Endless Blue – Week 104 – “The Unintended”, Chapter 1   1 comment

History

The Unintended
by Dustin Douglas

Preface
The Basqorjn Clan

     The Basqorjn Family’s strength resides in their unwavering control. Control over their slaves, control over their business, and control of themselves. Their bloodline’s strength results solely from their devotion to the family. Actions taken against the family strikes at the very heart of one’s own livelihood for any of House Basqorjn. The current living Yaun-Teel generations understand that their success came only from their forefathers labors. The ancestors worked, and toiled to earn the family’s reputation, and the burden now falls to them. The success or failure of the house results from their ability to continue on with the family’s teachings.

The Basqorjn clan never breaks a contract. Contracts may dissolve, but Basqorjn failure is unacceptable.

The Basqorjn clan will serve their elder’s wishes, no matter the request.

The Basqorjn clan treats all family matters on equal footing with business matters.

     While the third rule may seem ambiguous, this rule sets the Basqorjn clan apart from most other families. Clearly, the marriage between any two families would require agreement between elders of each clan, but the Basqorjn go further. Even if marriage occurs, the offspring of that marriage may not be acknowledge as a true Basqorjn, and therefore not a true heir of the family. Many Yaun-Teel communities say, “as stingy as a Basqorjn,” for this reason.

     The elders also dictate if a particular offspring will breed, and with whom. Some offspring mate with the Mer to keep the bloodline from degenerating, while some maintain the pure blood. The elders decide who among the family shall be gifted with true heir offspring. Many young Basqorjn take issue with this fact, as their nature tempts them to betray the family to fulfill their biological drive. In the end, the youth quash such selfish notions. They bow to the family’s needs first, as they are nothing on their own. What could a single, nameless, Yaun-Teel ever accomplish?

     The Basqorjn own many slaves, and produce high volumes of gemstones and precious metals. Despite their draconian family laws, they’ve remained highly productive for many generations. The tight control of the family, and the large number of slaves, allows the core family to live in luxury. A Basqorjn is nothing without faith in the family, and the family repays dedication in gold.

***

Chapter 1
Temptation’s Price

     “Mom?” said a young, nervous, male Yaun-Teel.

     “It’s going to be okay, Tameryh. Remember, we never fail to fulfill our promises. Just like our contracts,” said the boy’s mother.

     “But will I still get to see you?” asked Tameryh as his face turned red.

     “You, and me? We don’t matter. What matters is the greatest gift that you have. Basqorjn, your family name. Wear it with pride, my son. Whatever you do, you do in service of the great house. Generation after generation of devoted Yaun-Teel fought to give this name power. Never take their sacrifice in vain,” she said holding him close.

     “But what about you?” he said, still fighting back the tears.

     “Don’t think of yourself. That temptation leads to the greatest of sins. You may feel pain, but do not let that bring shame upon the house. If you do shame the house, pray you can resolve your debt,” she said.

     A voice shouted from outside the room, “Myra, it’s time.”

     Myra looked down at Tameryh and smiled.

     “Little Tam… Don’t forget everything you’ve learned. I must settle my debts,” she said as the hugged him one last time.

     Myra left the room, and Tameryh followed her out of the room. He swam as close to her as he could, but he stopped as the elder appeared. He didn’t dare interrupt.

     The elder stood tall and strong despite his age. Adorned in clothes with golden trim, wearing three thick golden chains with the house symbol, a golden eel around the perimeter of a circle with a blood drop in the center, hanging down on his chest.

     “You will serve the southern scholars well, Myra. You will do as you’re told, and treat their word as mine. You shall no longer be Myra of Basqorjn, though you still carry the reputation of this house. Should I hear any word of dissatisfaction from them, Tameryh will be stripped of his name too,” he said with a stern voice.

     Myra turned pale at his remark, but nodded meekly.

