James Barclay Forum Index James Barclay
Welcome to the forum for the author James Barclay.
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

the blessed child

Post new topic   Reply to topic    James Barclay Forum Index -> Members' own work
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message

Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 4
Location: united kingdom

PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 9:35 pm    Post subject: the blessed child Reply with quote


She walked in the moonlight, her beauty apparent by the icy, radiant shafts of luminosity that pierced the canopy over head. But it was not with relation to this that she walked the woods that instant, for on that night, when the darkness laid a deathly frost, the rose thorns cut deep, and the blood of the innocent ran hot, she aspired to ripen the fruit of decay. She heard breathing, and with lightning swiftness and muted elegance pushed herself up against a nearby tree, concealing every inch of her skin, for the innocent saw perfectly in the darkness.
The fabric of her chosen attire lay tight on her skin, black and soft as sin. Her dark hair and piercing, violet eyes paid testimony to her heritage, her supple joints and deftness of movement, her calculating intellect and conspiratorial resolve, her stealth. An assassin. This was to be the greatest kill of her career, for it promised a generous price, a notable reputation and acknowledgment from some of the greatest men in all Chalith. This kill, would gain her the status of child-bearer.
She heard her victim?s breathing grow rapid and aware, their movements rushed and panicked. She sensed the heat of their body increase, the tension in their muscles reach an agonising extremity, their eyes hazed with stray beads of sweat and torrents of bodily flame. Her victim was afraid. She felt it in the air, ripples of anxiety tainting the atmosphere. She felt it on the planes, his spiritual insignia pulsing progressively more intense. She sensed it in his psyche, her abilities relaying information that should be forbidden to her.
As she came to the shocking realisation of her victim?s knowledge of her, she stepped out from the tree, and with seductive intent, and glossy, powerful eyes of hubristic sexual potency, began to speak to him in slow, enduring, entrancing female tones.
?Morien? She whispered, now standing but feet away from him. He turned, shocked, and gasped in surprise.
?Variel? He said, bending slightly and putting his hand to his chest in relief, attempting to stem the rapidity of his breathing.
?You scared me.? He said, looking straight at her now. The dark was barely penetrable. ?I didn?t think you?d come, I was about to leave but-? She put a finger to his lips and waited, once he had succumbed to her prompt she moved her finger from his lips, spread her palm and ran her fingers through his hair. She appeared to be caressing him, revelling as she appreciated his robust masculinity, though Morien was as blinded to her intention as he was her appearance. She needed just a moment. Just one instant.
She pushed her palm firmly to his temple and searched his mind, her psychic capabilities destroying his privacy of thought and giving her access to the deepest recesses of his consciousness. What she saw turned her blood cold.
Morien, her Morien, in embrace with another woman, touching her, kissing her, engrossed by her.
Morien fighting, winning, killing; Morien swearing fealty to bandits; deceiving elders; slaughtering mages; sacrificing blood; practicing the arts of dark magery; culminating his rampage; coming to her.
Variel withdrew in shock. She jerked her hand from his temple and stood, bringing her hands to her face to cover her tears. Morien knew what she had seen, he had known Variel long enough to be familiar with her abilities.
?You weren?t supposed to see that.? he said, as though that provided some explanation.
?But why, Morien? What could have driven you to this? You?re a good man, and powerful, we need your like to stand for the elders, not violate everything they?ve ever taught, not mock the power they have given you.? As she found her voice, so her anger grew.
?Don?t talk to me about power, Variel; of all people, you must understand its corrupting influence.? Variel stepped forward, contemplated for but a few seconds, and struck Morien. He winced as blood tainted his saliva, spat it to the ground. He looked at Variel then, suddenly afraid. She was no longer the weak and innocent woman he had married, but a cold and violent assassin. If this was the effect of a guild, then he prayed for their destruction.
?You know why I joined the guild,? she explained, anger and hysterical upset in conflict for dominance, ?it was never to leave you, it was to find myself, to understand the limits of my power. And now I do, though it wasn?t without cost.? Morien gasped in disbelief. ?You?ve managed to retain your remarkable gift for understatement then. Cost I can deal with, Variel, material loss I can deal with? but losing you was beyond that. The loneliness?? He let the sentence fade.
Variel felt a rush of guilt, was overwhelmed by a wave of foreboding; she loved Morien. His death would hurt.
?Morien?? She played with the fastenings of her blouse teasingly. ?Now that we?re together? I think the guild vows can be put aside. Just one night.? Morien smiled a perverse, drunken smile that implied his intent on taking her body and using it to serve his own obstinate, lustful desires. He might have loved her, but for this instant he was a man, a mere mortal, and subject to the whims of his kind.

Chapter one

?Variel, this contravenes everything we?ve ever taught you, of love, of death. To undertake such a thing with this man only to take his life?? the guild master gestured in search of a term, ?it borders on inhuman.?
The guild masters study, occupied by Variel, the guild master and a scholar, was the place of much pious debate on guild ethics. It was a small dark-oak panelled room, and smelled of forest and choking dust, of age. The guild master sat behind a desk, looking up at Variel through an over-sized monocle. His robes were a deep purple, falling over chain mail and areas of blue plate armour.
?Is it inhuman to love? I loved that man, but I had a contract. The two actions were not linked. I did not undertake one to get to the other; only I changed, from woman to assassin.? The guild master sat back and sighed, he was aged and Variel doubted he remembered the domineering power of passion.
?Well it matters not; you will be punished Variel, but you also know of the benefits this will bring, the rewards; the sentiment may have been slightly inappropriate, but you killed a mage, and a rebel. That?s one less thing for the guild to worry about; he was a powerful man. We only have so many magicians now; things aren?t how they once were.? The guild master brought his hands to his face, hiding his expression for a few moments. He ran his fingers through the little grey hair that he had retained in old age and leaned forward. For a select few seconds the stress produced in the running of a guild was perceptible.
Variel concluded to address one crucial matter, the likes of which may have been forgotten by the guild master. She drew breath.
?It is possible I am with child.? The statement was short and absolute, sudden. It shocked the guild master into standing, and the scholar to scribble furiously on his parchment. The guild master ground his teeth in frustration and placed his knuckles on the desk, bent as if in burden of his weighted anger.
?You will have to be rid of it!? He snapped viciously; there was venom in his voice and poison in his tone. This malevolent demeanour seemed strange; on such an elderly person as the guild master, it seemed unnatural.
?I can?t? Variel whispered meekly. ?The baby will be all I have of Morien.?
?Forget Morien, Variel, forget him! He?s no more. If you have this child? you?ll have to leave the guild. But worse will be the capability of the child itself; the son or daughter of a mage and an assassin will be powerful beyond the realms of safety. It?s too much of a risk. Variel, when we read your mind on your return? well we know what you saw in Morien?s psyche that night ? we know his past as well as you.? The guild master silenced himself, believing his reference to be reason enough for her understanding. Variel wasn?t that easily persuaded.
?A child doesn?t choose his father. This kill was supposed to promote me to the status of child-bearer, where am I now if not in such a position?? Variel?s bark now reached a feverish pitch, an impetuous audacity of tone in her voice.
?Yes, that may be Variel, but you were expected to bear the child of a nobleman, a knight, perhaps another assassin? but a mage!?? the guild master sat in conclusion. ?Better a mage than one of your knives!? Variel argued, ?Better a loved one than a stranger! I can control this child, I can bear its power? but you have to trust me.? The guild master grew tired of argument. He sighed.
?But let us suppose that this child adopts the temperament of its father. Let?s just suppose the child grows to oppose us. The power it would possess poses too large a risk to the security of this guild, and the entire empire of Chalith for that matter. Only you can decide your fate, Variel. That is the underlying principle behind everything we teach. But, in this matter at least, it is not only your fate you must think of.? The guild master widened his eyes as if in triumph. ?Now go, and return on the morrow, when your conclusion will either ensure the security of the guild, or shake the foundations of the empire. Now go!? the guild master pointed to the door.
?Look, you can say what you want, but my decision is made. I will bear this child, for Morien I will raise it, and for you I will control it.? Variel
Variel, her life suddenly far more imposing, exited the room, shaken. Never before had the guild master sent her from his sight, never before had she disobeyed him.


Sitting alone on her bed, Variel Lashlarieth wept. Her tears were the envy of the sea, the daughter of the rain. They were filled with anger, confusion, frustration? overflowing with indecision. She lay back and exhaled a fleeting, quivering breath, reluctant to exit her weak and vulnerable body.


Just to let you know, the striking similarity between this work and nightchil is unintentional (i had not yet read the book when i posted this). I have always been interested in the idea if heritage granting power, and this was the inspiration for this short, unfinished piece. I have since read nightchild and consequently most work on this piece has ceased. I am working on a fantasy at the moment that centres around the idea that power takes away ones control and bends them to the whims of their capabilities - as in if you can do it, you should. I am intersted in how this philosophy gives rise to ambition through evolution, as humans (or in my novel elves) evolve rapidly and become hungry for more power. How this effects elven society is the premise for my new work, and it's going well. In my new work elves become oppressive, their self-inflated view on themselves giving rise to discrimination and interracial prejudice. Anyway, i'm ranting now - hope you liked my piece.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger

Joined: 09 Oct 2004
Posts: 365
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thouroughly enjoyed it...I didn't really get into it for the first few lines, but I got captivated.
Ian Fulguirinas(dragonkillernz)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    James Barclay Forum Index -> Members' own work All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group