Thursday, November 03, 2011

NaNo WriMo Day 3: The Eye

Chapter 3: The Eye

It was morning when Enlil woke again. Darkened patches encircled his eyes and an uneasy air sat about him. “I’ve heard stories,” Govad was beside his bed talking, “that the Fravashi were sent to the living to tame the wilds of men. That they arouse the inner storms of those they meet before drowning them in the reality of the true storm. Consider yourself lucky.”  

Enlil sat up and eyed Govad.  “I fear no woman.”

“Then you are in luck, there are not any for miles around. No doubt some whores back in Gray Court." Govad smiled. "Do not let the dresses deceive you eastlander. They are spirits of the damned, not women.” Govad stood and walked to the entrance to the ten.  With a sweep of his arm he opened the tent flap and flooded the tent with sunlight.  As he tied the tent flap back he pointed out towards the camp.  “No mere woman does that.”

Enlil’s eyes struggled to focus as the bright light streamed in.  He rolled over and sat up.  Hunched over, he closed his eyes and counted to ten.  Upon opening his eyes he was able to somewhat see out into the camp, but at first he wasn’t sure if he was seeing things correctly.  Tents, supplies, and a variety of wooden debris lay scattered across the ground.  Far across the camp Enlil could see the smith’s anvil standing above a wind-flattened tent.  

“What happened?” A moment of fear caught Enlil as he anticipated Govad’s answer.

“Storm happened.”  Govad said as he avoided looking out at the camp.  “The Fravashi happened.”  Govad moved back over to sit near the bed.  Enlil stood up, feeling every ache in his body ten times over.  His head pounded as he stumbled towards the nearby foot locker.

Storm what?  “They did this?” Enlil felt conflict rising within him.  Were the stories actually true?  Were the Fravashi a destructive force of storms?  A super weapon?  Enlil had not imagined the significance of the power he had summoned upon.  Storms were expected, but this was something far worse.  The camp was all but gone at initial glance.  “How long was I out?”

“Only a night.”  Govad returned.  “Missed the worst of it to be honest.  Probably best for you eastlander.  No man should be made to witness power such as this.”

Enlil gained control of his pain and slid into his proper Wind Captain attire: a ruffled doublet of white, browned leather breaches, and a feathered cap.  He fastened his rank insignia upon the ruffled collar of the doublet. He paced the inside of the tent contemplating the situation.

Govad sat quietly in his place watching Enlil pace.   It had been weeks since he had last seen him in proper rank and attire.  It reminded Govad of the first days of his service to Enlil, back when he still foolishly believed he was free.  Govad was a paid man, a paid slave.  The eastlanders didn’t believe in slavery after all, but that did not stop one man from owning another.  They just had to pay a believed-to-be fair wage for the privilege.  

For the most part, Govad had not minded.  He ate well and had a roof to sleep under most nights.  He had more freedom than most paid men as long as he was around when expected.  To passing observers, Enlil seemed no more than a friend to Govad.  Yet, Govad knew the true arrangement.  He had first hand experience from the time he had lingered a bit too long with the wine and whores of Gray Court.  Enlil had sought him out with vengeance, sending a cadre of men into town to drag him naked through the streets and force march him back to camp.  You are my paid man.  Back then, the fury in Enlil’s words was unmistakable.  The words still rang in his head and the monthly blood money Enlil forced into his pouch left no question.

“If the storm has passed, have we checked the cliff side?  Whats the status of Orten’s supply line?” Enlil fell back into his Wind Captain’s role.

Govad could only chuckle.  “Storm hasn’t passed.  You really know nothing of the Fravashi and their storms do you eastlander.  I had only assumed you knew what you sent me to bring back.”


“Storm’s broke Orten.  Whore storms ain’t nothing against a good tree line.”  Gurley’s voice almost seemed excited as he nudged Orten’s mountainous sleeping form.  The night had been difficult as the storm raged upon the landscape.  It had battered the bastard’s boys, as Gurley liked to call the group, but had also concealed their departure.  The group had been able to slip out as the storm wall passed and while Castle Black was still visible on the horizon, they had made it a safe distance from the Eastern Army’s grasp.

“Shut your mouth you damnable fool.”  Orten rolled over, clearly agitated.   “The storm didn’t break.  The eye is passing over.  The worst is yet to come, but we have time. Rest.”  Orten rolled back over, pulling his rain-soaked blanket back over his head.  To Gurley, it seemed as though Orten’s blanket was much drier than his.

Word count: 3422

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