     “Good,” said the elder. He turned to Tameryh and continued, “ah there’s the boy. You, honor your mother’s sacrifice. Even with her mistake, she settled her debt with the house. It’s a good lesson, lad,” he said in a sterile tone.

     Tameryh meekly said, “Yes Elder Molka, thank you sir,” but couldn’t help but frown as the tears started coming back.

     “Shh, hush now, Little Tam,” said Myra.

     “Blodusk, take the boy,” said Elder Molka.

     From around the corner, a large adult male Yaun-Teel swam up and grabbed Tameryh by the arm. Tameryh wanted to fight. Tameryh wanted to scream loud enough for the vastness to hear him. He knew too well that his selfish actions would only hurt his mother. Tameryh knew the house came first. He submitted completely, and looked away from his mother as Blodusk dragged him from the room.

     Blodusk frightened Tameryh. The strongest Yaun-Teel of House Basqorjn who served as Elder Molka’s Thane. Beyond simply securing the properties of the Basqorjn clan, he also acted at the Elder’s right hand in disciplinary matters.

     Tameryh sat in a room, looking down at the floor. Blodusk shut the entrance and stood inside, looking down at him.

     “She held great status here once. Then you came along. Her great temptation! Ha! Myra of all people,” he said with a wicked look on his face.

     “Oh yeah, you probably don’t understand the full story yet. Let’s just say she wanted to serve herself first,” said Blodusk.

     “Who are you serving by telling me this story?” asked Tameryh as he raised up his head.

     Blodusk rushed forward, grabbing Tameryh by the head.

     “Listen here you little unintended trash! I’m telling you what you need to hear,” said Blodusk with anger in his voice.

     Tameryh’s eyes drifted back down, his shoulders slumped, and he submitted completely again.

     “Sorry sir. Thank you for sharing your experience with me,” said Tameryh.

     “That’s more like it,” said Blodusk as he released Tameryh.

     “You see, she never asked permission. A fine young Yaun-Teel caught her eye, and wouldn’t you know it. Myra couldn’t keep herself in check. My, oh my, she was a profitable one too. We can’t have her going against the family serving only herself. That kind of tarnish takes years to remove,” said Blodusk.

     “Now what to do with you. I wonder if the elder will buck tradition and throw you in the slave pens anyway. We don’t need some no-skilled kid smearing the family name,” said Blodusk with a wicked grin.

     Tameryh grew pale at the thought of a lifetime of hard labor.

     “Oh, did I say something you didn’t like?” said Blodusk watching Tameryh’s reaction.

     “You think you’re too good for mining then eh? Too good for swimming down to the deep blackness? Who knows what monsters lurk out there in The Hole. They say it goes down for miles. If the foreman doesn’t get enough out of you, he’ll send you straight up to the vastness!,” laughed Blodusk.

     Tameryh kept looking down, just hoping someone or something would stop Blodusk from talking.

     “Maybe we’ll just feed you to the sharks, boy! Ah ha ha ha!” laughed Blodusk.

     Tameryh stopped responding and sat silently, yearning to leave this place forever.

     Blodusk pulled out a short dagger and began grooming his claws. For Tameryh, time slowed to a crawl. After his mother’s depature, he couldn’t fathom what future awaited him. His sorrow was soon replaced with hollow despair.

     Tameryh thought back to his earliest memories with him mom. The elders kept Tameryh from formal education with the rest of the children, as “unintended trash,” should not mix with the house. Myra took complete responsibility for Tameryh instead. While she had originally been a profitable hunter, traveling from town to town in her youth, she was reduced to a mere servant.

     Tameryh thought about the many lessons Myra shared with him as they explored the kelp forests…

Myra said, “Listen. You may not hear it with your ears, little Tam, but you will feel it in your soul.”

Tameryh turned his head and said, “What is that supposed to mean, mom?”

Myra brought her hands up and gently brushed the nearby kelp. She looked back and smiled down at Tameryh.

“When you know how to dance with the currents, converse with the waters, and listen to the flora, then you may learn their secrets,” she said as she began to fade from view.

