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Endless Blue – Week 108 – “The Unintended”, Chapter 5   Leave a comment

History

The Unintended
by Dustin Douglas

Chapter 5
The Debt Repaid

    “Call to us! Unleash us! Destroy their petty world built upon petty lies. Who do they serve? Just themselves. Who do you serve? You serve the truth!”

    Tameryh’s eyes opened, but he still felt pain across his entire body. He strained to lift his head up, and saw a plain empty room. He tried to speak, but coughed instead. He saw specks of blood float away from his mouth. He looked down and saw bandages wrapped around his chest.

“Don’t trouble yourself,” came a voice from the other room.

Tameryh looked up and saw the leather-bound mer woman standing in the doorway.

“Who are you?” asked Tameryh.

“A servant of the truth. You hear it don’t you? The voices of the currents bring us together. I couldn’t be sure until I witnessed your baptism myself. Clearly, the currents have chosen you. As for me, the currents spoke to me long ago. Telling me to find you, and help you see the truth. I am Ashani, servant of truth, Druid of the Bloom,” said Ashani.

“Bloom? You mean the red mist?” asked Tameryh.

“Yes. Those scholars think they have it figured out. A natural occurrence, a mere reaction of the environment. Pah. It’s nature’s revolt,” she said clenching her fists.

Ashani continued, “It’s nature’s very immune system. We’ve run rampant. Ruining, destroying, infecting, and killing our own world. Why? Progress, power, or perhaps wealth? What will any of that do for you when the tides stop flowing, and your heart stops beating?” said Ashani.

“What do you mean?” asked Tameryh.

“I mean the bloom is nature itself turning against the greatest enemy. You, me, all of the Piscean’s. Our civilizations’ greed, bottomless appetites, and appalling growth has led to the death of the coral, the kelp, and now even the waters turn. We must act on nature’s behalf, Tameryh. We shall cull the school,” said Ashani.

“You mean… kill them? Kill my clan?” asked Tameryh.

“You’re thinking too small,” said Ashani.

“This entire city is corrupt. Self-serving Yaun-Teel ready to stab each other in the back for a bit of profit. If they’re willing to do that to each other, what are they willing to do to our world? Just look at the strip mining and slaves!” exclaimed Ashani.

“You’re right. They aren’t worthy of being Yaun-Teel. They live to serve only their own greed. All of them. Every single one of them,” growled Tameryh.

“Yes, indeed,” said Ashani.

“What will we do?” asked Tameryh.

“Call to the bloom. Speak to the bloom. Command it,” said Ashani.

“How?” asked Tameryh.

“The bloom has accepted you, young one, now that you’ve survived the red baptism. Look here,” she said revealing a small urn.

She lifted the lid off the urn, and a small red cloud appeared. She placed her hand into the cloud and spoke softly.

“Come. Come. Let us cleanse this world of the wretched,” she chanted.

She continued chanting, and small specks of red started to flow towards her from outside of the room. After a few minutes, a large red mist had amassed around her. She gestured up and down, and the cloud gathered itself upwards, then downwards following her commands.

“Wow…” said Tameryh as his mouth hung open.

“Now, you just need to rest yourself and…” said Ashani as she trailed off.

Tameryh focused his hands on his chest and chanted his healing magic. Within a few moments his aches started to disappear.

“Very impressive,” said Ashani. She continued, “You already know some druidic arts?”

Tameryh ignored her question and eagerly said, “When. When can we start?”

“Tonight,” said Ashani.

Tameryh and Ashani worked with the red bloom in her hidden home for a few hours. Ashani explained the simple art of commanding the red mist. As long as she remained in contact with a part of the cloud, she controlled its motion. The cloud acted like an extension of her being. Tameryh found an odd enjoyment in effortlessly manipulating the mist. He couldn’t wait to wait them all suffer.

That night, the pair returned to the outskirts of Edonmul.

“Come. Come. Let us cleanse this world of the wretched,” they chanted as they looked down at the city. Soon the red cloud would engulf them all. Within a few minutes, the pair gathered a massive cloud, at least the size of a blue whale.

Ashani turned to Tameryh and said, “I leave the culling to you. Make them pay for their service to the lie.”

Tameryh slowly nodded and darted down towards the city. First, he turned his head to the cathedral. He thrashed his fins as fast as he could as he barreled through the stained glass window at the front of the cathedral.

*SMASH*

Bits of glass and debris floated all around him, as he saw the surprised look of five Yaun-Teel commoners and Sidar Asoudi. The red mist trailed behind Tameryh and the majority of it remained outside.

“Who do you serve?!” shouted Tameryh as he commanded his mists to completely envelop the exterior of the cathedral.

“Unintended? How?! What is this?” said the sidar.

“You put yourself before me, before my house, before our gods. You do not serve anyone but yourself, sidar!” shouted Tameryh as some of the red mist began flowing into the room sealing off the exits.

“Is that… by the gods,” said sidar noticing the red mists.

The sidar and the commoners turned and opened the door only to find even more mist on the other side. The commoners screamed and the sidar glanced nervously around looking for an exit. One of the commoners bolted, trying to dash through the mists. The bloom clung to the poor creature as it writhed in pain and its kin looked on in horror. Tameryh enveloped the rest of the commoners in the red mist as well, ensuring that the sidar was the last one remaining.

“You… aberration! Unintended by Yaun-Teel, now unintended by nature itself!” screamed the sidar.

“Oh that’s where you’re wrong, grand deceiver,” said Tameryh as he covered the rest of the commoners in red mists. He continued, “Nature called to me. The truth spoke to me, asking me to fight. Fight the sickness that is Yaun-Teel. And what a sickness it is.”

“Who do you serve!?” screamed Tameryh as the mists cornered the sidar.

The sidar panicked and began mumbling prayers.

“Do you think he hears you, heretic?” said Tameryh as he clenched his fist.

The red mists slammed into Sidar Asoudi, seeping into his body through his gills. He shook violently. The sidar’s face grew bright red, blood leaked from his eyes , ears, and mouth. The sidar tried to speak, but he could only gag as he coughed up more and more blood. The sidar reached to his gills, trying desperately to brush the bloom away to no avail. At last, the sidar gave out one last gasp as blood gushed from his body.

Tameryh let the red mist linger on him as he looked down. Once, Tameryh admired the clergy, but now he saw him for what he was: a miserable self-serving coward who took advantage of his station. Tameryh looked towards the dead commoners and felt nothing.

“You worked in service of the lie…” he said quietly.

Tameryh swam back outside and made his way towards the Basqorjn manor. As he approached overhead, he brought the red mist down with him with terrible force. Tameryh slammed the mist over the entire courtyard, forgoing subtly all together. Within a few moments, he saw the corpses of the watchmen floating up out of the mists.

Tameryh swam down towards the main manor, and forced the mist to form a barrier around it. Tameryh looked through the windows, seeing a few frightened faces staring back at him. Tameryh attempted to open the door, but it was locked.

“Hah, you think that will stop me?” mumbled Tameryh.

Just then, Tameryh heard something coming from behind. As he turned, he saw Blodusk darting towards him with a trident.

Blodusk’s trident pierced through Tameryh on his left side.

Tameryh clenched his fist and brought the bloom crashing down onto Blodusk while also holding the trident in his side. Tameryh watched as the bloom went inside Blodusk’s gills. Tameryh tried pulling the trident out, but Blodusk held strong. Despite the bloom destroying him from the inside, he fought. Tameryh pulled, but Blodusk continued. Tameryh saw the color leaving Blodusk face as his grip went lax. Blodusk coughed up blood and held his hands to his throat. Blodusk tore at his gills trying to give himself a chance to breath. He fought hard as more and more blood left his body. He felt his strength leaving him.

“My-My-Myra!” he finally gasped as he fell to the ground.

Tameryh cocked his head sideways and looked down at Blodusk, barely noticing the trident that pierced him.

“Why… did he really… my mother?” said Tameryh.

