|Burning, Raging, Cold.|
Mentioning the Pielena Fam
Late Spring, Y766 of the New YearThe Gleenwood, Glenmore
There was a filly, rumor went, the last child born to Lady Manea. A small child, unseen by the kingdom. Nobody knew what she looked like or her name. Most didn’t honestly know if she was even real. Phobos had ignored the rumors, laughing hysterically at the notion that his sickly mother had carried a fawn to full term and survived. She had been sickly for the better half of a year, the odds that she had another child was absurd. A laughable notion and thus he had laughed.
Until, that was, his brother had mentioned that he knew of the father of this mysterious child. An old insane guardsman- the very one their father had dismissed because he had tried to forcefully take his lord’s lady during rut. Phobos had never bothered to learn his name but he knew where this guard lived. The den he hid within. It was out of the way and hidden in thick brush. Not easy to get to and far away enough from the main paths to go unnoticed. Large enough for a fawn to be hidden within. Phobos was curious. Another child? Would she be her parents and be insane? Was that the reason she was hidden away? Or perhaps was the old stag simply that insane that he dared keep that filly so close to his side?
The only answer would come from finding out himself and thus Phobos had requested a series days where he had lighter chores, stating he had familial business to attend to. Pietro had let him go easily enough and Phobos was grateful. He spent two days hunting down information in the old stag. Every merchant, every guard young and old, was questioned until Phobos had nothing left to find. However he was left in a dead end. The old stag, Elijah, had died a year before his father’s trial. The old stag had seized to death after trying to force himself upon a young doe, the strain apparently too much for his old heart. Phobos found it a fitting death for the old pervert.
Phobos growled at the guard before him, glaring darkly. The shadows seemed to bend around him, half masking him in the dark hour. Dark eyes gleamed from the moonlight. The buckskin quivered in fear, ears pinned back. Phobos had the half mind to inquire why the colt was so afraid of him- there was more fear present than what even Phobos should have been able to instigate in another. Phobos was too busy, however, relishing in the taste of the fear. Breathing in the scent. It was always an intoxicating drink, fear. It got him drunker than fermented fruit would a hell of a lot quicker. A lovely destresser after a particularly trying day. Very rarely did he get the opportunity, anymore, to drink fear properly. The servants had come to respect him more than fear him unless they gave him reason to bellow at them. Scath laughed her tail off too often at him to honestly be afraid of him. Phobos would rather chew off his own foot than instill fear in Helena. Odessa just met him bitch-face for bitch-face and Mungo seemed unable to fear anything.
Pietro was simply not afraid of Phobos. Not even the rumors. Pietro seemed to know him better than that and Phobos wouldn’t admit it outloud but he liked that. It made the draught a savoured rarity though Phobos would admit he was curious over what was causing such an influx of fear. Phobos growled out his next sentence, “Tell me what you know of Guardsman Elijah.” Phobos demanded, his voice like poisonous silk. Weaving a verbal trap that it’s captive could not free itself from until Phobos released him.
The guard just tilted his head, confusion mounting in his eyes. “The first or the second?” The guard questioned. Phobos’ demeanor faltered completely. That had not been what he was expecting. Out of all things he had heard- rumors he had dug up and secrets he had ripped out of the deepest crevices of others souls- any mention of another guard named Elijah was not present.
“What do you mean the first or the second?” Phobos snarled. However the gig was up with the colt. The fear had lessened considerably and had become nothing but unease. He seemed more curious now than anything. Phobos snarled wordlessly at him, swishing his tail and trying to instill the same fear. Yet the colt just continued to stare at him blankly. Phobos settled for an annoyed look since he was inwardly pouting over having lost his drink.
“The old stag died. His son, which most tend to confuse him with, is still alive. You’re after his daughter aren’t you?” The colt questioned. Phobos had to resist the urge to lash out physically. Damn the greens- the colt was more perceptive than his former quivering hind-like appearance had given off. Phobos’ ears pinned and he gnashed his teeth aggressively. A mild threat. Anything to get that delightful fear back.
“I’ve never heard of the elder having a son.” Phobos huffed sassily. The colt mimed his sass with a quirked eyebrow, noting easily the fact Phobos didn’t deny his question. Phobos was beginning to read him easier now but it was still strange. The faith that this colt had in him not to murder him in his sleep was absurd. Only a select few of his co-workers, his lord's ladies, and his lord shared the same trust and even then it had taken a while. Yet this colt, this stranger, dared to put in him faith. If Phobos would be frank with himself it was unnerving.
“Considering I just spoke with him not that long ago, I would say I know more than you. Why are you after his daughter?” The guardsman questioned firmly, getting braver now. He squared up, looking Phobos up and down and weighing his odds of a fight. Phobos let the physical brutality-threat bleed out of his posture just so it wouldn’t end in a fight. Phobos had never been a good fighter even before he had injured his ankle. He knew enough to save his own hide or his lord’s family if it came down to it. But not enough to survive a petty little squabble. Not to mention Pietro would not be happy if he came back roughed up again.
