Saturday, 15 February 2014

From the shadows...

What follows is the beginnings of a short story by myself, written for my leaving cert exam donkeys ago! It has however inspired a new project that a friend and I are now working on and that you will surely bear witness too over the next while. I hope you enjoy the read.

The Price of Devotion - Part One

The road to the small town of Langwald was quiet, there had been no travellers along it for many hours and now an undisturbed blanket of mist lay eerily across its surface. It was dark now and many people had taken shelter in the Black Candle Inn so as not to provoke attack from bandits, highwaymen or worse. The inn was situated around three-quarters way between Langwald and its neighbouring town of Enzesburg and like many buildings in the area was fortified in case of attack from the nearby forest. A grim and foreboding area, the inn reflected these aspects perfectly in its exterior structure and decoration. The stone archway had been made from dark rock, taken from the neighbouring mountain range and this served as the entrance into the inn's courtyard. It was shadowed by two immense stone gargoyles carved from the same rock, posed as such that they appeared to be ready to pounce on any unwary victim. The skill with which they had been sculpted was such that their realism had caused many a weary traveller to seek shelter elsewhere. It was for this same reason that the inn was now known as a haven for thieves, murderers, brigands and worse. These characters being the only ones brave, mad or desperate enough to risk a confrontation with the inn's dark and deceptive guardians.

A shadowy figure had now made his way to the entrance of the inn. He wore a long black cloak and a wide brimmed hat of the same colour. His mount was also black and at first glance the man would have appeared as an extension of the horse, while on closer inspection one would have seen that he was wearing brown leather boots. Once a fine pair of aristocratic style footwear, they had now been scuffed and cut by long years of travel and it was this worn quality that was shared by the rest of his apparel.
 Now making his way beneath the arch, the man looked up to observe the two gargoyles on either side of him. Where beforehand shadows had been hiding his face beneath his hat, they were now forced to flee from the light of the torches positioned below the leering sculptures. On previous circumstances this light would have illuminated the faces of lesser men, showing visages of fear and cowardice at the prospect of being ripped apart by the looming centurions. But this man was different; his features were rigid and grim, as stone-like as the statues themselves. His cold eyes reflected the flames of the torches below the gargoyles, almost challenging them to spring to life as he held the hilt of his sword while simultaneously grasping the hammer-shaped medallion hung from a silver chain around his neck. It was this medallion combined with his apparel that marked the man as a feared figure of authority. An infamous angel of justice. A man who has devoted the entirety of his life to the seeking out and destruction of the denizens of darkness. A Witch Hunter...


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