Tameryh looked back down at his wound. He removed the trident and winced in pain. He looked up unable to differentiate the blood escaping his body from the red mist surrounding him. Tameryh chanted his healing magic again. While the majority of the bleeding stopped, Tameryh failed to completely seal the wound. Tameryh chanted and focused on his magic a second time.

“CEASE!” shouted Elder Molka as he threw open the door.

For a moment, Tameryh felt the elder’s command seep into his mind. Tameryh stopped chanting the spell, but clenched one fist and pointed towards the elder.

“CEASE!” shouted the elder again, holding up his staff. His coral staff gave off a slight glow with this command.

Again, Tameryh felt himself go limp for just a brief instant.

“CEASE!” commanded the elder once more, but this time Tameryh focused all of his rage and fought through the elder’s magic.

“Who do you serve? WHO DO YOU SERVE?!” shouted Tameryh slamming his fists down.

The red mists crashed into the elder and into the manor. The elder attempted to cling to his staff, but the red mist threw the old Yaun-Teel into the wall. Tameryh swam up  picked up the elder’s staff and began chanting. Tameryh felt the staff become increasingly heavier as it accepted his enchantment. Tameryh hoisted the heavy staff over his head, and brought the full weight of it down onto the elder face, crushing it completely.

Tameryh looked down at the elder and felt a twinge of regret. Regret not birthed from the sadness of loss, regret born from an unjust end. Tameryh thought. “He deserved a far more gruesome fate. I suffered for years. Over twenty years of hatred, judgement, and servitude to a master who only served himself. “.

Tameryh slipped inside the manor, and inspected his injury only to find the bloom had attached itself to his wound. Tameryh brushed the bloom away and he found that the wound had closed completely. A wicked grin grew across Tameryh’s face as he felt empowered for the first time in his life.

Tameryh set his sights on the servant’s quarters across the courtyard. He saw that some of them had started to look towards the manor, worried about what was happening. He knew he had to act quickly or else they might escape.

Tameryh called to the mist and darted towards the servant’s quarters. Again, he completely surrounded the building with the bloom. He could hear their screams, the old, the young, the hatchlings, all of them would soon be dead.

“Tam? You’re alive?!” shouted Grimbould as he swam outside.

Tameryh simply looked away from him and clenched his fist.

“Tam! No! Don’t do it boy! You’re no killer, you’re an honorable lad!” protested Grimbould.

“You serve those who serve the lie, Grimbould. In the end, you didn’t care about the truth, just yourself. You could have spoken for me, but you watched me float away to the vastness,” screamed Tameryh.

“No… please… you were like a son to me, Tameryh,” said Grimbould.

“Your words. They only serve you now. You only think of yourself,” said Tameryh as he brought the mists around Grimbould.

“No! No!” protested Grimbould.

“Oh yes. You serve the clan, even if they’d disown one of their own over such triviality. Even if they sentenced an innocent to death,” said Tameryh.

“What? Innocent? You attacked the elder!” shouted Grimbould.

“Where was your protest when my mother was sent off to die? The only thing I saw were your lies, Grimbould. You never told me. Would it make you feel sick? Would it make you feel terrible to tell me the truth? Your actions prove it to me, you only serve yourself,” said Tameryh.

“No you’re wrong, listen! List-“said Grimbould as he began choking.

“Your deception ends here,” said Tameryh as he turned his back on his kin.

***

Epilogue

That night, the city of Edonmul felt the terror of the bloom. Many escaped as they witnessed the fall of the Basqorjn clan, but not a single Basqorjn family member survived. They say a young Yaun-Teel returned from the dead. Perhaps a vengeful spirit with a thirst for revenge, or the servant of a dark god looking to create chaos.

No matter the case, or the cause, one thing is certain. The bloom engulfed the city. Even now, the red mists still linger there. Who knows what fortunes lie hidden in the once great city of Edonmul. Only a fool would venture into the bloom. Who knows what creatures lurk inside, creatures who’ve learned to live within the toxic mist.

   “The endless blue ran red that night.
The seas grew thick with toxic blight.
The pleas for help fell, empty prayer
at the hand of Tameryh Kinslayer”
— a vexillifer’s ballad, “The Fall of House Basqorjn“.

 

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