of his men echoed him.

“I should have known it was you. You and your filthy Fomorians,” he spat. The men glowered at him, but waited on their leader to punish him for the insult. In the shadows under the trees, some of them rubbed their misshapen limbs ruefully. They were not ashamed of what they were, but there was no hiding the stamp of their race. The Fomorians had found their own way of dealing with illness and injury, namely replacing body parts when they became a liability. They preferred to harvest from other people, but that had not been a possibility in a long time. Many of them hoped that this sad fact might soon change. In a pinch however, an animal limb could be used, which is why Gwythyr’s mother walked with a limp, and the true reason why no meat was served at her table. Lady Muireann could not bear to eat of the animal whose limb she now wore in place of her own leg.

Aonghas backhanded him, then pulled Gwythyr’s head up by his hair with a murderous expression. “It was your Fomorian kin who saved your mother’s life,” he growled savagely, spittle flying as he clenched his fist in Gwythyr’s hair, “saved your life too since she was still with child at the time. Your ingratitude, cousin, is disheartening to say the least. While your mother’s Danann kin may have turned their backs on her suffering, we came to support our blood.”

“Came to see if you could grab a little something for yourself, you mean.”

Aonghas looked as if he might hit Gwythyr again, but with a snort, he released his cousin’s hair with a vicious snap of his wrist. “Bind and gag him.” With a gloating look, he added, “Send word to Neirin that we’ll need him to open the way to Caer Wydr.”

Gwythyr grunted as a gag was forced between his teeth. He could taste something on the cloth which immediately made him nauseous and dizzy. “What’s the matter cousin? Did you think supporting Arawn’s kingship would protect you? Yes, we know all about your spying.“ Aonghas grinned down at his cousin in triumph as his men bound him, wrist to ankle. The pain kept him coherent only a few moments longer as Aonghas gloated. “Don’t worry. You’ll have your revenge on the traitor. Neirin is about to outlive his usefulness. Once you’re out of the way, there’s really no reason to keep him alive, and once we kill Arawn, there’ll be no one capable of retrieving you. Your mother will mourn of course when she finds out Neirin was behind the kidnappings and that we were unable to stop him from sending you through Caer Wydr, but I think she will understand why we had to kill him when we discovered what he had done. I’ve always been more of a son to her than you, especially considering how you were conceived. If anything, your loss will be a relief.“ He leaned in closer, so he could look Gwythyr in the eye, “And I think I will make a great king of Annwn, don’t you? Perhaps I can convince your lovely little foundling to be my queen, eh?” Aonghas chuckled at his own wit as Gwythyr slid into unconsciousness.

to Book 4, part 2, page 2

Advertisements

4 Responses to “Tattoo Book 4, Part 2.1”

  1. Darkthorn said

    Your chapters are satisfying, but still not often enough. I really wish you had more time for writing.

  2. here2read said

    Ah! Ok I didn’t really see the villian being Aonghas! hmmm can wait to see what Glory does about this…

    • harmony0stars said

      Well, Glory was half right about Neirin at least. He’s just not the main villain. Too bad it seems Arawn wasn’t really using them as bait, eh? Could have saved poor Gwythyr a beating.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: