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Capture – Jagged Shield

Capture – Jagged Shield

The Traditionalist faltered and fell to her knees. The young Shield stood over her, feeling the grin that split his features as she fell, the sweat that worked its way over his musculature. He towered over her as she crawled in the dust at his feet, and when he grabbed the scruff of her neck she offered no resistance.

“Where is your might now, girl?” he growled, shaking her head. The hand that held her was bound to a large round shield, the sign his people used to maintain their dominance over the world even when they were not warlords. “What’s left to you when your magics fail?”

“I wasn’t-”

He slapped her across the face, let her fall into the dust and stepped on her knee to keep her from running. Angling his shield with casual skill, he caught her underneath the chin and tilted her head, forcing her to look into the distance.

“You will not speak,” he said. “I will not give you the chance to call upon whatever magic you possess. You will be taken before the Warlords. They will decide what to do with you in accordance with the lore.” He watched as her body went limp, the small nod that was her only sign of resignation.

He let her up, silenced her with the gag the Consorts had made for that purpose, bound her hands behind her and pushed her forward with his shield. She stumbled and he let her fall, waited for her to find her feet. When she tried to meet his gaze he growled and stepped towards her. Her shoulders slumped and she bowed her head, letting him direct her towards the barracks.

“Ho, A’Nimi.” He stopped in place, grasping the Traditionalist by the neck to keep her from moving. He lowered his shield and waited for the camp guard to approach him, keeping himself still for her inspection. She glanced from him to his captive. “What’s this?”

“A spy from the Ebony Traditions,” he said. “I caught her walking out along the edges of our camp, and brought her to heel before she could make use of her power.”

“Well done, youngling,” the woman said, frowning. “Take her to the Warlord – you’ll find her by the cooking fires, talking to a Web Walker.”

The warrior nodded, passing the woman and pushing his captive forward. Curiosity was not a trait cultivated by his people – they were warriors first and foremost, and they left matters other than fighting to those better suited to it. Still, the warrior could not help but wonder why the Warlord would be speaking with a Walker.

As he passed through the camp other Shields came to see him and his captive, and he felt himself warmed with pride as they whispered at the sight of his captive, saw her weakness as she cowered into herself and tried not to be noticed.

He shoved her towards the center of the camp, stood to attention and waited. The Warlord frowned, towering over the Walker as she listened to the man’s words. Though young, the warrior understood that while the Jagged Shields were the true masters of Indoth, only a fool discounted the wisdom of the Web Walkers.

The Warlord glanced in his direction and frowned, asking the Walker to be quiet a moment. She considered a moment, then walked closer to where the warrior stood.

“A Traditionalist.” The Warlord said, grasping the captive’s chin, turning her head to the side. “Where did you find her?”

“The outskirts of camp,” the warrior reported. “She is most likely a spy.”

“If she were a spy you would not have seen her,” the Warlord said. She caught his eye, smiling gently. “I am not saying you lack the potential, just the skill. You are only on your first vowel. You will learn that not every Traditionalist is a Priest. Still, she will make a fine slave.”

The warrior nodded, holding himself to attention, trying not to show his disappointment.

“Do not fret so,” the Warlord, stepping closer to him, pressing her forehead against his, her eyes boring into his own. “You will have the means to move into the greater vowels soon enough. The Walker tells me that another Wonderworks has arrived, and with it new Outsiders.”

The warrior smiled, nodding as the Warlord’s skin left his and she turned from him. The Outsiders would arrive alone and confused, but that confusion would pass. The Outsiders were always dangerous, always seeking to make changes to the order that the Jagged Shield had brought to Indoth. In teaching the Outsiders their place was the chance to grasp the greater vowels, and the young warrior licked his lips and tasted the promise of glory to come.

*

STORY AND CONCEPT BY AARON GOLDEN. PICTURE TAKEN FROM PIXABAY, AND YOU CAN FIND IT AND A HOST OF OTHER IMAGES LIKE IT BY CLICKING HERE. CAPTURE UPDATES EVERY TUESDAY AND THURSDAY, AND YOU CAN READ THE VERY FIRST CHAPTER BY CLICKING HERE, THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER BY CLICKING HERE, OR THE VERY FIRST CHAPTER BY CLICKING HERE.  



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