“She’s my sister.” Phobos found himself saying. He hadn’t intended for honesty. He didn’t want this stranger knowing. Yet the words had come tumbling out. It was a foreign taste, the this particular brew of truth. For a moment Phobos could not do anything but fear what the colt would do with the information. Bloodthirsty were the hounds of Glenmore and they stopped for no one, not even the king, when they got upon a trail. The colt’s posture immediately lessened with shock and he blinked a few times trying to adjust to the new information.
“If you’re family-” The colt breathed before becoming entirely serious, stepping forward into Phobos’ personal space. Crowding him and nearly pressing up against him. The nearness made Phobos want to crawl out of his skin, the touch foreign and unwelcomed. Phobos breath froze in his chest unwillingly.
In life there is always a feeling one gets before everything is about to change. Before the world turns upside down and you are left scrambling to catch up. That singular pause filled the length of that moment for Phobos. Everything seemed to slow down and he became acutely aware of everything. The slight rustle of nocturnal birds fluttering around the trees. The dark bluish hue of the world around them, illuminated by the silver light of the moon and stars above them. He could smell the stag before him- the musk that clung to him hidden mostly behind concern. The fresh smell of the grass that twitched at their hooves. The stag’s ears slowly flicked back and his eyes drew as dark as Phobos’. A snarl was beginning to carve its way onto his face, looking out of place.
Phobos let out his bated breath, eyes widening. All at once everything was rushing to catch back up to its proper time. The rush left Phobos dizzy and feeling as if he had just spent a long time spinning rapidly in a tight circle only to stop abruptly. The colt lowered his voice, nearly whispering in Phobos’ ear. Phobos felt a mild twinge of fear. He didn’t want to fight this guard. “What I tell you needs to stay quiet unless you can deal with it swiftly.”
Phobos straightened up, concerned now. “Is my sister in danger?” The thought began to warm his blood, threatening to boil. His parents might have been insane but even they had instilled upon him the right traditions- you never harm a doe under your care. Pietro and Helena had taught him that harming any child under your care wasn’t how it was supposed to go. To dare do this- Phobos would go to war over the notion.
“Yes.” The colt answered immediately, “I’ve yet to see her but Elijah is just as insane as his father. I’ve heard him talk to other guards- he plans on breeding her as soon as she’s of age. He talks about how he’s raising her traditionally like a proper royal ought to- how he strikes her if she does anything without his permission. Even eating. I don’t have proof of this being anything more than talk. I need you to find this out and inform me. We can get this situation wrapped up quietly.”
There is another moment in life, one that very quickly follows the first, where we finally realize what was coming to change our lives. The world feels like it slows down once again, not quite as far as the first time. A sense of something cold crawls over your soul, fear many might call it, and settles in your bones for just a moment. Yet the fires of Phobos rage would not let it stay. It thawed and broke the moment, sling shotting him back into the present. Phobos’ vision was tinted red. He trembled with rage barely contained. A fire within his soul. How dare this insane bastard dare even talk about harming a doe! A filly no less! All in the name of royalty. It was sickening. Phobos carefully bared his teeth in a snarl, his eyes darkening dangerously with a murderous tint in his eyes. “I will find this out. Your name, guardsman?”
“Jarcelot, son of Officer Requimsal. Whatever you do- do not get caught.” Jarcelot hummed before disappearing into the night without another word. Phobos took his cue and took off like a frightened rabbit. He ignored the throb in his ankle, too focused upon his rage. He flew far away, as far as possible, until he came upon a cliff ledge near to Loch Kerr. High enough to remain unseen he bathed in the light of the night.
Phobos let his magic lash out dangerously then, tearing at the earth beneath him. The grass greened, fresher than spring could bring. Roses as red as blood bloomed out of nowhere, creating a dangerous ground around them. The trees greened themselves and the earth moved beneath him, twitching and rolling with his anger. However dangerous it was to move the earth while upon a cliff ledge, Phobos paid no mind. He threw his head back to the heavens and let out a howl reminiscent to a wolf though far more musical. The calling sound that began the hunt. Calling to the soul and awakening the thirst for blood. Fueling it’s fire until it was an inferno burning bright within the soul, burning away madness from the eyes and centering with its’ warmth.
A trial had occurred right then. The mad King was overruled and forgotten. The verdict rested solely in the mind of a pair of unwitting comrades who had never met before. Death was the sentence no matter what the evidence found. There was only guilt. The filly would be free of her bonds and rescued. A hunt had begun for the blood of the guilty. Red roses marked his death. As far as Phobos was concerned, Elijah the second was already deceased.
This content is intended for mature audiences.
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