Mind of the Mad (Repost)

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Mind of the Mad (Repost)

Postby Mark » Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:00 pm

((Notice: This is just a repost of a previous IC post done months and months ago. Just throwing it back up for my enjoyment, and the enjoyment of others. That, and I hope to do something similar for Kasim. Enjoy))

The desert wind howled through the streets of Calimport, sending sand like shrapnel against the bodies of those remaining to face the elements. Many people fled inside their homes in an attempt to salvage their evening in peace, perhaps with light dinner and song.

Except for one.

Dressed in heavy clothing and holding a book tightly against his chest, a young man, barely more than a child, forced himself through the streets against the wind. Head down and eyes clenched shut, the young man used his memory to help him navigate the empty streets, the sounds of windows shutting as he passed, denying him a location to rest.

Coughing hard as he dust entered his lungs, the boy raised his eyes and opened them for nary a moment to gather his bearings. With a sigh of satisfaction, he realized he was approaching his destination, where he could rest for the evening. Or so he hoped. Deep down, the young man dreaded what might happen when he came back.

Winding his way through the narrow streets, the boy reached the edge of a large manse. Made of white stone and topped with golden minuets, the palace, as it could be called, looked like an icecap of snow and sanctuary against the sandstorm that raged at the behest of the djinn. Pressing his back against the door, the boy pushed, his underdeveloped body straining to move the wooden barrier that blocked him from finally being free of this torture. And perhaps causing him to enter another.

With a heavy thud, the door suddenly opened, the boy sliding in before the door shut on its own. Face covered with sand and mucus from his running nose, the boy rubbed his face on his innermost layer of clothing, feet lightly echoing across the marble and golden floor. Finally at ease, the boy began to mentally review the recent lessons until a heavy cough behind him brought his attention back to his surroundings.

Looking over his shoulder, the boy swallowed and whispered, his voice harsh and cracked from the wind and dust, "Oh...he-he-hello Akim. I-I...I was just headed back to the quart..."

A large hand, attached to a large, oiled body of bronze skin suddenly raised, silencing the boy. Clad from head to toe in golden and red scale mail, Akim was well deserving of the title of Master's Shadow, the highest bodyguard position. Stepping through the hall, Akim responded.

"The Master requires you in his chambers. Immediately. He wants to see what you have learned."

The boy began to tremble, pressing his book defensively against his chest as if it would be armor to defend him. Shaking his head quickly, he began to plead.

"Please, Akim! Let me see my parents and rinse. Surely the Master does not know I am here just yet," the boy rasped between breaths of air, "I beg of you, please Akim!"

The boy's insistence was silenced as the Master's Shadow lifted his glave from the ground and thrust the butt hard against the marble floor, a deafening echo filling the hall. Without even the slightest change in expression, Akim moved his free hand to touch an iron rod at his belt, an unspoken threat that the boy knew better than to argue with. Bowing as he backed up, the boy ran down the hall down toward where the Master's chambers were.

But each step was harder than the last. Fighting off the bulge in his throat, the boy's steps ended before a large, ordinate door. Grabbing hold of a large purple cord hanging from the side, the boy pulled and a chime announced his arrival. Pressing his eyes closed and wishing he wasn't there, or that the master would be sleeping, the boy waited, and hoped. In vain.

"Enter" a voice spoke as the door opened, revealing a plush bedroom. Along the walls, great works of art from as far as Thay hung in glory, gracing the weapons of generals and heroes beside them. Across the floor, the masterwork carpets of Rashemen colored the floor in purples and golds. A large bed, flanked by pillows and drappings, lay unmade. Sitting upon it, was the one known as the Master.

Dressed in a semi-open robe, the Master smiled at the boy. Midway between his thirtieth and fortieth year, the master was young and attractive, with close cut brown hair, chocolate eyes, chiseled frame and noble bearing. A wealthy merchant, the Master seemed to personify the aristocracy of Calimport in look, attitude and action. And the child knew that.

Standing from the bed, the Master approached the boy. "Ah, welcome home. I hope your studies have proven useful. You know how expensive private tutors are, don't you?" the Master said with a smile of white teeth.

The boy nodded and kept his eyes and head down. Usually, the boy would be on his knees before the Master, but felt that doing so would ruin the carpet. Biting his lip to fight back tears, the boy waited.

"Good," responded the Master, drawing close to the young man. With two fingers he raised the boy's chin so he could look into the Master's eyes. His beautiful eyes. His alluring eyes. His eyes. "Perhaps a demonstration then? Show me what you learned."

Unable to tear his eyes away, the boy nodded and took a couple steps back, placing his book on a nearby pedestal. With a deep sigh of concentration, the boy began to chant as his hands traced symbols in the air. Brow furrowed, the boy struggled as he attempted the complex incantations and maneuvers as he neared the end. Finishing the spell, the boy suddenly opened his hands and waited for the dancing lights to appear in his hands.

Two motes of small light flashed into existence, flaring in purple and blue for a moment before slowly dying and going out long before they shout have. Shaking his hands in an attempt to revive the light, the boy stared in horror at the Master. And he saw the frown.

"Pathetic. I am paying hundreds to ensure your skills in magic, and yet you fail. Why? Why?! Do you not want to please me? Well?"

"Y-y-yes Ma-ma..."

The boy's words were cut off as the Master suddenly slapped the boy with the back of his hand, causing the boy to fall to the ground. Clutching at his clothes on his chest, the boy began to crawl backwards, but knowing he could never escape.

"Don't you want to please me? You know you do. And you shall. Slave. You will learn to please your Master" the man said as he reached down, grabbing the boy by his hair and pulling him to his feet. Grinning with malice and insidious intent, the Master began to move the boy deeper into the room. Then, tossing him onto one of the large carpets and a pillow, the Master sighed with satisfaction.

"You will learn to please me, slave. One way or another" he said as he removed his robe and smirked at the child.

The boy couldn't scream. He couldn't cry. He knew if he did, his parents would be killed and his own eyes and tongue torn out. He'd seen the other boys. Their fate. Their failures to the Master for not pleasing him, for crying when he took them.

With a snap of the master's hand, the doors of the room shut of their own accord.


The wagons bounced and creaked along the road to Silverymoon. The caravan was quiet, but for the sounds of oxen and idle chatter of the teamsters. And the sound of someone mumbling to himself in the back of one of the wagons.

A young man of 16 looked back in the cargo wagon at the man dressed in drab robes, sitting in the corner and hissing and rambling incoherently, drool running down his mouth and into his hands. Looking over at his partner, he thumbed back at the man.

"Any idea what he's speaking, Lione?" the youth asked.

Spitting out some tobacco water from the side of his mouth, the older teamster regarded his apprentice. "Sounds like Alzhedo, but I can't be sure. Haven't heard anyone speak it for so long, and all I know is how to ask where the whorehouse is," Lione laughed at his own joke.

Laughing along with his mentor, the youth looked back at the man in the wagon again.

"Any idea what he's saying?"

Shaking his head, Lione took both reins into one hand to stuff more tobacco into his mouth. "Can't say, boy. We found him yesterday just outside of Jalanthar. He was beaten badly and almost dead. 's lucky he's not, with all the wound on his body. Surprised he actually lived through the night. I figure he might be safer in Silverymoon. But you can never know what goes on in the mind of the mad, boy."

But if the man knew the language better, he could understand the rantings and incoherent speech of the man in the wagon, with gray and brown hair and gray eyes. A prayer. A promise. A memory.



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