“What?! Where did you go!?” shouted Tameryh as his mother disappeared into the kelp right in front of him. To him, she appeared to merge with the plants completely.

Tameryh felt a tap on his shoulder and turned around.

Myra said, “Over here, silly little Tam.”

“Wow! How’d you do that!” asked Tameryh.

Myra smiled, patted Tameryh on the head, and said, “Well first you need to master the other little tricks I taught you little Tam.”

With a huff, Tameryh crossed his arms and said, “oh fine! Then will you teach me that trick?”

Myra nodded and smiled.

With that, Tameryh brought his hands together and chanted. A few minutes later, his hands gave off a minor glow.

“Good! Now, try moving the light on to this,” said Myra pointing at her necklace. She continued, “If you can, I’ll let you keep it!”

Myra handed Tameryh the necklace with a smile.

“Oh really!” exclaimed Tameryh.

He redoubled his efforts trying to cast the magical glow upon the object for the rest of the day. By the time they went home, the necklace glowed, not very brightly, but it certainly glowed. Tameryh brimmed with pride.

     Tameryh thought of all the little tricks his mother taught him as he looked down at the necklace. Once he learned how to create magical light, he learned minor healing magic, and even learned to speak with lesser evolved life.

     Tameryh clutched the necklace in his hand once more. It was a bronze version of the house sigil. The necklace was rough, scratched, and not as pristine as the elder’s golden one.

     After a short while, a voice commanded, “Tameryh, come.”

     Blodusk opened the hatch, and gestured for Tameryh to leave. Tameryh swam out of the room and stood before the elder.

     Elder Molka said, “Good. You’ll continue on serving the house in your mother’s place. You are Yaun-Teel, and I expect you to fulfill these duties as any Yaun-Teel would. Report to House Master Gimbould immediately. You will help cook, clean, convey messages, make deliveries, and anything else he requests. Is that understood?”

     Tameryh bowed his head and said, “Thank you for this opportunity. I will speak with Gimbould at once.”

     “You will be relocating to the servants quarters tonight,” continued Elder Molka.

     “Ah HA! Not heading down to the hole? Tis a shame” snickered Blodusk.

     Tameryh looked down without responding.

     “You. Speak when you are spoken to boy!” demanded Blodusk.

     “Yes, sir,” replied Tameryh with a flat affect.

     “Good,” said Elder Molka as he nodded towards Blodusk grimly, and left the room.

     “Oh what’s this little trinket? Now that you are formally serving the house, you can’t be wearing it” said Blodusk as he ripped the necklace from Tameryh’s neck. Tameryh’s eyes went wide, and his face turned red.

     “Oh this was your mother’s? You realize it’s not within her authority to bequeath this to you, or anyone. You probably think this was her property. No. This symbol means she’s recognized as a Basqorjn huntress. You. You are no hunter. You are barely Basqorjn. She isn’t even Basqorjn now!” shouted Blodusk

     Blodusk started laughing as he stuck the necklace in his pocket. Tameryh charged at him.

     *THWACK*

     Tameryh felt Blodusk’s full strength in a solid backhand to his face. Tameryh’s head snapped backwards as he sank to the ground. Blodusk looked down on him and laughed, as a trail of blood floated upwards.

     “Don’t fool yourself, boy. You think this is yours? You think you’re entitled to it because she gave it to you? Damn it, fool. You shouldn’t even be alive,” he said as Blodusk picked up Tameryh by the throat.

     “You. You were her mistake, he was her temptation. Damn them both,” hissed Blodusk as he threw Tameryh back down.

     Tameryh took a few minutes, but finally collected himself. Anger, hate, and despair swelled in him as he knew he was helpless to change anything.

***
(Continued…)

One response to “Endless Blue – Week 104 – “The Unintended”, Chapter 1

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  1. Pingback: Endless Blue – Week 109 – Cruor Druids: Wielders of the Red Tide | Endless Blue

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